August 10, 2021

ER 9.5, A Hopeless Wound: Down the Drain

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

Look who dropped by to hang out for a while!

Summary: It’s 5:07 p.m. on Halloween and Elizabeth is leading two little ducklings – I mean students – through the ICU. They don’t know the answer to her question, and she’s not very impressed. She sends them home, then gets ready to leave herself so she can take Ella trick-or-treating. She tells a nurse that Ella’s going as a cow. Last year, she was Dorothy, Elizabeth was the Cowardly Lion, and Mark was the Scarecrow. As in “if I only had a brain.” The guy who had a brain tumor went as the Scarecrow. Oh, boy. Anyway, this year Elizabeth is going to be a farmer.

Before she can leave, a nurse tells her that a third med student, Paul Nathan, is on his way. He missed his first day of the surgical rotation, and Elizabeth isn’t willing to stick around and talk to him. But Romano also wants to see her, so she can’t leave yet. Would Romano really delay Elizabeth so that her toddler daughter can’t go out and get free candy? Yes, yes, he would.

Down in the ER, Carter is dressed as a skeleton and Abby is dressed as an old-fashioned nurse (but really, a sexy nurse). They’re annoyed because they thought everyone was going to dress up, but they’re the only two who did. Abby got there first and didn’t warn Carter, since she didn’t want to be the only one in costume. Frank says he didn’t dress up because he doesn’t celebrate Pagan holidays about devil worship. Abby tells him that in that case, he can’t have any candy; it’s only for Satanists.

Luka and Chuny are fighting, and the normally calm Chuny declares that she’s not working with him anymore. She complains to Abby that he treats nurses like they’re idiots. Luka and Susan tease Abby about her costume. She gets Luka back by saying she should have worn the schoolgirl outfit he once bought her. He tells Susan and Frank she’s kidding, but they don’t believe him.

Romano’s back in the OR, determined to show that he can operate again. He’s practicing on a pig. Elizabeth points out that he’s not cleared to do surgery, even on animals. He’s annoyed that she made some decision about rounds without consulting him. He thought she would stay loyal to him instead of going behind his back to make changes with Weaver. Elizabeth notices that the pig’s tail is starting to move – I guess the anesthesiologist didn’t calculate the dosage properly. Elizabeth has to help the surgical team wrestle the pig.

Later, Romano gets a checkup on how much he’s able to move his arm. His doctor tells him he needs to give himself at least nine months before he finds out how permanent his limitations are. Romano asks for the odds that he’ll get full function back. The doctor says they’re 20%, but because of Romano’s inability to flex and move certain ways, he may not be able to operate again. He can still be chief of staff, at least. Romano proves that he does have some dexterity by giving his doctor the finger.

Paul Nathan arrives and meets Romano, who’s surprised that he’s a lot older than most med students. Nathan says he’s changing careers. He asks about Romano’s arm, which is in a complicated contraption, and Romano says he has tennis elbow. Downstairs, victims of an apartment fire are arriving. One of them, Amy, looks really bad. Another, Ed, has burns on his hands, which he sustained while he was trying to put out someone else who was on fire.

Nathan’s down there now, so Susan puts him to work. She tosses him a pen, which he fumbles, and she sarcastically says, “Nice catch.” Carter tries to wrangle concerned loved ones who want more details than the doctors and fire department have provided them. Nathan examines a guy named Jason who has an infection on his leg that needs to be monitored in case it spreads. He then joins Luka to treat Ed, who’s concerned because he can’t feel his hands. Nathan doesn’t know what to tell him, since he doesn’t know how bad Ed’s injuries are.

Romano comes down to check on Elizabeth, who’s working with Pratt to help a man named Wynn whose Halloween mask melted onto his face. Looks like Elizabeth won’t be taking Ella trick-or-treating anytime soon. Romano tries to help by opening some supplies, but it’s too hard to do with one hand. When he turns to leave, he runs into Lily, jostling his reattached arm. He pretends he’s okay and tells Elizabeth he’s going to go check on “the rest of the kids.” None of them need his help, though.

Carter and Abby tend to Amy as Nathan comes in, finally finding Elizabeth. She doesn’t have time to listen to his excuses for missing his rotation that morning. Carter tells Nathan she’s just being short with him because she’s trying to help a critical patient. Nathan tells Elizabeth he sent her a letter explaining things. Frank pops into the trauma room to tell Elizabeth that her nanny’s on the phone, as if Elizabeth can just drop everything and take the call. The nanny’s supposed to get on a plane at 10:30, so Elizabeth tells Frank to tell the nanny to bring Ella to County.

Nathan wants to be helpful, and Elizabeth tells him he can do that by being quiet. Then she realizes he can help with minor cases in the ER. He’s supposed to be doing a surgical rotation, but Elizabeth figures he’s capable of taking histories and presenting cases to attendings. As Nathan takes a pill, Jason’s girlfriend comes to get him, reporting that Jason’s x-rays are back. The infection is spreading, and Nathan alerts Romano to the case. Nathan thinks Jason has necrotizing fasciitis, AKA flesh-eating bacteria.

Romano compliments him on the catch and rushes Jason to surgery before the infection kills him. Susan also praises Nathan, hopeful that he made the diagnosis in time. She introduces herself and offers her right hand, which he shakes with his left. She starts to head back to the ER, but he tells her he needs a minute. He has Parkinson’s and can’t move as fast as everyone else.

Of course, Romano can’t operate on Jason, so he bugs Elizabeth to hand her patient off so she can come up to the OR. Carter reminds Elizabeth that she still needs to deal with Nathan. Nathan thinks he’s allowed to leave, since the critical patients have been taken care of, but Elizabeth tells him he owes her eight hours of work. He protests that he has rounds at 6 a.m. Elizabeth welcomes him to the life of a surgeon.

Before Nathan can figure out what to do, a guy asks him where he can find a patient. Nathan takes him to the group of loved ones still waiting for news. A nun joins them and Pratt tells her to wait with the others. He thinks she’s a drag queen in costume, but she’s an actual nun. She’s dropping off food and housing vouchers for the people who lived in the apartment building. That’s an awesome service to the community. Thank you, nun. Does this mean Pratt is going to Hell?

Romano hangs around while Dale operates on Jason. Whatever the surgical version of backseat driving is, Romano’s doing it. He wants Elizabeth to take over, since he thinks she’ll do a better job of saving Jason’s leg without cutting out anything unnecessary. Elizabeth calls her nanny to tell her not to bring Ella after all; she doesn’t think she’ll need to stay for more than another hour. She suggests that the nanny take Ella to her house so she can finish packing. Then when Elizabeth comes to pick up Ella, she can drive the nanny to the airport.

As Elizabeth is finishing up the call, which she’s on while scrubbing in, she accidentally drops her wedding ring in the sink. She asks a scrub nurse to call the engineering department, but they won’t be in the building until the morning. To add insult to injury, Romano is demanding that Elizabeth come into the OR stat. Jason’s leg is more important than Elizabeth’s ring. In between yelling back at Romano, Elizabeth calmly (and smartly) asks the scrub nurse to get someone to tape off the drain so no one else uses the sink.

Terry, the guy who asked Nathan for help, is there to see Wynn. Pratt tells Terry that Wynn will need to be on a ventilator until his lungs heal, and he’ll need skin grafts for his injuries, but his prognosis is good. Nathan notices how concerned Terry is about Wynn, but Pratt ignores the human feelings in the room because he has a job to do. (Also, Terry and Wynn are clearly a couple, and we find out later that Pratt is homophobic, so that might have something to do with his attitude here.)

Paramedics bring in a guy who accidentally drank a mandrake smoothie and is now high and bouncing around on a gurney. Abby, Luka, and Chuny try to tend to him. Luka and Chuny disagree about how to handle him, and when he grabs Chuny’s butt, Chuny says she’s out. Abby tells Luka to be more sensitive. Luka doesn’t seem to get that anything’s wrong.

Elizabeth takes over Jason’s surgery, annoyed that Romano keeps giving instructions. He wants her to remove just the infected tissue and treat everything else with antibiotics and oxygen therapy. Elizabeth notes that there’s a lot of damage, but Romano wants a more conservative treatment so Jason can keep more of his leg.

Word of Nathan’s condition has spread (okay, maybe I shouldn’t say that right after a paragraph about a guy with a quickly spreading infection), and the staff are gossiping about him. Susan thinks he has it well enough under control to practice medicine, but Luka notes that Parkinson’s is progressive; how many years can Nathan be a doctor?

Weaver was supposed to be taking a sick day, but with all the chaos of the apartment fire, she’s decided to come in. She’s in a bad mood (worse than usual) and demands that they turn on the air conditioner. Luka notes that it’s already cold. Frank remarks that this is the biggest day of the year for Weaver’s “kind” (Wiccans, not lesbians, Pratt). Pratt thinks Weaver’s going through menopause. Susan and Abby call him out for being sexist.

Chuny asks Abby to talk to Luka for her. Weaver meets Nathan, whom Pratt calls their “newest oldest med student,” and brings him and Abby with her to meet an ambulance bringing in a newborn with breathing problems. The midwife who delivered the baby hands him to Nathan, and Abby immediately takes him. The mom, Simone, hasn’t delivered the placenta yet, so she needs medical care herself, but she’s more worried about the baby.

Luka lets Nathan help treat the newborn, giving him guidance and telling him to relax so his tremors don’t make him want to give up. Up in the OR, Elizabeth and Dale want to amputate Jason’s leg, but of course Romano objects. Elizabeth shuts him down by invoking the title of the episode – Jason has a hopeless wound. Romano realizes she’s right and reluctantly approves of the amputation.

Nathan’s symptoms are getting worse, and he’s having trouble keeping his balance. Abby checks on him, but he downplays what’s going on. She appreciates that he’s the first person all day to notice that her costume is supposed to be retro, not sexy. She tells him that he can come to her if he ever needs anything.

Nathan says that his tremors and balance problems (dyskinesia) are due to the medication he takes to keep him from freezing up. He takes more of it while he’s working, but it makes the tremors worse. He jokes that it helps dispel the myth that all Black people have rhythm. Abby comments that if she were diagnosed with Parkinson’s, she’d go on a long vacation instead of take a demanding job. Nathan says he was on vacation when he first noticed his symptoms. Getting his diagnosis put things in perspective for him.

Simone’s doing okay, but the baby is still struggling. Luka tells her that he has a genetic disorder that has damaged a lot of his organs and bones. He notices Nathan’s dyskinesia and asks him to leave the trauma room before he gives Simone the news that the baby will have major delays and probably won’t live past the age of two.

Afterward, Abby calls Luka out for being insensitive and sending Nathan away. He argues that he didn’t want an audience when he gave Simone the horrible news. Abby tells him she’s been getting complaints about him from their co-workers. Well, specifically, Chuny. Luka doesn’t see the big deal. Haleh hands a patient off to Abby, not wanting to deal with a groper (maybe mandrake guy; I don’t know). Abby asks the patient’s status. “He’s gonna die if he tries that again; that’s his status,” Haleh replies. I love her.

Abby tells Luka that all the nurses’ complaints come to her now, since she’s the manager. That means she gets to counsel Luka when they complain about him. He’s allowed to give nurses orders and critique their work, but if there’s a problem, he needs to bring it to her. Luka asks who he should complain to about Abby. She tells him to try fighting for the nurses instead of fighting against them. He replies that she should sew swastikas on her costume. Abby must be tired because all she can think to say is that he sucks. He taunts that she’s creating a hostile work environment.

Nathan can’t find Luka, so he tells Weaver that Simone’s baby has a fever. Weaver takes over the case and promises Simone that they’ll do all they can for him. She may be cranky today, but she’s gentle and patient with Simone. Elizabeth calls her nanny again to promise she’s on the way home. She tells Romano that she and Dale did the right thing by amputating Jason’s leg. Romano is going through an adjustment period just like Elizabeth did after she had Ella. When your circumstances change, you start seeing patients differently. Romano will get over it.

Romano says he knows most people don’t like him. He doesn’t care, since he doesn’t like them, either. But he’s good at what he does. Every day, he saves people no one else will help. If he can’t do that anymore, he doesn’t know what he’ll do or who he’ll be. Elizabeth sympathetically says that he’s a wonderful surgeon and she’s sure he’ll be able to keep operating. He puts a hand on her face, like they’re having an intimate moment. Elizabeth flees as fast as she can.

The nanny arrives with Ella, unable to keep waiting for Elizabeth. Amy’s declining, so Elizabeth hands Ella off to Lily while she gets back to work. Next door, Luka finds Chuny giving Simone’s baby medication, which he thought Simone had agreed she didn’t want. Chuny says Weaver gave her instructions, even though the baby is Luka’s patient. He doesn’t want the baby’s life to be prolonged, since he has no chance at a meaningful life. Nathan tries to defend Chuny, but Luka says this isn’t his case.

Nathan and Abby go to Amy’s trauma room, where Carter tries to squeeze in some teaching. Chuny comes over to tell Abby she’s filing a grievance against Luka. Nathan tries to help out by hanging more saline on an IV, but a tremor causes him to pierce the bag. Elizabeth sends him away. Abby thinks she was too harsh; he’s doing a pretty good job, considering he has Parkinson’s. This is the first Elizabeth is hearing about that.

It’s 10:09 p.m. I don’t think the time stamps are really necessary. Anyway, Amy’s stable. Chuny throws the baby’s labs at Luka, which leads Abby to comment to him that she’s glad they made up. Hey, take that up with Chuny. Luka didn’t do anything there. He tells Abby he warned Chuny, but won’t elaborate. Abby realizes that they slept together. So that makes one co-worker and one patient’s mother Luka has hooked up with. Luka notes that Abby never complained about their extracurricular activities. Abby points out that she never let their relationship affect her job. He needs to fix this.

Pratt sends Wynn off to the ICU while Terry laments that he can’t visit him. He wishes he’d lied and said he’s Terry’s brother. Pratt is slowly gaining sympathy for the couple, and he tells Terry that Wynn’s lungs are getting better. Terry should be allowed to visit him in the morning. Simone tells Luka that she spent years trying to conceive via IVF and was about to give up when she got pregnant. Luka gently tells her that the baby isn’t going to survive, even if they treat him. He wants to know if she wants them to try to keep the baby alive. Simone doesn’t know what to do.

