January 12, 2021

ER 7.19, Sailing Away: The Rescue Mission

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:59 pm by Jenn

No one’s hair looks that good after hours in a convertible

Summary: The screen lets us know it’s Friday as Carter and Rena go by County to pick something up. Rena has her dog Norman with her, and the dog takes an immediate liking to Abby (and vice versa). Abby recognizes a car in the ambulance bay as Richard’s. She tells Randi to call security to tow the car, then rushes to break up the conversation her ex-husband is having with her boyfriend.

After Luka excuses himself, Richard tells Abby that Maggie has checked into a motel in Oklahoma and has been there for three weeks. Some guy she was with left, and she doesn’t have the money to continue paying for the room, so the manager found Abby’s last known phone number and called it. Since it’s not clear if Maggie is answering the door when the manager goes by, Abby doesn’t know if she’s still alive.

Luka treats a sorority pledge who got hurt while chasing a greased pig during Greek Week. Yes, alcohol was involved. Abby has called the motel in Oklahoma, and the manager confirmed that Maggie’s still there. Also, she owes him $800. Abby doesn’t have that, so Luka offers to wire the money. Abby, however, wants to go out there.

Luka urges her to wait and let a doctor handle everything; Abby can go once Maggie’s back on her medication. Abby would rather bring her to Chicago and have her committed there. Luka doesn’t get why Abby is so willing to help her mother after the way Maggie always treats her. Abby knows Maggie only acts the way she does because of her illness.

Instead of going on a honeymoon, Mark and Elizabeth are at home, getting ready for the baby. He’s started baby-proofing, even though that obviously won’t be necessary for a while. Back at County, Carter comes across Abby trying to get a flight to Oklahoma. She tells him what’s going on as Norman tries to snack on medical waste. Carter and Rena came in to get basketball tickets, but now Carter’s mind is on something else. He calls his travel agent and books two one-way tickets to Tulsa (Maggie won’t fly, so Abby will have to drive back to Chicago).

Mark makes a mobile in his garage, singing along to Styx’s “Come Sail Away” so we can get our episode title. The music is too loud for him to hear Elizabeth calling for him, so she pages him and tells him she thinks she’s in labor. Luka is treating another sorority pledge/victim of greased-pig wrestling. Abby calls him away to tell him she’s flying out to Tulsa that night…with Carter.

Carter explains the same thing to Rena, and we go back and forth between the two conversations. Luka argues that Maggie needs to be hospitalized right away, not go on a road trip with Abby and Carter. Abby doesn’t want Luka to make the decision for her. Rena’s annoyed that Carter’s going to miss the basketball game to help a friend who could get the same help from her boyfriend.

Abby tells Luka that she’s used to this and doesn’t want a lecture from him. Norman barks at Carter and Rena’s fighting, and Carter yells at him to shut up. Hey! You shut up! The arguments end when Luka tells Abby not to put herself in a position to get hurt again, and she replies that he’d be the expert on that. Luka and Rena both give in and tell their significant others to just go. Meanwhile, Mark brings Elizabeth to the hospital, where they get congratulations and encouragement from some co-workers. After some time passes, they leave again – the labor wasn’t real.

Saturday: Abby and Carter have rented a convertible in Oklahoma, because why not rescue your mother from her mental-health crisis in style? On the way to the motel, Carter asks why Maggie doesn’t like to fly. Abby explains that she decided to take Abby and her brother Eric to Disneyland when they were younger, but when they were flying over Nevada, Maggie tried to open the emergency doors; she thought they were flying over a nuclear test site. So I think it’s less that Maggie doesn’t want to fly and more that Abby doesn’t want her to.

Abby and Carter arrive at the motel, and Abby says that after 30 years, she still wonders what makes Maggie act the way she does. The manager tells them that Maggie came in with a guy who left after prepaying for a week. The manager tried talking to Maggie, but she didn’t respond. She doesn’t come to the door when Carter knocks, so the manager opens the door for them. Maggie’s inside, looking like…well, like she’s been holed up in a motel for three weeks.

Abby cleans her up while Carter gets a call from Luka, who’s just checking in. A couple of motel guests ask Carter if he’s related to Maggie. I don’t know what the point of that was. Carter offers to get some food from a nearby diner, leaving Abby to bathe her mother like a child. It seems like Abby’s used to doing this alone and doesn’t appreciate having Carter ask her if she’s okay. She just wants to get this done and leave.

Now frat brothers are coming into County after suffering Greek Week-related injuries. The staff tends to one who jumped off a roof. In Oklahoma, Carter brings food back to the motel room, which Abby’s trying to clean up. He tells her he gave the manager extra money for the mess, so she doesn’t need to worry about it. Abby tries to get Maggie to eat, but when Maggie refuses, Abby says it’s time to leave. Maggie insists on staying, but Abby tells her she won’t win this fight. Carter ends things before they can escalate by just picking Maggie up and carrying her to the car.

A patient named Ferris is stationed in an ER hallway, calling out for someone to take him to the bathroom. No one feels like it, which is dumb, because if he doesn’t get to a bathroom, they’ll just have to clean him up. Ferris recognizes Benton as one of his students from his middle school chemistry class. Fun fact: Benton once filled a condom from a Bunsen burner and caused an explosion. Benton! What did Mae think of that? Ferris tells Benton that he had a stroke a month ago but has been doing pretty well since then. A few days ago he started bleeding after getting his teeth cleaned. Benton offers to look at his chart.

Abby apologizes to Carter for getting him involved in her family drama. Yeah, he inserted himself in the drama. Don’t apologize. Carter asks if things are always like this. Abby says her perspective has changed over the years. At least this is better than the two times Maggie attempted suicide. Abby turns up the radio so she doesn’t have to continue the conversation.

A frat pledge named Adam needs treatment after cutting his hand on a beer bottle. He was locked in a car trunk and panicked when the frat brothers didn’t let him out. He should have known they would come back; they did last time. Adam didn’t make it through the process last time, so he’s trying again. Benton clearly wants to tell this kid how dumb he is, but he knows he shouldn’t.

Mark and Elizabeth return to the hospital, thinking she’s in labor again. The road-trippers stop in a diner, and Carter tries to strike up a conversation with Maggie. She won’t tell Abby or Carter how she wound up in Oklahoma. She also won’t take the bipolar medication Abby has brought her. She says Abby can’t make her take it, but Abby wants her to choose to take it. Maggie goes to use the bathroom, and Abby follows her to keep an eye on her (and smoke a cigarette).

In a hotel that night, Carter and Abby have phone conversations with Rena and Luka about when they’ll be back in Chicago. Maggie is on the balcony, watching a family by the pool. She likes to watch people who go about their normal everyday lives, and think about how lucky they are not to have her problems. Abby says Maggie can have an ordinary life, too, if she just takes her medication. Maggie has tried being ordinary but it didn’t last. She’s not like everyone else. She asks Abby why she came, and Abby says it’s because Maggie needed her. “There’s no one here to save,” Maggie replies.

Sunday: Maggie naps in the backseat of the convertible as Abby offers to talk to Rena about the whole situation. She teases that Carter has to expect some drama when dating a teenager. He reveals that Rena broke up with him – she thinks he has a crush on Abby. Carter doesn’t seem too disappointed, and also doesn’t do much to deny that Rena’s right about his feelings for Abby.

Elizabeth’s second round of labor was real, and Mark is carrying their new baby, Ella, around the hospital. Dave brings him celebratory cigars and asks to hold her, but Mark shuts him down. Dave tells Mark he owes $300 for the cigars, but I hope they were cheaper than that and Dave asked for extra money because Mark was mean to him. Elizabeth gives breastfeeding a shot, nervous about it along with everything that comes with motherhood. Mark knows she’ll be able to handle it all.

The road-trippers stop at a gas station, where a mechanic notices that one of the car’s tires is leaking air. He says it’s from a nail and offers to fix it for $15. Abby accuses him of puncturing the tire himself. She thinks he believes she doesn’t know anything about cars because she’s a woman. When Carter joins the conversation, the mechanic lowers his price to $10. Carter tells him to fix the tire before they call the police. The mechanic goes even lower, to $5.

While Carter and Abby were distracted, Maggie got out of the car and is now walking across a few lanes of busy traffic. When Abby stops her, Maggie says she just wanted to get some food from a convenience store. Abby goes with her and gives in when Maggie wants junk food instead of something healthy. Abby also buys more cigarettes, and Maggie tells her to take better care of herself. Abby’s face: “Don’t mention the irony. Don’t mention the irony.” When Abby and the cashier aren’t looking, Maggie pockets something.

Abby and Carter wait for Maggie outside the bathroom while the mechanic fixes their tire. Carter thinks Maggie seems better today, though Abby notes that she couldn’t be worse. Carter has negotiated the mechanic down to $3, as if money is Carter’s biggest priority right now. Maggie thanks Abby for coming to get her, sounding sincere.

Benton has arranged for a new nursing-home facility for Ferris, who I guess is difficult because no one has wanted to take him. Benton is going to go see him every other day to give him blood tests. Cleo’s impressed that Benton is going out of his way for a patient. He explains that the exploding-condom trick could have gotten him expelled, but Ferris just gave him a bunch of detentions instead. He had Benton prep his experiments, which changed Benton’s view on school and science.

Abby and Carter arrive in Chicago that night, now in good moods, thanks to a revelation that Carter had a perm in middle school…twice. Unfortunately, he thinks the pictures have all been destroyed. Carter drops Abby and Maggie off at Abby’s place, and Abby thanks him for coming on the rescue mission with her. When they try to wake Maggie, she’s unresponsive. Abby guesses that she took something and tells Carter to call 911, but he figures it’s faster to drive to the hospital.

Luka gets advance notice, so he’s ready when Maggie arrives at County. He and Carter tend to her together as Haleh finds the package of sleeping pills Maggie took. Luka is worried about Abby being in the trauma room, but she says she’s okay. As Adam is brought in after a shot contest, Carter and Luka continue trying to stabilize Maggie. She begins seizing, which is when Abby gets emotional for the first time.

Next door, Benton questions one of the brothers from the frat Adam was pledging. He had 35 to 40 tequila shots in a row and has a blood-alcohol content of .529. Freaking A – half of his blood is alcohol?? Benton and Cleo have spent 40 minutes trying to save him, but there’s nothing they can do. Benton tells the frat brother to clean up Adam, since they wrote stuff on him in marker. The frat brother tries to argue that Adam drank voluntarily, but Benton says that they were supposed to look out for him.

Luka wants Maggie, who’s still unconscious, to be placed on a psych hold, but Carter doesn’t see the point right now, since she can’t talk to anyone. Abby knows it could be a moot point anyway, since Maggie might not wake up. William White comes by the hospital to let Benton know that he was accepted into med school. He appreciates Benton’s encouragement and help. Benton tells him to just work hard.

Maggie’s awake now and her vitals are normal, so Luka has allowed Legaspi to go see her. Abby wishes she’d listened to Luka about having Maggie committed in Oklahoma. Luka says she’ll be okay, but Abby replies that Maggie will never be okay.

Thoughts: Laura Innes directed this episode.

It’s pretty presumptuous of Carter to think Abby would want his help, but it’s also in line with his character. He wouldn’t expect anyone to not want him around.

We didn’t see Mark and Elizabeth’s wedding, we don’t see the baby’s birth – why are the major parts of their lives off-screen this season but we see more than enough next season?

I would pay good money to see a picture of a young Carter with a perm.

January 5, 2021

ER 7.18, April Showers: Get Me to the Church on Time

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

A happy ending (for now)

Summary: It’s the morning of Mark and Elizabeth’s wedding, and she is not a pleasant bride. She regrets deciding to get married while pregnant. Her mother, Isabelle, tries to calm her, telling her to enjoy her day. That lasts for about five seconds before Elizabeth learns that it’s raining. Mark tries to downplay that, but it just gets worse: Rachel missed her flight and will be arriving in Chicago later than planned. Mark assures Elizabeth that will be the last complication of the day.

At County, Cleo tells Benton that she might miss the wedding, since her attendance is dependent on Dave agreeing to take her shift. Weaver is finishing up a night shift and handing things off to Luka. A bunch of nurses have called in sick, and Weaver knows it’s because they want to go to the wedding. She interrogates Connie over the phone, questioning whether she really has a fever of 102.

Abby is actually sick but wants to stay at work to make up for her lying co-workers. Luka tells her Weaver is going to a conference instead of the wedding, and Abby clues him in that Weaver wasn’t invited to the wedding. Makes sense, after the whole mess with Mark’s competency evaluations. Weaver tells Connie that she wants a note from a doctor confirming she’s really sick, and if Connie shows up in any wedding pictures, she’s fired.

Outside, Weaver runs into Mark, who’s there to look for his missing wallet. She tells him she’s happy for him and Elizabeth. “You still can’t come to the wedding,” he replies. No, just kidding. As a call comes in about a car accident involving a prison van, Chen asks if Rena will be carded at the wedding, since she’s underage. Heh. Abby asks where Luka is, since the paramedics want to know how many accident victims County can handle. Carter gives her an answer, not bothering to defer to Luka, his superior.

Mark parked his van in the ambulance bay, and by the time he gets outside to leave, it’s being towed. Instead of arguing with the tow-truck driver, he just grabs his tux. Carter offers to let Mark use his car, but before he can leave, Mark gets news that Rachel is still stuck in St. Louis, so he has to deal with that first.

Elizabeth is already dressed, wearing a gray-ish outfit that doesn’t look like a wedding dress but is still pretty. Her mother remembers her wanting to marry a neighborhood boy when they were kids. Elizabeth says that kid wound up being indicted for insurance fraud. Isabelle notes that Elizabeth’s life has already turned out better than expected. Unfortunately, her father, Charles, won’t be able to make it to the wedding, thanks to flight difficulties. Elizabeth gets emotional, but Isabelle assures her that everything will be great. She gives Elizabeth her something old, a pair of her grandmother’s earrings.

Rachel won’t make it to the wedding, either, so Mark promises they’ll tape the whole thing for her to watch later. The prison-van passengers start coming in, which means the staff has to treat patients who are handcuffed to their gurneys. Chen wants her patient’s handcuffs removed since she may have a wrist injury. The officer with her refuses to take them off. In the next trauma room, Carter, Abby, and Haleh treat the van driver, but it doesn’t look good for him.

