October 5, 2021

ER 9.13, No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Need Help? Luka and Abby Have Some Guidelines

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

Do you think Noah Wyle ever felt inadequate next to Goran Visnjic? I mean, how could he not?

Summary: Abby is having what she would probably consider a normal day in the ER, dealing with a boy named Zavery who acts like a monkey. His mom says his psychiatrist thinks he should act out his impulses to pretend he’s an animal. I say let the kid do what he wants, since his life can’t be easy with a name like Zavery. Susan’s patient is a wrestler named Aidan, and she can’t help commenting that his hobby is keeping him in good shape. Susan, don’t hit on your patients!

Luka examines a man named Mr. Carmichael who has just been diagnosed with lung cancer. He wants to file a lawsuit against tobacco companies, but Luka thinks he should take responsibility for giving himself cancer by smoking and focus instead on making his last months meaningful. Mr. Carmichael threatens to add Luka to his lawsuit for covering for Big Tobacco. Luka tells him he won’t live long enough to make it to court. He complains to Weaver that Americans never take responsibility for their behavior.

As paramedics bring in a woman named Brenda, Romano comes looking for Weaver…and kisses her on the lips. The ER has just received $2.4 million in funding, thanks to Alderman Bright. He’s bringing in a camera crew that afternoon for a photo op. Romano tells Weaver to make sure no patients end up in the photos, even though the whole point of the funding is to help those patients.

Leon bangs on the door to his and Pratt’s apartment until Pratt lets him in. A friend of his, Biz, is in the hallway, bleeding from a gunshot wound to his chest. Leon thinks Pratt can take care of him in their apartment, but Pratt says he’ll need to go to the hospital. Biz doesn’t want that, since the police will get involved. Leon admits that they were shoplifting from a liquor store and Biz was shot by a security guard.

The funding has put Romano in a good mood, and when he runs into Gallant in the lounge, he strikes up a conversation about what Gallant’s studying. Romano’s arm is out of the contraption he’s been wearing for weeks, but it’s not back to normal – he drops the mug he’s holding. There goes his good mood.

Luka, Carter, and Abby tend to Brenda, who has an animal trap on her hand. She was demonstrating the cruelty of fur trapping in a college lecture, and I’d say this is a good object lesson. As they’re working, Luka asks Carter if he’s going to Chechnya or the Congo. It turns out Carter has signed on to work with the Alliance de Medicine Internationale, a Doctors Without Borders-type group. This is the first Abby’s hearing about it. Luka’s thrilled for Carter, since he’ll be making a difference in an underserved country.

Romano talks to his surgeon about his arm and what he can do to recover his regular function. The surgeon notes that it’s a miracle that he has his arm attached at all. Abby questions Carter about his decision to go abroad, which he claims he’s talked to her about before (though it sounds like it was more in an “I’d like to do that some day” capacity than an “I’ve signed on for this and need to pick my location” capacity). Meanwhile, Susan borrows a sweater from Chen, since Zavery threw poop at her.

Gallant tells Carter that McNulty is in triage and seems altered. Two cops come in looking for a fellow officer shot during a robbery attempt, but Susan hasn’t heard anything, and Frank didn’t know the shooting victim coming in was a cop. Susan takes Romano to Aidan for a surgical consult; he has an abscess on his butt from steroid usage, and the infection has spread to a very unfortunate place. Susan isn’t sure Romano should be letting a resident do the operation instead of Elizabeth.

As Sutter, the cop who was shot, comes in, Carter and Gallant tend to McNulty. Susan and Abby try to calm Zavery, who hides under his gurney. They get him to come out by saying they’ll have to send him back to the zoo without using the gorilla scope. They use a special light to check for a scratch on his eye, and though there’s no sign of that, the light illuminates something else: a pale stain on the sweater Susan borrowed from Chen.

Pratt comes in with Biz, telling Carter he found him somewhere. Malik mentions that a cop was also shot, and Biz might be the culprit. Pratt realizes that Leon wasn’t completely honest with him about what happened. A cop questions Sutter, who says there were three robbers at the liquor store, but he doesn’t know who shot him. (Also, we never find out if there really were three; we only know about two.) The cop asks Pratt to move away from Biz’s head so Sutter can confirm whether he was there. Pratt ignores him, and since Sutter needs surgery ASAP, it’s not the right time for this.

There’s only one available OR (I guess Aidan’s surgery is already in progress), so Carter, Pratt, and Elizabeth discuss who should go first, Sutter or Biz. A cop protests that Biz shouldn’t be given priority over Sutter. Pratt thinks Biz is stable enough to wait, so he tells Elizabeth that Sutter can go first, even though Carter isn’t sure Biz will stay stable.

Abby treats a teenager named Helen who’s feeling sick and is sure she has something horribly wrong with her, like a tumor. When Susan comes to examine her, Abby asks if she’s going to say anything to Chen about the stain. Susan kind of wants to remain in denial that the stain was semen. Abby’s curious about who that semen came from. Pratt? Frank? Jerry? Susan is half amused, half disgusted.

Romano oversees a resident, Jensen, while he operates on Aidan, but Romano is definitely an “if you want something done right, do it yourself” guy. He takes over one-handed, but it soon becomes clear that he can’t do what he needs to do. In another OR, Elizabeth is joined by a new surgeon, Eddie Dorset. He flirts with her before showing her a procedure that fixes a complication she thought would take a long time to repair. It requires them to touch, and Elizabeth gets a little flustered.

Harkins stops by to finish some paperwork and confirm plans with Gallant that night. Luka tries to talk to her, but she’s not interested. He apologizes and promises that he never meant to hurt her. She says he should have slowed down. Anyway, say goodbye to Harkins, because this is the last time we see her (and possibly the last time she’s even mentioned).

The cops question Pratt about finding Biz in the street and whether he had a gun with him. Pratt says he didn’t hear gunshots or see anyone else around. Abby asks Carter when he plans to go overseas and abandon her in America. Carter’s surprised that she seems so against this – she was supportive when Luka went back to Croatia to work. For some reason, Abby doesn’t want Carter to ditch her and go help people who desperately need medical care.

McNulty is back to his normal self, which means Carter thinks he’s ready for a lecture about not taking care of himself. McNulty says he gave his medication to a patient who couldn’t afford his own. Carter gets summoned to help Pratt with Biz, who’s declining. Leon shows up while they’re working, so Pratt asks Abby to take him to an exam room for a wound check (really so he can be hidden from any cops who might recognize him). They’re unable to save Biz, and Leon is sad to hear the news from Pratt.

Elizabeth joins Romano so she can keep an eye on him and Jensen. She offers to scrub in and make sure the surgeons have done everything right. Luka, Susan, and Abby are tending to a young woman they thought had overdosed on drugs, but her friend reveals that she only overdosed on food. She has bulimia, which Luka doesn’t consider a reasonable eating disorder. It’s not like she’s malnourished because she doesn’t have enough food to feed herself and her kids. He’s furious that the woman wanted to come to the hospital and have her stomach pumped so she doesn’t gain weight.

Pratt catches Carter talking to Leon about Biz, having obviously figured out how this all fits together. Pratt sends Carter away and makes sure Leon didn’t say anything incriminating. He’s mad that Leon didn’t tell him the truth about what happened. If Leon had a gun and was shooting at the police, this is really, really bad. Leon begs Pratt to help him stay out of jail.

Susan asks Abby to talk to Luka about his attitude; he seems depressed. Abby declines, since she’s annoyed that Luka made Carter want to be an “adventure doctor.” Dorset comes to the ER and introduces himself to Elizabeth, then invites her to get coffee. Susan and Abby, standing nearby, fail to convincingly pretend they’re not eavesdropping. Elizabeth turns Dorset down, at least for now, and he says he’ll ask again some other time.

Abby and Susan assure her that she wasn’t rude. Elizabeth admits that she’s gun-shy about dating; plus, it hasn’t been all that long since she lost Mark. Maybe she overreacted to a friendly invitation for a casual cup of coffee. Susan says she thinks Mark would want his widow to get on with her life.

Bright arrives for the photo op and downplays how huge his donation will be for the ER. Weaver hopes County earned it because they’re so important to the community, and not for any other reason, like the fact that she covered up Bright’s syphilis. Bright admits that he might not have chosen them to get the money if he hadn’t been treated there, but he expects that they treat all their patients as well as they treated him.

Abby asks Carter if he wants to work in a foreign country because he’s inspired by the service McNulty provides through his clinic. Abby, it’s time to drop this. Carter says he’s not going right now, and when he does go, it’ll only be for a couple of weeks, so Abby needs to chill. He gives McNulty instructions for taking care of himself, then gives him another check. This time, McNulty accepts it, though he confirms that he won’t have to name the clinic after Carter.

Luka asks Weaver for some time off so he can “sort things out,” but she tells him to do that on his own time. He walks out of the ER anyway. Abby follows him but quickly shifts her attention to a more pressing matter: Eric is there. They go to Doc Magoo’s to catch up, and he admits that he ran away because he was afraid he would end up like their mother, and he didn’t want Abby to see him like that.

Eric is grateful to Abby for trying to help him. He’s worried that he let her down after she tried to protect him for so long. Abby promises that he could never let her down. Eric wishes he was a kid again because Abby was always there to take care of him. He worries about her because no one takes care of her. He feels like he abandoned her after everything she did for him and Maggie.

Eric apologizes, even though Abby says he doesn’t have to, and says he loves her. He’s doing better now, though he knows that might not last. He shows Abby a picture of his new “girlfriend,” a plane he bought. He sold pretty much everything he had to pay for it. He plans to do hunting and fishing charters in Wisconsin.

Susan goes back to Helen, who probably just has a virus. (If you feel like this plot was meaningless, you’re not alone. This is just setting up some stuff for the next episode.) Chen invites Susan to get dinner, though Susan wants to spend the evening alone. She finally addresses the stain on the sweater, which Chen claims was club soda. She’s a little offended that Susan thought she brought a semen-stained sweater to work. But when she’s alone in the lounge, Chen throws out the sweater.

Carter tells Pratt he wants to help him with any kind of trouble he or Leon might be facing. Pratt says he’s fine, but he and Carter both know he’s not. Carter thinks the cops will focus on Biz. If Leon were to disappear for a while, they probably wouldn’t go looking for him. Pratt says he tries to keep Leon out of trouble, but his friends keep pulling him into criminal activities, and Pratt can’t keep an eye on him 24/7. Carter tells him to stop blaming himself. After he leaves, Pratt asks Gallant to do him a favor.

Abby tells Carter that Eric showed up and seems to be doing great. He wants to take Abby to see his plane. Carter makes sure she’s not going to actually ride in the plane. Abby tells him not to go to Chechnya. Elizabeth does Aidan’s post-op examination and tells Romano about a minor complication. For the most part, Aidan will be fine, which means Romano and Jensen got lucky.

Gallant takes Leon to the bus station to send him to stay with Greg’s aunt. Leon is upset that Pratt won’t be coming to say goodbye. He thinks Pratt’s mad at him. Gallant promises he isn’t and insists that Leon get on the bus without talking to Pratt. So that’s it for Leon, too. At least he made things more interesting than Harkins did.

Back at County, Romano goes to the roof to tell Jensen that Aidan will be fine, and Jensen will do better next time. Jensen agrees, because he won’t go into the OR with Romano again. After he leaves, a helicopter flies over, startling Romano. He steps up to the edge of the roof, possibly thinking about jumping. He drops his surgical cap over the ledge instead.

Carter goes to McNulty’s clinic, but it’s closed up and no one’s answering the phone. A cop driving by asks if he needs help, and when Carter says McNulty might be sick, he helps Carter get inside. The whole place is empty. Carter’s confused, since he thought the clinic had been there for years. The cop says it was only open for a few weeks. McNulty could have been a scam artist the whole time, and Carter fell for the scam. Meanwhile, Pratt goes home to his now-quiet apartment, alone with his thoughts.

Thoughts: Fun fact: Heather DeLoach, who plays Helen, was Bee Girl.

Harkins was a waste of Leslie Bibb’s talents and a waste of a character. I guarantee we’ll all forget about her within the next three episodes.

It’s really out of character for Abby to not want Carter to go overseas. She was just saying in the last episode that he should use his privilege to help people. This is an excellent way to do that. And she’s definitely independent enough to be fine without Carter for a few weeks or months. I don’t get it.

I also don’t get Susan always thinking Abby should help Luka with his problems. That’s not Abby’s job. They broke up a long time ago and they both moved on. He’s not her responsibility anymore.

’00s music alert: Coldplay’s “Clocks”

September 28, 2021

ER 9.12, A Saint in the City: Men of the People

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

Thanks for stopping by and causing a fight, Millicent

Summary: Pratt is talking to the head of maintenance at County, trying to get Leon a new job. The boss is skeptical that Leon can work, since he has a cast on his hand from injuries sustained from his recent beating. Also, the boss hates doctors, since they’re so arrogant. Pratt pleads for Leon to get a chance, and the boss gives in.

In the ER, a woman named Jessie has just been brought in after a car accident. She’s asking for her husband, Tom, who’s having to be cut out of the car. There’s a problem with lighting in the ER, and just as Susan tells Jerry to call someone from engineering, they come back on. A woman also comes in, yelling that everything’s okay and no one should panic.

Weaver knows what she’s talking about – an alderman named John Bright is being brought in after falling off the stage where he was giving a speech. Weaver treats Bright like a VIP and tells him he doesn’t have to answer when Susan asks if he’s been drinking. He proudly says he’s in AA and just got his two-year chip. Weaver tells him he’s in the best hospital in Chicago. Of course, that’s when the lights go out again.

As Weaver rushes Carter and Pratt to get Jessie out of her trauma room so Bright can be brought in, Leon comes looking for Pratt. He happily tells Pratt he got the job in maintenance, which means the two of them will be working together. The lights go out again. What’s the point of this? Pratt tells Leon they’ll celebrate that night, but Leon has already been assigned to the late shift. He promises he can find the place where he’ll need to pick up his uniform by himself.

Bright’s assistant demands a fax number so her office can issue a press release. Bright knows the ER sees around 100,000 patients a year, so he appreciates all the attention Weaver and Susan are giving him. Susan determines that Bright has a ligament injury, and Weaver says she’ll call their top orthopedist. A guy in scrubs says they should get a tox screen first. He’s a journalist, and he wants to know if Bright is using drugs. Weaver kicks him out. “Have you ever heard of the First Amendment?” the journalist asks. “Have you ever heard of an awake colonoscopy?” she shoots back.

Luka arrives for a night shift as Carter’s leaving for something fancy, judging by the tux he’s wearing. Tom is coming in, and Carter asks Jerry to make sure he and Jessie get connected. He tells Susan he has to go to a fundraiser and present a check. He then tries to hand off a patient to her, a woman named Mrs. Hawkes who has a bad cough. Susan says she probably has the flu, and Carter should give her to Pratt just to bug him.

Abby’s going with Carter to the fundraiser, though fancy parties aren’t really her thing. She’s excited to get free food. She wonders what a canape is. Carter promises that next time, they’ll do something she wants to do. You know, something plebeian. Chuny gives him a wolf whistle as she passes by, and he jokingly threatens to circulate a petition about her harassment. I’m glad we’re all joking about this.

Sarah comes looking for Carter, knowing he wanted McNulty to come back in. He won’t take time off from his clinic to take care of his own health, even though he’s not managing his diabetes well. Tom comes in and Carter assures him that Jessie’s stable. Sarah wants Carter to talk to McNulty since he won’t listen to her about looking after his health. She’s afraid he’s eventually going to die. Carter has to rush off to take care of Jessie, who’s no longer stable, but he tells Sarah he’ll try to stop by and see McNulty at his clinic.