Nathan is hanging out with Ella, who seems content with a lollipop and is probably too young to understand that she could have had a ton more candy tonight. Elizabeth is annoyed that Nathan didn’t tell her he has Parkinson’s. He snarks that he’s sorry he embarrassed her. He was late today because his doctor wanted him to have an MRI.

Elizabeth apologizes for making him stay late. She’ll give him a pass on the physical aspects of this rotation as long as he keeps up with the other parts. Nathan wants to do everything, but Elizabeth warns that these six weeks will be exhausting and stressful. He says he’s here to treat patients. He doesn’t want special treatment – he wants to learn along with his classmates. Elizabeth tells him to think about it further and come back in two days. She thinks he’ll need tomorrow to rest up after a long night. Nathan insists that he’s fine.

Abby wakes Weaver from a nap so she can pronounce time of death for a patient. Weaver asks if they ever heard back from the neonatal ICU about admitting Simone’s baby. It’s a moot point, though – the baby has died. Weaver tells Abby to get a social worker while she moves Simone to a quiet room so she can spend as much time as she wants with the baby.

A drunk guy tells Abby she’s the most beautiful nurse in the hospital. She has class. Also, can he play with her breasts? Has anyone not sexually harassed Abby today? I guess the baby didn’t. The drunk whines that he’s dying (he’s not) and wants to “go to Heaven on the bosom of a beautiful woman.” Abby quips that his HMO doesn’t cover that.

Elizabeth is finally on her way home when Romano delays her. He used a laparoscopic camera to find and retrieve her wedding ring from the drain. He also apologizes for touching her face. I’m sorry, ROMANO just apologized for BEING INAPPROPRIATE? Did Hell freeze over?? Elizabeth assures him that he’ll work through this. He says of course he will.

Elizabeth and Ella get on an El train to go home. The next morning, they ride a train back to County, where Nathan joins his fellow students for rounds. He’s ten times more competent than they are. He may not be able to operate on patients, but at least he’ll be able to diagnose them and treat them with kindness.

Thoughts: Nathan is played by the awesome Don Cheadle, who got an Emmy nomination for the role. No matter how many times I watch the series, I always forget hes in it until I get to this episode. Jason’s girlfriend is played by Katee Sackhoff.

Laura Innes directed this episode.

Rejoice, because this is the last time we ever have to see Dale Edson!

We don’t see Luka do much teaching throughout the series, but he’s good at it when he lets Nathan help him with the baby. He’s clear with his instructions, he’s authoritative without being harsh, and he doesn’t let Nathan think his physical limitations are an excuse not to be successful. He basically lets Nathan know that he can do the job despite everything working against him. That said, Luka’s a jerk for the rest of the episode, so it’s hard to say something nice about him.

March 16, 2021

ER 8.6, Supplies and Demands: My Two Dads

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

Seriously, guys, send Rachel back now

Summary: Benton is playing basketball with Reese at Jackie’s house before heading off to work. Jackie is surprised that Roger is going to be picking Reese up that afternoon for a family party. She says the cousin having the party isn’t Reese’s “real” cousin. Jackie, shush. Benton shuts her down, but Jackie argues that Reese must be confused to still have Roger in his life when they’re not really family anymore. Benton says he’s just giving Roger time to adjust to the changes – something Jackie should understand. She doesn’t appreciate that.

While driving to work, Elizabeth talks to someone on the phone in an attempt to help a patient she operated on. Rachel got her precious cell phone, and in exchange, she’ll be watching her baby sister that afternoon. Mark notices glitter on her cheek and asks if she’s starting a trend. Apparently it’s already a trend. Mark drops Elizabeth off before taking Rachel to school a little late. Rachel asks to be dropped off a few blocks away so no one sees her father’s minivan.

Susan has dragged Carter to a yoga class in hopes of helping him deal with the pain in his back. They talk through the whole thing, which I think is a no-no. He tells her that Millicent’s lab work has all come back fine, so aside from her fainting spell, she seems to be healthy. Susan asks about Carter and Abby, noting that there seems to be something going on there. He says they’re just friends. Susan thinks he doesn’t want to be Abby’s rebound after her breakup with Luka. Carter tries to hold a pose but ultimately falls over, taking Susan down with him.

The two head to County after the class, arriving just as a call comes in about an apartment fire. Supplies are moving around slowly since the person delivering them around the hospital is new. That person turns out to be Nicole, who of course got the job thanks to Luka. Abby is less than thrilled to have to see both her ex and his crush all day.

The patient Elizabeth was trying to help over the phone is Mrs. Wilson, the woman Elizabeth operated on in the previous episode. Elizabeth has to spend the day being shadowed by Carmen from County’s infection-control department. Mrs. Wilson’s daughter, April, doesn’t want her mother to keep suffering if it’s her time to go. Elizabeth promises to keep working on Mrs. Wilson, but a nurse notes that she has a DNR. April knows that her mother wouldn’t want to be placed on a machine, so she resists Elizabeth’s plans to help her. Elizabeth wants to proceed anyway.

Victims of the apartment fire start coming in, along with a firefighter who hurt his ankle. Luka and Abby tend to him as he semi-flirts with Abby. Mark examines a little girl while Carter treats her mother next door. Elizabeth comes to see if she needs surgery, and Carmen calls her out for starting to use her stethoscope without cleaning it after using it on another patient.

Once they’ve finished with the patient, Mark asks Elizabeth how Mrs. Wilson is. Elizabeth tells Carmen she wants some privacy while she talks to her husband, but Carmen has to watch Elizabeth at all times. Despite her annoyance with Carmen, Elizabeth is taking the situation very seriously and is desperate not to lose another patient. Mark reminds her that she can’t save everyone. Elizabeth would settle for just not killing everyone.

Abby tries to examine a man who insists on seeing a doctor. Abby promises she won’t be shocked by whatever he did to himself with scissors. She is, though. I’m going to go with…home circumcision. Susan examines a college student named Laura who first thought she had a bad hangover but now thinks it’s something else. Susan guesses she has the flu, which matches Stanley the med student’s diagnosis. Susan goes to talk to Stanley but instead tries to ease Carter’s back pain. She tells Stanley she agrees with his diagnosis for Laura, but he needs to sign up for patients so they don’t get seen twice.

Luka tries to explain the Nicole situation to Abby, who says it’s none of her business. Then she makes it her business anyway, commenting that Luka seems to be going out on a limb for her. Luka says he just got a friend a job; they’re not dating. Abby guesses that he’s also let her move in with him. He says he’s just trying to help her, but Abby notes that he doesn’t have to help everyone. Hmm, maybe Mark should repeat what he said about doctors not being able to save everyone.

Carter has overheard part of the conversation and asks Abby what her problem is with the situation. She tells him Luka has a new project. And no, she doesn’t care. Not at all. The percentage that Abby cares about this is 0.00. Mrs. Wilson is still declining, and when Elizabeth tries again to stabilize her, Benton reminds her that Mrs. Wilson has a DNR. Elizabeth just wants to use machines to support Mrs. Wilson until she can figure out what’s wrong with her. Benton tells the nurses to stop treating her. When Elizabeth grabs paddles to shock Mrs. Wilson, Benton tells her to look at April, who’s watching.

Abby checks on the flirty firefighter, who’s definitely interested in her, then goes with Benton to deal with the scissors guy, Rick. Indeed, he tried to circumcise himself. Since he got halfway through, Benton offers to either finish the job or just sew him up. Rick wants to ask his girlfriend her opinion first – she’s the reason he wanted this in the first place. She said she was a neat freak and didn’t want to date a guy with foreskin. As they leave the room, Abby asks Benton if she should call for a psych consult. “Nah, I just think he’s stupid,” Benton replies.

Luka tends to a guy named Wes who has a protein deficiency that keeps him from clotting. He’s supposed to get regular treatment, but he hasn’t been able to get to a hospital for it recently. He asks about food at the hospital, so Nicole offers to get him a sandwich. Susan tries to make small talk with Abby, admitting that Carter said she and Luka just broke up. Abby doesn’t really want to talk about her personal life, but at least she’s stopped resenting Susan for asking her to do tasks that are, you know, her job.

Mrs. Wilson has died, and Elizabeth asks a pathologist, Dr. Upton, to check her body for signs of infection. Dr. Upton tells Elizabeth that she disagrees with what others are saying about her. Implying that becoming a mother has affected Elizabeth’s work is “sexist crap.” Elizabeth notes that they live in a man’s world, so they have to put up with that. “Not until they perfect cloning,” Dr. Upton replies. That’s the spirit!

Rick’s girlfriend, Sara, has arrived, and she, like Benton, thinks he’s an idiot for trying to circumcise himself. She doesn’t care if he finishes the procedure or just gets sewn up. She pulls Abby out of the room and confides that she pretended she didn’t want to date a guy with foreskin because she needed an excuse to dump him. Oh, honey. Rick is going to send you his medical bills.

Paramedics bring in a college student named Andy who was unresponsive when his roommate tried to wake up him. The roommate tells Susan they went to a party the night before, and when they went to bed, Andy said he felt sick and had a stiff neck. Abby notices spots on Andy’s hands, leading Susan to realize that he has meningococcemia. Since it’s contagious, everyone will need to wear masks and gowns while treating him. They’ll also need to inform his college in case other students have been exposed.

Abby grabs Carter to help Susan out with the sudden emergency. Carter has finally given in to Stanley’s offers and let him try acupuncture on Carter’s back, so he’ll have to get the needles removed first. Susan realizes that Laura goes to the same school as Andy, so she may have meningococcemia, too. Laura was already discharged, so someone will have to find her and bring her back to the hospital for testing. Susan goes on the hunt, learning from Frank that Laura was looking for orange juice, so he sent her to the cafeteria.

Thanks to Nicole’s incompetence, Abby can’t find the supplies she needs. Carter gets impatient since Nicole can’t identify the tools he needs, but Luka tells him to go easy on her, since it’s her first day. Carter’s like, “I have a dying college student here, but yeah, we’ll wait a few minutes while Nicole digs through a box of supplies.” Laura’s not in the cafeteria, so Susan has to run around the hospital for a little while. She finally spots Laura leaving through the ambulance bay. Susan’s able to call outside to her and get her to stay put.

On his way to the OR, Benton takes a phone call from Roger, who’s complaining about Jackie. Benton tells Elizabeth that Roger is his new shadow. Elizabeth suggests that they introduce him to her shadow, Carmen. She apologizes for continuing to try to save Mrs. Wilson even after Benton told her she shouldn’t. He lets it go, knowing she’s stressed about becoming a mother. Elizabeth takes a little offense to that, but Benton adds that having Carmen watching her every move can’t help. Elizabeth asks if he’s ever seen her screw up. Benton thinks she’s just in a slump right now and shouldn’t doubt her skills. If he or Reese ever needed surgery, he’d come to Elizabeth.

Carter and Abby struggle to stabilize Andy, who must have a fast-moving strain of meningococcemia. Susan performs a spinal tap on Laura, who reveals that she kissed Andy at the party the night before, so…no contact tracing needed there. Next door, Andy flatlines, and Carter shakes his head to let Susan know through the window that he’s not going to make it. Stanley notices spots on Laura’s feet, which means she’s getting worse.

Luka goes back to Wes, who tested positive for opiates. He blames the pain from his condition, but Luka guesses he uses heroin, which isn’t exactly prescribed for pain. He thinks Wes uses the permanent catheter port in his chest to shoot drugs (also not exactly prescribed behavior). Luka tries to talk to Wes about rehab, but Wes isn’t interested and wants to leave. Luka still has to finish treating the cut on Wes’ hand, and Nicole is just now bringing his sandwich, so Wes decides to stay a little longer. Nicole points out to Luka that removing Wes’ port won’t stop him from using drugs.

Susan tries to reach Laura’s parents as Carter joins her to put her on a ventilator. Susan can’t believe she misdiagnosed Laura, but Carter thinks it was reasonable of her to think Laura just had the flu. They’ve already contacted Laura and Andy’s college, and all the students in their dorm will get antibiotics to try to head off any infections. County staff who worked on either patient will also need preventive meds.

The firefighter flirts with Abby again, then asks her out for coffee. She tells him she’s not available. He guesses she’s seeing someone, but Abby says she’s not sure. Hey, Abby? Yeah, hi. You’re not. You broke up with Luka, and Carter is totally interested in Susan now, so you’re single. Go out with the firefighter.

In case Elizabeth’s day wasn’t already bad enough, she has to operate with Dale. Ugh, this guy. Carmen is overly vigilant, and Elizabeth finally tells her to get out, since she’s driving everyone crazy. Carmen won’t leave, since she’s just doing her job, so Elizabeth threatens to call security. “Catfight pending,” Dale says. SHUT UP, DALE. Elizabeth gets summoned to Romano’s office, and she tells Carmen not to follow her.

Frank has two messages for Benton from Jackie and Roger. He thinks they’re feuding. Benton says to let them, refusing to take the messages. Abby urges Sara to break up with Rick directly, since her indirect method obviously didn’t work. Benton tells them that Rick will be fine, and when he learns of Sara’s failed breakup attempt, he tells her to go finish the task right now. Abby argues that she should wait a few weeks. She once accidentally killed a boyfriend’s cat, then stayed with him for two more weeks. This should be worth at least three.

Romano has brought in a new investigator, Dr. Bain from the county health department. Nothing turned up in Elizabeth’s cultures, and Carmen doesn’t have a problem with her practices, but there has to be something going on that has led to so many of Elizabeth’s patients dying. Bain invites Elizabeth to come clean about anything she might need to come clean about, because she could be facing a criminal investigation.

Bain continues that all of Elizabeth’s patients were elderly and in marginal health. All of them died of post-op sepsis while under Elizabeth’s care. One’s family specifically asked Elizabeth to euthanize her. In a nutshell, Bain thinks Elizabeth might see herself as an angel of mercy, ending sick people’s lives so they don’t have to suffer. Romano immediately comes to Elizabeth’s defense and tells Bain the discussion is over.

Nicole is done with her shift and waiting for Luka. She tells Abby that she always wanted to be a nurse. The nurses were very kind to her at the hospital where her mother died. Luka can’t find Wes, and Nicole guesses that he left so Luka wouldn’t remove his port. Luka asks if she told Wes he was going to remove it, either purposely or accidentally letting Wes know he should take off.