Things also don’t look great for Elizabeth, since her limo reservation has gone missing. She tells the person giving her the news on the phone that their company will get her to the church if she has to ride someone like a donkey. Isabelle wants her to eat something and calm down, but Elizabeth isn’t going to just stand there and let things fall apart on her special day: “This is America, and sometimes in this country, you have to kick some a$%.” Isabelle says they’ll just take Elizabeth’s car.

Before they can leave, Mark calls to report that all flights are grounded because of an impending storm, so Rachel can’t make it in. Elizabeth asks if he wants to postpone, but neither of them wants that. Amira praises Mark for not telling Elizabeth that his van was towed, which would just cause her more stress. She also gives him an umbrella.

More van victims come in, mostly with minor injuries. Mark leaves with Amira’s polka-dot umbrella, but when he gets to an El station, he learns that there’s a technical problem and no trains are running. He tries to catch a bus, which, of course, is crowded with people who couldn’t take the train. He asks a guy to let him squeeze in since he has to get to his wedding. The guy doesn’t believe him but lets him on anyway, yelling for people to make room for the dead man walking. (Considering Mark’s health problems…ouch.)

Back at County, Carter hasn’t been able to stabilize the van driver, and since the trauma room is needed for patients who can actually be helped, Luka tells him to declare the driver dead already. Carter ignores him and keeps shocking the guard, not wanting to give up while the man’s co-workers are watching. Luka tells him the driver is brain-dead and they need to move on.

Weaver’s flight is one of the ones delayed by the storm, so she’s drinking and doing a crossword puzzle at an airport bar. A guy strikes up a conversation with her, but Weaver is no longer interested in conversations with men, if you know what I mean. At County, Carter has moved on to another patient, hoping to leave as soon as things have calmed down. Luka has other ideas for him. Abby is also still there, and Carter asks if her boyfriend didn’t give her permission to leave. Oh, shut up, Carter.

Rena arrives, ready to go to the wedding with Carter, and he puts her to work with a patient named Veronica who has a dislocated shoulder. Veronica doesn’t want any pain medication because she’s afraid it will threaten her year-long sobriety from heroin. It’s raining harder now, making Elizabeth again regret getting married right now. The church doors are locked, for some reason, but when they open, Elizabeth gets a nice surprise – Charles made it after all. He and Isabelle haven’t seen each other in ten years and would prefer not to see each other ever again, so Elizabeth warns them to be on their best behavior.

Mark is stuck on a bus, trying to reach someone on his cell phone. A woman tells him that cell phones give you brain cancer. Mark gives her a hilarious looks before going to ask the driver what’s wrong. The engine seized, so they’re waiting for another bus, but the driver doesn’t know when it will arrive. Mark decides to take his chances in the rain. Unfortunately, his umbrella gets caught in the bus doors and goes inside-out.

Chen examines one of the van victims, Sara, who says she hurts all over. The guard with her thinks Sara’s faking. Chen notices that Sara has a C-section scar, and Sara laments that she’s missing a visit with her daughter. She may not see the girl again for a while, since she lives with Sara’s sister, who’s about to move to California. The guard mocks that the girl is probably better off without Sara. Chen comforts Sara and glares at the guard.

Rena helps Carter fix Veronica’s shoulder, which really shouldn’t be allowed, since Rena has no medical training. Luka chastises Carter for not giving Veronica enough pain medication, even though she refused narcotics. Luka overrides that, warning Veronica that she could have permanent nerve damage if they don’t give her morphine. Veronica gives in, and Carter decides Luka can handle this on his own.

Another accident victim (not one of the prisoners) tells Cleo that she dreamed last night that she would survive a car accident. Cleo says her grandmother also had some psychic abilities; she could predict when her cat would get sick. The woman continues that in her dream, she also strangled a female doctor. Cleo quickly leaves.

She tells Benton he should go to the wedding without her, since she still hasn’t confirmed that Dave can cover for her. Plus, Benton never really asked her to go; he RSVP’d and told her to save the date. The real issue, of course, is that Cleo doesn’t want to go to her boyfriend’s ex’s wedding. Benton tells her that his and Elizabeth’s past relationship isn’t a big deal. If Cleo doesn’t want to go, she should just say so. Cleo says so. Mark returns, asking to borrow someone’s car, but Benton is on his way to the church and offers him a ride. See, Cleo? If Benton can be this nice to his ex’s new partner, everything’s fine.

Guests are starting to arrive at the church, where Elizabeth is trying to relax. Charles hopes he’s better at grandparenting than he was at parenting. Elizabeth notes that she didn’t turn out too badly, but Charles says that was luck. He asks if she’ll continue to practice medicine after the baby is born. She will, though she knows it makes her sound like a hypocrite, since she always criticized her parents for working after they had her. Charles is sure she’ll be better at balancing work and family.

Mark’s latest disaster is a traffic jam. He knows Elizabeth will be panicking, especially since she’s having to deal with both her parents (so I guess he knew Charles was coming after all?). Mark hasn’t even met Charles yet, though Benton has. They chat about Elizabeth’s parents, then about how difficult Isabelle is. This turns into a discussion of moms, women and their moms, and whether Benton has met Cleo’s mother. Benton probably regrets offering Mark a ride.

At the hospital, Sara makes a run for it but is taken down by some guards. Chen feels horrible that she has to be away from her daughter. Weaver’s new friend, Mike, tries chatting with her again at the airport bar, though this time she’s more welcoming. She tells him she was writing a letter to a friend. Mark, still in traffic, is annoyed that his phone is broken and he can’t tell anyone where he is. He thinks the wedding started without him. Benton’s like, “They can’t start without both the bride and groom present, genius.” Mark climbs up on Benton’s car to see what’s causing the traffic jam. Seems safe.

Paramedics bring in a boy with hypothermia who was found on a soccer field in the rain. Luka tells Abby she can end her shift and go lie down until he’s ready to leave. He thinks she’s mad at him for some reason. She says she isn’t, but she’s a little annoyed with how he treated Carter. Luka makes it clear that he’s not going to be extra-nice to her friend when he’s not doing his job correctly.

Carter and Rena have made it to the church, where Carter’s complaining about Luka. Rena thinks there’s tension because Luka is dating Carter’s “ex.” Carter finally admits that he and Abby never dated. Rena guesses that he just wishes they had. Dave is also at the church, since Cleo said she didn’t need him to cover her shift. He’s brought some surprise guests, figuring that there would be some no-shows because of the rain. He also went off the registry for his gift. Romano arrives next, asking if people are surprised that he was invited.

Mark goes to the front of the traffic jam, which was caused by a crash between an arguing man and woman. Mark tries to get a ride to the church from a cop who definitely has more important things to deal with right now. Chen’s patient, Bryan, tells her that he must have fallen asleep waiting for his parents to come get him from soccer practice. They work a lot, and sometimes they forget to pick him up.

Mark runs into Doris, who agrees to take him to the church in her ambulance if he helps her with any injured people in the traffic jam. Benton comes to help as Mark examines Kevin, the male half of the fighting accident victims, who clearly know each other. Sounds like they’re married and he cheated on her. The woman, Brenda, is pregnant and thinks her water just broke. Oh, of course! Why not add that into this whole mess?

Elizabeth worries that Mark got cold feet and won’t be coming to the church at all. Charles and Isabelle are on the verge of bickering again, and Elizabeth tells them to cut it out. She admits that she worries about Mark all the time – she’s more scared of being without him than being with him. Charles reminds her that Mark’s treatment worked and there’s no sign that the tumor has returned. He assures her that she and Mark will have a great life together. (Cough.)

Mark gets in the ambulance with Doris and Brenda, who wants to go to the hospital without Kevin. Kevin tries to get in anyway, and when he and Mark fight over the door, Mark accidentally gets smacked in the face with it. Bryan’s father comes to the hospital, and Chen confronts him for forgetting to pick up his son. He doesn’t seem as worried as he should be that his son could have died because his incompetent parents can’t communicate with each other.

After delivering Brenda to the hospital, Mark is ready to finally go to the church, but he needs a clean shirt, since he bled on his. Abby tells Luka to hand his over. Romano checks in on Elizabeth, letting her know that the other guests are getting restless. Fortunately, he has a message from the ER that Mark is on his way. He manages to tell Elizabeth she looks beautiful without sounding gross.

Weaver’s tipsy now and still talking to Mike. His flight is ready to board, and he asks if she wants to get dinner the next time they’re in the same town. She declines, though she appreciates his company. He gives her his card in case she changes her mind, but she quickly throws it away. Benton returns to County, where Cleo has decided to join him at the wedding after all. He teases that he might not still want her company. Chen calls her son’s adoptive parents to thank them for the card and pictures they sent her. She’s happy to hear the baby laughing in the background.

Doris gets Mark to the church, where the guests greet him with applause for finally arriving for his own wedding. The ceremony starts immediately, and Charles wishes Mark good luck when he hands her off at the end of the aisle. That makes it sound like Mark will need luck dealing with Elizabeth. He couldn’t just say, “Congratulations” or “I’m so happy for you”? Elizabeth teases that it was nice of Mark to show up. He replies that it was raining. And after all that, we don’t even see the wedding!

Thoughts: We’ll pretend that Doug and Carol were invited to the wedding but they couldn’t get off work or they couldn’t get a flight because of the storm.

I hate sitcommy plots where everything goes wrong on someone’s wedding day. Just pick one disaster.

Again with Cleo being awkward about Benton and Elizabeth’s past. She’s marrying someone else, Cleo! They’ve both moved on! You need to chill!

For the record, Connie is at the wedding. Good luck not getting fired, Connie.

December 29, 2020

ER 7.17, Survival of the Fittest: Dave Isn’t the Only Fool This April Fools’ Day

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:57 pm by Jenn

I would feel sorry for Dave, but he brought this on himself, really

Summary: Cleo is trying to treat an elderly woman named Mrs. Howard who is a little altered (she thinks she needs to get her children from the school bus, but it’s 10 a.m. and she’s too old to have school-age children). Benton comes by and Cleo asks him to examine Mrs. Howard, since he removed her gall bladder last month. She claims to remember Benton, but she might be pretending.

Carter chases a boy named Simon through the ER until he hides in a supply closet where Abby’s working. Simon is scared to have his blood drawn, and Carter doesn’t appear to have much sympathy for him. Abby tries to help Carter with the blood draw, but it still doesn’t go well. Carter, try working on your bedside manner.

Yosh pulls Abby away to help him and Malik subdue a patient who’s thrashing around on a gurney. The patient has a pillowcase over his head; Malik says he cut up his face. Luka enters, takes a syringe of Haldol from Yosh, and injects the patient…who’s actually Dave. He, Yosh, and Malik were trying to play an April Fools’ joke.

Weaver criticizes the jokesters for goofing off instead of doing work. Dave is struggling to stay awake with ten milligrams of Haldol in his system. Weaver tells him to go sleep it off, then heads off to do something productive. Someone has tied empty cans to the bottom of her cane, and she accuses Dave, who says it wasn’t him.

Rena has come to the ER to help keep Simon calm for his blood draw by blowing bubbles. This both distracts him and helps him blow through the pain. The blood draw goes perfectly, and now Rena looks more competent than Carter. The two of them chat, having not talked since he decided they shouldn’t date because of their age difference.

Paramedics bring in a man named Eddie who was shot by police. They think he held up a liquor store. One of the cops, Grant, has a minor arm injury, and his partner taunts that if he’s good while Benton examines him, he’ll get a lollipop. Mrs. Howard is still in a gurney in the hallway, yelling that she needs her wallet and purse so she can leave. Everyone’s just ignoring her. Abby notes that Carter is in a good mood now after being a jerk earlier. She figures that seeing Rena made him happy.

A school bus pulls up outside to deliver a middle-schooler named Stuart who’s having an asthma attack. A teacher tells Carter and Abby that there were fumes on the bus. Carter can’t let the other students on the bus come into the hospital in case it’s a Hazmat situation, so they’ll have to say outside in the cold. Elizabeth takes Eddie up to surgery, promising Mark that it shouldn’t be too much work or take too much time.

Carter and Abby help Stuart onto a gurney as some boys on the bus mock him. Guys, your teacher is RIGHT THERE. How dumb are you? Stuart tells Carter and Abby that they were on a field trip to see an art exhibit. (Carter, sophisticate that he is, knows it’s a Gaugin exhibit.) Romano asks Elizabeth if she can still reach the table in the OR, considering her pregnant belly keeps growing. She shoots back that at least she can see the table. A short joke! How mature! She asks him to order her pizza and ice cream so she can eat after surgery.

Weaver starts moving Mrs. Howard out of the hallway as Benton tends to Grant’s injury (also in the hallway). Carter asks Weaver to help him with Stuart, so she hands Mrs. Howard off to Chuny, but Chuny then gets called away to help with another patient. Mrs. Howard decides to just leave on her own. The hallway is busy, so no one notices at first when she approaches Grant and takes his gun.

Grant’s partner, Kimble, pulls her own gun and tells Mrs. Howard to drop hers. Benton calmly but authoritatively tries to deescalate the situation, and Grant tells Mrs. Howard to drop the gun so no one gets hurt. Kimble keeps her weapon pointed out Mrs. Howard, who’s now crying and doesn’t seem to get how dangerous the situation is. There’s a long moment where nothing happens, but then Mrs. Howard turns and points the gun at a child in the hallway. Kimble fires at her twice. (For the record, because this will come up: Kimble is white; Mrs. Howard and Grant are Black.)

Benton and Weaver rush Mrs. Howard to a trauma room to try to save her. Kimble and Grant go over what happened – they asked her three times to drop the gun, and she didn’t respond. They’re not sure what they’ll tell their superiors about how Mrs. Howard got her hands on Grant’s gun. Benton comments loudly that he guesses one shot wasn’t enough, because there’s a lot of damage. He murmurs to Weaver that he hopes the cops get their stories straight.

The fire captain who keeps turning up tells Mark that he hasn’t detected any serious substances on the bus. He thinks one person smelled something, maybe nail polish remover, and mass hysteria went through the crowd. Some of the kids actually got sick, though, so they need to be examined. Luka takes a girl named Emily while Dave talks with a couple of girls who seem to already have crushes on him. The three bullying boys are so dumb that they’re smoking nearby. Wow, I don’t miss middle school at all.