Pratt determines that Mrs. Hawkes has pneumonia and will need to be admitted to the ICU. He takes her kids, Martin and Rachel, to get a soda while Susan talks to her. Martin suggests that they call their brother, Doug, who’s 20. Mrs. Hawkes doesn’t want to stay in the hospital, but Susan insists that she’s too sick to leave. Mrs. Hawkes says they can call her aunt to come look after her kids. When Pratt mentions Doug, Mrs. Hawkes says she doesn’t want him around the kids.

Chuny grabs Pratt to help Carter with Jessie, who’s being brought back to the ER after crashing during a CT. Carter thinks Pratt missed something and thought she was stable when she wasn’t. Luka and Gallant are taking care of Tom, who needs surgery for internal bleeding. He asks to see Jessie first. Luka opens the door between their trauma rooms, but Carter tells him to close it. Jessie’s too far gone to save, and Luka volunteers to break the news to Tom so Carter can leave.

Weaver’s annoyed that the staff isn’t working faster to get Bright assessed and released. She tells Susan that he’s a good guy; he helped finance a domestic-abuse shelter. Susan informs her that Bright might not be so good after all – she found a sore on his penis that might be syphilis. Weaver says that if the test comes back positive, she’ll handle talking to him.

Luka tells Tom that Jessie’s brain was deprived of oxygen for too long, and she’s not going to wake up. He needs to go to surgery now. Tom doesn’t want to leave her in the ER to die alone, and Luka tells an impatient Romano that he’s not going to rush Tom. Romano says that if Luka doesn’t have Tom in the OR in the next ten minutes, he’ll take out Luka’s spleen instead.

Weaver and Bright talk about how hard it is for County to treat patients with such limited resources. Romano joins them and chastises Weaver for not getting Bright a private room. Bright says he wants to be with the people he serves so he can see what they experience. As Romano leaves, he quietly orders Weaver to get Bright a private room.

Weaver tells Bright about the sore Susan found. He already suspected he had syphilis. He’s only had one partner in the past year, so at least it’ll be easy to alert anyone who may also be infected. Unfortunately, Weaver has to report the case to the public health department, and it’ll go on Bright’s medical record. Since he has to release his records when he goes up for reelection, voters are going to find out. Bright promises that he and his partner will get treated, but he’d like privacy for both of them.

Someone called Doug after all, and though his siblings are big fans, he doesn’t come off as responsible or a good role model. His mother tells him to leave, suspecting he’s high. Doug says that Mrs. Hawkes gets drunk while the kids are around, so it wouldn’t be much worse for them to see him get high. Before Mrs. Hawkes can argue more, she starts coughing up blood. Pratt reveals to Susan that he called Doug. He was just trying to help. Susan says he can best help his patients by listening to them and honoring their wishes.

Weaver tries to intercept Bright’s lab work, which has already been sent for testing. She asks Jerry to cancel the order. Pratt apologizes to Susan for calling Doug; he thought he was doing the right thing. She chastises him for making a tough situation worse. But Mrs. Hawkes’ aunt is unable to take care of the kids, so Doug might be their only option. The doctors tell Doug that Mrs. Hawkes will be in the ICU for at least a week, and the kids need a place to stay. Doug is the only person who can step up, though he’s not exactly eager to do it.

Luka tries to convince Tom to go to the OR; he could die without surgery. Tom refuses to go until Jessie has died. Jessie’s heart monitor shows her flatlining, and Luka tells Tom that she’s gone. He finally agrees to go to surgery. But Luka has just removed one of the leads connecting her to the machine, and she’s still alive. Luka, no! That can’t be in the Hippocratic Oath!

Chuny brings Weaver Bright’s lab work, which confirms that he has syphilis. Weaver says she asked Jerry to cancel the order because the sample was mislabeled. Pratt is now tending to Jessie, which confuses Weaver, since Luka pronounced her dead an hour ago. She blasts Jerry for not canceling Bright’s lab order, like, don’t make him the fall guy in your crazy scheme.

Weaver asks Luka about Jessie, and he admits that he basically faked her death so Tom would go to surgery. Weaver is stunned and asks what will happen when Tom comes out of surgery and finds out his wife is still alive. Luka says he’ll call it a miracle. Weaver tells him he’s not acting in the best interest of his patient, but Luka argues that Tom is his patient, not Jessie. They get interrupted when paramedics bring in a nine-year-old boy named David who fell out of his bunk bed.

Abby’s enjoying herself at the fundraiser, which is for a $58 million music hall. She and Carter wonder what McNulty would be able to do for his clinic with $58 million. Millicent greets them, having forgotten that she’s met Abby before. Abby immediately sticks her foot in her mouth, asking what canapes are. Are they different from appetizers? Millicent is like, “John, please stop bringing dumb people into my orbit.” She wants Carter to take his father’s place on some board, as his father will be taking Millicent’s place. She thinks Carter needs to stop acting like a “disaffected youth” and start fulfilling his responsibilities to the family.

As Weaver and Luka examine David, who has some old bruises, Malik comes in looking for guidance on Jessie. Luka says she has a DNR and can’t be saved, so they shouldn’t bother to do anything for her. Weaver disagrees, wanting to keep treating her until Tom’s out of surgery and is able to make decisions for her care. Romano pulls her out of the trauma room to complain that Bright hasn’t been discharged after five hours in the ER. Weaver should be treating him as even more of a VIP than she already has been.

Back at the fundraiser, Abby tells Carter that his response to his grandmother was rude. Uh, I think it’s rude of her to dismiss his career as a hobby and expect him to drop it so their family can continue making a bunch of money. Carter tells her the family business is basically just showing up places and giving away money. If he worked for the family full-time, he’d be like “Prince Charles without the castle.” He warns Abby not to try to tell him what to do with his life.

Luka and Chuny tend to David, whose father is just now arriving. He tells Luka that David gets hurt all the time. It’s gotten worse since his mother left. Mr. Scott thinks his son just doesn’t pay attention. Luka, however, thinks Mr. Scott is abusing his son. Susan brings in Adele to help Doug figure out where Martin and Rachel should stay. Mrs. Hawkes’ chances aren’t good. Doug doesn’t think he can take them in, so the kids will probably end up in foster care. Pratt doesn’t like that sound of that, especially since the kids will most likely be split up.

Doug is overwhelmed and leaves. Pratt follows him and tries to convince him to take in his brother and sister. Doug knows his mother’s right about him not being responsible enough for that. Pratt thinks he’ll surprise himself with what he’ll be able to do for his siblings. Doug tells him that he never should have called. Everyone who’s judged him is right. “Make them wrong,” Pratt challenges, but Doug says he can’t.

As Weaver “fixes” the mislabeling problem with Bright’s sample, Carter and Abby leave the fundraiser, chatting awkwardly. He doesn’t appreciate her lecturing him about his family. He doesn’t want to be like his father, doing whatever Millicent wants so that rich people can get nice paintings and see pretty tile floors when they go to the symphony. Abby encourages him to change what the Carter Family Foundation does. He should find something he’s passionate about. Carter says he’s already passionate about his job.

Abby tells him that he shouldn’t be ashamed of being born into wealth. Carter claims he’s not, but since he drives a Jeep and has a two-bedroom apartment instead of a mansion, he’s not exactly embracing it. He wants everyone to think he’s just like them, a man of the people. Carter says he has a job that makes a difference. Abby thinks that’s great, but his money could make a big difference, too. Carter says the family’s money came from the coal market during the Great Depression. In the winter of 1933, when children froze to death, his family just got richer. Abby says there are still plenty of kids freezing to death.

Weaver discharges Bright, telling him that she’s taken care of keeping his diagnosis off of his medical record. She lies to Susan that he tested negative for syphilis. Luka has called security to keep Mr. Scott away from David; DCFS hasn’t come to assess the situation yet. Weaver doesn’t think Luka has done everything he should have to confirm his suspicions. She goes to see David, who says he and his father are actually really close. He admits that he didn’t fall out of bed – he jumped.

Carter goes by McNulty’s clinic, hoping to convince him to accept a more effective treatment for his diabetes. After all, he won’t be able to help others if he doesn’t take care of himself. McNulty doesn’t want judgment or help from a guy in a tux. Carter ignores him and writes him a check so he can get some newer and better equipment for the clinic. McNulty chalks up his interest to white liberal guilt and tears up the check. “I’m not here to make you feel better,” he says. Carter still wants to help, so McNulty tells him to sweep the floor.

Doug returns to the ER, having decided to take Pratt’s advice and try to disprove everyone’s judgment of him. He’s afraid he’ll let down his siblings, but Pratt encourages him to do his best. He apologizes to Susan for getting so involved in the case, but she’s not too upset about it. Pratt gets a call and leaves his shift early once again. Weaver complains, then tells Luka that David isn’t being abused. He hurts himself so Mr. Scott will stay home and spend time with him.

Elizabeth pops in with four minutes left in the episode to tell Luka that Tom is out of surgery. Okay, ‘bye, Elizabeth! Luka checks on Jessie and tells her that Tom will be okay, so she can let go now. In the lounge, Susan gives Weaver a baby gift, which is really sweet, except for the fact that Weaver lost the baby. The chances of miscarrying an embryo implanted through IVF are 30%, a fact Weaver is obviously keeping in mind so she won’t mourn too much.

Leon is at the police station, having been found in a possibly stolen car with a shotgun and some guys with criminal records. A cop assures Pratt that Leon didn’t commit any crimes, but since he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he got busted. He lets Pratt go see Leon as a favor, since the doctors at County have always been so good to the cops.

Leon tearfully tells Pratt that he just wanted to tell his so-called friends about his new job. Pratt breaks it to him that since he missed his first shift, he probably doesn’t have that job anymore. Also, Leon can’t get bail until the morning, so he’ll have to spend the night in lockup. Leon cries and begs Pratt not to leave, but Pratt doesn’t have a choice.

Thoughts: Bright is played by Bruce Weitz. Doug is played by Aaron Paul.

I love Weaver treating Bright like he’s the president while I had to look up what an alderman is. (Apparently it’s a Chicago thing. They’re basically the same as a city councilman.)

Weaver’s actions were obviously bad, but at least she didn’t try to secure funding first.

Abby’s right. Carter can’t complain that his family’s foundation doesn’t help enough people, then do nothing to change that. Like, if you feel bad that your family has too much money and others don’t have enough, maybe…do something?

’00s music alert: Jason Mraz’s “The Remedy,” which fittingly plays when Carter goes over to McNulty’s clinic, because Carter thinks he’s McNulty’s remedy.

July 27, 2021

ER 9.3, Insurrection: No, Really, Hospital Security Is a Joke

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

Is this why this guy was on “Oz”?

Summary: It’s another crazy day in the ER, made all the more fun by a homeless man who’s singing “how you doin’?” to people to the tune of “Rock Me Amadeus.” That would get old really fast. Weaver blames Susan for the backup in seeing patients, but Susan says she’s doing the best she can, and Weaver’s welcome to see if she can do better. The only thing they agree on is that Harkins needs to take How You Doin’ Guy outside. Weaver says she’ll see if another hospital can take some of their overflow patients.

Things are so busy that Abby has to call her brother, Eric, to cancel their lunch plans. She tells him to page her and they’ll reschedule for dinner. Meanwhile, Carter is trying to deal with a patient who insists Carter is trying to kill him. Security is taking their sweet time coming to help. Apparently they’ve been spending most of their time ticketing staff members’ cars. As Susan and Carter discuss how to get the stickers off, then how to get blood out of suede, Carter’s patient wrecks his exam room. The doctors just ignore him. How You Doin’ Guy comes up and asks Susan how she’s doin’. “Groovy,” she replies.

Elsewhere, Pratt tries to impress Chen by showing her an x-ray from a patient who got a vibrator stuck inside him – a vibrator that’s still vibrating. Chen isn’t moved. She once had a patient who got a bowling pin stuck inside him. A patient named Mr. Mullen complains to Pratt that he’s in a lot of pain from a slipped disc and needs a painkiller shot. Like Chen, Pratt isn’t moved. Mullen comes in all the time asking for Demerol, so Pratt is sure he’s just a drug-seeker.

The head of security, I guess, comes to the ER to basically tell Susan and Weaver to stop calling. They’re understaffed and have had a bunch of turnover. Plus, the guys who stay only get $10 an hour. That sounds like a you problem, security guy. You’re not providing the service you’re supposed to provide. Fix it. Carter tells Pratt to get rid of Mullen as he and Harkins take on a new patient, a young prostitute who won’t give her name (it’s Tina. I don’t play this nameless game). A john ran her over with his car.

Susan, Abby, and Gallant tend to a man named Phillip who fell out of bed in his long-term-care home and hurt his hip. This is pretty impressive since he has end-stage Huntington’s and isn’t really mobile. Susan tells Abby that Luka’s been asking for her; she was supposed to come assist him 45 minutes ago. Abby’s day is so busy that she’s an hour and 45 minutes behind on her tasks. Susan comments that this will just make Luka more upset than he already was. Abby’s clueless about the fact that he’s unhappy that she’s dating Carter.

Carter asks Abby to get Tina a detox bed. She’s only 12, but on top of being a prostitute, she’s also addicted to cocaine. Carter suggests that he, Abby, and Eric all go out for dinner that night. Pratt observes while Harkins tries to remove the vibrator from the guy who decided to see how far he could insert it. Poor Harkins.

Abby finally joins Luka, who’s gone ahead with whatever she was supposed to help him with. His patient tried to vacuum out her period. You can…do that? Well, you shouldn’t – it could lead to very serious complications. The patient sees this as a blow against the patriarchy. I’m surprised she agreed to be treated by a male doctor. Abby and Luka keep their conversation with each other short and professional.

Stella is back, and Gallant deals with her again while a nurse named Kathy gets annoyed with Luka. It’s pretty clear that they slept together and she’s not happy with the way things ended. Abby asks Luka if he’s okay, but I don’t think he wants to tell her how he feels about her moving on with a guy he doesn’t really like.

Carter tells Tina that she has an abscess thanks to an STD. Tina finally tells him her name, and he advises her to stop smoking crack if she wants to live past 12. He offers to get her a detox bed, but Tina knows that won’t fix her whole life. Carter thinks she should start with the first step. He also threatens to keep all the money she came in with until she agrees to treatment. Okay, that can’t be legal. Tina says Carter doesn’t know what life is like for her, but he says it’s not too late for her to turn things around and have a normal life.

Carter ignores a man trying to get his attention so he can tell Gallant to get rid of Stella again. She needs to stop coming to the ER like Gallant is her personal doctor. Carter finally pays attention to the man, who he realizes is Eric. In the waiting room, Mullen is getting agitated, since he’s been waiting four hours to be seen. He’s especially mad when Abby ditches him to greet Eric. Carter tells Mullen that Pratt is just concerned that he’s building up a tolerance to Demerol.

Eric asks if the ER is like this every day. Mullen says that, yes, he’s in pain every day, and yes, every time he comes in, the doctors don’t want to help him. He thinks that if he came in wearing a suit and tie, he’d get treated sooner. Pratt gives him a prescription and tells him to leave, but Mullen doesn’t want his offer of Vicodin. He yells that the doctors must think they’re heroes, but they’re not doing anything or helping anyone. He kicks over a row of seats, knocking some poor injured man to the ground. Carter tells Mullen to get out.