At home, Elizabeth is greeted by loud music and a crying baby. Rachel’s on the phone and ignoring her sister. Elizabeth asks her to be more responsible and less self-centered. Rachel says that if Elizabeth is so worried about Ella, she should quit her job and stay home with her. The two fight over who gets to give orders and who has to obey rules in the house until Rachel storms out. Listen, Elizabeth, send her back to St. Louis now. Save yourself a lot of pain in the future.

Back at County, Susan is staying late, since she wants to be nearby when they determine Laura’s condition. Roger shows up to pick a fight with Benton – he was late picking Reese up, so Jackie wouldn’t let Roger take him. Benton says they need to rethink Roger’s visitation. Roger blames Jackie, and Benton reminds him that Jackie is Reese’s aunt. Roger replies that he’s Reese’s father.

Benton doesn’t like that, and he tells Roger it’s time for him to let go of his stepson. Reese only has one father, Benton. Roger announces that they both know that’s not true: Carla told him that Benton isn’t Reese’s biological father. Benton warns him to shut up. Roger accuses Benton of thinking he’s more important to Reese than Roger is. Benton tells him to stay away from him, Reese, and Jackie.

Carter and Abby go for a walk by the water, and she mentions that the firefighter asked her out. Carter seems supportive of any decisions she makes to date guys other than him. Abby has learned a lesson from Sara about not being direct and admits that she turned down the firefighter because she was waiting to see if things developed with her and Carter. Carter notes that she didn’t do much to move things forward between them.

She reminds him that he gave her an ultimatum. It wasn’t really an ultimatum, though – he just said he couldn’t keep being her friend if she was only going to talk about her relationship problems. Abby thinks that breaking up with Luka was a good indication that she was ready to be with Carter. He asks why she cares so much about what Luka thinks if they’re really over. Abby says they have a history after a year together. If Carter wants someone without a history, he’ll have to find a virgin. Carter replies that he can just settle for a girlfriend who isn’t so hung up on someone else. She tells him he doesn’t have to settle for anything.

Mark didn’t seem to deal with a lot of traumas at work today, but at home, he’s putting out fires left and right. He’s letting Rachel spend some time at Andrew’s so she and Elizabeth can cool off. Now he’s trying to reassure Elizabeth that she has nothing to worry about in any investigation that might take place. She admits that she feels guilty for her patients’ deaths and for taking it out on Rachel.

Mark thinks she was justified in being mad at Rachel for not doing what she said she would do. Elizabeth is worried that she can’t balance motherhood and work. Mark comforts her, promising that they’ll get through everything they’re facing. They have each other and their kids – that’s a lot. At County, Laura regains consciousness, making Susan hopeful that she’ll be okay.

Thoughts: Benton’s attitude while examining Rick is so funny. He stays completely professional, but when he first looks at the damage, he glances at Abby like he’s thinking, “Did you see this? Is he serious with this?” You can see he’s deducting points from Rick’s IQ through the whole scene.

I looked up Wes’ deficiency, which it turns out is a form of hemophilia. I don’t know why the show didn’t just say that. Anyway, it’s also called Christmas disease, after the first person diagnosed with it. What a horribly misnamed disease. “Ooh, Christmas disease – does that mean I get extra presents?” No, it means you’re at increased risk of bleeding to death. Fa la la la la la la I’m so sorry.

I want a spin-off starring Dr. Upton.

Rejoice with me, friends, because we’re almost done with Dale. He’s only in one more episode after this.

Brace yourself: I’m going to say something nice about Romano. He’s definitely a judgmental jerk, and it’s clear he thinks he’s better than all of his colleagues, but when Elizabeth’s ethics are called into question, he has her back. He knows she’s good at her job and that she has integrity. As annoying as he is, he recognizes his colleagues’ accomplishments and talents.

February 16, 2021

ER 8.2, The Longer You Stay: The ER Vortex

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

Pictured: Weaver not admitting she screwed up

Summary: Carter is wrapping up a busy shift where he saw 140 patients, possibly a shift record. Haleh is wrestling beer away from Pablo and asks Abby for help, but Abby clocks out before she can be forced to stick around. Elizabeth arrives with Ella, looking for Mark, and Abby says that she thinks he quit. Chen asks Weaver for help with a patient, but Weaver reminds her that she’s chief resident now, so she needs to make decisions on her own.

Elizabeth finally finds Mark, who was supposed to meet her in the parking lot to take Ella so Elizabeth could start her shift. She thinks they need a weekend nanny so they don’t have to do childcare hand-offs like this. Mark already objected to a weekday nanny, so he won’t go for that. Elizabeth tells him they’re not bad parents for hiring nannies. If Mark wants them to raise Ella on their own, he needs to be done with work when he said he would be.

Abby leaves at the same time as Carter, telling him he’s stubborn for not asking Weaver about an attending position. Instead, he’s still looking around for other jobs. Chuny tries to get Abby to come back in and find a vein in a patient they’re having trouble sticking. Abby refuses, telling Carter she has to be back at work at 7 a.m., so she needs to go home. She repeats that he needs to talk to Weaver.

Instead of going home himself, Carter goes back to the ER and asks Weaver how her search for a new attending. When he mentions that he’s thinking about applying, she seems surprised but not opposed to the idea. Chen asks Carter to finish up with a patient, since everyone’s swamped, but Carter has dinner plans with his parents. She manages to wear him down. As a reward, Pablo pees on him. Womp womp.

Carter’s patient is a heavy-metal roadie who had a mishap with a special effect. Carter realizes this will take longer than expected. The roadie’s buddy passes out when Carter injects the roadie with a big needle, and Chuny realizes he’s not breathing. Now Carter has two patients. Elizabeth is also struggling, since she has to talk to a patient’s mother while dealing with a crying Ella. Mark finally relieves her, and Elizabeth declares that they’re not taking weekend shifts anymore.

Carter blames drugs for the roadie’s buddy’s condition, and the roadie confesses that they took GHB. Carter tries to hand them off to Cleo, but she tells him there’s a mass trauma coming in – a stampede. The roadie realizes it happened at the concert where the band he roadies for was opening for Metallica. Chuny warns Weaver that the roadies may have mixed alcohol with GHB, so they’ll need to keep an eye out for that in other patients.

One of the stampede victims is a seven-year-old named Kevin, because seven-year-olds just love Metallica. As Benton is helping Cleo with him, a police officer tells him that Reese may have been brought into another hospital in the city. Benton wonders where Carla is, since Reese was supposed to be with her.

Abby goes to Luka’s new place, where he’s playing a video game on his new Playstation. He got that and a huge aquarium, but hasn’t bought furniture yet. Abby was hoping to go out to dinner instead of spending the night alone while her boyfriend kills zombies in a game. When did Luka turn into such an American?

Carter keeps trying to hand off his patients, but no one will let him go. Kevin’s babysitter finally finds him, and Elizabeth chastises her for taking a seven-year-old to a heavy-metal concert. She says her boyfriend brought the tickets over, and they were going to be home before Kevin’s parents returned. Somewhere, Kristy Thomas is seething.

Remember Sam, the PI Weaver hired to find her birth mother? He claims he’s found her. If Weaver wants more info, she can call him later. Luka and Abby go to a bar he goes to a lot – so much that a waitress named Nicole knows his name and his regular order. Abby was hoping for food, but the bar stopped serving two minutes earlier. Luka talks Nicole into getting her something anyway.

Harmony, the girlfriend of one of the concert victims (the guitarist, I believe), comes in, anxious about how he is. Her friend, Dianna, thinks a big reddish stain on the ceiling is blood. Harmony starts wheezing from her asthma, and when Carter listens to her chest, he detects a possible heart problem. He asks Haleh to find someone to give her a workup, and Haleh’s like, “Hey, you just volunteered yourself! Congratulations!”

Benton finds Reese at the other hospital; he was in a car accident but only has minor injuries. A nurse insists that Benton talk to a doctor to get more details. A doctor named Skoft confirms that Carla was driving the car Reese was in, but she won’t tell Benton where or how Carla is, since he’s not related to her.

Harmony tells Carter she’s been having some trouble with a new piercing. Carter guesses that’s what’s causing the problem with her heart. The piercing happens to be…down south, so Carter and Yosh get a nice sight. When Carter says they’ll have to drain the infection, Dianna takes offense, for some reason, and jumps on his back. Carter throws her off and she slams into a window. Yosh says he’ll make up a new chart for Carter’s newest patient.

While Luka plays pool at the bar, Abby chats with another patron, who would love to get a medical professional to look at whatever he has that’s making pus. Carter cancels his dinner plans while his original patient yells for treatment. Chen has disappeared, and Carter demands that someone find her and make her do some work. Malik has a question about one of Abby’s patients, and since Carter doesn’t know the treatment details, he tells Malik to call her. Then he decides to do it himself so he can yell at Abby.

Abby’s smoking outside the bar when Carter calls to ask if she’s having a good time. No, Carter, she’s not. He blames Abby for talking him into going back in to talk to Weaver, which got him “sucked back into the ER vortex.” Luka comes outside and chastises Abby for smoking after she said she was going to quit. Weaver tells Carter she’s going to Doc Magoo’s for a little while, since things are dying down. He says they’re definitely not, and he’s juggling five patients when he’s not even supposed to be working. She tells him he can leave. Meanwhile, Luka’s annoyed that Abby isn’t enjoying herself, or something.

Benton finally learns why no one would tell him how Carla is: She’s dead. Roger arrives and Benton gives him some details about her condition before the doctors realized they couldn’t save her. For someone who supposedly told Carla he never loved her, Roger is pretty shaken up. While he’s saying goodbye to his wife, Benton goes back to Reese and tries to explain to him that Carla’s gone. Reese is too young to understand and keeps asking for his mom. I’m not crying, you’re crying!

A man named Paul is brought into County after having chest pain all day. His brother (he never gets a name, but my closed captioning calls him Glenn, so we’ll go with that) says he thought it was from something he ate. Dave takes the lead on the case, asking Glenn if Paul does drugs. Glenn doesn’t think so, but they haven’t seen each other in a while, and Paul was pushing himself to put together an art show, so it’s possible. Dave determines that Paul is having a heart attack, even though he’s only 27. He needs Chen or Weaver to approve of the treatment he recommends.

Romano checks in on Elizabeth as she operates on Kevin. She starts leaking breast milk during the procedure, and since that’s not sterile, Romano kicks her out of the OR. A bunch of groupies have swarmed the ER, because security just lets anyone in the building. Carter finally gets back to his first patient, who complains that there aren’t enough doctors on staff. Yeah, no kidding. Carter takes a break to tell another patient’s mother that he’s on a ventilator after he stopped breathing. The mother’s nose starts bleeding. Another patient for Carter!

Chen finally reappears and joins Dave to treat Paul. His tox screen hasn’t come back yet, but Dave is pretty sure he OD’d on cocaine, and they can’t wait too long to start treating him. Chen asks for Weaver, but she’s not responding to pages, so Chen approves of Dave’s ideas for Paul’s treatment. As they’re about to start, Paul’s tox screen comes back negative for drugs. Moments later, his heart starts failing.

Luka is still socializing at the bar, so Abby announces that she’s taking a cab home. He thought she was coming back in and didn’t realize that she hadn’t. Luka follows her out to the street, and Nicole comes out a little later to give Luka back his credit card. She tells him his drinks were on the house, since they want to make sure he comes back in the future. Abby rolls her eyes. She decides to walk home, and Luka follows, annoyed with her for being rude. She tells him to go back inside and keep having fun with his new friends.

Carter pops into the trauma room where Dave and Chen are trying to revive Paul and immediately offers a diagnosis neither of them considered: Marfan syndrome. It affects connective tissue, including around the heart. Paul’s supposed drug overdose was actually an aortic dissection, and the medications Dave and Chen gave him made it worse.

Luka and Abby keep bickering as they taken an El home. He tells her she has a bug up her anus (ooh, so close), and she tells him he’s immature. He points out that she doesn’t even know what she wants. She plays games like she’s a teenager who can have any boy she wants, but she treats them all badly. Abby challenges him to just call her a whore straight out. “You’re not that pretty! You’re not that special!” he says. Abby spits out that she’s pretty enough for him in the dark.

Luka continues that she’s never happy and doesn’t seem capable of it (the same conversation Abby had with Maggie). Abby says that didn’t matter to him six months ago. He says that if she’s not depressed or ashamed, she’s just angry. “And you’re married to a ghost,” she fires back. Luka says that at least he treats her with respect. Yeah, telling her she’s not pretty or special is really respectful.

Carter, Dave, and Chen struggle to save Paul, but he’s losing too much blood. The nurses have been paging Weaver for 15 minutes, but she’s still not responding. Carter remembers that she said she was going across the street. Abby and Luka are still fighting about all her issues and everything he’s had to put up with to be with her. He doesn’t know how to help her or be with her. Abby says she doesn’t want help. Luka eventually announces that he’s done, and Carter can have Abby.

Dave thinks the only way to save Paul is to cut open his chest. Chen refuses to do so without Weaver, so she sends Carter to Doc Magoo’s to get her. He runs across the street, slipping on a puddle and landing on his back. After he collects himself, he finds Weaver at Doc Magoo’s with Sam. By the time they get back to the trauma room, it’s clear that Paul can’t be saved. “You killed him,” Weaver tells the doctors.

Roger asks Benton to take Reese for the night, since he needs to make arrangements for Carla’s body. Benton’s like, “Take my son? To my house? You’re asking me to take my son to my house? Was this not the obvious thing that was going to happen now that his mother is dead?” Roger promises he’ll see Reese sometime in the next couple of days.

Weaver questions Dave and Chen’s treatment decisions, surprised that they didn’t diagnose Marfan’s. Chen also didn’t look at the x-rays before approving of Dave’s suggested treatment. Dave says they had to make a quick decision since Weaver wasn’t available. Weaver yells that that’s part of their job, but they didn’t look at the information the right way. Dave doesn’t think she should get a say here since she didn’t answer her pages. Weaver tells him that in a perfect world, he wouldn’t get to see patients. If Dave knew how do be a doctor and cared about his patients, Paul would still be alive.

Carter speaks up that Paul’s condition was so bad when he came in that he probably wouldn’t have survived surgery even if they’d diagnosed him in time. Weaver says they’ll never know, since Dave screwed up so badly. Dave notes that Paul’s family should be screened for Marfan’s, since it’s genetic. Weaver says she’ll handle that and orders the other three not to talk to anyone about the case.