Benton and Weaver are still working on Mrs. Howard when detectives arrive to question Grant and Kimble. Grant seems much more worried about the possibility of Mrs. Howard dying than Kimble does, even though Kimble was the one who pulled the trigger. Luka examines Emily, who has questions about the chemical that may or may not have been on the bus. She reveals that she might be pregnant.

Since detectives are still working the crime scene, the doctors have to find new places to treat their patients. Cleo is surprised to hear that Mrs. Howard has died, thanks to Kimble. Stuart is shaken by the incident, since he was in the hallway, and he asks Carter if he was scared. Carter says he was, but he moved in front of Stuart on instinct to make sure he was safe. Stuart is still wheezing, and he claims not to know what might have triggered his asthma. Carter thinks he’s hiding something.

Up on the OR, Elizabeth asks Shirley to rub her back while she operates on Eddie. Of course, this is when Romano comes by to check on her. Eddie has more injuries than Elizabeth realized, so her short, simple surgery is going to take longer than she thought. Romano thinks it’s too much for Elizabeth to handle in her “delicate” condition. She tears up and he tells her there’s no crying in the OR; “that’s what the ladies’ room is for.” And the HR department is for you, Romano.

Carter tells Mark what Stuart admitted to him: Some of the kids on the bus were huffing solvent. They held a rag to Stuart’s face and forced him to breathe in some of it. MIDDLE-SCHOOLERS ARE THE WORST. Carter asks Mark to leave Stuart’s name out of whatever comes next. Two of the girls from the bus then tell Mark that Dave fell asleep while they were talking. Abby finds him and wakes him up, sending him back to work with the imprint of his stethoscope on his cheek. Yeah, he should definitely be treating patients right now.

Mark confronts the three bullies and asks what they were huffing. They won’t tell him what the solvent was, so Mark decides they’ll have to undergo tests to determine what it was. He takes the ringleader, Bo, to an exam room, where Mark and Malik use a big needle to scare him into blurting out that they huffed spot remover. Apparently that stuff is bad for your liver.

Carter goes to the hospital daycare looking for Rena. Another volunteer there appears to have heard of him. While waiting, Carter goes to check out a 3D model of the human body and accidentally knocks all the organs out of it. (Hilariously, a kid in the scene seems really amused by his fumbling.) Carter tries to put it back together, and the volunteer teases him, asking if he’s really a doctor. Heh. Anyway, Carter tells Rena that he’s changed his mind and wants to keep seeing her. She says she’ll think about it.

Cleo doesn’t get why Mrs. Howard became so agitated after Cleo left her to do rounds elsewhere in the hospital. She also doesn’t know why Mrs. Howard would want a gun. She joins Mark to treat a woman named Laura who was just in a car accident. She’s eager to get to her OBGYN to have her eggs harvested; there’s only a small window for that to happen. Mark tells her that she appears to have a small blood clot in her brain, which may have caused her to pass out while driving. She’ll need blood thinners, so she can’t have her eggs harvested today. Laura still wants to leave, so Cleo suggests that they get her doctor to come to County.

Luka confirms that Emily’s pregnant, which she’s excited to hear. She thinks that she’s capable of raising a child on her own. She tells Luka she’s wanted her baby her whole life. You know, all 13 years of it. Benton goes back to tending to Grant’s injury as Grant defends Kimble’s actions. She was forced to make a split-second decision, and she followed all the guidelines. Benton sarcastically asks if the guidelines cover shooting little old ladies.

Grant notes that Mrs. Howard could have hurt someone. Benton says that all he knows is that an elderly Black woman is dead. Grant denies that race had anything to do with Kimble’s decision to shoot. Okay, but she could have shot Mrs. Howard in the arm. Grant said he would have done exactly what Kimble did. He trusts her; she’s a good person. She’s a single mother and a widow, and an investigation could really harm her career. Kimble was trying to protect innocent people, and Benton should keep that in mind when the detectives interview him.

Bo’s tests come back and are bad enough that he needs to be admitted to the ICU. Luka asks Abby to talk to Emily about telling her mother she’s pregnant (even though she’s only 13, being pregnant gives her emancipation, which means Luka has to stick to doctor/patient confidentiality). Mark tells Bo that his liver is failing, thanks to the amount he’s been huffing. He’ll need a transplant.

Cleo lets Mark know that Laura is crashing. The blood clot has caused a stroke and done something to her spinal cord, leaving her with quadriplegia. Benton speaks with a detective about what happened to Mrs. Howard and expresses his displeasure over how Kimble handled things. Mrs. Howard was frail and scared; Kimble could have easily taken the gun from her. The detective notes that she could have hurt someone. Benton insists that Kimble didn’t need to shoot her.

Emily’s mother, Mrs. Perrault, arrives, believing Emily’s being treated because of the fumes on the bus. Luka clues her in by asking about Emily’s last period and whether she has a boyfriend. Mrs. P. blasts her daughter for getting knocked up and tells her she’ll be having an abortion. Emily vows to have the baby and be a better mother than her own. Looks like that wouldn’t take too much work.

Carter tells Stuart that they found out what caused his asthma attack, and no one knows that he ratted out the bullies. Even if they do know, Bo’s not going to be an issue. Stuart’s upset that he had to change into a hospital gown in front of everyone; he’s not the slimmest, most fit child. Carter tells him about another chunky, unpopular kid who spent his time studying instead of hanging out with classmates. He went to med school, and at his graduation, he cut out all his haters’ tongues with a scalpel. Carter…no.

Romano has joined Elizabeth in surgery and found more damage that needs fixing. The procedure the patient needs takes five hours, and Elizabeth refuses to let Benton take over. She just needs a bathroom break. Romano threatens to replace her, so Elizabeth calls his bluff and asks Shirley to insert a catheter so she can relieve herself in the OR. Both of them are being childish and ridiculous, and if I were Shirley, I would quit right now and get a job at a hospital that only employees professionals.

Stuart is suddenly popular with two of his classmates because he knows how to download musical ringtones to their phones. (To really date this episode, they want Papa Roach and Blink 182.) Rena appears to have arranged the new friendship. Carter asks her to dinner again, but she has to study for a midterm the next day. He offers to help her study, and just as she’s about to accept, Abby comes by. Carter suddenly acts like their plans are still uncertain. Rena thinks their age difference is still an issue, so Carter tells her that Abby used to have a thing for him. When Rena asks if they used to date, Carter doesn’t exactly deny it.

Chuny tells Benton that Mrs. Howard’s family wants to talk to him. Cleo lets him know that Mrs. Howard’s sodium level indicates that she was severely dehydrated, which led to her confusion. Neither of them paid enough attention to her lab work to notice this. If they had, they could have given her an IV and prevented her from becoming altered. Benton says that Kimble is to blame here, not the doctors.

Laura’s husband, Greg, arrives to sit with his comatose wife. Mark thinks the fertility drugs Laura was taking caused her stroke. Greg had no idea that Laura was planning to sell her eggs to a couple for $80,000. People pay that much for eggs?? Have these people heard of adoption? It costs half that! Anyway, Greg’s business is doing poorly and he’s about to file for bankruptcy, so Laura must have come up with a way to save them.

Rena introduces herself to Abby and says she hopes Abby doesn’t mind her and Carter spending time together. Abby’s confused about why she would mind, and especially confused when Rena tells her that Carter said they dated. Luka gives Emily an ultrasound as she reads her horoscope in a fashion magazine. He’s understandably skeptical that she’s up for this huge responsibility. Emily thinks she’s more mature than Mrs. P. was when she gave birth at 16. She’s eager to see a social worker, knowing that she’ll be able to sign up for welfare.

Mark finds Greg fighting with Laura’s doctor, Alexander, who’s come to harvest Laura’s eggs. Since Laura gave consent to have the harvest done that day, Alexander can do it without Greg’s permission. Plus, Greg doesn’t have the money to pay for Laura’s long-term care, so he should welcome the $80,000. Mark tells her that the fertility drugs could have caused Laura’s condition, but Alexander has used them for years and has never seen this happen. She guesses that Laura had an underlying medical condition that the drugs exacerbated.

Elizabeth and Romano are almost done in surgery, and Romano is too egotistical to praise her for toughing it out. She hides her exhaustion until she’s alone. Carter notices that Abby is being cold to him, so she tells him she knows he lied to Rena about them being exes. She didn’t correct Rena, so now Carter owes her one. Abby also told Rena that she dumped Carter, though Carter doesn’t think that would happen.

Alexander harvests Laura’s eggs while Mark assures Greg that she’s not in any pain. Meanwhile, Benton talks to Mrs. Howard’s children, who are surprised that their mother got so agitated. She’s had dementia for a long time, and Benton tells them that there are a lot of factors that could make it worse – in this case, dehydration. Mrs. Howard’s daughter had her doubts about her mother’s nursing home before and thinks the staff wasn’t taking good enough care of her. She knows Mrs. Howard appreciated Benton’s kindness.

Dave is finally taking a nap, but Luka wants him to wake up to a surprise: He’s using a skin-sealing substance to glue Dave’s hand to his face. What is this, a frat house? At least Luka’s in a good mood. Carter and Rena start to leave together, but Mark asks Carter to stay behind to do some chart reviews. Carter begs off, saying he was going to help Rena study. Is that what the kids are calling it these days? They can’t get their stories straight about the subject they’ll be studying, but Mark lets them go anyway.

Elizabeth comes down to the ER so she and Mark can finally go home. Instead, they stay put since Romano has sent her pizza and ice cream, just as she wanted. Elizabeth is proud of herself for getting through such a difficult case. Now, though, she doesn’t know why she felt the need to prove that she could be competent while pregnant. Why keep working so hard when she doesn’t have to? She’s decided to start her maternity leave now.

Thoughts: The IMDb says Mrs. Howard is played by the same actress who played the woman I called Dorothy in “Leave It to Weaver.” She has the distinction of getting to die twice on the same show.

I can’t figure out what Malik, Yosh, and Dave’s plan was for their joke. And two of those guys are smart – they had to know there was a huge chance something would go wrong. Why use real Haldol when there was such a big possibility that someone would get injected with it?

I assume Bo became a bully because he was upset that his name is Bo.

Rena, just FYI, saying things like “it’s a school night” doesn’t help downplay the age difference between you and Carter.

December 22, 2020

ER 7.16, Witch Hunt: Abby Misplaces a Child While Carter Dates One and Elizabeth Acts Like One

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

Now it’s Abby’s turn to be broody

Summary: Weaver is exiting Legaspi’s place to get the morning paper when two detectives approach her. They’re there to see Legaspi and are curious about why Weaver is there. Over at Abby’s, Luka is in a good mood (!) and has brought Abby breakfast. He’s ready to find an apartment so he can move out of the hotel. One of his options is in the slaughterhouse district, and Abby teases that after living on a boat and in a hotel, he should find a treehouse next.

Carter wakes up in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar dog sniffing around him. He spent the night with Rena. Her roommate is annoyed since the new couple kept her up last night. Carter and Rena both say they don’t usually sleep with someone so early in the…is this a relationship? I guess so. They agree to have lunch together that afternoon.

Weaver gets ready for work, listening in as Legaspi talks to the detectives. They’re asking questions about the conversation she had with Shannon after the train crash. Mark is nervous about the results of his competency evaluation, like, maybe you should have taken it more seriously, my man. Elizabeth tells him not to worry; he’s a good doctor no matter what the tests say. Okay, but if he loses his license, he won’t be a good doctor anymore. Elizabeth is off of bed rest and going back to work for the first time.

Abby pours goldfish into a coffee pot at the admin desk after removing them from a patient who swallowed a bunch on a bet. She offers them to Carter as pets. Amira gives him a basket of coffee that Rena had delivered to him to make up for not having coffee at her apartment. Chen teases him about his new girlfriend, but Carter says he just gave her a good assessment on an evaluation. Amira busts him, reading the note in the basket, which thanks him for a great evening.

Legaspi is now at work, and of course Weaver wants to know what was up with the detectives. Legaspi is annoyed that Weaver left, though Weaver had to get to work. The detectives may want to talk to Weaver, too, since Shannon has accused Legaspi of sexual harassment and assault. Legaspi thinks she’s trying to divert attention from the fact that the train crash she caused killed more than 30 people. Weaver is shocked to learn that Legaspi revealed to Shannon that she’s a lesbian.

Elizabeth busts Benton for operating on one of her patients and taking over a bunch of her responsibilities while she was on bed rest. Now that she’s back, she wants every part of her job back. Babcock cracks that Mark may have developed his brain tumor after Elizabeth got pregnant. Ha…ha? In the ER, an elderly woman named Georgia claims a bed and tells Mark she’s dying. No, she doesn’t have a diagnosis from a doctor: She’s a fortuneteller, and her death is in the cards. She reads Mark’s palm and tells him there’s a crack in his lifeline. Georgia predicts that she’ll be dead by sundown.

One of the detectives from Legaspi’s place comes looking for Weaver to ask about Legaspi’s treatment of Shannon. Weaver says Shannon’s accusations are ridiculous; she was suicidal and has psychological problems, so they can’t take her seriously. Luka eavesdrops as the detective asks Weaver about the nature of her relationship with Legaspi. Weaver says they’re colleagues, but the detective knows colleagues don’t tend to be at each other’s houses first thing in the morning.

Elizabeth catches Romano finishing up what seems like a job interview with someone. She’s annoyed that he keeps finding replacements for her. Yeah, how dare he try to keep the hospital running while she’s out? Elizabeth threatens to report him for discrimination against her for taking leave while pregnant. She knows of a pregnant woman who killed her husband and was exonerated because she pled temporary insanity due to her hormones. Romano gives her a bunch of responsibilities before she can go back to the OR.

Luka calls Abby in to help him with a baby named May. Weaver pulls Luka aside to try to clear up any misconceptions he may have after overhearing her conversation with the detective. Really, she just wants to make sure he doesn’t tell anyone that she was at Legaspi’s this morning. This is Luka, who’s not exactly a gossiper, so he stays casual the whole time and acts like he didn’t hear anything juicy. He goes back to May, who’s having a little trouble breathing but doesn’t seem too sick.

Romano is summoned to Romano’s office, where Legaspi is just leaving a meeting with him. Ruh-roh! Mark treats a guy named James who’s part of an amateur wrestling group. Another wrestler, Todd (AKA the Weasel), is next door, being treated for a wound from a razor blade. Apparently fans love watching guys go at each other with blades. People of Chicago, please find better hobbies. Dave is trying to convince Todd to give up an activity that has so many risks, including scarring from blades. He reminds him that women don’t like scars. He tries to get Mark, recently scarred from brain surgery, to back him up. Shh, Dave.