Abby takes Eric to the lounge, where they discuss Maggie, who’s doing well. She got a dog with a vitamin deficiency that requires a special diet. Maggie cooks him bacon and eggs every morning. Eric’s hopeful that this time, Maggie will stay stable. He apologizes for not showing up for her last crisis, but Abby forgives him. As she gets summoned back to work, she tries to make dinner plans with Eric, but he doesn’t have much time in Chicago. He’s been reassigned and has to report to his new Air Force base in the morning.

Abby interrupts the conversation to find and deliver a baggie of fingertips to Chen. (Two neighbors tried to trim their hedges by holding a lawn mower in the air.) Unfortunately, the tips are all mixed together in the same bag. As a guy who’s probably Tina’s pimp arrives and demands her clothes, Eric tells Abby that he’s now going to be stationed in Nebraska, which will mean he’s closer to both Abby and Maggie. With all the craziness Abby is dealing with during this whole conversation, answering questions from staff and patients, she tells Eric her job is similar to his as an air-traffic controller. He offers to wait for her somewhere else so she can get back to work.

Phillip’s mother, Mrs. Burke, has arrived, feeling horrible that the home she placed him in didn’t give him high-quality care. Chen and Pratt sort fingertips while Abby searches for Eric. She questions Pratt’s decision to give one guy an extra thumb. Carter joins them, and Chen says they’re playing a match game. “Pratt’s having a little trouble fingering it out,” Abby quips. She’s so proud of herself!

Carter thinks Tina’s been admitted to detox, but Abby hasn’t gotten her a bed yet. Frank tells them that she left with some guy. Abby apologizes for not realizing that the guy with Tina shouldn’t have been there. Thanks to security’s shortcomings, people can just wander around the ER and do whatever they want. Suddenly, Frank realizes that something’s going on nearby, and he quietly draws Carter’s attention to it.

Mullen has returned and grabbed Chen. He’s holding a gun to her head to try to force Pratt to give him a shot of Demerol. Pratt calmly tells everyone in the exam area to stay still. He sends Abby to the drug lock-up to get Demerol. As she gets it, she whispers to a clueless Harkins to call the police. Mullen complains again that no one at the hospital cares, but Pratt says they do now. Yeah, and it only took a gun held to a doctor’s head to do the job.

Mullen boasts that he’s the one in charge now. Usually the doctors get to decide who’s in pain and who isn’t, but today, he gets to make the decisions. Carter looks on helplessly as Mullen points his gun at Abby, asking to see the label on the bottle she’s brought back. Eric comes in, worried about his sister, and Abby tells him to stay back. Carter tries to get Mullen to put down the gun, but he refuses.

As Abby injects Mullen, he asks Pratt why he wanted to be a doctor. Pratt admits that it was partly for the money; the rest is complicated. Mullen can’t believe he really wanted to help people. Or maybe all the doctors there did, but then they realized there are too many people to help. Mullen lets Chen go, creepily kisses Abby on the temple, thanks her, and heads out. He turns back, pointing his gun at Pratt, and yells at him to remember it for next time. Then he just walks out of the ER.

…But he doesn’t get far, because Abby gave him a ton of Demerol and knocked him out. Weaver tells Gallant to get him a bed (with restraints) and call psych. We’ll see if they get there faster than security. Carter thinks Abby should take a break, but she says she’s fine. He asks Weaver about the metal detectors that were once supposed to be set up in the ER. She tells him there’s a security plan in the works.

Eric checks on Abby, wondering how she can keep working in a place like this. Maybe she does this because she’s self-destructive. Abby insists that she’s happier than she’s been in a long time. He asks about her previous plan to go to med school, but she doesn’t have time to chat. (Besides, going to med school doesn’t guarantee her safety, especially if she ends up working at County again.) She tells him she won’t have time for dinner and wishes him a safe trip.

In the lounge, Carter is fighting with Weaver about how money shouldn’t be an excuse for lax security. Metal detectors were supposed to be installed two years ago, so she can’t blame recent budget cuts for the fact that they’re not there. Weaver notes that metal detectors have to be manned, which means hiring people, which means more money.

Carter demands more security stat. Weaver tells him to just focus on clearing the board, but Carter yells that he can’t do that. They’re so busy that he barely had two minutes to spend with a 12-year-old prostitute/crack addict. Her pimp was able to just walk in and leave with her. Weaver tries again to make excuses, but Carter shouts that she needs to fix this. After he storms off, Weaver weakly tells the rest of the staff to just treat their patients.

Pratt praises Carter for at least trying to do something. Carter digs out the Yellow Pages and starts looking for a security company so he can order metal detectors. Meanwhile, Susan fills Elizabeth in on what happened. I’m sure Elizabeth wishes she’d stayed in England. Phillip is declining, and he’ll need to be placed on a ventilator so he can breathe. Mrs. Burke knows that once he’s intubated, he’ll never come off the machine.

Carter orders metal detectors, then tells Gallant again to get rid of Stella. Weaver hangs up the phone and chastises him for ordering six detectors instead of letting the procurement department handle things. This isn’t Carter’s job, and he doesn’t want it. He argues that they shouldn’t have to risk their lives to work there. Weaver gets that, but they have to be responsible about how they handle big purchases. Carter says the irresponsible thing was letting this go on for so long.

Weaver tells him that she’s been working on this for months while Carter just saw patients. He can’t get involved now. Carter announces that he’s going to the ambulance bay to wait for the detectors arrive. After a few moments, Abby goes to join him. Frank follows next, along with some nurses. Weaver tries to reason with Luka, who says they have patients to care for, but he thinks Carter’s right. He joins the walk-out, asking Carter if he has a plan. Carter smiles a little and says no. Yeah, you’re adorable and this is a hilarious situation.

Pratt goes to get a snack from a vending machine in a quiet hallway and finds Chen there, trying to calm herself. He offers to buy her M&Ms and makes small talk with her, for once trying to do more than just flirt with her. He’s sorry that Chen got dragged into a dangerous situation. Pratt didn’t want to give drugs to an addict, but he would never do anything to put Chen’s life at risk. She’s his future love slave. Ew. He was doing well until then.

Pratt says he gets a little punchy when he’s scared, but Chen thinks she has more reason to be scared, since she almost “had a cap busted in [her] head.” Pratt laughs at her, as he should. He tries to hug her, and though she resists, she eventually lets him comfort her. When she feels better, she asks for her M&Ms. Then they notice through the window that people are standing in the ambulance bay and wonder if there’s been an evacuation.

Abby thinks Carter should address the people who have walked out with them. When Pratt and Chen join them and ask what’s going on, Abby tells them to “talk to Norma Rae.” Carter says they’re not working until they have more secure conditions. Weaver comes outside and announces that anyone who’s not on a scheduled break is in violation of their work contract and in danger of being fired. Carter notes that the contract promises to provide them with a safe working environment. Weaver replies that they’re already taking steps to make sure what happened today doesn’t happen again.

Luka reminds Weaver that she always says they’re working on something, but the staff never sees any changes. Weaver doesn’t think this is the best way to try to solve the problem. An ambulance arrives and Gallant starts to bring the patient into the ER, but Carter yells at him not to. Weaver points out that Gallant is a student; he can’t be fired, but he can be failed. Carter stares Gallant down, daring him to cross the picket line. Gallant backs down and joins the walk-out.

Susan is still working, and she tells Mrs. Burke it’ll be a while until they can get Phillip a bed. Mrs. Burke tells her that he was an opera singer before he got sick. She prayed that he wouldn’t develop Huntington’s, and she thought her prayers had been answered, since he got to age 29 without developing any symptoms. But the disease took everything from him, including his voice.

Susan goes outside, but just to ask Abby for more lab work for Phillip. She acknowledges the walk-out but wants to keep treating patients. Carter thinks the walk-out will force people to pay attention, which will allow them to get back to their patients. As an opera song plays, Mrs. Burke watches Phillip sleep. Carter argues with Susan about how they should handle the sucky healthcare system. He can’t put up with it anymore.

Mrs. Burke looks at Phillip’s monitors as Carter reminds Susan that a staff member was murdered on duty and no one did anything about security. (I would argue that the problem goes all the way back to Mark’s assault.) Carter just wants to protect everyone who comes into the hospital. It’s way too easy to get a knife or gun through the doors. Mrs. Burke turns off Phillip’s ventilator and gives him a little embrace.

Carter and Susan keep arguing about the best way to deal with the situation. Carter says they have to make a move today; otherwise, there’s no point in trying. Susan says she’s more focused on today’s patients than tomorrow’s. She heads back inside, and Abby gets up to follow her. She turns toward Carter first, and he nods, as if she needs his permission to do her job. Susan returns to Phillip’s trauma room and realizes that Mrs. Burke has turned off the ventilator. Susan turns it back on without saying a word. Phillip has coded, and when Abby comes in, both women pretend it happened naturally.

The strikers have probably been outside for hours, since it’s night now. Carter still has no plans or any idea what’s going to happen. Weaver pulls him aside to tell him that the metal detectors will be arriving soon, and they’re working on hiring a new security firm. They’ll also be putting some security measures in the waiting room.

Carter thanks her for her work, but the only thanks she wants is a clear board. She warns that Carter will probably have to face a disciplinary board. Also, since they need money for the new measures, they’ll have to either fire three senior nurses or cancel lab and x-ray services after 10 p.m. Carter gets to make the decision, since he forced the move. He chooses to fire the nurses, and Weaver takes it a step further by telling him to choose who has to go. Carter doesn’t share these details with the strikers, just letting them know a deal has been reached.

Chen wants to go back to work, which is pretty amazing. She sends Pratt home, since his shift ended hours ago. Romano appears just long enough to yell at Carter for playing Spartacus and leaving the ER short-handed. Carter laughs because a guy who had his arm reattached made a joke using the word “hand.” Yeah, you definitely want to laugh at Romano. That’s always a good move. Romano’s annoyed that he had to take over scut work, and he doesn’t want Carter to pull a stunt like this again.

Harkins apologizes to Carter for not joining the walk-out – Weaver cornered her and gave her a speech about what it means to be a doctor. Carter tells her she’ll have to figure that out herself. Leon arrives, saying he’s looking for a doctor, and Carter sends him to the waiting room. Gallant is still dealing with Stella, by the way. Leon comes back to the admit desk, again asking for a doctor, so Frank calls for security. Yeah, because the guys who didn’t show up when there was a hostage situation are definitely going to handle Leon, who’s doing nothing wrong.

Gallant tries to talk to Leon, who’s getting more agitated. A couple of security guards who decided to finally do their job today grab Leon and wrestle him to the floor as he asks for someone named G. Gallant eventually gets Leon to say that he’s looking for Pratt. Carter’s shift was supposed to be over hours ago, but he’s going to honor Weaver’s wishes and stay until he clears the board. Harkins has become his pet student, so I think she’s staying as well. “So you’ve decided to die here,” Susan quips to Carter. Not a great joke for a guy who did almost literally die on the job a couple years earlier.

Abby, Chen, and Susan decide to go out and have some fun. Well, really, the other two are going to force Abby to go out with them. Abby again looks at Carter like she needs him to approve of her plans. Susan calls her out on it this time. She gets Phillip’s doctor on the phone and lets him know that Phillip was treated in the ER but died. She’s going to bypass the coroner and have the body released to the mortuary. Looks like Mrs. Burke’s secret is safe with Susan.

Gallant takes Leon home, learning along the way that Leon moved in with Pratt and his mother when he was nine. Leon isn’t sure what happened to his family, and he doesn’t care – Pratt is his family. Pratt is annoyed that Leon went out by himself and got lost. He barely thanks Gallant for making sure Leon got home safely.

How You Doin’ Guy is back in the ER. Can’t security tackle him, too? The metal detectors arrive, and Frank lets Carter sign for them. How You Doin’ Guy is the first to walk through one. At a club, Abby and Susan talk about how Susan’s having trouble finding a nice guy to date. She got stood up for tonight, but Abby thinks the guy would have turned out to be boring anyway. A waitress brings Susan a drink and asks if Abby wants one, but Abby says no. Chen, meanwhile, is crowd-surfing. It’s a strange way to deal with the trauma of the day, but it makes her happy.

Thoughts: Mrs. Burke is played by Shirley Knight. Eric is played by Tom Everett Scott.

Abby calling Carter “Norma Rae” is both accurate and an inside joke, since Norma Rae was played by Sally Field.

This is the first time I can see Pratt’s leadership potential. I’m sure Carter wanted to swoop in and deal with Mullen, but I think he was right to mostly let Pratt handle things. Otherwise, Mullen might have felt outnumbered and done something really stupid.

I also appreciate Carter taking a stand, but this wasn’t the way to do it. This just punished the patients. Forcing Gallant to strike was also inappropriate. And it would have been nice if Carter had shown more concern for Chen, his longtime friend, after she had a gun put to her head. He made it about the principle of the matter rather than the fact that people he knew and cared about were traumatized.

May 11, 2021

ER 8.14, A Simple Twist of Fate: Did You Learn Your Lesson?

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

This looks like something out of “The X-Files”

Summary: Susan’s asleep – drink! Lydia wakes her up in the lounge, where she was just going to rest her eyes for a little while. That was hours ago, and now she just has a few more hours until she has to be back at work. Weaver wants her help now with an animal attack, since Mark is in the pediatric ICU with Ella. Susan is eager to get updates on Ella’s condition, though it doesn’t seem to have changed.

At the admit desk, Weaver and Frank are fighting about bagels. A pharmaceutical company has brought over a bunch of food and branded products to try to get the hospital to use their drugs. Weaver doesn’t like how the company will just add the marketing costs on to their drug prices, and elderly patients will be the ones paying the jacked-up amounts. Frank is willing to accept the consequences. Weaver gives Susan an update on Ella, then puts her to work. Susan goes for a bagel, but Weaver guilts her into giving it up.

Up in the pediatric ICU, a doctor is ready to extubate Ella and see if she’ll breathe on her own. Mark and Elizabeth lend a hand with what is obviously a doll. After a tense few moments, Ella wakes up and starts breathing. Joyce is still hiding out from Brian, waiting for him to head out for the day before she leaves Abby’s apartment. She’s going to visit him at his school later that day (hoping he won’t get angry while he’s with his study group) to tell him things need to change.

Abby is firm with her: If he won’t commit to changing, Joyce has to leave him. She tells Joyce she’s free to stay in the apartment while Abby’s at work. Joyce hopes the group therapy Abby has recommended will actually help, since Brian wouldn’t continue counseling sessions the last time they tried. She thinks that if Brian knows she’s serious about leaving, he’ll change. Abby leaves for work, passing Brian’s apartment and trying to avoid him. Brian asks if she’s seen Joyce, and Abby pretends she hasn’t.

Mark lets Susan know that Ella’s doing really well. In fact, if she doesn’t have any seizures in the next 48 hours, they’ll know she’s okay. Paramedics bring in the animal attack victim, who was bitten by a sloth. Wow, embarrassing. Dude, you got attacked by the laziest animal in the world. Maybe you should lie and tell people it was a tiger. Chen spots Mark heading back to the pediatric ICU and tells him she didn’t file the mandatory paperwork reporting Ella’s drug overdose. Mark says he’ll take care of it.

Eleanor is still by Mickey’s side as he gets ready to start chemo again. He doesn’t have a lot of options, other than medications he didn’t receive last time. Eleanor worries that he’s being experimented on. Carter tells her it’s more about luck. He advises Eleanor to leave and get some rest, but Eleanor doesn’t want to leave Mickey alone while he gets his treatments.