Abby gets ready for bed alone in her own apartment while Elizabeth has to wake Mark up to clean up Ella after a diaper blow-out. Is he deaf? How could he not hear her crying right next to him? Anyway, Elizabeth is a jerk now, and it’s hard to feel sorry for her for all the stuff she’s been going through related to having a newborn and being a working mother. Carter finally finishes up with that one quick patient who was only supposed to take a few minutes to treat. Weaver returns to Doc Magoo’s, looking for her pager, which she’s lost. She finds it in a bathroom stall.

Edson (ugh, Edson) tells Carter that his nosebleed patient needs surgery thanks to a defect caused by excessive cocaine use. Carter has a shift at noon, so he’s going to catch a nap somewhere in the hospital instead of going home. Edson tells him that’s a bad idea, since the longer he stays there, the harder it will be for him to leave. Carter spots Chen in Paul’s trauma room, rethinking everything they did. Reese wakes up in the middle of the night after having a bad dream, and Benton lets him into his bed.

Thoughts: Roger has been recast with Vondie Curtis-Hall. Nicole is played by Julie Delpy. One of the doctors who tends to Reese is played by Kal Penn.

The reason for Carla’s death is that the show was sick of Lisa Nicole Carson (who was rumored to be having psychological issues), so they just got rid of Carla. The resulting plot was kind of ridiculous, when you think about it. But maybe it’s better than having to watch Benton and Carla keep fighting.

Pretty bold of Sam to charge Weaver for a search she didn’t authorize, after he screwed up so badly last time.

February 4, 2020

ER 5.14, The Storm, Part 1: Doug Should Have Used a Little More Ratiocination

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

Bad! Idea!

Summary: Doug’s asleep – drink! He’s in a chair at Joi’s house, where he and Carol have spent the night to give Joi support. Ricky has survived the night, though Doug didn’t think he would. Carol has to go to work, and as she’s leaving, she thanks Doug for staying at the house overnight. Doug goes to check on Joi, who says this time before dawn is her favorite time of day. She slept a little last night and dreamed about Ricky back when he was healthy. He was always trying to make her laugh.

Ricky’s in pain again, but Joi just gave him medication an hour ago, so he can’t have more for a little while. Ricky’s sister comes in asking for water, and Joi goes off to help her and put her back to bed. Doug promises to take care of Ricky. He opens the PCA machine and increases Ricky’s dose, even though that will affect his breathing. Joi comes back in and says she doesn’t know how much more she can take. She begs Doug to help them. She wants her son’s suffering to end.

At County, the staff learns from the TV news that a snowstorm is moving in. Lynette teases Jerry for planning to go ice-fishing. Jerry uses the word “oxymoron,” which he learned from a word-a-day calendar. Today’s word is “ratiocination.” Connie doubts that will come up in everyday conversation. Randi knows the word thanks to her Jesuit high school education.

Weaver informs Mark that, until the search committee finds a permanent ER chief, Romano will be taking on the role. No one’s thrilled, least of all Doyle. Romano overhears Weaver calling him an “egotistical, arrogant, mean-spirited, sexist little bullet-head.” And those are his good qualities! He gives Mark and Weaver a bunch of his tasks, calling it delegation. Then he asks Mark if he’s offended by Weaver calling him a bullet-head, since Mark is also bald. He may even need to investigate for a harassment charge.

Doug comes to work, telling Carol that Ricky was still alive when he left the Abbotts’ house. Lucy bugs Dale about watching Titanic with her; he and Carter both think it’s a chick flick. She wonders whatever happened to sensitive ’90s men. Dale “quips” that they’re all gay. Go away, Dale. Carter spoils the end of the movie for him. After Lucy leaves, Carter asks Dale if they’re getting serious. Dale says Lucy is. Carter tries to ask if they’ve had sex, but Dale says he doesn’t want to “damage Lucy’s reputation.” I’d say dating you is enough damage already, Dale. He’s happy enough trying to see Lucy’s thong through her scrubs.

Benton meets with a sign language teacher in the cafeteria so he can start communicating with Reese (who’s already picking up a lot of the language). The teacher thinks she and Benton should meet three times a week, which would cost a lot of money. There are some good videos Benton can watch, but the teacher thinks it would be better to meet one-on-one. And then we never see her again.

Mark runs into Mobalage and asks him how his appointment went with the urologist. Mobalage says everything is fine. Mark invites him to ask any questions he might have, but Mobalage doesn’t have any. Mark guesses that Mobalage didn’t actually go to the appointment. Mobalage admits that he hasn’t told Kobe that he needs a doctor. Mark offers to explain things to her.

While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, Chuny wonders where the snowstorm is. Carol tells her it’s the calm before the storm. I see the writers are trying out some foreshadowing in this episode. The ambulance arrives carrying Ricky, who’s just barely still alive. Carol’s confused as to why Joi called paramedics, since she wanted Ricky to die at home. Mark asks about extraordinary measures, and Joi says not to use them. But Ricky’s father, Richard, overrides her, and Mark listens to him.

Carol lets Doug know what’s going on while Mark and Weaver take care of Ricky. Doug tells Richard that he was overseeing Ricky’s care, and Ricky shouldn’t have survived the night. Richard hits him. Ricky has been unresponsive for too long, and Mark and Weaver decide there’s nothing more they can do. Mark declares him dead. He stitches up the cut Richard left on Doug’s cheek, asking what’s going on. Doug says he didn’t know Richard was even in the picture. Carol only knew that Joi and Richard were separated.

In the scrub room, Benton tells Elizabeth and Romano how expensive it’ll be to help Reese. Elizabeth can’t believe the U.S. expects medical residents to live in what’s basically poverty. Romano says it’s how the public health-care system can afford to treat “freeloaders” (meaning poor people, of course). Elizabeth calls him despicable as she leaves. Romano suggests that Benton sign up for a locum tenens program, which will send him to rural hospitals for brief periods of time to fill in for other doctors. It would earn him a few extra thousand dollars.

The snow is moving in, and Jerry thinks everyone should be allowed to go home early, since schools and workplaces around the city are releasing everyone. No such luck. Mark tells Weaver that they might have to put up with Romano as their boss for months. Weaver wonders what she did in a past life to deserve that. Mark says he has Viking ancestors; maybe they pillaged Romano’s ancestors. Chuny thinks Mark would have looked good in a big, horned hat. Chuny, you already had your chance with Mark. Stop it. Mark urges Weaver to reenter the search for a chief, but Weaver doesn’t want to be that foolish again.

A man named Dan shows up looking for Richard, one of his co-workers. It’s just Doug’s horrible luck that Richard is a state’s attorney. He’s asked Dan to open an investigation into Ricky’s death. The police have also been notified. Maybe they’ll investigate where Richard’s been the past few weeks while his son was dying.

Joi tells Doug that she and Richard have been separated since their older son died. She called him to tell him that Ricky was about to die. He didn’t get the message until last night, and when he arrived too late to do anything, he lost it. Doug gently tells her that she needs to leave Ricky’s side so the nurses can finish up with him. Mark pulls Doug away to tell him that the police want to talk to him: Richard is accusing him of murdering Ricky.

Paramedics bring in a woman who was injured during a tae bo class. (For those who are too young to remember, or who have completely forgotten about this ’90s trend, it’s basically taekwondo combined with aerobics.) Her unnamed instructor is supposed to just be a regular guy, but he’s played by Billy Blanks, the actual creator of tae bo. Lucy’s more interested in learning about the classes than in treating the patient. Carter manages to get her back on track. As Lucy stitches up the patient, Carter tries to keep himself from trying to see her thong through her scrub pants. She catches him staring, but she’s just amused.

Mark tells Doug that Julian, the geneticist Doug talked to about the PCA machine, doesn’t know anything about Ricky receiving pain medication at home. He never approved the use of the PCA machine. Doug admits that he took it from Carol’s clinic after she called in a favor from a supplier. The police have a warrant to take the PCA, and Mark wants to know if they’re going to find anything he should know about. Doug just says he doesn’t know. He tells Mark he gave Joi the code to enter a different dosage, then went to work. He thinks Mark would have done the same thing.

Weaver warns that Anspaugh is on his way to find out what’s going on. Mark tells her what Doug said, and Weaver realizes they’ll have to come clean about how they covered up Doug’s breach of protocol in the pain study. If they don’t, it’ll all come out anyway. Weaver blasts Doug for betraying their trust. Doug says she’s been gunning for him for years. She tells him he can destroy his career if he wants, but she won’t let him destroy hers. Mark asks if Doug has called a lawyer. Doug doesn’t think he needs one – he did the right thing.

Carol tells Dan that Ricky had a genetic disorder and was going to die no matter what. Dan asks about the PCA machine and how dosages of medication are dispensed. Joi told Richard that Doug gave her the code to change the dosage, then showed her how to do it. This is news to Carol, who up until this point thought Ricky’s death was due to his ALD.

Anspaugh yells at Mark and Weaver for the cover-up in front of Romano, Julian, and Harriet. They’ll be convening a disciplinary committee to discuss what should happen to Doug, but Harriet doesn’t want them to make any decisions until they know if Richard is going to sue. Weaver’s astonished that Doug would be allowed to keep working. Romano asks about the clinic, and Anspaugh announces that it will be closed. He tells Mark and Weaver that they may be subject to disciplinary action, too. He’s extremely disappointed in them.

The snow has started when Jeanie arrives at work, unaware of all the drama she missed. The nurses fill her in. Carter goes looking for Lucy, who hasn’t taken a new patient since the kickboxer came in. Billy is giving her a private tae bo lesson in an exam room. When Carter comes in, Lucy accidentally kicks him in the chest. Well, at least now Lucy has a new patient to take care of.

Jeanie checks on Doug, who’s removed himself from the drama by doing paperwork in an empty exam room. She asks if there’s anything she can do. He notes that she’s the first person who’s asked him that all day. He’s been banished to the realm of paperwork, possibly forever, and Mark won’t tell him anything. Dan is ready for a chat, so Doug steels himself for an interrogation.

Mobalage chooses this horrible time to find Mark so he can talk to Kobe. Mark tells her that Mobalage may need surgery, and the couple really needs to talk to each other about it. He offers to leave them alone, but Mobalage wants him to stay. Doug meets with Dan and learns that Ricky’s death is being investigated as first-degree murder. If Doug showed Joi how to change the dosage, he could be held accountable for Ricky’s death.

Dan goes over some of the facts, mentioning that the PCA machine is empty, but Doug stops him and says that Ricky was going to die, maybe in hours, maybe in days. Doug couldn’t have done anything to stop that. He didn’t want Joi to have to watch a second son die of a genetic disorder she passed on to him. Sometimes you can’t save a child; you can just stop their suffering. Dan asks if Doug was relieving Ricky’s suffering or his own. Why didn’t he administer the final dosage himself? Why did he leave? Dan thinks it’s because Doug knew he was doing something wrong.

Lucy tends to Carter, which is really just an excuse for them to be really close to each other. He whines about a cut on his forehead, so she calls him a baby and kisses it. Things are about to get romantic, but Carter preemptively says they shouldn’t go too far; she’s his student. Lucy ignores him and moves in for a kiss.

“Storm’s finally here,” Doug tells Carol as she joins him outside. Okay, show, we get it. She tells him that the clinic has been closed because she used clinic resources to get the PCA machine. She’s upset that Doug used equipment she procured to kill Ricky. Doug says he didn’t want to get her involved, as if Carol wasn’t already involved. Was he ever planning to tell her? Doug admits that he hadn’t decided.

Carol reminds Doug that he promised Mark he wouldn’t prescribe narcotics without Mark or Weaver’s approval. Doug says he was willing to live with the consequences. Carol reminds him that Weaver and Mark are facing disciplinary actions, and the clinic patients will have to get care somewhere else. (To be fair, Mark and Weaver chose to cover up Doug’s previous actions, so that’s on them. And I doubt anyone could have expected the clinic to close because of this. But her point stands.)

Carol says that Doug’s actions have led to consequences for a bunch of people. She’s not sure he even cares. She starts to leave, saying that Doug doesn’t need anyone anyway. He’s a narcissist who just ruins people’s lives. Doug apologizes, but that’s nowhere near enough for her. She tells him that’s what he always says after he screws up something huge.

Airports have been closed, the roads are awful, and the ER staff is now dealing with all of the displaced clinic patients on top of their own, so no one’s happy. Weaver realizes that Carter’s out of commission, thanks to Lucy. She sends Chuny to go see if he can get back to work or if they need to call in a sub. Carter’s busy, but not at his job – he and Lucy are making out. He stops before they can do anything that would get them in trouble. Chuny almost catches them and guesses that they were up to something. And that’s even before she sees that Lucy’s put her sweater back on inside-out.

Joi finds Doug moping outside somewhere and quips that they don’t look like dangerous felons. YEAH, THIS IS REALLY SOMETHING TO JOKE ABOUT, JOI. When her older son died, she cried a lot, feeling like she’d died, too. She thought she would never feel love or happiness again. Ricky cheered her up by reading to her and telling her jokes. She wishes Doug could have seen him back then. Doug reminds her that she still has her daughter, as if that’ll make up for losing two sons. And that’s if she doesn’t get arrested or lose custody. Anyway, she’s grateful to Doug.

Weaver notices a mark on Carter’s neck, which he says must be from hitting something when he fell after Lucy kicked him. Yeah, he must have fallen on someone’s lips. Malik checks out Lucy (ew, Malik), and Jerry tells Carter that Roxanne left him a couple of messages. Chuny has spread the word about Carter and Lucy, and everyone in the hospital knows they hooked up. Carter says nothing happened.

Doug tells Mark that he’s going to tell Anspaugh that he begged Weaver and Mark not to report him when he broke protocol with the pain study. He’ll say he promised to report himself, which was why Mark and Weaver didn’t do anything. Mark doesn’t think more lying is the best way to handle this. Doug says he wants to help, but Mark is done with him. No more “favors.”

That storm we keep hearing about has finally come into play: A school bus was flipped by a snowplow, and a bunch of kids are trapped inside. Firefighters have asked for a doctor to come to the scene. Doug wants to go with Mark, since he’s a pediatrician, but Mark refuses to let him come. Doug decides to go on his own, and Jeanie invites herself along.