Romano interrogates Weaver about Legaspi’s sexuality, which, of course, has nothing to do with her ability to do her job, and is therefore none of his business. Does this hospital not have an HR department? Weaver defends her and says she’s never witnessed any unacceptable sexual behavior at work. Romano guesses that she’s trying to protect Legaspi. He wants an emergency disciplinary hearing. Weaver says this is a witch hunt, but Romano says it’s damage control.

Carter and Rena have lunch at Doc Magoo’s, and he tells her a story about trying to use his grandparents’ horses in a chariot as a kid. Carter’s childhood was very different from most people’s. Rena mentions a lecture she attended that morning, and Carter notes that it must have made her feel like she’s back in college. Guess what – Rena is in college! So when she said she was a pediatric intern, she actually meant that she’s doing an internship that requires hundreds of hours of experience in the ER. Rena’s only 19.

Abby checks on May, who’s still having trouble breathing and will need a chest x-ray. Abby sends May’s mother, Mrs. Jeffries, to get some coffee while they wait for someone to take May for the x-ray. Carter pulls Abby out of May’s room to tell her that Rena is younger than he thought. She’s shocked that he couldn’t tell she was still a teenager when they slept together.

As they’re talking, Mrs. J. returns and asks where May is. Abby says someone must have picked her up, but no one got her for the x-ray, and no one moved her to a different room. Oops, Abby lost a baby! The ER goes into lockdown and Legaspi comes to comfort Mrs. J. while Abby talks to a police officer. She feels helpless and wants to do something more than just answer questions. Georgia tries to comfort her by telling her that “sometimes God calls little babies home to be His angels.” Georgia, you’re not helping!

Legaspi leaves Mrs. J. to answer the police’s questions and goes to talk to Weaver about her meeting with Romano. Legaspi says it was degrading (what a shock!). Shannon was depressed because she was questioning her sexuality, and Legaspi just wanted her to feel less alone. Weaver asks what Legaspi told Romano about the two of them. Legaspi gets that Weaver is more concerned with keeping their relationship a secret than she is with what Legaspi is going through.

Weaver reminds Legaspi that not everyone in the world will accept them for being together. Legaspi doesn’t want to live her life sneaking around just so they don’t have to face people’s disapproval. Weaver points out that there are no openly gay women in high-ranking positions in hospitals. Legaspi tells her this isn’t about her – it’s about Shannon, who would rather die than deal with the stigma of being gay. In that case, Legaspi realizes, it might be about Weaver after all.

Abby searches a laundry cart for May, telling Carter she heard about a baby getting scooped up with some laundry in another hospital. Carter enlists her to help him with another patient, but Abby gets distracted by what the police are doing in their search for May. The police aren’t interested in her opinions. Abby tries to apologize to Mrs. J. and assure her that May will be fine.

Mark thinks James is on steroids, but it takes about five days to get test results to prove that. Dave says Mark should just ask him if he’s using. Yes, people who use illicit substances are often very open to admitting it. Mark gives it a try anyway, and James tells him he’s leaving. Mark won’t let him go until his parents get there. James throws Mark off of him and runs off.

Dave follows him outside, telling James that his father would want them to take care of him. James knows his father will be furious if he finds out about the steroids. Dave hints at a bad childhood we’ll never learn about when he says that while he doesn’t know James’ father, he knows “the type.” He’s able to convince James to stay.

Weaver checks in with Chen about a patient of hers who needed a psych consult. Chen tells her that psych is taking longer than usual to respond to pages. Haleh says she heard that Legaspi is being fired. Weaver tells her not to gossip, but Haleh says that’s not gossip. The real gossip is that Legaspi is a lesbian. Why is the staff acting like they’ve never met a gay person before?

Cleo examines Mark to make sure that James didn’t injure him when he threw Mark to the floor. James apologizes, and Mark blames roid rage. Dave thinks James is scared because his father is abusing him. Mark has no sympathy for James, and he ignores Dave’s concern that telling James’ parents about his possible steroid use will just make things worse. Dave coughs, “Tumor” and says that the old Mark would have helped James. Maybe Weaver was right to have his competency evaluated.

Mrs. J. makes a statement to the press asking for whoever took May to return her to the hospital. Abby smokes nearby and asks Luka to leave her alone. He tells her he can’t do that. Abby blames herself for May’s disappearance, though Luka thinks she shouldn’t.

James’ father has arrived and he’s not happy with his son. Dave pulls him out of the room and urges the father to show his son some compassion, since he’s injured. James’ father says James just needs a kick in the butt to get himself together. Dave accuses him of abuse and tries to stop him from going back into James’ room. The father shoves him into a wall, so Dave headbutts him. Mark intervenes and sends Dave away.

Abby should probably not be sticking someone with a needle while her mind is on a missing baby. Poor Mrs. J. is sitting in the waiting area, alone, right in Abby’s eyeline. A paramedic radios that she’s picked up an abandoned baby at an El station and is bringing her in. Abby thinks it could be May. Fortunately, she’s right, and though the baby is hypothermic, she’s otherwise okay.

Mark tells Dave he’s been suspended for the rest of the week. Dave thinks he’s being punished for defending himself. Elizabeth checks on Mark, who downplays the seriousness of being elbowed to the floor by a teenager on steroids. Weaver gives him a letter she forgot to give him earlier; it’s actually his competency results. He opens it, frowns at what he reads, and tears the letter into pieces. But that’s just so he can make confetti to celebrate that he passed.

The sun has gone down but Georgia is still alive, so maybe she should rethink fortunetelling. What was the point of that plot? Rena wants to do something with Carter, but he’d like to put an end to whatever’s developing between them before it goes any further. Weaver meets with Romano, Anspaugh, and Legaspi so Romano can argue for Legaspi to be disciplined. Anspaugh thinks her actions with Shannon were appropriate. Romano wants her put on administrative leave until there’s a formal hearing. He asks Weaver if she has anything to add, since she’s one, too – meaning a female doctor, not a lesbian.

Weaver says that Legaspi is a great doctor and didn’t do anything Shannon accused her of doing. Romano mocks her for not providing a stronger defense. After Romano leaves, Anspaugh nicely tells Legaspi to ignore him and wait for this to pass. Weaver apologizes to Legaspi, who doesn’t want to talk to her. She also no longer wants to date Weaver. She can’t be with someone who’s ashamed of their relationship.

Weaver says she wishes she could be more like Legaspi. She’s spent her whole life fighting for respect and acceptance. Now Legaspi is asking her to do that yet again. Legaspi replies that she’s not asking for anything. Weaver begs for more time, not wanting things to end like this, but Legaspi is done. In happier news, Abby tells Mrs. J. that they want to keep May overnight, just to be safe, but she seems fine. Mrs. J. clearly isn’t upset with Abby for losing May; she’s just happy to have her baby back.

Thoughts: For those keeping track, this is where Elizabeth really becomes unbearable. It won’t let up much until the end of season 8, unfortunately.

I assume Shannon would be even MORE suicidal after the train crash, knowing she caused more than 30 deaths.

Rena says she’s 20 – “in September.” Well, it’s March now, which means you’re 19 for six more months, so just say you’re 19, you weirdo.

Did another medical show do a plot like Georgia’s? It feels familiar and Grey’s Anatomy-ish.

December 8, 2020

ER 7.14, A Walk in the Woods: Snow Doubt

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

Here comes the brooding

Summary: It’s 5:45 in the morning and Benton wants Cleo to wake up and see the snow outside. Also, he wants to have sex. Mark and Elizabeth are also awake early, since the baby has started kicking. Elizabeth keeps thinking about the movie Alien. Mark calls the baby Amanda, which is an…interesting choice. His choice for a boy is Matthew, after his grandfather. Not David, after his father? They mention that this is the last day, but don’t specify what that means.

Weaver has spent the night at Legaspi’s again, and Legaspi is ready to give her closet space for some of her things. That was quick. Luka and Abby are in bed together (is everyone in Chicago awake this early?), and she asks him what he’s thinking about. Luka’s thinking about Bishop Stewart, which Abby notes is a strange topic to have in mind while you’re having sex. She suddenly asks his wife’s name. Speaking of strange topics to have in mind while you’re having sex…

A little later in the morning, everyone’s at work, doing various things like treating patients and having big meetings to discuss whether Mark should be working in the ER. Chen returns from her eight weeks of maternity leave and jumps right back into work. She and Abby tend to a preschooler named Zack who had a seizure at school. Abby breaks off to help one of Stewart’s priests get him out of his car. She rejoins Chen and suggests that they give Zack a spinal tap. Chen doesn’t think they’ve reached that point yet.

Benton has set up shop in a small office/supply room with a blinking light so he can fulfill his new duties as the director of diversity. He’ll be interviewing med-school applicants. Romano asks him to deal with an applicant named William who has come to County to complain about not being asked back for an interview. Back in the ER, Zack hasn’t regained consciousness, and Abby insists that they give him a spinal tap. Chen finally agrees and gets Carter to back up her decision (I think because they don’t have parental consent yet).

Luka examines Stewart, who may have pneumonia. His lupus could lead to complications, but pneumonia could also cause problems with his lupus. Luka wonders why he came to the hospital instead of calling his own doctor. Stewart just says he prefers Luka’s care. Chen does Zack’s spinal tap, which is clear, but Carter notices a rash developing on his face. He realizes that Zack might have measles. Chen doubts that, since no one gets measles anymore. When Zack’s mother, Mrs. Woodman, arrives, she reports that her kids haven’t been vaccinated.

We’ve finally found someone Frank gives the proper amount of respect to: Elizabeth. She yells at him about missing films and he calls her “ma’am.” Somewhere, Weaver is jealous. It turns out the “last day” Mark and Elizabeth were talking about was his last day of radiation treatment. It ended anticlimactically. Dave congratulates him and asks if he got to keep the tumor after it was removed. Mark says he didn’t really want to keep it. A doctor named Wilson introduces himself to Mark and reveals that he’s been asked to evaluate his competency. Fun day!

Carter and Chen bring Cleo into Zack’s case, and she tells them to do what we’ve all become familiar with these past few months: contact tracing. They’ve put Zack in a room with a special ventilation system so he doesn’t get anyone else sick. Carter tells the teacher who came in with Zack that she needs to inform the school about his condition so all the other kids can get tested. Mrs. W.’s husband is bringing in their daughter to get tested.

Mrs. W. says she’s not irresponsible; she just believed anti-vaccine literature over doctors’ expertise. Zack starts to decline, so Carter goes back to help Chen and Abby stabilize him. They have to intubate him so he can breathe. Chen wants to to the intubation, but Carter doesn’t think she should do it on her first day back.

The priest, Joe, tells Luka that Stewart was on his way to the ordination of a man who was in Stewart’s parish as a child. Luka’s annoyed that Stewart thinks he’s well enough to leave the hospital right now. Stewart says he’ll come back in a few hours, after he performs the ordination. Luka tells him he won’t live that long if he leaves the hospital. Stewart tells him it’s in God’s hands. “God could give a damn,” Luka replies. Stewart still plans to leave.

Weaver runs into Legaspi, who’s chatting with a friend named Christy. Christy has heard all about Weaver and wants to get to know her. Legaspi suggests that they have dinner, but Weaver is hesitant. Dave comes by as Legaspi and Christy are leaving and asks Weaver if Christy is Legaspi’s girlfriend; he’s heard that Legaspi is gay. Weaver lies that she doesn’t know.

Mark confronts Weaver for having his competency evaluated. Wilson is going to interview a bunch of staff members, and he could end up pulling Mark’s license. Weaver tells him he’s being melodramatic, as if it’s bad for him to be so concerned about losing his job. Then again, she’s justified in being concerned since his behavior has changed. Mark says he wouldn’t have come back to work if he couldn’t do the job. Weaver tells him she’s not the only person who’s been concerned. This is about patient safety.

Cleo complains to Carter that rich people think only poor kids need to be immunized. If everyone stops getting vaccinations, we’ll see a resurgence of diseases like measles and polio, and suddenly the rich people will be clamoring for vaccines. Or they’ll just deny that anything bad can ever happen to their children and/or claim that the cure is worse than the disease and/or be more afraid of their children developing autism (which has not been definitively linked to any vaccine, no matter what Jenny McCarthy says) than dying of a preventable disease. Or maybe I’m editorializing. Carter and Cleo learn that no one told the paramedics who brought Zack in about his measles, so they’re still using their ambulance.

Luka broodily watches from a window as Joe takes Stewart to the ordination. Benton goes to the university’s records room and looks up William’s application. The employee he talks to (who’s Black) recognizes him as the new director of diversity and mentions that her son wouldn’t have his job with Morgan Stanley without affirmative action. Benton asks her for files from past applicants who were accepted, so he can compare them to William’s file. He also takes a look at his own application.

Abby finds Luka brooding, this time outside, and encourages him to take Stewart oxygen and check on him at the ordination. Luka is willing to let him handle his condition himself, since Stewart knew what he was doing. Cleo brings Benton lunch and he tells her about his investigation. He found his file with three others marked AA – affirmative action. His grades and MCAT scores were good, but not compared to other applicants that year. William’s grades and scores are even better than Benton’s, and he didn’t get an interview.

Luka has taken Abby’s advice after all and is at the church where the ordination is taking place. Stewart is in bad shape and probably wouldn’t make it through the service, no matter how badly he wants to. He knows he’s dying, but he wants to stay. He tells Luka about the night he decided to become a priest, after years of thinking about it. He went for a walk in the snowy woods behind his father’s house and got lost. Stewart was scared, but when he looked up at the falling snow, he felt God’s presence. It was “like pouring wine into an empty glass.”

Now, though, he’s worried that he wasted his life. He may not have accomplished everything God wanted him to. Stewart admits that he’s afraid of dying. Luka tells him he needs to go back to the hospital. Stewart starts reciting Psalm 23 (“The Lord is my shepherd…”), and when Joe comes to get him, Stewart says that he needs to skip the processional.

Luka accompanies him into the sanctuary as Stewart asks when he abandoned his faith. When people have a strong passion for their religion, that’s God. When they feel lost, that’s their own humanity. We put up barriers and let our pain and egos distance us from God, but He’s always there. Stewart takes his place at the front of the sanctuary, looking like there’s nothing wrong with him.