Susan tends to a woman named Ginger who accidentally swallowed a ring. Okay, let’s be more specific: She was sucking a guy’s fingers and swallowed the ring. Even more specifically: It’s the guy’s wedding ring, and Ginger isn’t his wife. Susan says Ginger will just pass the ring in the next few days, but the guy would like to get the ring back before his wife notices it’s missing. Susan suggests an endoscopy, but Ginger objects even before she knows that it involves having a tube shoved down her throat.

Yosh tells Susan he’s sick and heading home. Frank is also sick. Susan joins Abby to help with a patient, but Abby gets called away to take a call from Joyce. She accidentally locked herself out of Abby’s apartment and is worried that she won’t get back in without Brian finding out she’s there. Abby tells her to come to County and get her key.

Elizabeth gives Ella a bottle as Kit tells Mark that Rachel’s on the phone for him. Elizabeth asks if Rachel’s been charged with anything. When Mark says no, Elizabeth figures out that he didn’t tell the police about the drugs. Mark’s excuse is that he wasn’t the attending physician at the time, so it’s not his responsibility. Elizabeth doesn’t think Rachel deserves any special treatment – she was in possession of Ecstasy and a baby consumed it. It’s a crime. Mark doesn’t think that having Rachel arrested is a solution here. Elizabeth wants him to do something, anything, to deal with the problem he’s been avoiding for months. He hasn’t even contacted Jen yet.

Frank is too sick to keep working, which leaves Susan out one desk clerk and four nurses. Frank says he’s called in people to fill in for the sick employees who, coincidentally, all ate the food from the drug company. Chen realizes she’s next up for illness. Frank tells her he’ll add her name to a class-action suit. Abby goes home to get Joyce and discovers that Brian found her first and beat her up. Joyce doesn’t want to go to the hospital, but Abby can tell just by looking at her that her cheekbone is broken.

Susan treats a man who was impaled by a falling icicle. Weaver comes in to tell Susan she’s sick and has to go home. Oh, Weaver. You couldn’t resist the lure of the bagels, could you? I get it. Carter isn’t sure the person starting Mickey’s treatments is qualified, but Babcock reminds him that County is a teaching hospital. The person should probably be supervised, though. Mickey starts coughing up blood, but it’s not from anything the inexperienced doctor did. While Carter and Babcock discuss options, Eleanor runs out.

Carter follows her and reminds her that he’s only helping with Mickey’s case because she asked him to. Eleanor struggles to say she couldn’t handle seeing Mickey in so much pain. Carter asks what she expected. This is just what she did with Bobby – she bailed when she couldn’t handle watching him suffer, and now she’s leaving Mickey alone when he needs support the most.

Paramedics bring in a girl named Ariel who started wheezing while eating alone at a buffet. Mark has decided to continue avoiding his problems by working for a few hours. Ariel was eating shrimp and lobster, so it’s pretty obvious that she triggered an unknown allergy. As Mark gives drug orders, he suddenly finds himself unable to say the name of a medication. Susan is concerned.

Abby takes care of Joyce, who keeps making excuses for her and Brian’s explosive relationship. She claims that 95% of the time, he’s awesome. She didn’t get a chance to tell him he needs to get help, so Abby thinks she can assume that Brian isn’t going to change. While Elizabeth is on the phone, Rachel slips in to see her sister. Elizabeth manages to not blow up at her, but she tells Rachel that if she really wants to make things better, she can move out. Rachel doesn’t try to fight her.

The ER is started to fill up, and Susan’s the highest-ranking person on shift, so she has a lot to keep an eye on. The fill-in desk clerk is someone from accounting, which probably isn’t the best fit, but oh, well. Rachel tells Mark that Jen is going to buy her a ticket back to St. Louis, but she’ll need a ride to the airport. Mark tells her no one wants her to leave Chicago; she just needs to give Elizabeth some space. Rachel tells him that Elizabeth told her straight out to leave the house. Mark promises to talk to her, but Rachel is willing to go, since Elizabeth doesn’t want her there.

While trying to convince Rachel to be patient, Mark bites his tongue hard enough to make it bleed. He sends Rachel home so they can talk more that night. Meanwhile, Susan talks to Ariel’s mother and stepfather, who tell her that Ariel has put on some weight recently and is eating a lot. Susan offers to have her talk to a nutritionist.

She notices Mark bleeding and tells him to stick his tongue out for her to examine. His tongue goes to the side, even though he thinks he’s sticking it out straight. He and Susan both realize that that may be a problem. Mark goes to the bathroom and studies his face in the mirror, trying to determine if there’s anything else he should worry about. After splashing some water on his face, he bangs his head against the paper-towel dispenser a couple of times. Yeah, that’ll help.

Luka’s annoyed that he just got off an airplane, he’s in to work on his day off, and Susan doesn’t have anything in the ER under control. Susan is very Weaver-ish toward him. Abby welcomes Luka back from his work with Doctors Without Borders and says she was expecting a postcard while he was gone. He tells her she should get email. Aww, 2002, you cutie. Anyway, the two of them are back to being friendly, like they never had a horrible breakup.

Susan gives Mark a quick neuro exam and thinks he’s fine. Mark disagrees, guessing that his tumor is back. She tells him he should get an MRI if he’s really worried, but this could be from stress over Ella, or just inflammation from his treatments. Mark blows her off and goes to treat a new patient, a little boy who got burns from an airbag after a car accident. Mark’s immediately angry that his father let him sit in the front seat.

The writers bring back that early-series plot about substitute nurses who don’t have the same work ethic as the regular ER nurses, this time with Abby filling Carol’s role. Brian shows up and demands to see Joyce; he knows she spent the night at Abby’s and came here with her. He claims that Joyce tried to hit him with a baseball bat. Abby tells him that Joyce is speaking to the police, so if he really wants to see her, they can go right now. That scares him off.

Elizabeth comes down to the ER to tell Mark that Ella’s neurological scans are all fine. She’s annoyed that he’s working instead of staying with their daughter. She announces that she’s going to go home to shower and change her clothes. Mark replies that the “evil daughter” is there, so she should beware. He’s upset that Elizabeth told Rachel to leave. Elizabeth asks what it will take for Mark to finally realize that this is an impossible living situation.

Mark says he won’t choose between his daughters, but Elizabeth tells him she’s choosing for him. He asks what message it sends to Rachel if he lets Elizabeth send her away. Elizabeth thinks she’ll realize that she has to grow up and take responsibility, that her actions have consequences. Mark thinks Rachel has learned that already – she’ll never do anything to harm Ella again. Elizabeth hopes he’s right, because as long as Rachel is living in their house, Elizabeth and Ella won’t be.

Joyce won’t talk to the cops and takes back her story that Brian hurt her. They can’t find him, so Abby gives them a couple of places to look. She tells Joyce that Brian came back the hospital looking for her. Abby and Luka want to find Joyce a safe place to stay, but Joyce wants to go home. Abby asks what will happen in the future of Joyce and Brian have kids. Does Joyce want him to hurt children, too? She needs to wake up and see that this is her chance to get away. If she goes back to Brian, she’s sending the message that what he does to her is okay.

Carter catches up with his mother at the family’s mansion. Eleanor has made arrangements to go to Cape Cod for a little while. Carter tells her that kids get over stuff, and if she goes back to the hospital right now, Mickey will forget that she abandoned him. Eleanor thinks Carter was right about her getting too involved, but he thinks he was wrong about that.

Eleanor points out a tree in the yard where Carter and Bobby would built a fort and play Tarzan and Cheetah. Bobby pushed Carter out once, but Carter didn’t rat out his brother. Eleanor never really thought about how Bobby’s death affected Carter. In fact, she never spent much time as Carter’s mother at all. Carter asks if she has time now.

She tells him she doesn’t want to betray another little boy. Bobby believed her when she told him he would get better, but he didn’t. Carter says Bobby was just pretending. He didn’t want Eleanor to be sad. He made Carter promise to make their mother happy. They hug, and Eleanor tells Carter she loves him, something I doubt he heard much, if at all, when he was growing up.

Abby’s back at home, talking to Joyce on the phone from wherever Joyce is spending the night. She buzzes up a pizza delivery guy, but the person who comes to her door is Brian. He acts apologetic and admits he needs help. He just wants to talk to Joyce, even if she won’t forgive him. Abby refuses to tell him where Joyce is. Brian starts getting aggressive, saying he won’t let Abby take his wife away from him. She tells him to leave or she’ll call the police. As soon as he’s gone, she locks the door. When he knocks again, Abby calls 911, then, for some reason, opens the door (with the chain on). Brian kicks it in.

Sometime later, Abby wakes up alone in her apartment, her face bloody. She locks the door again, then locks herself in the bathroom. Back at County, Susan talks to Ariel about how she needs to eat better. Ariel is fine being overweight, and though Susan says it’s important for her to be comfortable with her body, gaining a lot of weight in a short amount of time could lead to health problems. Plus, she’ll be in high school soon, and she’ll want to attract boys. Susan, come on. Ariel says she hates boys and doesn’t ever want them to touch her.

Susan starts to figure out that Ariel’s stepfather is doing something horrible to her, but then we abandon that plot so Susan can help Luka take care of Abby. Luka doesn’t like that Brian knows where Abby lives. He nicely looks away while Susan and Connie help Abby put on a gown. He wants to give her morphine, since she may have a broken nose, but Abby doesn’t want any narcotics. Susan notices a bruise on Abby’s thigh and wonders if Brian raped her. Luka, unlike Brian, is able to hide his rage.

Elizabeth returns to County, where Mark is sitting with Ella. He wants to talk about Rachel, but Elizabeth has had enough of thinking about her for the day. Susan gives Abby a rape exam but doesn’t find any signs that she was assaulted. Other than her nose, she’s fine, at least physically. She doesn’t seem to regret stepping in to help Joyce. Susan offers to let Abby stay with her until Brian’s in police custody, and it takes Abby a while to accept her help.

Susan tells Luka that Abby’s okay, then lets him go home. Things are quiet again and the admit desk isn’t a disaster area. That’s thanks to Jerry, who apparently retired but now wants to come back to work. Unfortunately, he snagged a bagel and some cream cheese, so he’s probably not going to want to be at work much longer.

Luka tracks Brian down at a bar Abby said he frequents and gives him a taste of his own medicine. Brian still blames Abby for taking away Joyce, but Luka says Brian did that himself. Brian promises to move out of the building and never come near Abby again. Luka makes it clear that if he ever touches Abby again, Luka will finish him off.

Back at County, Carter and Eleanor both sit with Mickey while he undergoes whatever it was he was supposed to undergo when he started coughing up blood. It’s tough for Eleanor, but Carter looks proud of her. Meanwhile, Mark gets an MRI.

Thoughts: I think at this point it was pretty common knowledge that this was Anthony Edwards’ last season, so no one was too surprised when Mark’s tumor came back. It’s hard to write out a character married to another character without either sending them both away or killing one off.

I like that Rachel basically accepts that there will be consequences for her actions and seems willing to face them. When Elizabeth tells her to move out, all Rachel says is that she’ll have to call Jen. She doesn’t make excuses or beg to stay. I think she genuinely doesn’t want to make things harder for Elizabeth.

I vaguely remember reading about a woman who diagnosed her own brain tumor after watching this episode and realizing she had the same tongue problem as Mark. Who says TV isn’t educational?

Abby cracking the door open for Brian makes no sense. She knew how dangerous he was. It seems out of character for her.

This episode should have been a springboard for Abby and Luka to get back together. Unfortunately, it’s not, and we end up having to endure a bunch of crap instead.

May 19, 2020

ER 6.7, Humpty Dumpty: Things Went a Lot Better the Last Time Carter Was in Charge

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

Oh, ELIZABETH

Summary: Mark is playing Tetris at 5:30 in the morning, unable to sleep because he’s feeling stressed about his father coming to visit. He’s arriving that afternoon and staying through Thanksgiving. At County, Haleh wakes Benton up in the on-call room so he can help with a trauma. A church choir in town for a gospel festival was in a bus accident. Carter informs Benton that he’s the triage officer today, having requested more responsibility as a senior resident. In other words, he’s pretty much running the ER, which means he can tell Benton what to do. Benton checks to make sure he’s actually awake and not having a nightmare.

Carter goes to another trauma room to check on Cleo, who calls him John, which just…sounds weird. He bugs Lucy about arriving late in between second-guessing his colleagues’ decisions. He gets knocked off his high horse by a little boy who needs someone to take him to the bathroom. With no one else around to do the job, Carter escorts the boy himself.

Carol has reached the stage of her pregnancy where she can’t really do anything, so she’s been assigned to help out at the front desk. She’s a little bit of a diva about it, asking people to do stuff for her. Luka was sent away when Lawrence was hired, but now that Lawrence has been let go, Luka’s back. Yay! Elizabeth checks in on Benton while he’s operating, and he asks her for some time off to attend his custody trial. He agrees to work other shifts to make up the time. There’s a big car accident somewhere, and Benton is asked to go to the scene to take care of people. Elizabeth says she’ll go instead.

Romano holds a staff meeting, which Carter tags along to with Mark. Weaver told him he couldn’t come, but Mark didn’t know that, so, as Weaver notes, Carter played Mommy against Daddy. Romano wants Carter out, so Mark asks if he wants the staff to think they’re just there to serve him without knowing what goes on behind the scenes. Romano has no problem with that. But he admires Carter’s little trick to get admitted to the meeting, so he can stay.

A teen named Chad Kottmeier is brought in by his mom, who’s sure his behavior has changed because he’s using drugs. Lucy doesn’t want to give him a drug test when he denies using, so Mrs. Kottmeier asks for someone with more seniority. Cleo steps in and asks Chad directly if he objects to being tested. Chad gives in, mostly just wanting his mom to shut up. Outside the room, Lucy calls Cleo on questioning her decision. Cleo advises her to take the path of least resistance more often. Lucy tells her to take the case herself.

A woman comes in with a gunshot wound, having been accidentally shot by her husband when he tried to scare her to stop her hiccups. Carter wants the case, but Weaver tells him to do something administrative instead. He has to review charts from the past 72 hours and call anyone who wasn’t given the appropriate antibiotics. Then he can check the hospital’s compliance on TB mask fitting. Carter now resents asking for more administrative experience.

Elizabeth arrives at the scene of the huge accident and starts triaging patients. One guy, Dean, is stuck in his car. Dave asks Carol to order a test for him, but she says she’s just answering phones. Cleo tells Lucy she understands how hard it is to be a fourth-year med student; she feels comfortable enough to fly solo, but she’s not allowed to yet. She sends Lucy to check out the rest of the choir members who haven’t been seen yet. Dave calls Carol from a phone booth to ask her to order his test. Heh.

A detective named Cruson asks Elizabeth if there was a passenger in Dean’s car, which he’s finally been removed from. In truth, it’s not Dean’s car – he carjacked the real owner. Dean won’t answer the detective’s questions, and he’s bleeding from his carotid artery, so Elizabeth is more concerned with saving him than helping the police. Cruson is desperate for information, so Elizabeth tells Dean she’ll let him bleed to death if he doesn’t tell her where the carjacking victim is. Dean says she’s in Lincoln Park. Pam the paramedic, who’s listening in, is like, “I do NOT get paid enough to deal with this kind of thing.”