The scene of the crash is bad, and firefighters are waiting for a crane to come and lift the bus up so they can get everyone out. In some nice continuity, Mark’s point of contact is the fire captain from “Exodus.” Doug and Jeanie drive to the scene, avoiding conversation about his actions. He notes that she never asked if he did what everyone says he did. Jeanie hopes he did, so Ricky could stop suffering. Thanks to her HIV, she’s often thought about what she would want in that situation. Unfortunately for her, she may need to think about that soon, because Doug’s car skids on the ice and they slam into something. To be continued…

Thoughts: The sign teacher is played by Marlee Matlin. She gets this one scene and never comes back. What a waste of her talent.

Remember Billy Blanks? I wonder if he’s still living off all that money he made.

Having Anspaugh disappointed in you must feel like having your grandfather disappointed in you. It might be worse than getting sued.

Like I said before, Mobalage’s story is mostly just to make Mark a white savior, but I have to acknowledge how he treats Mobalage. Mark doesn’t push him to talk, and he treats him like an equal. He genuinely wants to help.

January 14, 2020

ER 5.11, Nobody Doesn’t Like Amanda Lee: Forget NASA and Medicine – Mark Should Be a Detective

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

How can you not love this?

Summary: In case anyone was wondering, Carter and Roxanne are still together. She wants him to meet her friends, but he doesn’t want to feel like he’s on display. Plus, he wanted to help Lucy prepare to present grand rounds for the first time the next morning. Roxanne notices something on his arm and asks what it is.

Chicago has just had a big snowstorm, so Mark is digging out the ambulance bay. Amanda starts a snowball fight with him, and they end up on the ground together. In a romantic movie, this would be when they kiss. Instead, Amanda has to go in because her pager is buzzing. In the cafeteria, Carol and Doug discuss their potential plans with Mark and Amanda that night (Mark might cancel to be with Amanda alone). Carol hopes they’re moving toward a relationship. A woman named Joi Abbott passes out and Doug and Carol rush to help her.

In the ER, Doug meets Tony, a transport dispatcher who’s been assigned to work at the front desk while Jerry and Randi are both out sick. He gives Mark a message from someone at NASA. Just ignore the NASA stuff in this episode; it never goes anywhere. Lydia thinks the person who called was just Jerry playing a prank. Jeanie meets her future husband when Reggie brings in a kid who got hurt while bumper-skiing on Reggie’s patrol car. He asks Jeanie to look at a splinter he got in his hand. Jeanie says she’s working in pediatrics today, so Reggie says he’s a kid at heart.

Amanda and Carol tend to Joi, determining that she’s malnourished. Her son is having an MRI upstairs, and all she’s focused on is getting back to him. Her son, Ricky, has ALD, the degenerative condition featured in Lorenzo’s Oil. Unfortunately, Ricky’s ALD has progressed too far for the oil to be helpful. Joi leaves without being treated, saying she might come back to the ER after Ricky’s MRI is done.

Amanda tells Carol that she’s looking forward to their double date that night, then asks if Mark and Carol have ever hooked up. She’s just curious as to whether Mark pursues a lot of co-workers; he’s been aggressive with her. That sounds odd to Carol. Amanda continues that he’s pretty “inventive,” which makes her think he’s been with a lot of women. Carol clarifies that they’re talking about the same Mark. Amanda alludes to a romantic encounter on a fire escape.

Carter shows Lucy what Roxanne noticed on his arm, the aftermath of a test for TB, which came up positive. He thinks it’s from his encounter with Mrs. Price. A positive test just means he was exposed, not that he necessarily has it, but he’ll still have to take medication for a few months. Carter’s unconcerned and says he knew what he was getting into when he became a doctor. He tells Lucy he has to cancel their plans to prepare for her grand rounds together.

Elizabeth wrote a research paper and isn’t sure it’s good enough to get published. Benton has read it and warns that it’s controversial, which isn’t something she needs right now. Chuny sends Benton in to treat a patient whose grandmother requested him personally. The grandmother is Lisa Parks, and she thinks her granddaughter, Gwen, has appendicitis. Gwen, who’s hearing but speaks sign language, translates Benton’s diagnosis of the flu. Lisa is sure it’s more serious than that and insists on an ultrasound.

Jeanie takes care of Reggie’s hand as he flirts with her, then asks her out. She turns him down, noting that she doesn’t know him. He replies that she’ll get to know him if they go out. Reggie knows she’s HIV-positive and is “cool” with it. “Lucky me,” Jeanie quips. He promises that he’s not just talking about sex. Jeanie still doesn’t want to go out with him.

Carter tells Weaver that her mother called their shared home. Weaver is surprised by this and asks if she was requested by name. The ER gets a dispatch warning of a plane crash, and the whole staff quickly but calmly gets ready for a mass casualty. Anspaugh confirms Elizabeth’s fears by telling her that her paper isn’t ready for publication. He promises it’s not because it mentions her big mistake and makes the hospital look bad – it’s because it makes her personally look bad. He thinks she needs to figure out why she wants to make her errors public.

Dale comes to the ER to help get ready for the mass casualty and introduces himself to Lucy. She learns from him that Carter was once a surgical intern. Dale invites Lucy to go to a riverboat casino with him that night. Carter reminds her that she has to prepare for grand rounds, effectively shutting down a potential Dale/Lucy love match before it can get anywhere. Lucy, you’ll thank him for that later. Dale offers to help Lucy prep for rounds, but Carter pulls her away.

Amanda tells Doug that someone named Richmond in Portland called looking for someone to help set up pediatric ERs on the West Coast. She gave Doug a good recommendation, though he doesn’t plan to go anywhere. Carol and Mark talk about the NASA thing; he applied years ago, then tried to defer. No one cares. He tells Carol that, despite what Amanda told her earlier, she’s playing hard to get with him.

Amanda hands out assignments as everyone continues getting ready for the mass casualty. It all ends up being moot, since another dispatch comes in telling them to stop prepping. The crash had no survivors. Things get quiet, so Weaver has time to check with Tony about any messages she’s gotten (just one from her dentist), and Mark has time to receive an overnight delivery from NASA.

Paramedics bring in a woman named Edie who might have a head injury after being hit by a collapsing chimney. Yes, you read that right. A psychologist named Blum is right behind her, hurt in the same freak accident. Edie is hugely panicked, and Blum tells Mark and Weaver that she has agoraphobia. He had just gotten her to leave her house for the first time in five years. Then, bam – chimney. It’s like a verse out of an Alanis Morissette song. Mark tries to calm Edie, sending Haleh to find a Yanni tape so she can listen to relaxing music.

Gwen’s mother arrives and signs with Lisa while Benton tries to figure out what they’re talking about. Gwen explains that Lisa has told her daughter about Benton and Reese. Benton confirms that Gwen does have appendicitis, then lets her grandmother give her the news that she needs surgery. Gwen’s mother asks for an interpreter; Lisa isn’t a surgeon, and Gwen’s mother has questions that Lisa can’t answer. Benton agrees that the hospital should provide someone to communicate with them.

The CT scanner is down, so Edie will have to wait for a scan. Mark doesn’t want to have to sedate her, so Amanda steps in, makes the room a little more pleasant, and gets Edie to imagine herself somewhere more comfortable. Edie easily calms down, and Mark is now even more smitten with Amanda.

Reggie apologizes to Jeanie, telling her he’s trying to come up with something he can tell her that will make things less awkward. He knows there’s nothing going on in his life that compares to her having HIV. Jeanie tells him she’s doing great. Mark compliments Amanda’s calming technique, and she tells him she studied phobias and even published an article about them in Cornell’s medical journal. He asks to read it, but Amanda says it’s boring and poorly written.

Carol tells Doug that Joi has anemia. Carol looked into the Abbott family – Ricky’s older brother died of ALD, and Ricky, who’s eight, probably won’t live to be much older than ten. (Medical info from Doug: ALD is inherited from one’s mother and only affects boys.) Benton goes to the hospital daycare to deal with some behaviors Reese has been showing. He bit a kid today, and yesterday he threw a fit during music time. The teacher’s trying to spend extra time with him, but there are too many kids to look after. She suggests that Benton find a more specialized caregiver.

Elizabeth comes to the ER to help Weaver with a pregnant patient named Robin, who was in a car accident. Weaver sends Elizabeth to the next trauma room to tend to another accident victim, Aaron. Mark asks Tony to help him “navigate the Internet” (aww, 1999) so he can find Amanda’s journal article. Tony teaches him about backslashes, then looks up the article, which is attributed to an A.W. Lee. Mark asks Tony to get the medical library to send him other articles by the same author.

While Elizabeth and Lucy struggle to save Aaron, Weaver tends to Robin, whose water broke but who isn’t injured from the car crash. Carol finds Joi reading a book to Ricky in a waiting area and lets her know she’s anemic. She gives Joi some iron pills and asks her to come back in a few weeks for a blood test. Joi doesn’t have help with Ricky, so that might be difficult. Carol offers to arrange for respite care, but Joi says her son is her responsibility. Carol tells her she needs to take care of herself, too.

Mark tells Amanda he found her journal article, but the author photo published with it is of someone else. She says they went to Cornell together and people mixed them up all the time. The journal printed a correction in the next issue. Mark thinks they should call up the journal’s editor and make sure Amanda gets credit for her work.

Reggie tells Weaver that witnesses said Mike was driving erratically, so he’s wondering if anyone tested him for alcohol. They didn’t, and Weaver doesn’t think it’s necessary. Reggie says it’s standard procedure, so Weaver promises to do it. Carter and Lucy treat a man named Wong who moves while Lucy’s trying to take his blood, causing her to accidentally inject herself.

Doug, Mark, Carol, blah, blah, NASA. No one is going to space. Tony tells Mark that all the articles by A.W. Lee were checked out of the library. Hmm, suspicious. Mark then asks Anspaugh if he knows anyone at Cornell, or if he talked to anyone there about Amanda. Anspaugh says it wasn’t necessary, since her letters of recommendation were all so complimentary. Yeah, it’s not like those could be faked for anything. Although I guess reference-check phone calls could be, too. Anyway, Anspaugh has a friend who worked with Amanda and said she was an excellent resident.

Carter apologizes to Lucy for not warning Wong about a needle stick. Lucy reminds him that risk comes with the job, like his exposure to TB. They’ll test Wong for HIV, and if he’s positive, Lucy will have to take preventive medication. Carter is reassuring with her, trying to downplay the possible seriousness of the situation.

The interpreter doesn’t arrive before Gwen has to go to surgery, but Lisa is okay with Benton proceeding. She also asks to watch the operation. Mark and Tony clear an unstressful, non-emergency-passing path to the elevator so they can transport Edie for her CT. A trauma comes in and ruins this, so they take her back to her room.

Aaron’s parents arrive, and Jeanie’s present when Reggie gently tells them that their son died. Carol finds Amanda cutting some articles out of a bunch of medical journals she claims were extras. She says she has a migraine and will have to skip the double date that night. Mike’s blood-alcohol level is .086, just over the legal limit for driving. Mark and Tony’s second try getting Edie to the elevator is also a failure, as when the doors open, the elevator is stuck between floors. Edie has her eyes closed and doesn’t see, but it still makes her panic again.

Benton operates on Gwen as Anspaugh expresses amazement over Lisa’s ability to get through medical school and residency without being able to hear. For example, they’re all wearing masks; how can she read lips? Benton gives Anspaugh a look that says he’s being impolite, and Anspaugh notes that she can’t hear them or read their lips. Benton says it’s rude to talk about her while she’s in the room. To his credit, Anspaugh agrees and sincerely apologizes.

With Edie safely in the CT scanner, Tony returns to the desk and gets a message for Mark from Cornell. Amanda says she’s heading in his direction and will deliver it. Instead, she throws it away. Weaver tries to appeal to Reggie on Mike’s behalf, saying he only had a couple of beers and rushed home because his wife was in labor. Reggie notes that he killed someone, which is involuntary manslaughter. Weaver says Mike will take full responsibility for his actions, but he should be there for his baby’s birth. Reggie agrees to wait until the baby’s born to arrest Mike.

Wong is negative for HIV, so Lucy’s free and clear. She’s grateful to Carter for helping her through the trauma. Edie’s time in the CT scanner is uneventful, and she has no serious injuries. Wen Mark goes in to get her out, Amanda locks them in and talks to him on the intercom. She’s upset that he doubted her when she loved him “more than any man deserves to be loved.” Mark is very confused. Amanda says it’s too painful to be near him, so she won’t unlock the door. Mark tries to calm Edie while Amanda says they’re done, but she’ll never forget him. She leaves while Edie has a panic attack.

Thanks to a lazy tech who took a long lunch, Mark and Edie are stuck in the scanner room for an hour, allowing Amanda to take off. Mark has now looked into her past and found two of her previous aliases. Also, Amanda never got her M.D. or even went to med school. She stole A.W. Lee’s transcripts and used them to jump into a residency program. “Why didn’t I think of that?” Doug quips. Amanda has also posed as a lawyer and an architect. Carol wonders how many patients she treated. Doug wonders if she made up the job offer from Portland.

Edie, now totally calm, thanks Mark for his help. She’s decided that if she can survive “this hellhole,” she can survive anything. She even plans to walk home. Aaron’s father bursts into Robin’s room and accuses Mike of killing Aaron. Reggie promises to stay with him while he waits for the baby to be born. Aaron’s father wishes he’d had a few more hours with his child. Weaver suggests that Mike go with Reggie and post bail; he should be back at the hospital before the baby is born.

Gwen’s surgery is successful, and her mother and Lisa tell Benton he did a great job. Benton praises Lisa for diagnosing Gwen’s appendicitis in the first place. Jeanie and Carter discuss Amanda, wondering how she’s gotten away with her fraud for so long. He spots Lucy talking to Dale and calls Dale over to tell him to be on his best behavior with her. Dale confirms that Lucy didn’t get exposed to HIV, so there’s nothing stopping him from trying to score with her tonight. Lucy, run away! Run now!

Elizabeth tells Anspaugh that Amanda was one of the people tending to Aaron when he died, which opens up the hospital to all sorts of liability. However, Elizabeth doesn’t think they made any errors. (I also don’t think Amanda did anything hands-on, so they can just say she was observing.) Elizabeth has decided to have her paper published, even though it means admitting a huge mistake. Clearly, they’ve all made missteps. You know, like hiring someone who wasn’t really a doctor. Anspaugh offers to help her find the right journal to publish her paper.

Weaver helps Robin through labor (Mike isn’t back yet) as Doug and Carol tease Mark about his budding relationship with Amanda. He finds a letter in his locker and reads its contents, a love poem, out loud. Yosh recognizes it as a poem by Octavio Paz. So we can add plagiarism to Amanda’s list of evil deeds. As Carol and Doug are about to leave, Joi catches up to them and says she’d like to look into respite care after all.