Benton, Romano, and Coburn are on the committee conducting med-school interviews. They meet with a string of applicants who all have different goals and backgrounds, but one reason for wanting to be doctors: They want to help people. The doctors don’t seem especially impressed by any of the applicants, but then again, I’m not sure any of the three of them have ever been impressed by anyone.

Elizabeth yells at Weaver for having Mark evaluated for problems that are easily explained by his tumor treatment. Weaver calmly tells her that she might not be objective in this situation. Elizabeth insists that Mark isn’t endangering anyone and calls Weaver a demigod. Legaspi looks on as Weaver says she’s just fulfilling her responsibilities. Elizabeth spits out that she hopes someday Weaver has a potentially fatal illness so Elizabeth can sit by and do nothing to help her.

Benton, Romano, and Coburn discuss the applicants, deciding who to recommend to the full committee. Benton wants to put William back in the running. His MCAT scores were only in the 91st percentile, but he had a high GPA and was class president. Romano and Coburn object, but Benton argues that MCAT scores don’t determine how well you’ll do in med school.

Romano reminds Benton that affirmative action is illegal. Benton notes that there were no Black or Latino candidates in the pool today. Romano says the admissions policy is color-blind, and if William didn’t make the cut, that’s too bad. Benton thinks they should give a second chance to applicants who don’t get the same opportunities as others. He insists that they interview William.

Luka watches the ordination ceremony from a dark corner as Carter goes to the ICU to check on Zack. He’s declining again and the code team is struggling to get his heart beating. They end up having to let him go. Back at the church, Luka has flashes of memory of the snowy funeral for his wife and children.

Weaver, Legaspi, and Christy have dinner with another friend, all lesbians. In fact, Christy and the other friend have both slept with Legaspi. Christy jokes that Legaspi probably brought a U-Haul on her second date with Weaver. (Apparently there’s a stereotype about lesbians moving fast in their relationships. Weaver doesn’t get it.) Weaver excuses herself early, telling Legaspi that she doesn’t belong with the group. She cares about Legaspi but doesn’t want to adopt the lesbian lifestyle.

Stewart collapses after the ordination, and Luka is unable to wake him up. Elizabeth meets Mark at home, where he tells her that Wilson has recommended him for formal testing. It’ll take five days and cover multiple areas. Luka takes Stewart back to County, then goes outside and looks up at the snow that’s still falling. He tells Abby that he couldn’t find the forest. She doesn’t know what he means. He tells her that Stewart is dying, but Abby thinks that with all the miracles they experience, one more could be coming.

Thoughts: Christy is played by Megan Follows.

I don’t fault Weaver for having Mark evaluated, but she should have told him ahead of time. This is a “do unto others” situation, and you know she would want to be informed if she were in his position.

Remember my last recap, where I said I wanted Mark to yell at anti-maskers? Now I want him to yell at anti-vaxxers.

December 1, 2020

ER 7.13, Thy Will Be Done: Calculated Risks

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

Burke took out Mark’s bedside manner when he took out the tumor

Summary: Mark goes in for a radiation treatment before a shift and chats with the tech, who he’s gotten friendly with. He just has eight days of treatment left. Down in the ER, paramedics bring in a clown who accidentally ingested a balloon while working at a birthday party. Dave is freaked out by clowns and asks Carter to take the case. First, though, Carter has to talk to a drug user who was told she could exchange a used needle for a clean one in the ER.

Carter was supposed to go out with someone, but his unnamed date cancels on him. Chuny and Randi aren’t willing to be substitutes. Carter checks in with another patient before going to a trauma room to treat the clown. He casually asks Abby what she’s doing that night. She’s free, so he asks her to a benefit at the history museum. His grandparents are hosting it, so he has to go, and he’d appreciate if Abby would do him the favor of accompanying him. If anything, she’ll get a free meal out of it. The clown starts declining, so Abby goes to the hallway to summon Weaver: “This clown is crashing!” Excellent.

Unfortunately, the clown doesn’t make it, but Abby takes pity on Carter and agrees to go to the benefit. After all, “no one should be alone after killing a clown.” Dave freaks out some more. Janice, the woman who was bugging Carter about the needles, finds Mark, who told her previously that they could give her clean needles. Haleh is surprised that Mark is okay with this.

Bishop Stewart comes to the ER looking for Luka; he was visiting patients at County and thought he would come see how his new pet project is doing. He’d also like another prescription for steroids. He can’t rearrange his schedule to see his regular doctor, who often goes too far in keeping on top of Stewart’s health. Luka won’t agree to the prescription without a full workup.

Mark examines a man named Mr. Ramirez who thinks he has strep. Mark tells him he has a cold, and he’s not going to get antibiotics. Ramirez insists on the antibiotics anyway. Abby calls Mark away to treat a woman who collapsed in her nursing home. He doesn’t see the point in trying to save her, since she hasn’t responded to any attempts yet and isn’t going to. He wishes the family hadn’t insisted on her being taken to the hospital – she could have died in her own bed.

Luka tells Abby about a singer she likes who’s performing at a hotel that night. She tells him she’s already agreed to go to the benefit with Carter. Luka doesn’t seem concerned that his girlfriend is going out with another guy. Haleh brings Stewart’s test results to Luka; they show that Stewart has some kidney problems.

Carter tells a patient, Jeff, that he has mono but will recover. Jeff asks questions about his blood test that indicate he’s familiar with blood counts for people with HIV. He tested negative five months ago but has had unprotected sex with an infected partner since then. Carter tells him to, you know, not do that anymore.

Luka tells Stewart that his blood sugar is way too high, and he may also have lupus. Stewart reveals that he does have it and is already on medication for it. Luka is upset that Stewart never said anything – the steroids he gave Stewart could have harmed him. Stewart thinks it was worth it because the steroids allow him to work. Luka argues that they raise his blood sugar, and he’s not going to be able to work very much if his diabetes gets worse. He wants to do a more extensive workup, but Stewart won’t stay.

Luka says Stewart owes him, since he left out info that could have led to Luka making him worse. Stewart is aware of the risks and his fate. He agrees to the workup after all, and while Luka is examining him, he asks about Luka’s religious practices. He doesn’t have a church in Chicago and doesn’t plan to find one. Stewart asks why he doesn’t attend anymore. “I don’t remember,” Luka lies.

Chuny pulls Luka away to tend to a teenager named Nick who has congestive heart failure. He had a heart transplant six years ago and may need another one. Nick tells Luka he doesn’t want a second transplant. Mark tries to stop Dave from giving a patient antibiotics for what he thinks is bronchitis but what Mark says could be the flu. The patient insisted on antibiotics, so Dave is just giving in. Dude, come on. You’re the one who went to medical school, not her.

Carter tries to hand Jeff off to Weaver as he wraps up his shift, but Weaver tells him to let Dave handle the case. Carter balks, saying the case is delicate and requires tact. Dave thinks he can be tactful. Carter and I both disagree. Luka asks Carter to suture a patient, then remembers that he’s leaving for the fundraiser. Carter tries to downplay the date-like nature of the situation, but Luka still doesn’t seem to care about him going with Abby.

Dave tries that whole tact thing when he meets Jeff and his partner, Sean. Jeff is HIV-negative, but he’s not happy about the news. It turns out that Jeff is trying to contract HIV. Dave tries very hard not to tell Jeff what an idiot he is. Sean wants him to run another test to try to detect the virus in Jeff’s system. Stewart is now experiencing some heart problems and could be at risk for a heart attack. Luka wants to admit him for observation, but Stewart won’t agree. He doesn’t want to die in a hospital. Even when Luka promises he won’t die today, Stewart refuses.

Nick’s parents arrive and Luka learns that Nick has actually had two heart transplants and is on the list for a third. He’s told his parents that he doesn’t want it, but they think that’s just his depression talking. He takes tons of medications and has had additional procedures, so it’s no wonder he doesn’t want more surgery. But since Nick is a minor, his parents get to make the decision.

Cleo has a patient with the flu who insists on antibiotics, so she goes to Mark for help talking sense into the woman. The woman thinks Mark is turning her down because she’s poor. Mark tries to explain antibiotic resistance to her, but she won’t listen. Mark takes her to the waiting room and takes a poll of the people there to find out who has flu-like symptoms. He tells them all that they won’t be getting antibiotics, so if they’re waiting around for them, they might want to leave. Cleo thinks he’s violating medical regulations, but Mark notes that he didn’t discharge anyone.

Romano confronts Mark over his new needle-exchange program, which is illegal. Mark says there’s a public health emergency, so it’s allowed. Romano asks how much of his brain was removed along with his tumor. Mark guesses that Romano doesn’t really care about the benefits of a needle-exchange program, which helps curb HIV and…he loses the word he’s looking for, hepatitis. Romano mocks him and tells him to shut down the exchange.

Abby gets ready for the benefit, which she doesn’t realize is super-formal until Carter comes to pick her up in a tux. She’s not sure she has an appropriate dress (or any dress at all), so he offers to take her shopping. Back at County, Luka tells Nick that his parents are talking to Elizabeth about surgery. Nick knows he’ll die without a transplant and is ready for that. The difficulties of living with his condition aren’t worth it.

Elizabeth tells Nick’s parents that he shouldn’t have to wait too long for a new heart. Luka thinks they should listen to his reasons for not wanting it. They’re not about to just sit by and let their son die, so they won’t even discuss the topic. Romano tells Weaver that Mark is acting out and causing trouble, not to mention losing words. Weaver says it’s a mild side effect of his treatments and is just temporary. Romano thinks his personality changes are something to be aware of.

Carter and Abby talk about dry flowers while she changes clothes. I don’t know. She’s found an old bridesmaid’s dress that’s pink and strapless and probably not right for a benefit, but it’s her best option. She and Carter take a limo to the benefit. Mark and Elizabeth discuss their wedding, which has been moved to 5:00 on their chosen day because of another booking. Mark struggles with his words again, and Elizabeth assures him that he’s getting better.

Nick’s heart is failing, and though Luka and Elizabeth are able to stabilize him, he doesn’t regain consciousness. Luka spots Stewart watching him through a window. Abby and Carter discuss Luka in the limo, then realize they don’t know what else to say to each other. He tells her the benefit won’t be a big deal; there won’t be that many people there. He’s definitely lying. He promises they can leave in half an hour if Abby wants.

Dave tells Jeff that, after a viral test, he’s officially HIV-negative. He asks if Sean is worth dying for. Jeff thinks he’ll get HIV sooner or later. When he uses a condom, he worries that Sean feels like he’s contaminated. He knows a lot of people who live with HIV, and it doesn’t seem that bad to him. Dave reminds him that, since he’s only 23, he has a good 50 or 60 years ahead of him, and those years will be a lot easier if he doesn’t have HIV. Jeff says Sean is the only person he has, so what does it matter? Dave tells him he has himself.

Carter introduces Abby to John I, who’s surprised that Carter didn’t bring his date from a previous event. Looks like Carter goes to a lot of these charity events. He invites Abby to dance, which makes her feel like she’s at prom. She went to hers with a guy whose friend she had a crush on. She went out to smoke with the friend, and they never went back inside. Luka, did you hear this story? Luka? Luka! Pay attention!

Stewart praises Luka for the way he was able to save Nick. He’s surprised that Nick doesn’t want a transplant that will save his life. Luka notes that Nick and Stewart are both refusing treatments that could save them. Stewart says he doesn’t want to die, but he can’t accept a treatment that will keep him from doing everything his job requires. He wishes he were as brave as Nick. Luka tells Stewart that he’s been brave enough. Stewart wanted to set a good example and continue doing God’s work as long as possible before going to Heaven. But sometimes he gets overwhelmed. He gets emotional and admits that he gets scared.

Dave keeps trying to help Jeff even as he’s leaving County with Sean. Jeff says he might start protecting himself, but he probably won’t. Haleh takes a radio call from a paramedic who’s with a man who had a heart attack at home. Mark doesn’t think the patient can be saved, so there’s no point in transporting him to the hospital. Since the man saw his cardiologist a few days ago, that doctor can sign the death certificate. Weaver overhears the end of Mark’s instructions, which are to pronounce the patient dead and say everything was done under a doctor’s supervision.

Abby spots a familiar face at the benefit – her ex-husband, Richard. He’s there with a woman named Alexis who is way younger than he is. He also recognizes Abby’s dress from his sister’s wedding. Stewart’s doctor, Frost, chastises Luka for prescribing Stewart steroids that could make his health conditions worse. Of course, Luka didn’t know about those health conditions at the time. Frost says Stewart is drug-seeking.

The paramedics called back while Mark was away from the radio, and they’re bringing in the patient Mark already pronounced dead. He refuses to let them unload the patient. Weaver overrides him and tells Cleo to work on him. Mark taunts Weaver as she makes them run through their normal procedures, which do nothing. Yes, it’s always a good idea to antagonize your boss when people are already complaining about your attitude.

Abby takes a smoke break in the limo, complaining to Carter about Alexis. They’re driving around the parking lot, looking for Richard’s car. Carter notes that they could have come in Alexis’ car, then makes a Lexus/Alexis joke that only he laughs at. Abby finds the car and lets the air out of a couple of tires. She slips and smacks into the car, setting off the alarm. She and Carter crack up and run back to their getaway limo.

Romano is taking over Nick’s care and is going to recommend that he have another transplant. Nick is now awake and on a respirator, and his eyes plead with Luka to stop that from happening. Luka tells Romano that Nick doesn’t want the surgery, but Romano agrees with the parents’ decision to pursue it. Teenagers don’t know anything about life anyway. Nick will thank them in a few years.

Weaver tries to talk to Mark about his behavioral changes, but he says he’s just being realistic about things. Weaver doesn’t think it’s safe for him to work in the ER while he’s having trouble with language. What if he forgets the name of a drug he needs for a patient who’s dying? Mark refuses to take time off. Frost is taking over Stewart’s care, but Stewart appreciates Luka’s care and attention. He asks if Nick should be able to choose whether he lives or dies. Luka says yes, and Stewart replies that he should get to make the same decision about whether he can work. Luka gives in and gives him the steroids.

Richard doesn’t appear to have roadside service, so he has to get his car towed. Abby’s gleeful that she ruined his evening. She thinks she ruined her and Carter’s night, too, but he had a good time. Definitely not having a good time: Weaver, who calls someone about evaluating a doctor who might be cognitively impaired.

Thoughts: Nick is played by Josh Peck.