Elizabeth delivers Dean to County in handcuffs, which aren’t really necessary, since his massive carotid bleeding is going to keep him from doing anything threatening. A nurse from the jail ward comes to the ER to ask Carol to visit Meg; she had her baby and wants to see Carol. Carter tries to invite himself to join Elizabeth and Benton in treating Dean, but Haleh sends him to do the TB-mask testing instead.

Benton tells the officer with Dean to take off his handcuffs so they can roll him over and check him for more injuries. The cop refuses so Benton tells Lily to get some bolt-cutters. His bluff successfully called, the cop removes the cuffs. Lucy stitches up the choir director, Mr. Owens, noticing that he’s having some breathing issues. He admits that he has congestive heart failure, but he’s more focused on the gospel festival and making sure his choir is ready than he is in taking care of his health.

Dean’s carjacking victim is brought to the hospital with multiple stab wounds. Chuny notices abrasions that indicate that she was raped. Cruson asks the woman, Sandra, for a description of her attacker, but she’s pretty out of it and just asks for her husband. Luka sends Cruson out of the trauma room so he and Weaver can take care of Sandra.

Cruson goes to Dean’s trauma room, where Elizabeth notices that he’s showing weakness on one side of his body. Benton thinks it’s just because she tied off his carotid, but Elizabeth guesses that he’s having a stroke. Cruson objects when Malik throws out some of Dean’s clothes, since they’re covered in blood. Elizabeth agrees to keep the rest of his belongings in case they have Sandra’s blood on them. Cruson leaves to get an arrest warrant.

Next door, Sandra is bleeding a lot, and the blood bank doesn’t have any O-negative readily available. Chuny runs around the ER, asking if any staff members are O-negative. Carter is, so he comes to the trauma room, still wearing a TB mask, to donate. Elizabeth and Benton install a shunt in Dean’s neck, hoping they can save him so he can go on trial for his crimes. As soon as he’s donated blood, Carter wants to join a trauma, but he’s not steady enough to help.

Sandra’s husband, Ron, arrives as Weaver and Luka are about to cut her chest open. They hear music and send Haleh to find out where it’s coming from. She finds the gospel choir practicing in an exam room, Lucy’s compromise to get Mr. Owens to stick around while they wait for some test results. Haleh reluctantly tells them they have to leave, so Mr. Owens decides they’ll go outside to sing.

Cleo gets Chad’s drug-test results, which are negative, though his liver is functioning abnormally. Carol gets dizzy getting off her stool at the counter, so Cleo wants her monitored. Sandra is getting worse, while Dean has stabilized enough for surgery. Elizabeth stays behind to answer Ron’s questions about how Weaver and Luka are treating Sandra. Sadly, they’re unable to save her.

An OB determines that Carol’s babies are fine, but she needs to be resting instead of working. Mark comes to check on her and agrees with the OB. He tells Carol that David didn’t get on his flight to come to Chicago, and his neighbor went to check on him but couldn’t find him. Mark is a lot more calm than I would be about not knowing where my elderly father was.

Cleo busts Chad for being drunk and tells him she’ll need to tell his mother. Chad doesn’t care, since Mrs. K. also has a drinking problem. Luka and Weaver have the unfortunate job of having to tell Ron that they need to perform a rape exam on his dead wife. To add insult to injury, they need to make sure he didn’t rape her.

Dean has a lot of injuries and may not be able to be put back together (like Humpty Dumpty. Like the episode title. Get it?). Cruson has his warrant and is ready to do his job to get Dean charged with murder one. Outside the hospital, Lucy continues treating Mr. Owens while he conducts his choir. He’s insistent that they leave for the festival, promising that he’ll come back as soon as they’ve performed. Lucy has to get a doctor’s approval to let him leave against medical advice.

Cleo brings Adele to the ER to try to get Chad some treatment. Lucy asks Cleo to talk to Mr. Owens about his treatment, but she’s too late – the choir’s bus is already pulling away. Lucy laments that she didn’t get Cleo sooner; she thought she could handle the situation. Mark gets a message that David went to the airport this morning, so his failure to arrive in Chicago doesn’t make sense. He gets a call to go up to the sixth floor to see Lawrence, who’s undergoing a neurological exam where he has to identify pictures of things like funnels and volcanoes. He’s not enjoying it.

Weaver and Luka examine Sandra’s body and confirm that she was raped. Mark invites Lawrence to get coffee while he waits for some test results. Mark has called Lawrence’s son, since he needs a caregiver to participate in a clinical trial. Lawrence didn’t want his son involved and doesn’t think he’ll babysit his father anyway. Mark notes that Lawrence took care of his son as a child; now his son can return the favor. Lawrence admits that he was always too busy to be much of a father. He doesn’t want to be a burden.

Mark is optimistic that the trial will give Lawrence more time, though Lawrence doesn’t see the point. Mark ask if he’s going to give up because he’s too proud to ask for help. Lawrence doesn’t think it matters – the end result is the same. He thinks it’s too late for any trials or treatments to make a difference in his condition.

Romano tells Elizabeth that Dean raped Sandra. Someone at the public defender’s office has heard that Elizabeth coerced Dean into telling her where Sandra was, and Romano would like to hear from her whether that’s true. Elizabeth admits that it is, which means the confession, having been coerced, could be thrown out in court. Not to mention how unethical it is to threaten to withhold treatment like Elizabeth did.

Carol finally goes to visit Meg, who’s spending her last few minutes with her baby before he’s taken away by Social Services. Meg asks Carol to talk to someone about letting her take him to jail with her. Carol owes her, since she’s the reason Meg got arrested. Carol says she did what she thought was best for Meg and the baby. Meg asks if being away from her new son for ten months is what’s best for him. Carol thinks she can get him back if she proves she’s turned her life around. Meg calls her self-righteous and begs Carol to do something. Carol says she can’t, and leaves while Meg screams at her.

Lawrence waits for his son in the ER while Cleo tells Mrs. K. that Chad needs treatment for his drinking. Mrs. K. says she didn’t give Cleo permission to do anything except test Chad for drug use. Cleo asks if Mrs. K. is avoiding the truth because she has her own drinking problem. Mrs. K. storms off.

Carter gets in over his head with a patient, unsure of why he’s having seizures. Lawrence is sitting right outside the trauma room, so Carter asks for his help. Lawrence says he doesn’t work at County anymore, but Carter’s desperate, so Lawrence comes in to help. He quickly diagnoses the patient, having had a similar case 20 years ago, and gives him the proper treatment. “Score one for the absent-minded professor,” he quips to Weaver and Carter.

Weaver acknowledges that the patient would have died if Lawrence hadn’t been there. She, too, wouldn’t be where she is without Lawrence’s guidance. She asks what he’s going to do. Lawrence tells her that he and his son talked, and they’ve made arrangements to live together.

Mr. Owens returns to the ER, upset that he missed the festival. It’s not clear, but it sounds like Lucy sent paramedics to the festival to bring him back, claiming that he needed treatment for carbon-monoxide poisoning. David shows up next, having taken a later flight because his first one was overbooked and he wanted the $200 passengers were offered to get off the plane. Mark gives him a tour of the hospital.

Weaver thanks Luka for his good work on a difficult case. She calls him by his first name, the sign of trust he previously mentioned to Carol he was hoping for, and tells him she wants him to take Lawrence’s slot as a permanent doctor. He doesn’t ask about his salary, sure that Weaver will be fair. Benton and Elizabeth operate on Dean, her lamenting that Sandra died and him pointing out that at least she didn’t die alone. Dean starts crashing and Elizabeth hesitates before shocking him back to stability.

Thoughts: Chad is played by Emile Hirsch.

I didn’t realize until he showed up that this episode kicks off the horrible Dean Rollins story arc. Kill me now.

I’m imagining myself telling my boss to do my job herself, like Lucy does with Cleo. Hold on. Imagining it…imagining it…and…it doesn’t end well. Watch your attitude, Knight.

February 8, 2020

Felicity 1.5, Spooked: War Stories

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:14 pm by Jenn

How did they pay for this??

Summary: As usual, Felicity is making a tape for Sally. She tells her that something “very New York” happened the other day. Flashback to “the other day.” Felicity and Ben are chatting while walking to his apartment; she’s interviewing for a job at Dean & DeLuca. She tells Sally that she thought things might be getting deeper between them. As they enter the apartment, someone ambushes them with a gun and makes them get on the floor. Other men are robbing the apartment. One takes Felicity’s necklace.

Once the burglars are gone, Ben and Felicity call the police. A detective asks them to come to the station the next day to look through pictures of suspects. He offers Felicity a ride back to her dorm, and Ben tells her she should go. In Felicity’s room, Meghan is telling Julie, Elena, and Noel about the robbery. Someone in the mailroom said shots were fired. He also told her that she now has the largest single room on campus, so that guy’s a jerk.

Edward calls, and Julie passes the phone to Noel to make him come up with an excuse for Felicity’s absence. Elena accuses Meghan of checking out Felicity’s side of the room. Felicity comes in and Edward is forgotten. He calls back and Felicity assures him (and her friends) that everything’s fine.

Ben’s roommates come home and check to see what the burglars stole. One, Sean (yay, Greg Grunberg is here!), is upset that his “idea book” has been taken. It contained all the great business ideas he’s thought up in the past four years. Another roommate says he can just write them all down again. Sean doubts he’ll be able to remember all of them. The ones he does remember: a 900 number for reporting UFO sightings and a quick car wash. He asks if Ben even tried to stop the guys. Then he realizes that was mean.

Felicity tells her friends how scared she was when she saw the burglar’s gun. Noel chimes in with his memory of the closest he ever came to being robbed – a homeless man pushed him and ruined his birthday cake. Thanks for your contribution, Noel. Elena thinks it’s different for women than men when a gun is involved. A couple years ago, she was mugged at gunpoint. Instead of being scared, she was mad. Sounds about right. Zach joins the group (in a pink shirt) and pulls Julie aside as Noel asks Felicity more questions about the experience. Zach awkwardly asks Julie to go see The Exorcist with him the next night.

Ben calls Felicity late that night, unable to sleep. She meets him in the dorm’s lounge, where he says he just wanted to make sure she was okay. Felicity tells Sally that she once read about soldiers bonding after going through battle together. She and Ben stayed up talking, and now Felicity understands what that bond is like.

Felicity is antsy at her Dean & DeLuca interview, and tells the interviewer, Javier, that she had an amazing night. He asks for details. She tells him about the robbery, then her night talking with Ben. Javier can relate to the awesome feeling of spending time with someone you like. He sees on Felicity’s résumé that she worked at a plus-size clothing store in high school. He’s surprised that the women who shopped there didn’t hate her, since she’s thin. Anyway, the Dean & DeLuca job is hers.

Elena corners Noel in a bathroom to complain about a Halloween decoration on her door. She’s offended that he chose a witch for her. She hates the holiday and doesn’t think anyone actually likes it. Noel says he does. She’s skipping a big Halloween party to study, but Noel thinks she should try to have some fun for once. Felicity and Ben look through mugshots at the police station, though Ben isn’t doing much looking. He finds an excuse to leave, though he says he’ll come back tomorrow to do some more looking. The detective tells Felicity that some people have trouble with this process.

Fast-forward to that night. Julie and Zach are leaving the movie, now a little more comfortable talking to each other. He gives her his jacket and asks her to get something to eat. Felicity’s studying in her room when Ben calls; he’s come by again to see her. Felicity walks by Noel’s door on her way to go down and meet him, and he asks if she’s going out. He’s worried she’s going alone, though maybe he’s more worried that she’ll be with Ben.

At Ben’s apartment, he and Felicity carve pumpkins for the Halloween party Sean’s throwing. Ben will be dressing up as Frankenstein’s monster. Felicity offers to dress as the Bride of Frankenstein. He likes that idea and says they’ll hang out. She asks him why he left the police station. He pretends that it had nothing to do with his emotions about the robbery.

Felicity worries about having to tell her mother that her grandmother’s necklace was taken. Ben says he hasn’t felt the way he did during the robbery in a long time. She tries to get him to talk about the times he’s felt like that before, but he doesn’t want to talk about it. They put candles in their pumpkins and admire them together.

Felicity says that she’s heard people say your life flashes before your eyes right before you die. She didn’t see her life during the robbery; she was just thinking about an assignment they were going on together, and her job interview, and a chem lab she hasn’t gotten her grade on yet.

Ben hesitates, then admits that his father had a temper when Ben was younger. Sometimes he would get mad because he’d been drinking, but sometimes there was no trigger. Ben thought he would feel safer when he moved out and came to New York, though he knows that’s kind of a ridiculous thought. Sean comes home and Ben decides to call an end to the evening.

The next day, Ben doesn’t meet Felicity at the police department. She looks through mugshots on her own. Elena apologizes to Noel for her reaction to the witch decoration. Her father never let her trick-or-treat, because he thought it was dangerous, so she’s never celebrated before. Noel has gotten them Subway uniforms (the restaurant, not, like, the actual subway), which doesn’t make her any more excited about the party. He has to go to the meeting, so he’ll meet her at the party.

Felicity and Julie show up together, Felicity as the Bride of Frankenstein and Julie as Catwoman. (Oh, man, Elena should have been Catwoman. That would have been awesome.) Ben has changed his costume idea and is wearing a suit. He blames Sean, who wanted his roommates to go as the Rat Pack. Ben isn’t even sure who he is. Someone else at the party thinks Felicity is Courtney Love. Ha!

Elena calls Noel to yell at him for his stupid costume idea. People keep placing sandwich orders with her and she’s sick of it. A guy named Blair, who’s dressed as the Tin Man, takes the phone when she’s done, and it looks like Elena might have found a love interest. Felicity confronts Ben for bailing on her at the police station, but he doesn’t think it’s a big deal. A guy dressed as Frankenstein’s monster brings her a drink and tries to get her more excited about the party.

Julie and Zach (who’s dressed as an explorer) chat outside about the movie he’s making. When the conversation gets awkward, as it usually does, Zach leans in for a kiss. Julie isn’t ready for that and goes back inside. Frankenstein’s monster only wants to talk about medicine and money, but Felicity isn’t interested. She’s heading for the bathroom when Julie stops her and says that Zach kissed her. Felicity asks for a rain check on the conversation so she can look for the bathroom…and instead catch Ben making out with someone else.

Upset, Felicity goes home and cries on her bed. Noel finds her there, still in her costume, and offers his help. She tells him she feels lost in every aspect of her life. Noel thinks she needs to focus on herself right now, not Ben. She just went through something horrible, and it’s made her feel vulnerable and weak. She needs to remember that she’s strong, beautiful, and independent. Everything will be fine. Great, even. Felicity asks if he really means it, then throws up on him. Noel says that changes his attitude about her.

The next day, Noel goes to Elena’s room to apologize for ditching her at the party. She’s over it – she hooked up with Blair, who’s still in her room. She claims they only hung out and listened to music, but I don’t know. Noel cracks himself up by warning her to be careful, since the Tin Man doesn’t have a heart.

Felicity confronts Ben in class, accusing him of blowing her off because they shared a moment together the other night. She felt stupid in her costume, without a partner. Ben says he only called her late at night because he was worried about her. She thinks he was worried about himself. He was scared, and when he got too close to Felicity, he got scared again. The next time he needs a late-night friend, he should call his make-out buddy.

Ben stops her from leaving and tells her that not everyone is as judgmental as she is. If he wants to make out with someone, he can. Felicity can’t make him feel guilty about it. Not everything has a big meaning, including their time together. Felicity realizes that that Julie’s in the classroom and heard them talking about their late nights together.