Reggie comes back to the hospital to check on Robin and runs into Jeanie. He feels bad for having to arrest Mike, who’s a good guy who just made one dumb mistake. Jeanie tells him she has plans tonight, but she’d like to go out with him tomorrow. Reggie’s obviously on board with that.

At home, Carter tells Weaver that her mother didn’t call back. She tells him that her mother’s dead, but she was adopted, so the call could have been from her birth mother. She put her name and info on the Internet a few weeks ago, saying she was open to contact. Benton goes to get Reese from daycare and teaches him the sign for “father,” having learned it from Gwen and Lisa. He’s thrilled when Reese signs it back.

Thoughts: Jerry gets vindication for not trusting Amanda and he’s not even there to find out!

A chimney can just…fall off? And hit someone who’s not standing right underneath it? What are the odds?

I bet Blum calls Edie a success story in exposure therapy. Just one day outside her house and she’s cured!

I’m a little surprised Anspaugh didn’t get fired for hiring a non-doctor to run the ER. That seems like a fireable offense.

December 3, 2019

ER 5.5, Masquerade: The Scariest Thing This Halloween Is the Stupidity of the Future Doctors of America

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

Peter Benton (can ya dig it?)

Summary: It’s Halloween, and Jerry’s plotting something. He stashes something behind a Dumpster in the ambulance bay, then tries to pretend he didn’t. Mark and Chuny meet an ambulance bringing in a woman named Coco who’s babbling. She claims to be pregnant, but the paramedics don’t think she is. Jerry calls someone to report that their plan is in motion.

Weaver tells Lydia that the night shift isn’t wearing costumes this year, since they might scare the patients. I don’t think Lydia’s French-maid costume will scare anyone, except maybe a patient who thinks he or she is being treated by an actual maid instead of a certified nurse. Weaver suggests festive pins instead. She thanks Randi for reading her memo about costumes, but Randi, who’s wearing a suit not unlike one Weaver might wear, has dressed up as “a total stiff.”

Yosh sends Doug to the new pediatric area of the ER, telling him there’s a child with puncture wounds. It’s just a prank organized by Carol, who wants to kiss her boyfriend with vampire fangs. He’s not amused, which is pretty interesting since, as Carol points out, he’s pulled plenty of pranks in the past. He wants to be more serious now that he’s an attending. He’s also asserting some power by insisting on signing off on all pediatric patients. That means he’ll be looking over Mark and Weaver’s shoulders.

Mark asks Carol to help him with Coco, who continues to claim to be nine months pregnant without any evidence. Mark asks for a tox screen and psych consult. Elizabeth has dressed up as a milkmaid, I guess, because she loves Halloween. Benton teases her for thinking that Halloween involves romantic hayrides. After all, they’re in Chicago. He says he has something against costumes. Elizabeth is sure that when he was a kid, there was someone he wanted to be. Benton claims there wasn’t. Dale ruins Elizabeth’s bad mood by giving her annoying work to do.

Weaver brushes off a man who comes to the ER looking for Mark; she’s busy trying to get a computer to work. Lily brings a wheelchair and some medical supplies into the ER, saying she found them in the ambulance bay. Jerry offers to take care of putting it away, then takes it right back outside. Carter arrives with Roxanne, who’s going to a teamster party that night, which gives her an excuse not to help Carter chaperone a dorm party. Lucy catches them as they’re about to make out, and she doesn’t get the hint that Carter wants her to go away. He gives her a fake arm so she can practice inserting IVs.

Weaver gives Carter a bunch of files so he can present a case at a conference the next day. She notes that it would be good experience for someone who eventually wants to be chief resident. Paramedics bring in a drunk man named Joe who claims he wants to quit drinking. Carter tells Lucy to set him up for detox.

Mark meets up with the man who was looking for him, Dan Litvak, a potential new chief for County. Weaver recognizes his name and beats herself up for not being more polite to him earlier. Doug gets a real patient, a kid named Jared who had an allergic reaction to his clown makeup. That means he’ll have to skip trick-or-treating. Jeanie promises to find him something fun around there instead. “Fun stuff around here sucks,” Jared declares, possibly making George Clooney break character and laugh.

Mark checks in on Coco, who would like to know where her baby is. He tells Carol to give her Haldol, an antipsychotic. Weaver finds an excuse to talk to Mark so she can wrangle an introduction to Litvak. She pretends not to know who he is or why he’s there. She learns that he’s there for his second interview, and the search committee plans to vote tonight on who to hire. Weaver didn’t think the vote was until next week. Litvak isn’t very impressed with his supposed competition for the job.

Lucy does well with the fake arm, so Carter agrees to let her try an IV on a real patient. She’s apologetic for not being truthful with him before, but he admits that he wasn’t supervising her closely enough. They head off to take care of Joe, but he’s fled the hospital. Lucy hopefully asks if anyone else needs an IV.

As Elizabeth tries to guess who Benton wanted to be as a kid, they meet up with Reese, who’s come by for a visit. He’s adorably dressed as a bee. Carla says they just came from a party at Jackie and Walt’s, and she was unable to convince Walt to put on one of his ’70s “supa-dupa-fly” costumes and come with them. Elizabeth makes sure to get a picture of Reese with his parents.

Thanks to the Haldol, Coco is now coherent, but she still says she’s pregnant. Carol tells her she’s not, but Mark realizes they didn’t get a pregnancy test, so it’s possible she is. Coco tells them she has schizophrenia and stopped taking her medication when she found out she was pregnant. The Haldol could leave the baby with malformed limbs.

Benton and Weaver work on a trauma patient together, debating whether a sternal saw should be used in the ER or just the OR. She thinks his preferred way of doing things is too slow. Mark confirms that Coco’s pregnant, but they don’t know if the Haldol affected the fetus. Coco wonders if she’s really up for carrying the pregnancy to term, since it means staying off her meds. Mark thinks she should wait a little while before she makes a decision.

Later, Mark tells Carol that he thinks Coco might terminate the pregnancy. Carol notes that that would get him off the hook for possibly harming the baby. She invites him to get a drink after work, but he has plans to meet up with Jen for some kind of talk. Carter tells Lucy that she can leave early, since everything in the ER is under control. She heads off to get ready for the party he’s chaperoning.

Joe is brought back in, repentant over leaving earlier. He says again that he wants to quit drinking and make a fresh start. The drink he left the hospital to have will be his last. Mark says he’ll get Joe a detox bed if he promises not to run off again. He’s decided to believe Joe when he says he’ll stay; he was a cynic with Coco, and look how that turned out. Carol decides to get some extra insurance by taking Joe’s clothes.

Weaver tries to examine a little girl named Amanda who won’t stop screaming. Doug steps in to come up with a way to test her without using needles. Benton, Elizabeth, and Jeanie tend to a preteen named Barbie Klingman who was in a car accident. She has an abdominal bruise from her seatbelt, which may mean she has a bowel injury that will require exploratory surgery.

Litvak observes as Doug and Weaver keep tending to Amanda, using a pad that gives her a painkiller without an injection. Weaver, never Doug’s biggest fan, is very pleased with the method. Litvak is familiar with it, as his hospital participated in some trials. Lucy’s one of only a few people at the dorm party, so Carter feels comfortable going off to do some work for his presentation. Lucy offers to be in charge while he’s gone, as if the three med students there need a chaperone.

Benton, Romano, and Dale operate on Barbie, who still has glitter on her face from her princess costume. Romano makes some Benton-seriously-report-him-to-HR comments about how Benton and Elizabeth should check into a jungle-themed hotel room for the night. The surgeons find a couple of masses in Barbie’s abdomen that appear to be abnormal lymph nodes. Instead of letting Elizabeth scrub in, Dale sends her to pathology to get the masses tested.

Jeanie tries to get Doug to realize that he can’t see every pediatric patient on his own, so he needs to send some to the regular ER. Rachel comes by to hang out in the lounge while Mark and Jen talk. She mentions that she and Jen are moving to St. Louis, which is news to her father. Elizabeth returns to the OR with results from the biopsy of the masses. They’re testicles.

Carter returns to the dorm, where the party has really gotten going. Maybe a little too much. For example, the med students have set some furniture on fire and are in the process of throwing it out a window. These people are studying to be doctors. Pray you never get sick. Lucy’s been drinking, so she’s not much of a chaperone. Carter gives the fire-starters a fire extinguisher, then declares the party over. A tipsy Lucy doesn’t get why and asks if they were too loud. “No, the furniture was too on fire,” Carter replies.

Mark complains to Carol that once again, Jen has made a major life decision and he’s the last to know. Carol laments that it’s right on the heels of Mark getting to spend extra time with Rachel. Mark was able to convince the necessary people to give Joe a detox bed, but he’s taken off again. Mark is having a really bad night.

Elizabeth sits with Dale as he tells the Klingmans (Klingmen?) that Barbie is biologically male, but her anatomy didn’t develop properly, making her appear female. She’ll need estrogen to continue life as a girl. They had to remove the testicles because other people with her condition have developed malignancies. Elizabeth tells the Klingmans that Barbie’s genetics don’t matter; she was raised as a girl, so she’s a girl. However, her male anatomy means she’ll never have children.

Elizabeth says they’ll get the Klingmans in touch with a genetic counselor to figure out how and when to give Barbie the news. As they leave, Dale compliments Elizabeth on her skills at speaking with patients’ family members. Just when it looks like he might not be a 100% horrible person, he cracks that the Klingmans will have to change Barbie’s name to Ken. IT’S CALLED INTERSEX, DOCTOR. Look it up.

Lucy and some fellow med students keep drinking in their lounge, complaining about the horrible assignments they’ve been given by their residents. Lucy uses the fake arm to hold a shot for her. At County, Weaver tells Romano how important it is for the ER staff to be able to use a sternal saw in traumas. Romano doesn’t think it would get enough use or would fit within the standard of care. Weaver says the current standard of care is poor anyway. Romano advises her to do a study and enlists Benton to work on it with her. Benton doesn’t support the idea, but Romano thinks Weaver’s proposal will fail anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

Elizabeth’s good mood from earlier is faltering, and she’s not sure she’ll be up to a date with Benton after they’re off work. He calls Walt to ask for help in turning things around. Mark goes to Doc Magoo’s with Jen and Rachel so they can talk about how Jen is moving to another state and hasn’t said anything yet. Mark surprises her by not fighting her decision to move. They can’t both spend every day with Rachel, and he accepts that. Spending extra time with her over the summer helped him see that he and Jen need to think about her more than themselves.

Barbie wakes up after surgery and laments not being able to go trick-or-treating. She at least had fun making her costume with her mother. Elizabeth finds her tiara and puts it on her. Lucy, Bernard, and a third student are now pretty drunk, and think their fourth friend, Willie, has passed out from overindulging. They pull the prank on him where you put shaving cream on someone’s hand and then tickle his nose with a feather. Willie doesn’t regain consciousness, making Lucy realize that something’s really wrong. She sends the guys to call 911 while she gets Carter.

Carter determines that Willie’s not breathing, so he gives Willie CPR. His reward is vomit in his mouth. As an ambulance arrives, Lucy realizes that Willie took liquid ecstasy. Another student says a classmate, Branch, also took some, so Lucy rushes off to check on him. Mark settles a sports bet with Officer Al, then learns that Joe has turned up at a liquor store. Mark offers to call off the bet if Al will get Joe and bring him back to the ER.

Lucy and Carter find Branch passed out in a bathroom and give him CPR together. Benton checks on Elizabeth, who’s working late with Dale (though he calls her a “great little intern”). Benton pulls rank and tells Dale to let her leave already. Elizabeth is back to being excited about Halloween and wants to put her costume back on before she and Benton go out. She’s also still trying to guess his childhood dream job.

Al brings in Joe…only he’s not Joe. He’s Lloyd, Jerry’s cousin, and has used the hospital supplies Jerry took for him to enter a costume contest. He’s proud to have won an honorable mention. Weaver compliments Doug on all his work over the day, then gives him charts for all the patients the other doctors saw, since he said he wanted to sign off on all of them. Suddenly Weaver likes this new process. Carter and Lucy accompany Branch and Willie to the hospital, but since Lucy’s been drinking, Carter won’t let her assist.

Elizabeth exits the hospital to find Benton in one of Walt’s “supa-dupa-fly” suits, leaning against a vintage card. He’s filled the backseat with hay and gotten his nephew, Peanut, to take them for a hayride. Music comes on, and Benton notes that Elizabeth never figured out who he wanted to be as a kid. She recognizes the song as the theme from Shaft.

Weaver gives Jerry a bill for all the supplies he borrowed for Lloyd. He doesn’t have the money, so he’ll get some of it taken out of his paycheck for the next ten weeks. Mark tells Weaver that the search committee voted to hire Litvak as the new chief. He has a huge ego, so he wasn’t Mark’s first choice. He admits that he voted for Weaver. Jerry has a question about his paycheck garnishments, but now that Weaver won’t be in charge anymore, she decides to tear up the bill. She puts on some devil horns as she leaves for the night.

Carol stays late with Doug as he unloads some supplies in his new workspace. He gets her back for her earlier prank by pretending to cut himself with a box cutter. Carter meets up with Lucy back at the dorm after determining that Branch and Willie will be fine. Lucy says she didn’t know they were doing drugs, but Carter blasts her for not being better at being in charge. Lucy notes that she wasn’t responsible for policing everyone – he was supposed to be in charge. Carter chastises her for not being more mature. You were supposed to be in charge, Carter! Gaaaah!

And now, my favorite Benton/Elizabeth moment ever: As Peanut drives them around Chicago, Benton leans back coolly, channeling Richard Roundtree. Elizabeth sings along with the song and he teases her about not having rhythm. She cracks herself up by playing air tambourine badly enough that Benton has to ask what she’s doing.

Thoughts: You still can’t convince me that Benton was ever actually a child. He’s like Chidi from The Good Place – a 40-year-old in a child’s body.

Parents, don’t name your kid Barbie. She’ll never be able to escape “where’s Ken?” jokes. Also, don’t name your child Branch. That’s just mean.

Bravo to Kellie Martin for doing all the party scenes on skates, since Lucy was dressed as a roller-skating ’50s waitress.