I kind of want Mark to yell at anti-maskers now. And I want Jeanie to yell at Jeff.

Where is Legaspi to talk to all of these patients who clearly need psychiatric help?

’00s music alert: Lifehouse’s “Hanging By a Moment.” Wow, that song really was everywhere in the early 2000s.

November 17, 2020

ER 7.11, Rock, Paper Scissors: Absolution

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:59 pm by Jenn

Get ready for a lot of this

Summary: Benton and Cleo are just waking up in the morning when she gets a call from Kynesha. They finally sent her to a halfway house, but she got in a fight with someone and ran away. Benton decides to go pick her up, though Cleo thinks Kynesha is manipulating him. She doesn’t think they’ll ever get rid of her.

Mark and Elizabeth are back from New York, and she’s nervously awaiting the next big challenge in her life, a meeting about her malpractice lawsuit. All she knows is that Patterson’s lawyers want to talk. Benton goes to get Kynesha, who’s being chased by some guys. They break the back window of Benton’s car and yell that Kynesha owes them. She tells Benton they’re some former friends.

Luka/Abby update: They’re definitely dating, but she’s sick of staying in his hotel room. She asks Carter how it went telling Weaver about his relapse. Carter still hasn’t told her; he wants to wait until after his performance evaluation. Dude. Come on. Carter tells Abby she’s nagging him, but she thinks she’s doing her job as his sponsor. He tells her that should be different from acting like his mother. Meanwhile, Luka and Dave meet an ambulance bringing in a bishop named Stewart who may have broken his hip.

Back at Cleo’s, Benton tells Kynesha that she needs to learn how to respect people. According to the workers at the halfway house, Kynesha started the fight. Kynesha says she hates it there and would rather live with Benton. She touches his shoulder, ready to offer sex in exchange for a home. Benton is never going to play that game, especially with a minor, so that gets shut down really fast. Weaver chats with a patient named Pularski who stopped taking his medication. He’s depressed because he hasn’t had sex in 11 years. He also stabbed himself with a pair of medical scissors. Well, we know a certain teenage girl who’s looking to offer her services…

Elizabeth learns from Romano and her lawyer, Price, that Patterson has agreed to a settlement. A piece of equipment Elizabeth used during Patterson’s procedure was recalled, which means she can’t be blamed for any errors. Elizabeth denies that there was anything wrong with the equipment, even though this is her get-out-of-jail-free card.

Dave tries to flirt with Amira at the front desk. It goes poorly. A woman named Ann runs up, asks for a laxative, and throws up. Carter tends to her and learns that she started feeling sick on her flight to Chicago from Texas. She realizes she’s throwing up blood. Luka examines Stewart, who says he has osteoarthritis but isn’t on any medications. He asks about Luka’s accent, commenting that Croatia is a very Catholic country. Luka simply says that he’s not Catholic.

Benton fills Cleo in on the Kynesha situation, admitting that she’s at Cleo’s house. Cleo figures this is going to turn into another three-week stay. Carter and Haleh do a procedure on Ann to see if there are any foreign bodies in her stomach. Carter finds something and uses a grasper to pull it out. Haleh comments that it looks like a claw from an arcade game. Carter’s prize in this case is a condom full of drugs. He guesses that it leaked and caused Ann’s medical problems.

Legaspi comes to the ER to ask why Weaver sent Pularski home without a psych consult. (Apparently his stab wound was superficial.) Weaver didn’t see the point, since he comes in all the time and has never seriously tried to hurt himself. Plus, the psych department keeps refusing to admit him, so why bother consulting with them? Weaver knows he just wanted food and company. Legaspi tells Weaver that they need to keep things professional. Weaver says she has been, and also, she definitely hasn’t been avoiding Legaspi because they kissed, and how could Legaspi even think that?

Carter gets Ann to admit that she came to Chicago from Belize. She was robbed, so she felt her only option to get back to the States was to agree to be a drug mule. She cries and says she just wanted to go home. Luka determines that Stewart falls a lot, which Stewart blames on his arthritis. Luka agrees to give him steroids he’s taken in the past if he also uses a walker. Stewart negotiates down to a cane. He asks Luka what his confirmation name was. It was Mihael, who was, fittingly, the patron saint of the sick.

Weaver gives Carter his performance review, which is excellent. She’s proud of how well he’s done since returning from rehab. Carter starts to tell her what he’s been keeping from her, but they get called away to tend to a family of three who were hit by a car while crossing the street. The father died at the scene, but the mother and their seven-year-old daughter are now in the ER.

Elizabeth takes a moment to admire some flowers Mark sent her at County before she heads to the OR to help with the new patients. She runs into Patterson in an elevator and he asks to talk. She tells him that she feels horrible about how things turned out for him. Patterson knows the recalled equipment is technically to blame, but he can’t bring himself to forgive Elizabeth. He knows he’ll always remember her face, and he wonders if she’ll remember his.

Elizabeth joins Luka, Cleo, and Abby to take care of the daughter, Amy. Luka inserts a chest tube, which leads to some bleeding. Connie pulls Elizabeth next door to help Weaver with the mother, Julie. No one wants to tell Julie that her husband didn’t survive, but when they can’t tell her how he is, she figures it out herself. They need to take her to the OR, but Luka asks them to bring her to Amy’s room for a moment so mother and daughter can see each other. As Julie is finally taken for surgery, Amy starts to decline.

Babcock the anesthesiologist is annoyed that Elizabeth isn’t sure yet what procedure she’s going to perform on Julie. Elizabeth is nervous and wants to pass her off to another surgeon, but everyone else is busy. Back in the ER, Luka struggles to stabilize Amy while Carter asks Legaspi to give Ann a psych consult. Legaspi wants to admit her, but Weaver wants to turn her over to the police. Legaspi asks Weaver what her problem is. Weaver sends Carter away so she can tell Legaspi to never talk to her like that in front of a resident. Legaspi says she wouldn’t have to if Weaver wouldn’t interfere in her case.

Luka decides that Amy can’t be saved, so Cleo declares her dead. Luka doesn’t even get a minute to collect himself before he’s sent to help with another trauma. The patient is a guy named Kevin who’s drunk and combative. He was brought in after crashing his car during a police chase. His crime? Running down a family of three in a crosswalk. Luka has to go from failing to save Amy to trying to save the man who killed her. He gets his revenge by inserting a tube through Kevin’s nose and throat without numbing his pain.

Benton meets Kynesha at Doc Magoo’s with a surprise guest: Adele. She has a foster family ready to take in Kynesha, who’s disappointed that Benton won’t let her stay with him. She blames Cleo for turning her away. Adele tells Kynesha that her only choices right now are foster care or becoming a ward of the state. Kynesha storms out, complaining that Benton doesn’t want her.

Elizabeth struggles to fix Julie’s injuries as she loses more and more blood. Elizabeth orders Shirley to get another surgeon to take over. A police officer arrests Kevin, who shouldn’t have been driving since he lost his license thanks to multiple DUIs. Benton comes down to consult and decides to give Kevin a CT. Luka isn’t sure that’s necessary. Abby asks Carter how his performance review went (meaning “did you tell Weaver you relapsed?”). Luka’s curious about that whole situation, but Abby can’t tell him anything.

Romano joins Elizabeth in the OR, annoyed that she’s having so much trouble with what should be a simple procedure. He orders her to stay and assist him, but she runs off. Mark is at County for radiation and decides to wait for Elizabeth in the lounge when he’s done. Even though he can barely walk on his own, he’s supposed to start back at work next week. Luka tells him not to worry about how things are running in the ER. Mark says he gets now that life’s too short to think about that kind of stuff.

Luka goes to check on Stewart, who’s gone to Kevin’s trauma room to give him last rites. He absolves Kevin of his sins, which I’m sure Luka doesn’t think he deserves. Abby bugs Carter again about talking to Weaver, but Carter doesn’t want to rock the boat when everything is going so well. Abby makes the best decision possible here: She tells him to find another sponsor. She cares about Carter and his recovery, but she can’t help him if he won’t listen to her.

While Cleo tells a devastated Julie that Amy died, Luka finishes up with Stewart, who asks what happened to Kevin. He didn’t survive surgery, so Stewart is glad that he found absolution. Luka, of course, doesn’t think he should have peace when he killed two people. Stewart says that Kevin found God in his last moments and asked for forgiveness. Luka asks if that means anyone can get into Heaven just by saying they’re sorry before they die. Stewart tells him that everyone deserves comfort in their darkest hour. Luka notes that Amy could have used that comfort. Stewart says God was with her, but Luka doubts that.

Carter finally pulls Weaver aside to tell her that he took Vicodin a couple weeks ago. He doesn’t know why he did it. Weaver thanks him for telling her but doesn’t know what the consequences will be yet. Mark and Elizabeth head home without the malpractice lawsuit hanging over their heads. She doesn’t feel like celebrating since she knows the error was really her fault. Mark says all they can do is try to get things right as often as possible.

Cleo is also down after her bad day, telling Benton that she can’t stop thinking about Amy’s brand-new shoes. When she put them on that morning, she had no clue what would happen to her. They get home to find that Cleo’s house has been trashed. Cleo is definitely, 100 percent, completely done with Kynesha.

Weaver tracks down Legaspi at Doc Magoo’s, wanting to clear the air. She respects Legaspi as a colleague and misses her as a friend. Legaspi thinks that in a few weeks, they’ll just be back to being friendly co-workers, like they were before. Weaver confides that she’s not sure that’s what she wants. Legaspi starts to leave, but Weaver asks her to stay.

Benton and Cleo silently clean up her house and he thanks her for putting up with him and being there for him. He acknowledges that he hasn’t been there for her in the same way. He’s never worked at being with someone – he’s never wanted to – but he wants to with her because he loves her. “Love won’t clean up the destruction in my house,” she manages to not reply.

Thoughts: Stewart is played by James Cromwell, who was nominated for an Emmy for the role.

Is everyone ready for the part of the season where we revisit the worst thing that’s ever happened to Luka? IS EVERYONE PUMPED?

“Dr. Corday, you have to stop the bleeding.” Oh, she does? Is that her job, Dr. Babcock? Thanks for clearing that up. I’m sure Elizabeth was unclear about what she was supposed to be doing here.

November 10, 2020

ER 7.10, Piece of Mind: The Doctor Has Become the Patient

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

At least he didn’t lose much when they shaved his head

Summary: A man named Dan is driving his teenage son Paul somewhere, complaining about how Paul wants to quit playing hockey. A hockey scholarship is the only way Paul will get to go to college, so Dan wants him to keep playing. Paul notes that without devoting all his time to hockey, he would be able to improve his grades and get a scholarship that way. The argument ends when their car gets hit by a truck.

It’s New Year’s Eve, which means it’s time for Mark to have his tumor removed in New York. He’s sent plenty of patients to the OR, but this will be his first time going himself. Elizabeth tries to keep him optimistic. Back in Chicago, Dave is on the scene to help get Paul and Dan out of their upside-down car. A lot of what follows is from Dan’s POV. In the ambulance, he tells Dave that his chest hurts. Dave delivers him to Carter, explaining that he did an ambulance ride-along as part of his residency.

Cleo joins Carter to transport Dan to a trauma room while Weaver tends to Paul. Dave wishes Dan good luck, then heads back out on the ambulance. Carter reinflates Dan’s collapsed lung while Cleo gets information out of him like his family doctor and a person to contact. Paul is in the next trauma room, so Cleo holds the door between the rooms open to let them check on each other. Dan notes that his wife will be mad about the crashed car, and jokes that he’s going to tell her that Paul was driving.

In New York, Mark signs a DNR and gives Elizabeth his power of attorney. Elizabeth won’t accept the responsibility, since she’s positive that he’ll be fine. She thinks his worry that he’ll end up in a vegetative state is just him being “dramatic.” He convinces her to sign anyway. Dan is also signing forms, giving consent for Paul to have surgery on his broken leg. Dan himself needs a head CT, since he lost consciousness.

Abby asks Carter if he told Weaver yet (meaning that he took Vicodin, though she doesn’t say that in front of Dan). Carter says it’s one of his New Year’s resolutions. Elizabeth shaves Mark’s head as he tries to tie up loose ends about their house. He wants her to be in the OR during his operation, though Elizabeth doesn’t think Burke will approve of that. Mark lies that he’ll be fine on his own. He notices his roommate, a little boy, watching him but pretending not to watch him.

After Dan’s CT, Abby tells him that someone is trying to contact his wife, Deborah. He asks to see Paul, but Abby says he might not be able to talk to his son before surgery. Dan learns that on top of his leg injury, Paul also has a head injury. Dan worries that Deborah will be mad at him “again.” 20 years ago, they lost a baby to SIDS. Dan was home alone with the baby at the time and fell asleep. Deborah came home and found the baby dead. She didn’t blame Dan outright, but he knows she believes she could have saved the baby if she’d stayed home.

Burke gives Mark a pre-op exam and asks if he has anything on his mind. “That’s why I’m here,” Mark replies. He wishes Burke good luck, which Burke says they won’t need. Mark’s young roommate, Leo, introduces himself and they start chatting. Leo has a heart tumor and is surprised that Mark, a doctor, is sick enough to need surgery. Mark tries to give Leo a pep talk about his own procedure.

A drunk patient sings “Auld Lang Syne” to Dan, who’s really getting the full ER experience. He tries to get Weaver’s attention as she tells Benton about a patient who needs a pager removed from his rectum. Wow, a late Christmas present for Benton. Dan asks Weaver about Paul, but she doesn’t get a chance to give him details before she’s summoned to stabilize Paul. He passed out while getting x-rays and is now unresponsive. Dan urges him to stay strong.

Dave checks on Dan, who’s going to be admitted for a few days, though his CT is clean. Abby tells him that his brain might be bruised, so he’ll need some more scans. A police officer asks Dan about the accident, but Dan doesn’t remember what happened. The officer tells him he ran a red light. Dan insists that he would never do that, but there are a lot of witnesses who say otherwise.

Mark nervously waits with Elizabeth until someone comes to take him to the OR. He jokingly asks if she’ll go to a movie while he’s in surgery. Then he turns serious, telling her that he’s left her life insurance in case he doesn’t survive. She continues to avoid addressing the possibility that he won’t live. Okay, Elizabeth, there’s optimism and there’s denial. You’re getting waaaaay too close to the latter.