Felicity works at her new job while voicing over her letter to Sally. She’s realized that she’s been obsessing over a guy who’s not really that special. She needs to let it go. Ben and Zach hang out and play video games, and Zach asks if Ben and Julie went out. Ben says they just hung out. Zach confides that Julie shut him down after he kissed her. He’s not sure if he should try again with her.

Julie finds Zach while he’s working on his movie and expresses her appreciation for how he treats her like a real person. She got freaked out by their kiss because she’s worried about messing up whatever it is they have. Zach says he wouldn’t have normally acted on impulse, but he doesn’t have a lot of dating experience. If she just wants to be friends, that’s fine. Julie kisses him, so I don’t think friendship is what she wants.

Ben goes for a walk and broods on a park bench. Noel catches him outside Felicity’s room and says she’s not home. Noel is worried that Ben will hurt Felicity, so he doesn’t want to tell Ben where she is. Ben gets it out of him anyway. He goes to Dean & DeLuca, where Javier’s on the phone with his mom, talking about his boyfriend, I guess? Felicity tries to ignore Ben, but she reluctantly sits with him on her break.

Ben apologizes for being a jerk and tells her she was right about why he pushed her away. He has a hard time connecting with people, especially those who make him nervous. Felicity doesn’t think she makes him nervous, but he says she does. He gives her a necklace to replace the one the burglar took. He also offers to go back with her and look at more mugshots. The detective said the odds of catching the burglars are small, but Ben thinks they should give it a shot anyway. He puts the necklace on her.

Sally sends back a tape: Soldiers do bond during battle, but after the battle ends, they go home to try to make sense of things. She wasn’t going to tell her new love interest about her fiancé’s death, but Felicity’s tape made her realize she needs to. We all need to share our war stories because they bring us together and keep us alive.

Thoughts: Ben’s make-out buddy is dressed as the pink Power Ranger, an inside joke since Amy Jo Johnson (Julie) played the Pink Ranger.

Someone once mentioned that TV characters always have super-impressive Halloween costumes, and now it’s all I can think about during a Halloween episode.

Julie, you can wear little butterfly clips or you can put your hair in pigtails, but you can’t do both at the same time. Actually, I would recommend not doing either.

July 16, 2019

ER 4.9, Obstruction of Justice: Two Protests With Very Different Results

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

These two really should have ended up together

Summary: Jeanie’s worked her last day at County but is up the next morning to go sign papers. Al is still confident that he’ll find work in Atlanta, though he’d appreciate Jeanie not nagging him about getting a job. Synergix sends some computer equipment over to County so they can work there on a trial basis. Weaver tells Anspaugh that she thinks Jeanie’s rumblings about getting litigious over her termination weren’t serious. The budget will be proof enough that they needed to let people go. Anspaugh praises Weaver for her handling of a difficult situation.

Mark’s hungover from his drunken antics with Cynthia the night before. She’s worn his lingerie gift to work, and she gives him a peep show in the doctors’ lounge. Doug was supposed to be back at work today, but he called to say his car broke down. Carol wants to make it very clear that he called the hospital, not her personally. Mark and Cynthia emerge from the lounge, and Carol and Chuny should probably hose it down before they go in.

Jeanie goes to Doc Magoo’s to meet up with a couple of lawyers Doyle knows. The fact that she’s never been disciplined works in her favor, but I’d say the fact that she performed a procedure she wasn’t supposed to because of her HIV doesn’t. Anyway, Jeanie wants her job back. At County, Carter asks Anna and Randi if he can borrow a dollar to get a soda. I guess he doesn’t have anything in his wallet smaller than a $50. Anna gives him a buck, noting that, according to legend, JFK also never carried cash on him. She lets him keep the change.

Carter’s cousin Chase shows up, calling Carter “Scooter,” which I’m going to need an explanation for. At least Anna now has a nickname to use for her least favorite colleague. Chase needs medical treatment for what he says is a spider bite. West meets Mark, who’s fine with the Synergix partnership because it means less work for him. West shows Weaver a new verbal dictation system that includes a hands-free mic.

Carol finds Cynthia in the restroom and tells her that there can be no more sex in the lounge. Cynthia laughs that off, saying she was just “trying to cheer up three of the Seven Dwarfs: Grumpy, Sleepy, and Doc.” She thinks Carol should be happier about Mark’s happiness. Jeanie shows up for work, saying she’s not going to accept her termination. Yeah, that’s…not how that works, Jeanie.

Carter and Chase chat about how their grandparents want Chase to be the next prominent successor of the family, working with the family company. Carter has no interest in that, and Chase is being overlooked despite already working for the company. Weaver and Carol tend to a man named Mr. Jackson who says he needs pain medication for a sickle cell crisis; someone stole his Percodans. Carol and Weaver think he’s a drug-seeker and won’t give him the dose he says he needs.

Paramedics bring in a mother and daughter hurt in a car accident. The mother is unconscious, and the daughter, Allison, is having trouble speaking. Weaver brings West in to help her with Allison. Benton and Elizabeth come in to replace West, and Benton shows the best bedside manner he’s ever displayed when he tells Allison they won’t let her die. Next door, her mother regains consciousness but soon flatlines. Elizabeth takes Allison to surgery for leg injuries.

Chuny tells Weaver that Jeanie clocked in for work. Carol can’t get anyone on the phone at the clinic Jackson says he usually goes to, which makes his story seem even fishier. He demands Demerol, but Weaver still won’t budge. Then she goes to confront Jeanie. She points out that Jeanie’s off the payroll and is no longer covered by malpractice insurance. Jeanie says she won’t see anymore patients, but she’s not leaving. Weaver threatens to have her forcibly removed from the hospital. Jeanie says Weaver can do what she needs to do, and Jeanie will do the same.

Allison’s mother dies in the ER, and Benton volunteers to take the news up to Allison in the OR. Herb arrives to shadow Mark, who hasn’t told anyone what’s really going on. Herb just wants to do a couple of sutures, nothing big. Mark’s like, “Cool, I can go from one malpractice suit to another!” Chase invites Carter to go to lunch, but Carter declines because he has to work. He explains to Anna that his family thinks he’s just dabbling in medicine and will quit sooner or later.

A screaming woman named Darlene is brought in after apparently being beaten up by her husband. Both spouses are drunk, and the husband, Eddie, says Darlene ran him over with her car. The cops believe him, though Darlene says she was trying to get away from her husband. She knows Billy, the officer who accompanied them in, is just siding with Eddie because they’re buddies. He’s handcuffed Darlene, but Carter makes him remove the cuffs so he can do his job. Billy demands that Carter get Darlene’s blood-alcohol level.

Benton tells Elizabeth that Allison’s leg injury is too bad to be repaired; they need to amputate. Elizabeth wants to do a procedure that she thinks will save the leg. Benton thinks Elizabeth just wants a guinea pig to practice the procedure on. Romano, of course, gets the tiebreaker, and he’s eager to see Elizabeth perform her procedure.

Weaver tells Mark that Jeanie is still fired, no matter what kind of protest she wants to stage. She hasn’t been able to reach Anspaugh. Mark’s happy he doesn’t have to deal with the stuff Weaver does. He gives Herb some scrubs and asks for some details on how, exactly, Herb plans to defend him from the Laws’ lawsuit (…heh). Herb says it doesn’t matter.

Billy urges Eddie to back him in filing charges against Darlene for assault with a deadly weapon. Apparently they’ve tried to press charges against her before, but Eddie always backs down. While Carter and Anna are telling Eddie that he’s not badly injured, Billy tries to force Chuny to draw Darlene’s blood for a blood-alcohol test. Darlene starts declining, so Carter and Anna rush to help her. Carter tells Billy he’ll need to get a warrant before they’ll agree to the blood draw. He knows both his and Darlene’s rights.

Apparently scrubs and a stethoscope are all you need to pass as a doctor, since Malik and Doyle both mistake Herb for one. Doyle thinks he’s from Synergix. It helps that he knows some medical stuff, having hired an ER doctor to teach him some terms and procedures. Mark sends him to the lounge to practice sutures on a pig’s foot.

Doug arrives and the nurses immediately put him to work. Carol runs up to him, eager for a reunion, but has to tone it down when she remembers other people are there. West invites Weaver to a Synergix conference in the Caribbean next week, which is definitely not an excuse for them to be alone in the tropics without anyone knowing that they’re totally sleeping together.

Mark sends Doug to an exam room to examine a patient complaining of insomnia and a loss of appetite. Doug suggests a psych consult, but Mark wants Doug to handle it himself. The patient is really Carol, and Mark wanted to give them some time alone. Cynthia catches them making out, and though Carol is briefly embarrassed about doing the same thing she told Cynthia not to do, she lets it go so she can go back to kissing her secret boyfriend.

Carter asks Mark what he should do if the police want blood from a patient who’s refused to give it. Herb tells him that he’s allowed to side with the patient and decline. He offers a consult if Carter needs one, but Mark pulls him away. Weaver catches Jeanie trying to help Yosh with a patient, and she’s finally fed up. She tells Chuny to call security, like Chuny should be dragged into this. She’s already on the phone, since Anspaugh is calling to summon Jeanie for a meeting.

Darlene’s blood alcohol is .270, but her vomit doesn’t show any pill fragments, so that’s one less thing for Carter and Anna to have to deal with. Billy arrives with the warrant for Darlene’s blood and asks for the stomach contents as well. That’s not on the warrant, so Carter flushes them right in front of Billy. Billy responds by arresting him for destroying evidence. Mark tries to step in, but Carter is nonchalant, knowing he was just protecting his patient’s rights.

Anspaugh, Jeanie, Weaver, and one of Jeanie’s lawyers meet to discuss the possibility that Jeanie was fired for something other than budget cuts. There’s a case for discrimination and a violation of the disciplinary process. Anspaugh determines that Jeanie will drop the matter if she gets her job back. He promises to have a decision today. After Jeanie and her lawyer leave, Weaver tells Anspaugh that if he hires Jeanie back, he’ll be giving in to blackmail. But Anspaugh knows the case could blow up, and he doesn’t want to deal with the bad PR.

Benton assists while Elizabeth and Romano perform her procedure on Allison. Mark asks Cynthia to find him when Rachel is dropped off at the hospital for a dentist’s appointment. Cynthia’s excited to meet her boyfriend’s daughter. Mark tries to call the hospital’s lawyer for Carter, but they’re not quite sure what to do. To add insult to injury, Darlene and Eddie are in the process of making up. “Carter went to jail for this?” Mark asks Anna dryly.

At the police station, Carter tries to name-drop, saying the commissioner is a family friend. The officer booking him is unimpressed. Carter smiles during his mug shot, because he has no idea what he’s doing. Carol asks Doug for advice on handling Jackson; she can’t figure out if he’s a drug-seeker or if he’s actually in pain. Either way, he’s not happy. Doug examines him, talking to him about what might have brought on his crisis. He tells Jackson to trust him, and Doug will trust him in turn. He gets Jackson to visualize a calm place, which helps him relax.

Weaver tells Jeanie that she can have her job back. Jeanie immediately gets back to work, ignoring Weaver when she claims the termination was never about her HIV. In the OR, Allison declines, and Benton tries hard to revive her. Romano decides they can’t take the time to give her CPR; they need to cut open her chest for compressions. Herb asks Mark to let him help reduce a woman’s dislocated elbow. He reminds Mark that they had a deal that would let Herb do actual procedures. Mark gives in, and Herb is thrilled to get to help.

Rachel arrives and immediately makes friends with Cynthia. While Mark’s distracted, Herb helps himself to a patient chart. Mark asks Cynthia to take Rachel to the dentist for her so he can figure out how to help Carter. Mark stops Herb from doing more sutures without supervision, but when they come across a patient in distress, Herb grabs a crash cart and shocks the patient before Mark can react. The patient stabilizes.

Jeanie meets up with Al and gives him the news that she got her job back. But Al has gotten the job he wanted in Atlanta and is eager to move. Jeanie doesn’t want to just walk away from a job she fought for. Al thinks she doesn’t believe in him. Jeanie knows he wants to keep his HIV status quiet in Atlanta, which will make her feel like they’re running away. Al wants a fresh start; Jeanie may have a life in Chicago, but he doesn’t. Jeanie says he doesn’t get what her job means to her.

Because he only committed a misdemeanor, Carter doesn’t have to wait for a fingerprint check, and he can leave lockup as soon as he pays his $100 bond. He tells the cop who booked him to run one of his credit cards. The police station only accepts cash, though, and all Carter has is the change Anna let him keep from her dollar.

At County, Mark decides that his deal with Herb is too much trouble, so it’s over. When Herb hears that Carter’s in jail, he tells Weaver it’s not a big deal. Then he tells Mark that he’s already taken care of his case – he got a buddy to convince the Laws to drop the charges. The patient Herb saved sings his praises in the hall as Herb leaves, pleased with his exciting day.

Jen shows up to get Rachel, unhappy to learn that Mark sent her off with Cynthia. She’s even less happy when she discovers that the two went to a salon after the dentist, and Cynthia let Rachel dye her hair pink and purple. (Fortunately, it’ll wash out.) Mark pretends he’s not upset, but he does ask for a night off from Cynthia.

Anna objects to letting Carter stay in jail all night when they can easily get a bail bondsman to get him out. She also knows they can’t call his family for help. Mark sends her off to handle things. Doug gives Jackson some medication, and Weaver complains that he helped a drug-seeker get exactly what he wanted. Doug believes Jackson’s story and says he can’t function without pain medication. Weaver says people live in pain but suck it up. Doug thinks she’s suffering the consequences of all the responsibilities she’s taken on.

Cynthia emotionally apologizes to Mark for overstepping her boundaries with Rachel. She thinks Jen hates her now (to be fair, I don’t think there are many people Jen doesn’t hate). Mark tries to comfort her. Carter is left in lockup with a muscled guy who knows he’s a doctor. Despite his angry demeanor, the guy is also in for obstruction of justice. He pulls down his pants, freaking Carter out, but he just wants Carter to examine a bump. Carter’s actually about to when Anna arrives with his bail. He’s so happy to see her that he kisses her.

Anna jokes that this is Carter’s Christmas present. She tells him that Darlene did, in fact, try to kill Eddie, but they’ve made up. Carter laments that he could have had lunch with Chase after all. Anna notes that it’s expensive to have a rich friend. Benton brings Elizabeth some tea as she checks on Allison after surgery. Her leg is still attached, but now she’s in a coma. Elizabeth wonders if she did surgery because of personal reasons, not because it was best for Allison. Benton admits that he also struggles with the balance between helping and being ambitious.

Weaver has to take a break on a bench as she heads home that night. Jeanie thinks Al has already left by the time she gets home, but he’s still around, wanting to see if she’s changed her mind. Jeanie says again that she’s worked too hard to walk away from her job, no matter how she’s been treated there. Al doesn’t want to walk away from their relationship, either. They’ve been together on and off since they were teens. But this is where it ends for them, and it’s the last time we’ll ever see Al.

Thoughts: Jackson is played by Hill Harper.

I’m totally sympathetic to Jeanie, but showing up to your job after you’ve been laid off makes you look crazy.

I’m so disappointed we didn’t get a scene where Millicent got a call about her grandson getting arrested for standing up to the police.

Remember how Anspaugh was painted as tough and tyrannical when he was first introduced? He’s actually very fair and level-headed.