November 26, 2019

ER 5.4, Vanishing Act: Lucy, You Got Some ‘Splaining to Do

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

They never warned Mark about this sort of stuff in med school

Summary: Mark is doing a paramedic ridealong with Doris and Morales, accompanying them to the site of a one-car crash. The driver is unconscious and has a very protective, angry German shepherd. Mark distracts the dog while the paramedics try to assess the patient. Mark ends up with dog bites and a tetanus booster. Plus, Weaver teases that if he ends up with rabies, it’s possible no one will notice. She’s trying to have a more casual attitude about not being immediately chosen as the permanent ER chief.

Doug has come in on his day off to get set up for the next day, when the pediatric ER will officially open. Carol tells him that now that he’s an attending, he’ll have to chip in with the other attendings for the nurses’ nights out. I’m sure he’ll love paying for his girlfriend to hang out with people who aren’t him. Doug overhears Carol talking to Lynette about birth control options for a clinic patient, and he recommends a diaphragm, since they work really well. Carol says he might want to rethink that – she’s three days late.

Randi compliments Weaver’s power suit, which she’s wearing for her interview for ER chief. Randi guesses that she copied her whole outfit from a Cosmo article. Elizabeth is back to being an intern and is about to learn which resident she’ll be working with. She guesses she’ll be sidelined to a consultant role. Benton waits until they’re in an elevator to put Reese’s hearing aids on him, making Elizabeth think that he’s delaying telling anyone. Benton says he just ran out of time.

Lucy presents a patient to Carter, a magician who screwed up a trick and inhaled flash powder. He won’t tell them what’s in it, since it’s a trade secret, but Lucy looked it up on the Internet. The magician does a magic trick with a cigarette, and Carter tries to match him by making a blood-gas kit appear out of thin air. The magician impresses Lucy by putting something in her pocket without her knowing. He says it’s not about what people see.

Carol and Doug quietly discuss her possible pregnancy, though she’s pretty sure it’s not a big deal, since she doesn’t feel pregnant. Doug notes that she’s never been pregnant before, so how would she know what it feels like? He goes off to help Jeanie with a patient, but the pediatric ER exam room isn’t ready yet. Lucy and Carter have been using it to stash a corpse, since no one has come from the morgue yet to get it. Chuny asks if the corpse, who she calls Prince Albert, really has a diamond penis piercing she’s heard rumors about. Carter offers to let her look, but Chuny says she’s seen one before.

Elizabeth has the horrible luck of being assigned to Dale Edson. He plans to treat her like he would any other intern, which means giving her all the work he doesn’t want to do. If she finishes in time, she can scrub in to help with surgery (you know, her actual job). On the elevator with Albert, Lucy almost takes a peek to see if the diamond is real. She gets distracted when she leaves to help an elderly man in the hallway. By the time she gets back to the elevator, the doors have closed.

Paramedics bring in a stabbing victim named Bo, who’s accompanied by a cop who’s trying to find out who attacked Bo. The cop thinks Bo will leave the hospital and go seek revenge on his own, but Carol doesn’t want to let the cop stick around and hammer him with questions. Lucy waits for the elevator, but when it returns, Albert is no longer on board.

Mark’s in trouble with some parents whose daughters attended a sleepover at his place. He showed the girls Romeo + Juliet without realizing that it’s PG-13. He tries to get Elizabeth to do a surgical consult, but she’s too busy doing Dale’s scut work to help. She mentions that Dana is undergoing her amputation later that day, and Doug runs off. Mark gets Elizabeth to do his consult, but Dale takes over and sends her to do more boring stuff.

Lucy runs around looking for Albert, then pretends everything’s fine when Carter asks her to see an actual patient. Randi alerts her to the presence of a man looking for Carter. He’s Albert’s brother, Naughton, and he wants to pick up Albert’s personal effects, including some jewelry. Lucy tells him Albert is definitely, no doubt, positively in the morgue. She promises to find him and bring him back up for Naughton.

Doug visits Dana, who reluctantly agreed to the amputation, though she appreciates that Doug helped her get a say in the matter. Mr. Ellis is annoyed to see Doug near his daughter after being told to keep his distance. Lucy goes to the morgue and questions the transport dispatcher, Tony, about Albert’s body. He’s apathetic about his job and gets defensive when he thinks Lucy’s mad that he took too long to get Albert’s body. He makes her panic by pulling a prank to make her think the body was incinerated. Tony says the body was stashed in a closet in the ICU.

Bo wants to leave, but Carol tries to get him to stick around and finish getting stitched up. Then she asks Lynette to call Bo’s mother to come get him. Bo’s 18, but Carol thinks he’ll bolt, so she wants his mother there to stop him. Mark hands a patient off to Jeanie, a man named Mr. Lipson who has minor injuries from a car accident. She notices that his eyes are yellow and guesses he has problems with his liver. He had a transplant a few years ago, and there may be a problem now.

A patient’s mother tries to talk to Jeanie, but she only speaks Spanish and Jeanie can’t understand her. The woman’s cousin, Luisa, hands over the woman’s insurance card, but Jeanie notes that the name on the card is Rosa, while the woman was introduced as Carmen. Jeanie guesses that the card is really Luisa’s, and they’re trying to cover for the fact that Carmen’s son, Angel, isn’t documented. She tells the women that County treats all patients whether or not they have insurance or documentation.

Lucy and Tony go to the ICU to retrieve the body…which isn’t Albert’s. Doug tells Romano that he wants to put Dana on some sort of pain medication that will help rewire her nerves. Doing so would mean pushing back her amputation a few days. Doug doesn’t think Dana’s psychologically ready for the amputation, so this could give her some more time to adjust. Romano doubts that just a few days will make a difference. He tells Dale to let Elizabeth scrub in on the procedure they’re about to do. He and Doug fight about Dana, but Doug ignores him.

Lynette tries to keep Bo in the ER, but his mother hasn’t arrived yet, so he sees no reason to stay. Lynette knows he wants to run off to retaliate against the person who stabbed him. Carol wants to put him on a psych hold, but Lynette’s plan is to sedate him until his mother arrives. Carol overrules her, planning to handle things on her own. Hey, guys, why not just call the cop who was investigating? Carol puts security outside Bo’s room, then tells him they’re waiting for his mom to come.

Romano, Benton, Elizabeth, and Dale operate together, so that room must be all kinds of tense. Dale calls Elizabeth “Lizzie,” and she asks not to be called that. He notes that Romano calls her that. Benton quizzes Dale on some anatomy, then asks Elizabeth to correct him when he answers incorrectly. It’s Romano and Dale vs. Benton and Elizabeth, at least until Dale picks on Elizabeth for something and Romano defends her. However, he then sends her out of the OR to take care of Mark’s patient.

Mark introduces Doug and Weaver to a chief candidate who’s dressed similarly to Weaver. Weaver realizes she’ll need to change up her look to stand out. Jeanie wants Lipson to undergo a liver biopsy to make sure there are no complications from his transplant. He tells her he missed a few checkups, so he hasn’t heard from his regular doctor if there was anything abnormal. He admits that she suspected there was a problem, but he didn’t want to hear the news. Jeanie points out that he can have another transplant if this one has failed.

Kayson tells Jeanie that he examined Angel, who will probably need heart surgery. Carmen is extremely grateful to Jeanie for helping her son. Elizabeth finishes up with Mark’s patient but isn’t allowed to admit him. He tells Jeanie he ran a blood-alcohol test on Lipson as part of his trauma panel, and his level came back .04. Drinking after a liver transplant is a big no-no.

Lucy is no longer panicking over Albert, and is also still pretending everything is okay around Carter. The magician offers her free tickets to his show and does a magic trick with her beeper. She starts to ask him if he’s seen a body, then changes her mind. Lucy spots Naughton and runs away, right into Carol, whose help she needs with an IV. Carol is fed up with Lucy’s incompetence and threatens to tell Carter about her shortcomings if she doesn’t do it first.

Bo has taken off, since the security guard didn’t have permission to keep him there (though Bo didn’t know that). Doug gives Dana the medication Romano said not to, having somehow gotten her parents to agree. Romano is understandably ticked and tells Doug to play John Wayne in the ER, not the surgical floor. All doctors think they’re right; that doesn’t make Doug special. Romano also guesses that Doug gave Dana food, which would have delayed the surgery anyway, and used that window to convince her parents to follow his protocol.

Lucy tries to insert an IV on a little girl, but fails. When she goes to get a small needle, she runs into an impatient Naughton. Just as she’s about to admit that she lost Albert’s body, she spots an arm hanging out from under a sheet on a gurney in the hallway. She pulls off the sheet and reveals Albert like a magic trick. Naughton can’t believe he walked right by him (probably because a workman put some stuff on top of him, so it didn’t look like a gurney at all).

Carol goes looking for a pregnancy test, which is somehow hard to find in the ER. Weaver got a scarf at the gift shop, but Randi disapproves of the way she’s tied it. She advises Weaver to take off her earrings, since they’re throwing her whole outfit off-balance. Doug asks Carol to help Lucy with her IV, since the patient is so young. Carter comes over to defend Lucy’s IV skills, and Doug says he’s setting a new policy with pediatric patients.

Jeanie finds Lipson getting dressed to leave and confronts him for drinking. He claims he only drank once, but Jeanie knows he’s been back on the transplant list for two months. Lipson said he drank to celebrate that his son passed the bar exam. He knew he was rejecting his first transplant, so what’s the harm? He begs Jeanie not to tell UNOS, the transplant service, because drinking will keep him off the list. Without a new liver, Lipson only has about six months to live.

Jerry comes in for his shift and mentions that Randi’s halter top is a little inappropriate for her job. She’s only wearing it because she loaned Weaver her leather jacket for her interview. It looks weird. Mark, Anspaugh, and Kayson all compliment Weaver on her interview, and Mark even says he likes her jacket. Kayson then goes back to the ER to tell Carmen that he can’t operate on Angel because he’s uninsured. His care will cost too much. Jeanie points out that, even though he’s been stable in the ER, he could drop dead once he leaves. Kayson says that a lot of people could drop dead. Let’s hope he’s the first.

Hey, guess who’s back? Bo! He has gunshot wounds this time, plus an angry Carol tending to him and an incompetent Lucy trying to get his blood gas. Carol takes over for her, so Carter tells Lucy to insert an IV. Lucy quietly tells him she can’t – she’s never started one and doesn’t know how. She walks out while the other doctors try to save the patient.

Romano checks in with Elizabeth, who says her first day back as an intern went as she expected. Romano’s impressed that she survived working with Dale. Dale told her to wear a short lab coat, since she’s an intern, but Romano says she can wear a long one. Once Bo has been stabilized, Carol chastises Doris and Morales for not calling ahead about bringing him in. Mark does his liaison thing, siding with Carol while also admitting that they should have been better prepared. Since they treated the patient, they should just move on.

Benton takes Reese to a session with the audiologist, who tells Benton that Reese will have to work hard to develop his language skills. Benton tries to participate with a stuffed animal but feels foolish. The audiologist tells him he needs to step up and come more than twice a week. Lynette tells Carol that even if they’d been able to keep Bo in the ER earlier, he still would have gone out and gotten revenge later.

Lipson leaves without any indication of whether or not Jeanie ratted him out to UNOS. She asks Doug if she can be his full-time physician’s assistant in the pediatric ER. She’s good with kids, and no doubt she won’t come across one who wants her to do something unethical. Doug is on board with the idea but doesn’t think he has any pull with Anspaugh. Thanks to Scott, Jeanie does. And then we get our answer about Lispon, as Jeanie calls UNOS.

Carter finds Lucy on the roof, where she’s moping about being bad at her job. She feels horrible and says she thought she could learn on her own. Carter notes that she put patients in danger, and the number one rule in the ER is that it’s not about the doctors. If Lucy ever lies to him again, she’ll be taken off his rotation.

Doug meets Carol at her house and sees that she’s drinking – she won’t need the pregnancy test he bought her, since she started her period. She jokes that he can save the test for the next time (though she’s not really joking). Doug says they dodged a bullet, and Carol pretends she agrees. They both know how much having a baby would change their lives, but neither is sure if they mean it in a bad way.

Thoughts: Freaking A, Carol, you don’t just casually tell your boyfriend AT WORK that you might be pregnant!

Oh, hey, it’s Kayson. Go crash on a mysterious island with a polar bear, you jerk.

Of course Carter blames Lucy for not being better at something he never taught her to do. Yeah, I know she never told him and she passed off others’ work as hers, but as her teacher, Carter really should have known her skill level.

June 18, 2019

ER 4.5, Good Touch, Bad Touch: Instead of Opening a Free Clinic, Carol Should Host Anger-Management Classes

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

Is this the good touch or the bad touch?

Summary: Carol’s in bed, but not asleep. She’s brainstorming ideas for ways County can reach out to the underserved, such as teen moms. Doug is half-listening while he sets up a video camera. He mentions that Carol once accused him of taping himself with other women. Now he’s focused on making her happy. Benton’s at Carla’s, trying to study for a procedure, but Reese hasn’t yet learned to be patient. Benton passive-aggressively tries to wake up Carla, who ignores him. Reese settles down when Benton reads aloud from his procedure book, which makes sense, because that would definitely put me to sleep.

Mark is up late, watching TV and ignoring a phone call that turns out to be a wrong number. The person calling leaves an angry message for the woman he thinks lives there. Mark picks up to tell him he misdialed, getting angry when the guy won’t back off. So yeah, his anger issues are still there. In the morning, he runs into Benton, who’s started drinking coffee. Benton clarifies that Rachel was born while Mark was in med school. Mark says that was a mistake, which doesn’t make Benton feel better.

Jeanie asks Mark to look at a patient who may need surgery. Carol greets a homeless man named Pablo who was hoping to get some TLC from Haleh. Carol tells him she’ll be at work tomorrow. Carter and Anna discuss Ivan, who’s still struggling with bloody traumas. Mark examines Jeanie’s patient, a woman who doesn’t want medical treatment so much as she wants Mark to grope her. He runs off as soon as he can.

Carter teaches Ivan how to insert a catheter in a patient’s penis, and I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want an inexperienced med student doing that to me if I had that anatomy. Another patient, Ernesto, wanders in and says he wishes he knew who’d done that procedure on him last time he was in the hospital. Mark runs into Cynthia and confides that he’s distracted because he has to give a deposition that afternoon in the Kenny Law case. Cynthia offers to help him relax with a back rub.