Jesus, the guy transporting Mark, calls him “Mr. Greene” instead of “Dr. Greene” and chats with a co-worker on the way to the OR, as if he doesn’t get how important this day is for Mark. In the operating room, Mark faces scary machines and equipment, like the saw that will open his skull. He casually asks Burke for something to help his anxiety. (If this were me, I wouldn’t even go into the OR without being injected with so much Ativan that I thought I was still home in bed.)

Paul is comatose, but Weaver thinks he can hear Dan, so she encourages him to talk. Dan says that he used to fake being asleep as a kid so he didn’t have to get up for school; he would have to stop when Dan tickled him. In New York, Mark is ready for his procedure, which he’ll be awake for, so they can make sure his ability to communicate stays intact. Elizabeth has come to the OR after all.

Deborah arrives at County just as Paul is about to be taken for surgery on his leg. Dan tells her that the crash was his fault, but still an accident. She’s upset. Dan complains of more chest pain, so Weaver sends him back to bed. A quick exam indicates that the chest pain is more serious than Dan has been leading on.

Mark ID’s flash cards while Burke does some brain mapping. When his language starts to fail, he notes that his thumb is shaking. Elizabeth figures out whatever’s wrong with him, but the doctors don’t fix it before he starts having seizures and flashes of his life up until now. He sees Rachel, Jen, and his parents, but not Elizabeth, which is weird. Mark loses consciousness, and the anesthesiologist can’t get a response out of him when he wakes up. Burke suggests holding off on the rest of the procedure.

Mark starts speaking again and tells Burke to keep going. The doctor keeping track of his language has him name things that start with the letter B. “Brain,” “Burke,” and “Broca” (the area of his brain that they’re mapping) are gimmes. After Burke removes the tumor, which is gross-looking, Mark says “baby” and “boy.” He has a hunch that that’s what they’re having. He switches to listing off boys’ names that start with B. He also suggests Jesus, and Elizabeth is like, “I know you’re having brain surgery but there is no way I’m naming our child Jesus Greene.”

Dan is also stable as Carter ends his shift and hands him off to Luka. Luka tells Dan that he could be at risk for having a heart attack. He asks if Dan passed out while he was driving; his angina could have led to an irregular heartbeat that made him lose consciousness. This means Dan might not be responsible for the accident. That’s the least of his problems, though, since his chest pain gets worse. Luka determines that he’s having a heart attack and needs surgery.

Mark is in recovery and doesn’t seem to be having any complications. Burke tells him everything went great. Kayson and Luka do a procedure to unblock one of Dan’s arteries, though Dan (who’s awake during it) is still more worried about Paul than himself. Luka notes that, as a teenager, Paul wants less to do with his father than ever but actually needs him more than ever. Dan asks if Luka has kids, and Luka says no.

Deborah is allowed in to let Dan know that Paul is awake and doing well. Dan tells her that his heart problem caused the accident. Well, I think the jury’s still out on that, so I wouldn’t get too confident there, buddy. Deborah apologizes for being cold to Dan earlier and tries to keep him from blaming himself for anything that’s happened to either of their sons.

Mark is now confused and thinks he needs to go home. Elizabeth asks a nurse to give him a sedative, but the nurse can’t take her orders, since Elizabeth isn’t on staff there. Romano interrupts Dan’s procedure to whine about not being informed of it. He was supposed to be given the authority to determine if Dan met the criteria for the procedure. There’s a complication involving a tear in a blood vessel, so now Dan needs bypass surgery. Looks like Romano gets to be in control after all.

Mark wakes up from sedation and is now back to his normal self. When Elizabeth leaves the room to talk to Burke for a minute, Mark notices that Leo, who’s also just out of surgery, is bleeding. He tries to alert a nurse, but they don’t notice Leo’s complications until alarms start going off. Mark watches helplessly as the little boy he tried to encourage declines.

Dan panics on his way to surgery, but Romano ignores his request for a second opinion, since he won’t survive long enough to get one. Dan recognizes Benton from the OR but doesn’t ask if he was able to remove the pager from the guy’s rectum, which I would definitely be asking. He has a bad feeling about the operation, which Benton casually dismisses, and asks the surgeons to tell Paul that he loves him and is proud of him.

Burke does a neurological exam on Mark, who’s distracted by the sight of Leo’s mother crying over her son’s condition (it’s not good). Though Mark is doing well physically, Burke wants him to meet with a psychiatrist, just in case he’s experiencing any depression. Mark declines and asks to have his catheter removed so he can start walking around, which will get him out of the hospital faster. Burke tells him he’s lucky and is undergoing the most successful treatment possible for his tumor. If he believes that, he’ll be fine.

At County, Benton declares a patient dead…but it’s not Dan. He thinks the car accident actually saved his life, since it drew attention to a heart problem he didn’t know he had. Paul, who’s being brought to the recovery room, teases that he should get a yearly checkup. He was able to hear Dan while he was comatose and jokingly complains that Dan interrupted his nice nap. Dan says Paul should take the year off from hockey so his leg can heal. Paul suggests that they start running together for exercise.

As midnight approaches, Mark impatiently waits for a nurse to remove his catheter. He asks Elizabeth to do it, and it’s so painful that he’s not sure he can ever order one for a patient again. She helps him to the bathroom as fireworks go off outside the windows to ring in the new year.

Thoughts: Dan is played by Jim Belushi. Paul is played by Jared Padalecki.

’00s music alert: “Butterfly” by Crazy Town. I bet Dave loves that song.

Just for the record, waking up from brain surgery and joking that you’re unfamiliar with your fiancée isn’t funny. If you’re ever in that situation, try to avoid the temptation.

We know Mark and Elizabeth have a girl, so I guess we shouldn’t place too much faith in Mark’s hunches.

November 3, 2020

ER 7.9, The Greatest of Gifts: Merry Kissmas

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

Sorry, but Carter holding a baby isn’t as hot as Luka holding a baby

Summary: It’s early in the morning a little before Christmas, and Chicago is experiencing its first major snowfall of the winter. Carter stayed past the end of his shift to help with a big car accident, and even took over running things from the temp attending who was filling in for Mark. Weaver apologizes for having Carter work nights, but now that Mark has left his position, he was needed. She tells him to take an extra hour in his day off before he has to report back to work in the afternoon.

Carter heads home and crawls into bed, but moments later, his pager goes off. Back at County, Chen is in labor, and has summoned Carter as her birthing coach. She thought she could deliver by herself, but she decided she needed a friend with her. Carter is sweetly supportive and willing to give up sleep to stay with her.

At Cleo’s, she and Benton are asleep, but she wakes up when she hears voices in the living room. He tells her it’s just Kynesha, who’s been staying there, but Cleo makes him go check on her. Kynesha has brought a friend over and is complaining about how uptight Cleo is. She tells Benton that her friend is just staying there for a little while since she got locked out of her house.

Mark and Elizabeth are in New York to see a specialist. Mark notices a boy in a red hat with pompoms on it and remembers seeing the same hat on a kid in Chicago at Thanksgiving. Elizabeth wonders if it’s a sign. Mark makes a dark joke, and Elizabeth urges him to be optimistic. Mark thinks he’s just going to hear more bad news from the specialist. He hasn’t told Rachel about his tumor yet, and Elizabeth believes it’s because he thinks the specialist can help him, and he wants to be able to tell his daughter that he’ll be okay.

The parents Chen has chosen to adopt her child have arrived, wanting to be there for the birth. Carter greets them and lets them know that everything’s going well, but Chen is uneasy about letting them be in the room. James and Linda aren’t happy that they traveled all the way from Portland only to be sidelined. They worry that Chen is going to change her mind about the adoption. Carter promises that he’ll bring the baby to them as soon as he’s born. (For the record, James is Black and Linda is Asian, giving the baby adoptive parents of the same races as his birth parents.)

Down in the ER, Randi suggests that they send Chen flowers. Weaver tells Randi to leave her alone (probably because she knows Chen is placing the baby for adoption and doesn’t want to be congratulated for giving birth to a child she won’t raise). Legaspi comes down for a consult, and Weaver gives her a Christmas present. She has the hiccups, so Legaspi suggests that she drink water upside-down.

Cleo complains to Benton that what was supposed to be a single night hosting Kynesha has turned into a week. Benton hasn’t been able to find Kynesha’s mother, and he doesn’t want to hand her over for foster care. Cleo says she’s manipulating Benton. She gets two more days before Cleo kicks her out.

Just as Benton notices a little girl sneaking around near the ER, he hears a woman yelling and runs to help her. Her son, Jeff, was attacked by a dog, which bit through a facial artery that’s bleeding a lot. Weaver hiccups through the trauma. Chen has progressed quickly, and it’s already time to have the baby. Carter coaches her as Coburn handles the delivery. Chen doesn’t look at the baby and declines to hold him.

Later, Chen thanks Carter again for being there for her. He tries to downplay exactly how much of her anatomy he saw. She thinks he was surprised that the baby is half Black; she never told him who the baby’s father is. The baby is now with his adoptive parents, who would like to see Chen. Carter assures her that the parents seem great. He offers to stick around a little longer, but Chen talks him into leaving.

Mark checks in for some language tests and mapping at the hospital in New York. Elizabeth is eager to meet the specialist, Burke, but he’s busy and probably won’t see them until later in the day. Weaver reassures Jeff’s mother, Shelly, that he’ll be okay and his scars shouldn’t be too bad. Mona, the owner of the dog, shows up and Shelly demands that she put the dog down. Too bad she does this in front of Mona’s son, who now has to worry about his dog dying. Thanks, Shelly, and merry Christmas, Mona’s son.

Benton spots the little girl he saw earlier hiding in a utility closet. The girl, Taylor, says she hurt her foot, so he goes in to check it out. She’s supposed to be in the blood bank, donating blood to her sister, Nicole, who has leukemia. Every time Nicole gets sick, Taylor has to go to the hospital, too, in order to help her. This time, they’re going to a procedure called leukapheresis, where Taylor’s blood is drawn, some white blood cells are removed, and her blood is replaced. Benton promises he can heal her foot without taking any of her blood.

Carter grabs a nap in the on-call room but gets woken up again by his pager. Chen is trying to leave the hospital and wants a ride home. A social worker suggested that she see the baby, saying it’s better for both sets of parents. Chen admits that she’s not sure she can say goodbye. Mark undergoes an MRI while looking at pictures and doing a kind of word-association thing. Elizabeth observes as a couple of doctors look at his scans and debate whether he should have surgery. She’s upset by how casually they discuss his chances and how much time he might have left.

Lily tells Cleo that Kynesha is on the phone, saying something about Cleo’s car. Kynesha claims it was stolen by unknown thieves. While Cleo calls the police, Romano yells at Benton for “stealing” Taylor and refusing to take her to the blood bank. Also, he calls her “it,” so I don’t think Romano is in the Christmas spirit this year. Benton wants Taylor’s parents to come get her, and he wants someone to fully explain to her the procedure she’s going to undergo to help her sister. Romano cares more about Nicole and orders Benton to send Taylor to the blood bank.

Carter tells James and Linda that Chen has reluctantly agreed to see the baby. Linda’s worried that Chen will regret not seeing him before the adoption papers are signed in three days, which might make her change her mind about the adoption. The social worker suggests that Carter take the baby to Chen, and after Chen is done saying goodbye, she can hand the baby back to Linda. Carter takes the baby to his birth mother, who cries over him.

In New York, Mark is nervous about the conversation doctors are having about his best course of treatment. They still haven’t met Burke, and Mark wonders if he only meets patients he can help. He knows the MRI tech didn’t think he could be helped. Mark wishes the discussion group called itself something other than the Tumor Board, though Elizabeth notes that the name is fitting. They make up new names to amuse themselves. Mark asks if Elizabeth will still have the baby if he doesn’t survive. She says she will.

Weaver’s hiccups went away, but only temporarily, so cross a spoonful of sugar off the list of attempted remedies. Malik passes along his mother’s hiccup cure, standing on your head and swallowing. Legaspi comes back to the ER to see if Jeff needs counseling after his dog attack. Weaver asks if she’s opened her present yet. Carter comes back down for another nap, but James follows, distressed that Chen wants to nurse the baby.

Jeff is worried that his father will be mad about what happened. He was going to “put it back” before his dad found out. Legaspi thinks he’s upset about the dog attacking him unprovoked, but Jeff reveals that there was provocation. He opened his Christmas present early – a BB gun – and tried it out on the dog. (Cue the entire audience saying, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”)

Linda now regrets forcing Chen to see the baby. The social worker is familiar with this kind of dilemma and knows Chen will come around when she sees how well Linda and James are going to care for the baby. They send Carter to talk to Chen, who is doubting her decision to place the baby for adoption when she has the means to take care of him. Carter reminds her that James and Linda really want him, and Chen is giving them a wonderful gift.

Chen worries about what could happen if her child tracks her down in 18 years and wants to know why she gave him up. Carter thinks the truth is enough: Chen wanted to give him a good home. She feels like a coward, and like she’s choosing her bigoted parents over her child. Carter tells her to keep them out of this. If she wants to keep the baby, she can. If not, she needs to know she’s not abandoning him. She’s creating a family.

The police find Cleo’s car, which she thinks Kynesha stole and then abandoned when it broke down because she couldn’t drive stick. She tells Benton to bring Kynesha to see her, or she’ll send the police to Kynesha. Taylor’s mother, Melissa, comes to the ER to get her, and Benton tells her that Taylor feels she was only born to help Nicole. Melissa fully admits that they had an additional child because they were desperate to save Nicole (though they were planning to have more kids anyway). She hates being judged as if she’s done something wrong. Melissa loves Taylor no matter how useful she is for her sister.

The social worker brings James and Linda to Chen’s room so she can give the baby to them officially. They tell her they’re naming him Michael. Chen gives him over and Linda sings “Baby Mine” from Dumbo. Elizabeth gets a call from Price telling her that her malpractice case may go to trial. Yeah, Elizabeth, no one cares anymore. There’s much more important stuff going on.

Burke finally arrives and gives Mark and Elizabeth the news that, despite what the Tumor Board thinks, he believes the tumor is operable. It hasn’t invaded Mark’s language center as much as the surgeon in Chicago thought. Burke has perfected a procedure to remove the tumor, and many of his patients have survived 24 months and counting. He has a slot open for surgery on December 31st, so Mark can start the new year without his tumor.