April 13, 2019

The X-Files 9.20, The Truth, Part 2: It’s Still Out There

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 1:06 pm by Jenn

An almost-happy ending! Except it’s not the ending

Summary: It’s the day after Gibson threw out a bombshell at Mulder’s trial. Mulder meets with the agents (minus Scully, who’s with Gibson) and laments that Gibson exposed himself to the conspirators. But the agents think it was a good move, since some of the judges are leaning in Mulder’s favor. Skinner urges Mulder to testify, but Mulder refuses. Doggett says they’ll take the stand in his place, even if it means risking their jobs. Reyes agrees – they came here to do their job. Mulder says the judges control the game, so Doggett suggests that they ram them with it.

When the trial resumes, Doggett is put on the stand and talks about the super-soldiers. Agent K. doesn’t want more sci-fi in the trial, but Skinner ties the super-soldiers to Knowle. Agent K. objects again, since Doggett wasn’t at the scene when Mulder killed Knowle. Skinner asks how Mulder could have killed him if Knowle is unkillable. Doggett mentions the magnetite; since Mulder didn’t use it on Knowle, Knowle can’t really be dead.

Agent K. starts his cross-examination by praising Doggett’s professional record, which Agent K. isn’t going to question. But can he really back up Mulder in claiming the super-soldiers are aliens? Doggett’s a skeptic, so how can he believe Mulder’s theories? Doggett can’t answer that question.

Reyes is up next, intended to serve as a level-headed witness so Skinner can show that even rational people believe paranormal stuff has happened. Reyes talks about the circumstances of William’s birth and the audience Scully had while delivering him. Agent K. asks why William would be important to aliens. Blah blah, government conspiracy, the world’s worst surrogate program. Agent K.’s like, “Oh, how convenient that the ship where women were experimented on exploded!”

He asks about William, and Reyes testifies that he has telekinetic abilities. Agent K. asks for a demonstration, but of course, William is now living with an anonymous family. “She gave up the miracle child,” Agent K. spits out. Mulder somehow doesn’t scratch his eyes out. After she’s dismissed from the stand, Reyes accuses Agent K. of not caring about William. He’s just happy that Scully gave him up, thereby giving away proof of an alien conspiracy.

Kersh warns Reyes to behave herself, so she turns on him, saying he’s made a mockery of the X-Files agents and their sacrifices. What’s the point of the trial – to destroy Mulder, who seeks the truth, or to destroy the truth so no one can look for it? “Either way, you lose,” Reyes tells Kersh.

Scully has missed the entire day of proceedings, so Doggett and Reyes visit her that night with big news: Knowle’s body may have been found. Scully reminds them that super-soldiers can’t be killed, but the government claims Knowle is really dead. Doggett stays behind with Gibson while Scully and Reyes go to Quantico so Scully can perform the autopsy. The body is burned, so it can’t be ID’d just on sight. Scully asks Reyes to do whatever it takes to get Knowle’s records.

The trial is about to start back up when Scully arrives with what she says is the proof they need to get Mulder exonerated. Her autopsy shows that the body belongs to a man who died of a broken neck; the body was burned post-mortem. Kersh won’t dismiss the trial, telling Scully she’s in contempt of court. She says Kersh is the one in contempt, since he won’t look at evidence that shows Mulder’s innocent.

Kersh argues that Scully didn’t have authorization to do the autopsy, so she should be removed from the courtroom. Mulder defends his girlfriend, which doesn’t help. Kersh throws them both out and adjourns the trial. Later, everyone returns for the verdict, which Kersh claims is fair and impartial. Mulder is declared guilty of first-degree murder.

Mulder’s allowed to say something before his sentence is determined. Instead of yelling, “F&$% ALL Y’ALL” and flipping a table, Mulder congratulates the judges for succeeding where everyone else has failed. They’ve shown that the truth doesn’t matter if there are enough liars to cover it up. True evil isn’t the devil, but humans.

If Mulder’s guilty, it’s because he dared – and still dares – to believe that the truth will out. The truth wants to be known, and eventually, it’ll come to the judges as it’s come to Mulder. He warns that if the judges think they’re really rid of their headache, it’s only because they’ve cut off their own heads.

Scully, Reyes, Doggett, and Gibson are at Scully’s place when the call comes from Skinner – Mulder has been sentenced to death by lethal injection. Scully breaks down. Later that night, as a very much alive Knowle goes to the Marine base where Mulder’s being held, Skinner and Doggett go to Mulder’s cell and tell him they’re getting him out of there.

Knowle discovers Mulder missing and orders the base sealed. This only slows Mulder and his rescuers down a little, and they continue their escape…until they run into Kersh. He knows they can’t make it out the way they’re going, so he takes them out another exit. Reyes is waiting there at a hole in a fence and drives the getaway vehicle.

The group meets up with Scully and Gibson, and Kersh tells Mulder he needs to go to Canada, then leave the continent within 24 hours. Mulder and Scully leave Gibson behind with the other agents and flee. But Mulder heads south instead of north, since he still has some truth to pursue.

Doggett and Reyes take Gibson to the X-Files office, promising to protect him. But the office has been packed up, and Skinner hasn’t been able to ask Kersh who’s responsible. He thinks they’ve been found out for helping Mulder escape. They go to see Kersh, who’s already talking with Toothpick Man. He and Gibson glare at each other for a little while, and Gibson tells Doggett and Reyes that TM knows where Mulder and Scully are going. They’re not going to Canada, and they’re in a lot of danger.

The lovebirds have reached the Texas/New Mexico border, and while Scully sleeps in the car, Mulder gets out for a bathroom break. He gets a visit from the Lone Gunmen, who tell him to turn around. He shouldn’t be risking his and Scully’s lives or happiness. Mulder still wants to find the truth, but the Gunmen say he already knows it. Mulder tells them he wants to know if he can change it. They warn that he’ll just get himself killed.

Scully wakes up and interrupts, and the journey continues. Mulder has changed into jeans and a white T-shirt, and I give my 100% approval. They end up at some Anasazi pueblos, and Mulder explains that he was sent a message from a wise man who lives in the ruins. He thinks they’ll find the truth there.

Doggett and Reyes take a helicopter to the same area as a woman (whose name is never spoken but who is apparently Lana Chee) leads Mulder and Scully to the wise man – CSM. He says that Mulder now knows the truth, though he hasn’t told Scully yet. CSM helped him find it by sending him to Mouth Weather. He mocks that Mulder could have exonerated himself by testifying at his trial. But he’s too afraid to speak the truth.

CSM is hiding out from the aliens, since they fear the magnetite in the area. That’s what brought down the UFO in Roswell. Wise men have been hiding out there for 2,000, watching Native American culture die: “The original shadow government.” Doggett and Reyes land just as Knowle arrives at the pueblos.

CSM is ready to tell Scully everything Mulder is too scared to. Every president since Truman has been spooked by the tale. The Mayans were even scared, which is why their calendar stops on December 22, 2012 – the day of the final alien invasion. Mulder saw that date on the computer at Mount Weather, so he knows the truth the government is trying to keep hidden.

Mulder taunts that CSM is drunk with power, but doesn’t actually have the power to do anything. CSM claims he’s been protecting Mulder for years in anticipation of this moment, when Mulder would be broken and afraid. Now he can die. Outside, military helicopters arrive as Doggett and Reyes face off with Knowle. Their bullets don’t do anything, but the magnetite in the hills does. His body turns gray and flies into a hill.

Mulder and Scully come outside, and Doggett and Reyes warn that the government is coming for them. Doggett wants the lovebirds to come with him and Reyes, but Mulder sends them off. The helicopters now have two cars to track, but they decide to let all the agents go. Then they blast the pueblos with explosives in an attempt to kill CSM. CSM sits quietly and accepts his supposed fate. (Spoiler: Despite being pretty much set on fire, CSM survives.)

In Roswell, Mulder and Scully check into a motel and mirror one of their first moments together in the X-Files. Mulder repeats what he was supposed to be brainwashed into believing – that he’s guilty and should be punished. When they first met, he tried to convince Scully of the truth, in a motel just like this. Though he succeeded in that, he failed in every other way.

Scully doesn’t agree, adding that Mulder kept the truth from her not because he was broken or afraid, but because he didn’t want to accept it. He says he was afraid the truth would crush Scully’s spirit. Scully says she won’t accept the truth if Mulder won’t. He only fails if he gives up, and she knows he never will. She would do this whole crazy thing all over again.

Mulder points out that the search for the truth hasn’t gotten them to a very good place. Scully repeats that she knows he won’t give up. He’s always said he wants to believe, but in what? If he finally knows the truth, what’s left to believe in? Mulder says he wants to believe that the dead aren’t lost to us: “That they speak to us as part of something greater than us.” If the two of them are powerless now, they can get power when they listen. Scully believes the same thing. He looks at her cross necklace, then gets in bed with her and says, “Maybe there’s hope.”

Thoughts: Say goodbye to Doggett, whose X-Files service has ended. Robert Patrick was a great addition to the cast.

The Marine base has very bad security. A supposedly dead man gets in using his real ID, which doesn’t make anyone suspicious. And Doggett and Skinner just walk in and get Mulder out of his cell. Shouldn’t there be guards with guns or something?

So much New Mexico in the last two episodes. Maybe that’s what inspired Vince Gilligan to set Breaking Bad there.

Here ends the original run of the show. Things are about to get…wildly inconsistent.

April 6, 2019

The X-Files 9.19, The Truth, Part 1: A Guilty Man

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 1:19 pm by Jenn

Not seen: Skinner looking suuuuuuuper awkward

Summary: A helicopter lands at the Mount Weather Complex in Bluemont, Virginia, and a bunch of people in suits get out. One of them is the long-missing Fox Mulder. That’s right, David Duchovny is finally back! The people get on a bus, which drives underground to some caverns. Once it stops, Mulder runs off to spy on a lab from a catwalk. He gets access to a restricted area of the complex and types something on a computer. “END GAME” comes up on the screen. He enters a code and gets a date: December 22, 2012.

Mulder gulps, but before he can react any further, someone else enters the room. It’s Knowle, and he doesn’t look happy. Well, he never looks happy, but he looks especially serious right now. Mulder ambushes him, but Knowle is super-strong and just picks him up and throws him through a window. Mulder is somehow able to escape with only a couple small cuts on his face.

But as Mulder runs from Knowle, he encounters another enemy: the supposedly dead Krycek. Mulder chooses the enemy he knows and keeps going toward Krycek. He won’t address how he’s alive, but he does tell Mulder that there are others. An alarm sounds and Mulder has to run again. This time Knowle catches him and bends him over the side of a catwalk. Mulder is somehow able to flip Knowle over so he falls onto some sort of electrical thing and gets fried. The good news is Knowle is taken care of. The bad news is that guards are able to capture Mulder.

Sometime later, Mulder’s in a military prison, and a soldier wants to know what he’s thinking. Mulder can’t come up with the right answer. He wants to get out of there (wrong!), and he’s thinking about William and Scully (double wrong!). The soldier demands answers, but Mulder isn’t forthcoming.

After a few days of this, judging by Mulder’s stubble, Mulder asks the soldier what he’s supposed to be thinking. The soldier tells him he’s a guilty man. Mulder agrees, saying he deserves the harshest punishment for his crime. Satisfied that the naked, sleep-deprived Mulder has been successfully brainwashed, the soldier leaves.

Scully and Skinner are allowed to visit Mulder, but his reunion with Scully after months apart isn’t the way she expected. For starters, he calls her Dana. She hugs him, but he doesn’t hug back. He just asks if she’s okay, as if he’s confused about why she would be so emotional right now. Mulder says he’s being treated well, then greets Skinner as Walter. He admits to killing Knowle and going in search of something that didn’t exist. He made a horrible mistake and should be punished.

Skinner reminds Mulder that, no matter what happened, he deserves a lawyer and a fair trial. Mulder doesn’t care about that – he’s a guilty man. When they’re told the visit is over, Mulder just turns away and lets Scully and Skinner leave. Then he starts talking to Krycek, who isn’t really there. Mulder asks why Krycek is helping him, and Krycek says Mulder can’t do this alone.

Scully and Skinner go to the FBI building and fill Doggett and Reyes in on what’s going on. Doggett doesn’t get how Knowle was alive before Mulder killed him. Reyes is like, “Duh, super-soldier.” Doggett points out that, if that’s the case, Mulder couldn’t have killed him. Scully decides her best option is to “beg mercy of the man upstairs.” I don’t think she means God.

Kersh goes to Mulder’s prison, the brig at Quantico, and meets with General Mark Suveg. Kersh wants mercy for Mulder, due to his “good character.” Suveg says this looks bad for the Marines but worse for the FBI. He’ll give Kersh and the FBI a chance to clean up their mess – Mulder will get a fair hearing from his own agency, but in Suveg’s court. Kersh doesn’t think that’s legal. Suveg doesn’t care, as long as Mulder is found guilty. Kersh resists, but Suveg reminds him that there are sources in the government they shouldn’t tick off.

Scully and Skinner return to Mulder’s cell, freaking out when he does a Hannibal Lechter impression. He laughs, admitting that he’s been faking his brainwashing the whole time. Then he makes out with Scully right in front of Skinner. It goes on for a good ten seconds and, uh, was not scripted. Skinner looks hilariously uncomfortable. Mulder tries to greet him warmly, but Skinner wants him to be serious. Mulder knows he’s going to trial and that the government doesn’t care for his side of the story. He also knows Knowle was a super-soldier.

Skinner warns that there are tons of witnesses ready to testify against Mulder and destroy him. Scully promises to get Mulder a good lawyer, but Mulder knows that won’t do anything. He chooses Skinner as his attorney. Please keep in mind that Skinner isn’t a lawyer. Mulder promises that he knows what he’s doing. Doggett and Reyes join the group and announce that the military claims they have Knowle’s body. Apparently he could be killed after all.

The next morning, Scully wakes Mulder with a rare in-person “Mulder, it’s me.” She wants him to confide in her; she thinks they’ll lose the case otherwise. Mulder won’t tell her anything that might put her at risk. Scully’s scared of losing him again after she just got him back, but he promises again that he knows what he’s doing.

Scully cries as she tells Mulder he has no idea what she went through while he was gone. But Skinner already told him that she gave William up. She’s worried that Mulder won’t forgive her, but he knows she did what she had to do. He tells her he was hiding out in New Mexico, just looking for the truth. Scully thinks he found something, but again, Mulder says he can’t tell her what it was. He asks her to trust him, because he knows things it’s better she stays clueless about.

Skinner goes to the courtroom to prepare for the trial. He meets the prosecutor, Agent Kallenbrunner, and I’m not typing that over and over, so he’s Agent K. now. (Not to be confused with Tommy Lee Jones’ character in Men in Black.) A panel of judges enters, including Toothpick Man. Kersh is serving as the judge. Let the bizarre trial begin!

Agent K. has no witnesses to call, but he has the sworn testimonies of all the people who saw Mulder kill Knowle. Skinner asks to have the proceedings dismissed because this isn’t a fair trial. He’s not a lawyer and Kersh isn’t a judge. Kersh shuts him down, then again when Skinner asks for a delay while they try to track down Marita. Skinner grumbles that he’ll call another witness under protest. Kersh tells him there’s no court record, by the way. Mulder’s fine with moving ahead anyway.

Skinner calls Scully as his first witness. She testifies that over her years working with Mulder, she came to believe in his theories about aliens. Agent K. has an understandable objection about what this has to do with Mulder killing Knowle. Skinner’s like, “No, let’s keep talking about meteors and alien viruses.” There are flashbacks, so this is kind of a clip show. Scully says that the government learned about the alien virus in 1947, when a UFO crashed in Roswell. The virus hid underground in black oil, and can communicate with UFOs.