Carter’s next attempt at a nap is interrupted yet again when victims of a van/motorcycle crash are brought into the ER. Dori (the nurse played by a Real Housewife) finds painkillers in the motorcycle rider’s pocket. Benton and Cleo come home to find Kynesha on the front steps, worried about the whole car situation. She didn’t take it, but she thinks her friend from that morning did. She didn’t want to say anything because she thought Cleo would kick her out. She has nowhere else to go.

Carter tends to some of the people from the van, kids on their way to a Christmas pageant. He winds up in the biker’s trauma room, looking for something in a cabinet. The biker’s painkillers are on the counter, and Carter grabs a bottle and takes a couple of pills, almost on autopilot. Moments later, he realizes what he did and runs to the bathroom to throw up the pills. He fights back tears over his impulsive decision.

He quickly pulls Abby away from a patient and tells her he took two Vicodin, then threw them up. Then he hands them over to her, like, at least put them in a cup or something! EW! Abby asks if he’s going to tell Weaver. Carter knows he’ll either lose his job or get sent back to rehab. He’s not sure this counts as a relapse, since the pills never got into his system. Is this the “I didn’t inhale” defense? Abby tells him to say he’s sick so he can get out of his shift and go to an AA meeting with her.

Mark and Elizabeth hang out at Rockefeller Center, watching people skate, as he goes over his plan to fly out and see Jen and Rachel so he can tell them about his diagnosis and treatment. He mentions living New York for a couple of months as a kid, which Elizabeth didn’t know about. Mark says he can’t tell her everything; he has to keep her interested. He regrets that he’s gotten sick, which she didn’t sign up for, but she reminds him that marriage means sticking together through all the hard times. Mark spots another kid in that red pompom hat, and Elizabeth says it must not be a sign after all.

Dave is annoyed that Weaver wants him to do another shift, since Carter had to leave. Dave thinks Carter just wants to sleep. Hey, at least you’re getting a scene in this episode. Luka’s not in it at all. Weaver’s still hiccuping, so she tries Randi’s remedy, drinking a cup of water after dropping a lit match in it. Legaspi comes to thank her for her gift, a first edition of a book she loves. However, she doesn’t want to be friends with Weaver, since Weaver is straight and Legaspi isn’t.

Weaver argues that they get along well and should keep hanging out. Legaspi kisses her, clarifying that she can’t just be friends with someone she has feelings for. On the plus side, it looks like Weaver’s hiccups are gone. Chen’s mother calls her hospital room, but Chen doesn’t want to talk to her. She’ll be spending Christmas alone while Michael starts his life with his new parents.

Thoughts: Lots of familiar faces in this episode:

Helping Chen through labor is the first good thing Carter’s done in this season, and the first time he’s seemed like his old self. I appreciate that the show never tried to put the two of them together – they just let them be friends.

How do you drink water upside-down without choking? Well, I guess if you’re choking, you’re not hiccuping, so there you go.

October 27, 2020

ER 7.8, The Dance We Do: The End of the Cycle

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:57 pm by Jenn

Once your health problems get to this stage, you really need to start telling people what’s going on

Summary: Abby’s asleep – drink! She’s in Luka’s hotel room, so that’s progressed, though their morning conversation isn’t very warm or romantic. Abby heads home, where Maggie’s been keeping busy by sewing clothes. She has a job interview and spent the money Abby gave her for bus fare, so she’s obviously planning to stay in Chicago. Maggie approves of Abby and Luka’s relationship but thinks Luka’s playing hard to get. She’s going to make Abby a dress that will grab his attention.

Abby brushes off Maggie’s suggestion of having breakfast together so she can take a shower and get ready for work. In the bathroom, she counts Maggie’s pills to make sure she’s taking her medication. Maggie catches her and is hurt that Abby doesn’t believe she’s trying to get better. Abby asks her to submit to a blood test at the hospital to make sure she’s both taking her meds and not taking anything she shouldn’t be. Maggie agrees.

Mark and Elizabeth discuss her malpractice lawsuit on an El train; he’s on his way to work and she’s going to her deposition. She admits that she doesn’t think she checked for a cerebrospinal fluid leak before finishing up Patterson’s procedure, and she was the only one who could have made the error Patterson alleges she made.

Mark notes that Patterson knew the risks of the procedure, and there’s no proof that Elizabeth was negligent. Just because Patterson wants someone to blame doesn’t mean Elizabeth is in the wrong. P.S. She thinks he has a bandage on his head (obviously related to his brain tumor) because he ran into a street sign.

Abby prepares to draw Maggie’s blood at County as Maggie chatters about not wanting to show up to her job interview with a bandage on her arm. She warns that Abby will feel foolish when the test shows that Maggie’s taking her meds. Dave ducks into the room, obviously hiding from someone, and Maggie pretends she’s there to donate blood. Abby gives in and lets her go to her interview without the blood test.

The reason Dave’s hiding is a woman named Stephanie who’s looking for him. Cleo tells Chuny and Randi that another woman was there looking for him yesterday. Maggie runs into the ER, yelling that a girl was just thrown from a car outside. It’s Kynesha, and she’s been beaten up.

Elizabeth and her lawyer, Price, meet up with Patterson’s lawyer, Resnick, who starts off on the wrong foot by commenting that Elizabeth is beautiful. Someone introduce him to Romano; they’d be best friends. Resnick talks casually about a car accident he passed that morning while Elizabeth prepares for the deposition that could lead to her entire life being changed.

Cleo and Dave examine Kynesha, suspecting that she was raped. Benton comes for a surgical consult, but Cleo sends him away, telling him that the patient was Jesse’s girlfriend. Benton starts to leave, then goes into the trauma room to do his job. His bedside manner is lacking, but he doesn’t bring up their connection.

At County, Mark gets the results of the biopsy his bandage is covering the site of. He has a tumor called a GBM (glioblastoma multiforme), and his survival with treatment is only about six to nine months. Without treatment, he’ll be dead within eight weeks. The doctor says the tumor is inoperable since it’s already invaded the language areas of Mark’s brain (which explains why he had trouble speaking). Mark is looking at the loss of his ability to communicate and interact with the world around him.

Having been told that he might not be alive in a year doesn’t stop Mark from starting his next shift in the ER. He immediately makes an error that Carter corrects. Oh, yeah, sign me up for emergency treatment from this guy. Carter needs his next scheduled drug test, so he says he’ll ask Abby to draw his blood. Cleo, Benton, and Abby examine Kynesha to see if she was sexually assaulted, though she insists that she was only beaten up. She was jumped out as part of exiting a gang.

Things get tense at Elizabeth’s deposition as Resnick questions her decision not to operate on Patterson immediately. She notes that she had to help treat Jesse first. Resnick knows that Elizabeth dated Benton, so did she prioritize her ex’s nephew over another patient? Price tries to keep Elizabeth from having to answer that. Resnick asks if Elizabeth was so upset over Jesse’s death that she was distracted when she operated on Patterson.

Carter cracks jokes during his blood test, but Abby and Mark aren’t amused. Also, way to take the terms of your employment seriously. Chuny tells Abby that paramedics are looking for her; it has something to do with Maggie. Cleo and Benton talk to a police officer who can’t do much for Kynesha since she won’t reveal the names of the people who assaulted her. She does want to talk to Benton, though.

She tells him she can’t rat out her attackers without putting herself at risk. Benton asks if the attackers are the same people who killed Jesse. He wasn’t in a gang, but he was in the neighborhood where he was shot because of Kynesha. She tells him that Jesse tried to get her to leave the gang, and the others killed him to stop that from happening. They fought, and Kynesha was walking away when Jesse was shot. She saw his shooter but is hesitant to name him. Benton gently pushes her to do it.

Abby heads to the store where Maggie was supposed to have her interview; instead, she’s been accused of shoplifting. She ran into a glass door while leaving, which is why the paramedics got involved. Maggie is clearly manic, and Abby tries to convince a store clerk that her bipolar disorder caused her to act impulsively. The clerk says that Maggie walked in demanding a job. Abby promises to pay for the door and keep Maggie from ever returning to the store.

Mark tells Carter that his blood test shows he’s not taking the medication that blocks the effects of narcotics, which he agreed to take as part of his terms of employment. Carter claims that his prescription ran out and he hasn’t had time to refill it. Dude, you work in a hospital. There’s a pharmacy right there. Mark reminds Carter that he’s not the only one with something at stake here. County is giving him a second chance that most addicts don’t get.

Carter says this doesn’t feel like a fresh start. He’s done everything asked of him without complaining. (Uh, since when?) The restrictions placed on him are “arbitrary” and “arcane.” He keeps talking but I can’t hear him over the sound of my eyes rolling. Mark also doesn’t hear him, since he’s busy having a seizure. Well, that’s one way to end an uncomfortable conversation. Once Mark is stable and conscious again, Carter tells him he needs a head CT. Mark refuses, saying he just needs to find out how much Dilantin (an anti-seizure medication) he’s taken. He heads right back to work.

Resnick continues grilling Elizabeth on Patterson’s procedure – did she choose endoscopic surgery because it was faster and fit her schedule better? Elizabeth insists that her schedule had nothing to do with the choice. The procedure takes about an hour, but Resnick notes that she finished it in 43 minutes. The 87 times Elizabeth did the procedure before that, her fastest time was 54 minutes. Elizabeth says she doesn’t time herself; it’s not a race.

So then, Resnick asks, why did a nurse tell her that they were approaching 6:00? Elizabeth says she wanted to stay on schedule because she had somewhere to be (her weekend getaway with Mark). She doesn’t like Resnick’s inference that she rushed Patterson’s procedure so she could go on a personal trip. Price hurries to call a break before Elizabeth has to confirm this.

Abby brings Maggie back to County as she jabbers about the store clerk and worries that Abby’s mad. Luka takes in the scene as Abby takes a break in an empty trauma room. Benton calls the police back to talk to Kynesha, which just upsets her. I guess she thought he would leave her out of things and handle the police himself.

Carter gets his prescription refilled, but Mark trusts him enough to take the medication without a witness. He thanks Carter for helping him after his seizure. Carter invites him to talk about anything Mark might be hiding, noting that it’s covered by doctor/patient confidentiality. Mark reveals that he has an inoperable GBM and will probably have to leave his job. Carter urges him to look into experimental treatments, but Mark seems ready to admit defeat already. He asks Carter to try to squash rumors about him before he can tell Elizabeth what’s going on.

Price gives Elizabeth a lesson in answering yes/no questions with only “yes” or “no” when possible. The best-care scenario here is a black mark on Elizabeth’s record. The worst case is the loss of her license. The point of the deposition is for Resnick to gather information he can use against Elizabeth, so Elizabeth needs to give him as little as possible. Elizabeth thinks that means hiding the truth.

Luka stitches up a cut on Maggie’s hand as she coos over how masculine and awesome he is. Please inject this woman with lithium immediately. I can’t listen to her anymore. Abby apologizes on her behalf, which Maggie doesn’t appreciate. She thinks Abby’s always been embarrassed by her. She gets more and more agitated until Abby threatens to give her Haldol. Maggie tries to run away, but Luka grabs her and drags her back to an exam room. Gee, I wonder why Abby’s always embarrassed by Maggie? Maggie screams at Abby, who calmly helps Luka and Carter restrain her.

Elizabeth returns to the deposition after a break and is stunned to see Patterson there. As the complainant, he’s allowed to be present, so Elizabeth will need to work harder to retain her composure. Legaspi comes to the ER to examine Maggie and tells Abby that she doesn’t meet the criteria for a psych hold. Carter reports that her blood-alcohol level is .092, which explains her mania. Abby says she doesn’t care if Maggie’s admitted, but Legaspi says she’ll do it anyway. Abby declines to talk to her mother, who’s now crying and wants to apologize for her behavior.

Benton discharges Kynesha, telling her he had to do something to try to get justice for Jesse. Kynesha responds with her middle finger. Benton tells Cleo that he thinks Kynesha’s testimony will help the police find Jesse’s killers. He apologizes for their falling-out, saying she’s the only thing in his life that makes sense right now. Cleo replies that she’ll think his apology over while they have dinner together.

Elizabeth answers questions about the error in Patterson’s procedure, which she says wasn’t evident at the time. She dances around Resnick’s very clear questions, trying not to answer straight out that she didn’t do a thorough inspection for leaks before she finished the procedure. Then, when he asks her point blank if she did an inspection, she says yes.

Carter checks on Abby, letting her know that Maggie has run off. Abby figured that would happen, since it always does. It’s the end of Abby and Maggie’s “cycle.” Maggie will disappear for a few months, and then Abby will have to deal with her again when she turns up. Abby knew from the beginning of Maggie’s visit that things would end like this – it’s “the dance we do.” She heads off with Luka for some distraction sex, I imagine.

Benton takes Cleo to Jackie’s house, but she doesn’t want to intrude on the family when Benton tells them about the developments in Jesse’s case. Kynesha stops him outside the house and frantically tells him that Jesse’s killers are already being arrested. She can’t go home; everyone will know she snitched. Benton agrees to take her somewhere safe.

Elizabeth gets home from her deposition and confesses to Mark that she lied. Actually, Elizabeth, we call that perjury. She rushed the procedure and didn’t do a thorough inspection because she wanted to leave for the weekend. Now Patterson will never walk again. Elizabeth couldn’t admit her mistake; she lied in front of God to save herself. Mark says God owes them one and Elizabeth is allowed to be selfish about this. Then he tells her what he’s been hiding about his health. Meanwhile, Abby ends the day the same way she started it, in Luka’s bed. While he sleeps, she goes to the bathroom and turns on the water to hide the sound of her crying.

Thoughts: Resnick is played by Željko Ivanek.

I wonder what would happen if Elizabeth’s case went to court and Price just stood up and said, “Your Honor, opposing counsel hit on  my client within five seconds of meeting her. I move to dismiss the case.” I mean, it’s worth a shot. At the very least, Resnick would probably be dismissed and they would have more time to prepare while Patterson found a new lawyer.

Elizabeth’s attitude at the deposition isn’t going to endear her to a judge or jury. Acting defensive and like your time is too valuable to be there just makes you look guilty.

Does Mark’s insistence on working a shift knowing his communication faculties are declining put him on the same level as Lawrence continuing to work after being suspected of having dementia? Discuss.

Carter’s sense of entitlement is infuriating. Honey, the hospital doesn’t owe you anything. You’re lucky they didn’t fire you for stealing drugs and injecting yourself while on duty. I need Benton to knock him down a few pegs.

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