There’s more recapping, and then Agent K. cross-examines by asking Scully for proof of aliens. Can they call one as a witness? Does she have any rocks from Mars? He cuts to the chase: Isn’t it true that Mulder and Scully were lovers, and she got pregnant with his child? Skinner objects, but Agent K. decides he’s done with the witness. Mulder silently indicates to Scully that he still knows what he’s doing.

Spender is called next, and his face is still deformed, so that’s fun. He testifies about CSM’s part in the government conspiracy, but Agent K. and Kersh don’t see the connection to Mulder’s case. Skinner continues, getting Spender to testify that he and Mulder are half brothers, sharing CSM as a father. He adds that CSM had Krycek kill Bill Mulder. Bill always felt ashamed of his decision to give up Samantha to cover up the conspiracy.

Spender confirms that Samantha was sent to California and raised with Spender, but was taken many times for testing. She was part of the conspiracy’s cloning experiment and died in 1987. When Spender started working for the FBI, he didn’t know about CSM’s crimes. CSM tried to kill him, then made him undergo testing like Samantha did.

Agent K. says that Spender must want his father to pay for his crimes. Spender believes CSM is already dead. Agent K. notes that while they were working together at the FBI, Spender wrote reports trashing Mulder. Spenders says he wrote those before he knew the truth about the conspiracy. Agent K. doesn’t think that matters.

In Weed Hope, New Mexico, a teen boy pays a visit to someone in a camper. He has news about Mulder being in trouble. The camper’s owner, Gibson, says he’ll get ready to leave. With the trial over for the day, Scully goes to Mulder’s cell and begs him to take a plea bargain. Mulder refuses, since they’ve worked too hard to expose the truth. In that case, Scully wants him to testify on his own behalf, but he won’t do that either. She reminds him that they’re fighting the fight together.

After Scully leaves, Mulder hears a voice speaking in the dark. It’s Mr. X, and he is TICKED. He reminds Mulder that the men deciding his fate have too much power to be afraid of what he can tell them. Mulder says he refuses to back down. Mr. X. says he’ll need help, then, and gives him a piece of paper with Marita’s address.

At his place with Reyes, Doggett calls around to find out where Knowle’s body is, but he can’t get any cooperation. Reyes sees someone in the yard, so the two agents grab their guns and go to investigate. It’s the kid who visited Gibson, there to tell the agents that he wants to help Mulder.

Mr. X.’s help pans out, and on the second day of the trial, Marita comes to testify. She talks about the Syndicate and their work to develop a vaccine for the alien virus. They used human subjects for testing. Marita eventually turned on the Syndicate, which is why she helped Mulder when he approached her. But the Syndicate used her as a test subject while trying to develop a vaccine to save only themselves. Renegade aliens brought down the conspiracy, and the Syndicate members are all dead (allegedly).

Skinner asks why Marita resisted testifying – she shouldn’t be afraid of anything now, if the conspiracy has been stopped. Skinner thinks it’s still going on, with the super-soldiers, and that Marita knows who they are. As Skinner tries to get her to respond, Krycek appears to Mulder and warns, “They’ll kill her.” Mulder tells Skinner to dismiss Marita, no matter how helpful she might be to his case.

As Marita leaves, Doggett pulls Skinner aside to give him a message. Skinner reveals that there’s a surprise witness. When Gibson enters, Mulder gets agitated, telling Skinner he wants Gibson away from the proceedings for his protection. Skinner says that Gibson’s trying to protect Mulder now.

Gibson testifies that he’s been hiding Mulder in the desert for the past year. Skinner recaps the whole thing about Gibson having weird DNA and being able to read minds. Mulder notes that Gibson is reading Agent K.’s mind right now, as well as the minds of the judges. Even the mind of Toothpick Man…who’s not human. Mulder yells that Toothpick Man is “one of them” and needs to be examined. He’s removed from the courtroom as he shouts that they’re all afraid of the truth. To be continued…

Thoughts: Agent K. is played by Matthew Glave, who also plays Dale on ER.

I would like to never hear the name Knowle Rohrer again, please. How does anyone say it with a straight face?

Mulder doesn’t get a bed in the brig, but he does get unlimited visits from Scully. So that’s nice.

March 26, 2019

ER 3.15, The Long Way Around: It’s the Ewan McGregor Episode!

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

Someone actually put Ewan McGregor on TV looking like this. And he became famous anyway!

Summary: Carol’s asleep – drink! She wakes up early to a call from her mother, who doesn’t know that Carol’s been suspended from work. She leaves her house, saying hi to her mailman and to a neighborhood kid, Robert. The mailman reminds her that it’s Valentine’s Day. Carol goes to a convenience store run by a Mr. and Mrs. Novotny. As she goes to the back of the store, she hears Mrs. Novotny loudly asking someone to leave. Two men (one of them a pre-fame Ewan McGregor) are robbing her.

A deliveryman named Dave gets too close, so Ewan (whose character’s name is Duncan) points a gun at him. Now everyone in the store knows that there’s an armed robbery in progress. The other robber, James, tells Duncan to make everyone get on the ground while he empties the cash register. Everyone cooperates, and it looks like the robbery will be over shortly, since Duncan and James are happy with what they’re able to steal. But then Mr. Novotny emerges from the back of the store with a gun of his own, and the situation takes a turn for the worst.

Another customer tries to enter the store, and Mr. Novotny yells for him to leave. James fires at the customer, so Mr. Novotny shoots James. Duncan shoots Mr. Novotny a few times, then a coffee pot, for some reason. Duncan looks outside and sees a police car down the street. He and James try to leave through the store’s back door, but Mrs. Novotny is too distraught over her husband’s injuries to give them the key.

Carol notices Robert hiding under a pinball machine as Duncan tells everyone to keep quiet and stay where they are. The customer James shot at must have alerted the police, because they swarm the store. A simple robbery has turned into a hostage situation. Duncan knows he’s in over his head, but James is focused on keeping control of the hostages.

Carol quietly tries to get Robert to move behind some crates before the robbers can see him. She’s too late, and Duncan busts her for talking. He tells Robert to come closer, and when Robert tries to resist, Carol gently tells him it’s okay. The police start trying to communicate outside as James and Duncan tell Mrs. Novotny to stop yelling about her husband’s injuries. Carol offers up her nursing skills, so Duncan sends her to tend to James’ gunshot wound instead.

Duncan turns on another customer, Angie, who’s gone from being scared to being ticked off that her day is starting out like this. Duncan looks around the store, making James worry that he’s going to take off alone. The phone rings, and James decides that they shouldn’t answer it. Duncan checks on Dave and an older man named Mr. Duzak, who thinks Duncan should answer the phone. James asks for a minute to think.

Carol tells him that Mr. Novotny’s bullet may have hit James’ kidney, and he needs more medical care than she can give him. He tells her to use whatever she can find in the store to fix him up. He keeps Robert with him while Carol tells Duncan that James (who happens to be Duncan’s American cousin) will bleed to death if he doesn’t go to a hospital.

The phone finally stops ringing as Carol gathers some supplies and goes back to James at the front of the store. James tells Duncan to barricade the door, as more police are arriving. Duncan makes Dave help him move a shelf, crowing about how America is great because everyone has a job. He asks Angie if she does, and she says she’s a first-grade teacher. He says it’s nice that she can teach kids the right things to do from a young age. Angie sasses that no one got to Duncan early enough to make him a good person.

Carol does what she can for James, then goes to take care of Mr. Novotny. He needs CPR, and Carol asks Mrs. Novotny to help her. James notices that the police are moving their cars around outside, and he wonders why. Carol asks for more help with Mr. Novotny, but James still wants everyone to stay where they are. Carol turns to Duncan instead, telling him that he doesn’t want a death on his hands. Duncan allows Angie to help give Mr. Novotny CPR while Carol and Robert get more supplies.

The phone starts ringing again, and the police use a megaphone to ask for information on what’s going on inside. She uses alcohol and straws to create an airway in Mr. Novotny’s throat. Duncan and James turn on each other, angry that things have gone in this direction. Duncan blames James for the mess, since the robbery was his idea in the first place.

Carol gets Mr. Novotny breathing again, determined to save him no matter how bad things look. Carol asks for an icepick, which Duncan brings over, wanting to do anything he can to keep from being arrested for murder. Carol needs a different kind of straw, and Angie suggests one from a juice box. Carol wants to insert a chest tube, but as a nurse, it’s not something she’s that familiar with. She begs the robbers to let a doctor come in, but James won’t allow it.

Carol and her makeshift staff use tampons, duct tape, and a plastic bag to create a chest tube, but then Mr. Novotny’s pulse stops. Carol tries CPR, still desperate to save him, but Duncan knows it’s too late. Mrs. Novotny puts her hands on top of Carol’s and makes her stop giving chest compressions.

As Dave takes Mr. Novotny’s body to the back of the store, Robert begs to be allowed to use the bathroom before he throws up. Duncan’s sure there’s no way out the back of the store, so he lets Robert go. In the back office, Carol tells Duncan again that they need to take James to the hospital. Duncan knows he’ll end up in jail, but Carol thinks he’ll get a light sentence since he’s never killed anyone before. Duncan asks how she can be so sure of that.

Duncan and Dave leave, and as Carol’s following them out of the office, a guy hiding behind some shelves makes himself known. His name is Javier, and he’s found the back door out of the store, but it’s locked. He also has a bat, which Carol sharply tells him not to use, since it’s no match for James and Duncan’s guns. She tells him to stay put.

James has decided to answer the phone and ask the police for a getaway vehicle. Duncan tells him to ask for medical supplies instead, but James knows a cop would bring them in. He tells Duncan to tie up Dave and to stop letting Carol walk around the store whenever she wants. Duncan says she’s just trying to help people. Carol gives Angie an ice pack, which she needs for the burn she sustained when Duncan shot the coffee pot. She sasses him for it, and James jokes that he should shoot some milk next time.

Duncan says there won’t be a next time – he’s not listening to James anymore. This was supposed to be a simple robbery, and now look where they are. While the cousins fight, Carol quietly asks Mrs. Novotny where the key to the back door is, so she can get it to Javier. It’s under the front counter, and Mrs. Novotny offers to try to get it.

As James notices that Robert is still in the bathroom, a police officer outside asks to speak to one of the hostages. Carol examines Mr. Duzak, who has a wrist injury, and suggests that he drink some alcohol to help with the pain before she fixes it. He declines, as he’s a recovering alcoholic. Mrs. Novotny says she has aspirin behind the front counter, but Duncan sends her to get some from the aisle where it’s sold.

Angie makes another comment about Duncan’s trigger finger, and James starts making jokes about what else Duncan can shoot. Mrs. Novotny shuts him down by reminding him that her husband is now dead because of the cousins. Duncan is clearly affected by this, but he turns on James, pointing out that James is alive because Duncan killed the man who shot him.

Duncan decides to go check on Robert, but Robert won’t respond when Duncan knocks on the bathroom door. Carol gets through to him and promises that the police will eventually get inside and help them. Robert’s worried that Duncan will shoot someone else, but Carol points out that he can’t shoot all the hostages.

On his way back to the others, Duncan goes by Mr. Novotny’s body, taking in what he’s done. He guesses that as a nurse, Carol is used to seeing dead bodies. She says she’s never gotten used to it. Robert comes out of the bathroom, but instead of joining the others, he hides in a freezer case. Duncan pulls him out and makes him play pinball so Duncan can always hear where he is. If he doesn’t hear the machine, he’ll shoot.

The phone is ringing again, and Duncan finally answers it. He requests a getaway vehicle and says that they don’t need medical help, since Carol’s doing fine on her own. Suddenly, he sees that Robert has climbed up on the pinball machine and is trying to escape through the ceiling. Duncan tries to follow but falls on the pinball machine and cuts up his face. Now Carol has another patient to tend to.

Duncan knows Robert is going to go tell the police everything that’s happening inside. Carol tells him that James is the bigger problem right now; she’s not sure how much time he has left before he really needs to go to the hospital. Duncan tells her to shut up, but she tells him not to talk to her like that, since she’s trying to help him. She asks for glue to close his wounds, and Mrs. Novotny says there’s some behind the front counter.

While the rest of the group discusses the possibility of using a boat as a getaway vehicle, Carol is able to get the key to the back door without anyone noticing. She tells Duncan it’s time for him and James to give up. The cousins talk about an island in Scotland where Duncan wants to go, a place where Duncan could have gone instead of America, to get a new start. Carol can relate to his feeling of wanting to do something more with his life.

James says that they just came in for money so they could have a better life. Duncan doesn’t care about their intentions – he’s a killer now, and James can’t understand what that feels like. Carol can, though. Duncan doesn’t think the cops will be as forgiving of his actions as Carol thinks, no matter how accidental Mr. Novotny’s death was.

Javier sneaks out of the back room, ready to attack, but James spots him and warns Duncan. Duncan pulls his gun, but Carol jumps in front of Javier. She tells Duncan that if he shoots someone else, this time it won’t be accidental. When Javier admits that there’s a back door, Carol gives Duncan the keys and tells him to make his escape.

Duncan asks Mrs. Novotny where the door leads. There’s a building behind the store, and the door will take him to a fire escape. He tells Carol she’s coming along. Duncan says goodbye to James, promising that he’ll get medical attention soon. Duncan and Carol climb the fire escape and go through someone’s apartment, which Duncan calls “taking the long way around.”

They make it to an alley behind the buildings, and Duncan’s pleased that they’ve gotten away. Carol tells him that when they get to the end of the alley, he needs to let her go. He decides he’d be better off running on his own anyway. A police officer stops them, and Duncan takes off as Carol yells at him not to run. The cop threatens to shoot, and when Duncan doesn’t stop, he gets shot in the back. Carol rushes to try to help him.

She rides with him to the hospital, still trying to give him CPR as he’s taken to the ER. Doug takes over, and Carol tells Duncan to hold on and keeping thinking about all the places he’s been wanting to see. In the next trauma room, Weaver runs James’ trauma, declining to help when Carol asks her to give Duncan a chest tube.

Carol goes back to Duncan for more CPR, continuing to help out with the trauma even after Weaver tries to dismiss her. Things don’t look good, and Carol can tell this is another man she was unable to save. As James goes to surgery, probably on his way to recovery, Duncan’s trauma team reaches 25 minutes since they started working on him. Carol puts her hand on Doug’s like Mrs. Novotny did to her and declares time of death.

Jerry lets her know that most of the other hostages were taken to another hospital, but Angie’s in the ER. She starts crying when she sees Carol, who tries to comfort her. Angie reports that Robert came back down from the ceiling, totally fine. She’s more shaken up than she thought she would be, but she’s happy everyone’s safe. She’s glad Carol was in the store, because no one else there could have done what she did.

Doug checks on Carol, not wanting her to just dismiss his concern and say she’s okay. He tells her everyone was worried when they found out she was in the store. She apologizes for being so assertive during Duncan’s trauma, but Doug only cares that she’s okay. She goes back to Duncan’s trauma room and spends a few moments looking at his body, then gets her things and starts to leave. Weaver goes after her and asks if she needs anything. Carol says she’s fine, and she’s missed being at work because she loves her job. Then she heads home like she’s leaving any other shift she’s ever worked.

Thoughts: Angie is played by Marisol Nichols.

This episode was a big gamble, with Carol being the only known character for so much of it. But it works.

How do all these people know each other’s names? How does Carol know the names of her mailman and the people who run her neighborhood convenience store?

Let’s talk about Ewan McGregor’s hair in this episode. It’s very…not good.

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