Mark heads into the bathroom, where Doug asks where things are going with Cynthia. Mark denies that he’s interested in her or anyone else, and if he were, he wouldn’t ask Doug for advice. Anna and James tend to a college student named Brett who had shortness of breath while out for a run. He’s a track star and is worried that he has a condition that will keep him from running.

Carol tells Weaver about her idea for patient follow-up after they’re seen in the ER. She’d like to open a women’s and children’s clinic staffed entirely by volunteers. Weaver thinks it’s an okay idea, but there’s no money in the budget. Though she can’t take on another project, she appreciates Carol’s input.

Doyle bickers with Ernesto, who wants to leave before his gunshot wound is examined for the last time. Carter volunteers to do it, but Ernesto’s out of patience and just pulls out his IV to leave. He licks the blood off his arm (ew) and tells Doyle, “Bye-bye, chica.” Charming. Doyle asks if Ivan’s going to be sick. I don’t know, but I might.

Benton does the procedure he was studying, but he can’t answer a question Anspaugh poses about another method. He’s falling behind in some of his tasks, so Anspaugh sends him to complete his charts while Elizabeth finishes the surgery. Anna looks at Brett’s x-rays and discovers that he may have testicular cancer. Doug offers to do the testicular exam, since Brett might feel more comfortable with a male doctor doing it, but Anna gets defensive. Because Anna’s feelings are more important than the patient’s comfort level.

Pablo comes back, so Carol sends Cynthia to tell him to come back tomorrow. Carter calls for a surgical consult and, unfortunately, gets Dale. It’s a simple procedure that Carter could have handled himself, except for the fact that he’s not allowed to, since he’s not in surgery anymore. Dale mentions that Robert “Rocket” Romano is back at County. I let out the loudest, most frustrated groan ever heard on the planet.

Carter leaves Dale with his patient to take care of a man named Tom who was in a car accident. He says he had a blinding headache before he crashed. Even though he has a head wound and a history of hypertension, Carter asks Connie to work him up for an abdominal issue. Anna tells Brett that he needs a testicular exam, and though he’s a little nervous, he submits. Things get awkward when he gets an erection during the exam. Anna tells him it’s common and he shouldn’t be embarrassed. Brett needs a minute to collect himself.

Weaver chastises Carter lightly for ordering abdominal scans for Tom, even though he presented with symptoms of a tumor that Carter thought needed to be checked out. She asks him to check with her in the future before he spends so much of the hospital’s money. Weaver tells Carol that an ER clinic is a great idea, and she can look into grants to fund it. Carol says she wasn’t planning to actually set it up, but Weaver thinks she should see her own idea through.

Jeanie tells Weaver that Mark walked out in the middle of an exam. She thinks he needs to leave his bad mood at home when he comes to work. Anna finishes with Brett and tells him he has a mass on one of his testicles. It may have spread and caused the spots on his lungs that left him short of breath. He starts taking notes while Anna goes over what will happen next. She tells him he’ll need to talk to an oncologist for more information, but Brett wants answers now. She tells him he may need surgery and chemo.

Mark takes a nap in an on-call room, getting woken up by his lawyer, Alan, who thinks he should be more prepared for his deposition. Mark thinks they should have settled already, but the Laws are insistent that they get at least eight figures for Kenny’s death. Mark says the other lawyer’s questions won’t rattle him – he did everything he could to save Kenny.

Benton finds it hard to concentrate on the giant stack of records he has to complete. He tries to talk to another doctor about balancing parenthood with work, but the other doctor lets his wife take care of all the family stuff, so he’s no help. Carter and Anna have lunch together, and he turns her down when she tries to pay for half. She still thinks he’s a poor resident like her. Weaver tells Carter that he was right about Tom’s condition, so the tests he ordered were necessary after all.

Mark and Cynthia have a conversation about snack cakes, which puts him in a good mood for the first time all day. Weaver pulls him aside to tell him that the groping patient, Miriam, is a Medicare patient, so the hospital won’t get reimbursed until a doctor completes a full exam. Mark wonders why they have physicians’ assistants if doctors have to examine all the Medicare patients.

Carol looks through grant applications, and Chuny mentions that a well-known clinic at another hospital was also started by a nurse. Carter and Weaver rush to Tom’s room, where he’s experiencing heart problems because of his tumor. Romano and Dale arrive to whisk him off to surgery, the world Carter gave up for the ER. Carter may regret leaving the glamour of surgery, but at least he gets praise from Weaver.

Benton falls asleep in the records room, but Elizabeth wakes him up with some tea. She offers to get him on a team for a high-tech surgery Romano will be performing the next day. Romano is her sponsor for her job in the States, and she thinks Benton should get in good with him. Benton already has enough to deal with and says he’s not interested.

Anna goes looking for Brett, who appears to have taken off. Ivan asks Carter for help with a blood draw, so Carter loudly complains that he’s about to put his years of medical training to the test by doing a simple procedure. Is it lonely up there on your high horse, Carter? Carol and Chuny try again to explain to Pablo that Haleh isn’t there, so he’ll need to come back tomorrow.

Carter and Ivan’s patient is a long-time IV drug user, which makes it hard for them to find a vein to draw blood from. The patient offers to find one himself, inserting a needle in his chest and drawing his own blood. Carter’s thrilled but still tells Ivan to never let a patient do that. Ivan responds by passing out. Maybe Ivan should look into a different profession.

Anna admits to Doug that she screwed up and lost Brett. If they can find him, she’d like Doug to take over his case and help him realize that losing a testicle won’t be the end of the world. They rush off to help Mark with a combative patient, McNamara, who needs to be restrained. He kicks Chuny while he’s thrashing around, so Mark grabs his injured leg and yells at him to settle down. Doug sends him out of the trauma room.

Carter gives Ivan some stitches for a wound he sustained when he passed out. Carter thinks that once he sees some more traumas, he’ll be able to handle them better. Ivan wonders that his life plans are a bad decision. Benton apologizes to Anspaugh for making errors that morning and for falling behind with his charts. Anspaugh says they all cut him some slack when Reese was in the NICU, but now that he’s home, Benton needs to get with the program. It’s not just for his own career – Elizabeth is so talented that she’s liable to surpass all the other surgeons.

Connie tells Carol that the nurse who started the other clinic got her grant because her father has connections. That’s not going to be an option for Carol. Brett returns to County, and Anna offers to let him talk to Doug instead, but Brett doesn’t care who gives him the possibly bad news about his prognosis. She encourages him to call his family so he’s not alone in whatever happens. Doug sees the two of them talking but leaves them alone.

Mark goes out by the water for a cigarette and chats with Cynthia again. She thinks the way he handled McNamara was great, since no one else could get him under control. She offers a back rub again, and this time he accepts. They head back to the hospital when he gets paged for his deposition. Carter suggests that Carol look for a grant from a private foundation. His grandmother has one, and she hears all sorts of crazy ideas, so a pitch for a clinic might get somewhere.

Mark gets deposed, and the lawyer brings up the Jodi O’Brien case, another instance in which Mark was blamed for a death. He felt regret but not guilt over Jodi’s death; people die at the hospital all the time. After Kenny’s death, Mark also felt regret. He insists that he gave the same care to both patients regardless of race. Chris scoffs at that, and Mark yells that he, of all people, can’t accuse Mark of anything.

He won’t answer the lawyer’s question about whether he holds a white life above a black life. He admits that he’s fallible, then gets even more upset when the lawyer mentions again that Kenny was black. Mark shouts that if she wants him to say he’s racist, then fine, he’s racist. Does that make Chris feel better about beating him up? Chris looks surprised about that accusation. He blasts Mark for never expressing any regret to his mother after she lost her son. “You belong in jail,” Mark spits as he leaves the deposition. Chris says he wishes he had been the one to beat Mark up.

Carter can’t get any answers about Tom’s surgery, so he goes to the OR himself. He arrives as Dale is getting thanked by Tom’s wife and son for saving his life. Carter introduces himself, but Tom’s wife doesn’t care about the work done by the guy who actually diagnosed her husband and led to his life being saved. Poor, unappreciated Carter. Pablo comes back yet again, and this time Carol says she’ll take care of him herself. Doug asks Mark how things went at the deposition, but Mark leaves without talking to him.

Elizabeth introduces Benton to Romano, and Romano immediately shows his true personality by asking if Benton thinks Chris Rock is funny. You see, because Benton is black, and Chris Rock is black, so why not ask one black man’s opinion about another black man? Romano complains that Rock uses the N-word too much – if Romano used it, Benton would want to smack him. Benton says he thinks Rock is hilarious. After he leaves, Romano tells Elizabeth that he likes Benton.

Carol cleans Pablo up, learning the kind of personal care Haleh gives him, like listening to his chest because he’s had pneumonia before. He enthusiastically tells her that he would come to a free clinic if one opened at the hospital. Carter tells Benton that he made a great diagnosis today, but Dale got all the glory. Benton tells him Dale is a weasel, and Carter’s twice the surgeon Dale will ever be. Carter asks if Benton’s enjoying fatherhood, and Benton happily says he is.

Jeanie and Al go to a bar, and she’s annoyed when he ponies up for a pool, even though they said they were going to be more careful with their money. Al’s friend Bill comes in and glares, mad that Al exposed him to HIV. Jeanie encourages Al to say hi, but Al knows he wouldn’t be well-received. Bill yells across the bar that he wants to know how Al contracted HIV. When Jeanie tries to intervene, Bill calls her a nasty word, so Al gets aggressive. Jeanie tries to make Al leave, but Bill isn’t satisfied. He calls Al a gay slur and throws a beer bottle, which leads to a brutal fight between the friends. Even Jeanie can’t get Al to just walk away.

Thoughts: I’m pretty sure the Doug/Anna rivalry ends fairly quickly, which is good because it’s dumb.

If you want to know how bored Benton is in the records room, he’s making small talk with people he does’t know. He’s voluntarily talking to strangers. Normally, he doesn’t even voluntarily talk to people he knows!

How many times can a med student get sick or pass out before he gets kicked out of the program? What hospital or med school wants to spend the money to train a guy who can’t even stay upright during a routine procedure, let alone an emergency? Imagine applying to med school and losing your spot to that guy.

April 23, 2019

ER 3.19, Calling Dr. Hathaway: Dale Edson? More Like FAIL Edson

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:09 pm by Jenn

Look at the way he looks at her! He’s totally still in love!

Summary: Doyle accidentally wakes Carter up (he’s asleep – drink!) when she stumbles over him in the doctors’ lounge. It’s a good thing she does, though, because he’s late for something. Mark thinks he’s getting the hang of parenting Rachel alone, since Jen is still gone, but he forgot that she has a Brownie meeting he was supposed to speak at. He offers to take her to Six Flags that weekend to make up for his parenting failures.

Carter makes it to rounds late and unfamiliar with the case Dale is presenting. So not only does he look inferior to Dale, but it’s all in front of Anspaugh. Doug and Carol meet up with each other on their way to work, and she tells him her MCAT results came in. She hasn’t opened them yet because she’s sure they’ll be bad. Doug grabs them from her, but before he can open them, Weaver tells Carol she did well. Incredibly well, actually. Weaver tells Mark he has to work on Saturday, so now the Six Flags trip will have to wait.

At Carla’s place, Benton helps her adjust to having gestational diabetes. At first it looks like she’s warmed toward him a little, but when he tells her he has to go to work, she cools again. Word spreads that Carol did great on the MCAT, but she reminds people that she hasn’t even applied to med school, so they shouldn’t call her a doctor yet. Jerry prepares a mouse trap, since he saw a rodent around, and Weaver tells him a lab animal escaped and there’s a big reward out for it (but only if its captured alive). Looks like this will be Jerry’s plot this week.

Carter’s been banished to the lounge for the day to practice laparoscopic procedures. He thinks Anspaugh has turned on him since Carter went behind his back with Bartok’s surgery. Yeah, no kidding. Carter shows Doyle how to use robot graspers to stack dice. Jerry looks for the mouse, Heidi, in an exam room where Jeanie’s trying to, you know, do her job. Her patient spots the mouse, but Jeanie loses patience and turns out the light to finish her procedure.

Doug sends Carol’s med-school dreams floating off into space when he tells her how much he had to borrow to pay for his education. He’s still paying off the loans. They tend to a baby named Joel who has a shunt in his heart and was found unconscious in his crib. His mother, Andrea, wants to stay in the trauma room; Carol lets her stay, but Doug gets impatient having to answer her questions.

Benton’s helping with a trauma when Jerry tells him Carla’s on the phone for him. Carter takes over the trauma with the idea to use a catheter to open an artery. He was inspired by a People magazine article he wrote about paramedics rescuing a girl from a well. The girl was fine; her puppy…not so much. Benton is so impressed that his praise for Carter might be described as “exuberant.” When they hand the patient off to Anspaugh, he chooses Dale to scrub in over, even after Benton says Carter saved the patient in the ER.

Doug still won’t answer Andrea’s questions, so she asks Carol for explanations. Carol finally removes her from the room and gently tells her what’s going on. Andrea’s only request is that Carol let her go back into the trauma room if Joel gets worse – she doesn’t want him to die alone.

Jerry and Wendy place some humane traps around the admit desk in hopes of catching Heidi. Mark’s next patient is Brenda, who got stuck on a bucket-turned-latrine while camping. Carol tells Andrea that Joel should be conscious again soon, then offers to get her food or coffee if she wants it. Doyle chastises Carter for letting Dale edge him out for surgery, not getting that surgery is all a game and Carter has to play a certain way. He hears Benton on the phone with Carla, about to skip out on his shift to go help her again.

Mark and Haleh try to brainstorm ways to get the bucket off of Brenda. Her supposed husband, John, calls her by the wrong name, making Mark suspicious. He uses a can opener to cut a hole in the bucket, releasing the suctioning pressure and removing it. The patient Carter saved earlier, Gunderson, is now having a post-op allergic reaction, and Dale’s in surgery with Anspaugh, so Carter saves the man again. He’d like to talk to Dale about this right away.

Weaver wants to pull Carol off of Joel’s case to show her a more interesting one. Carol leaves Chuny to take over for her with Joel, asking her to bring in Andrea as soon as Doug says she can. Back at Carla’s, Benton gives her an injection, then offers to go grocery shopping for her, since she’s supposed to stay off her feet. Now Carla’s fine with him going to work and leaving her alone, but Benton calls in with claims of a family emergency so he can stay with Carla.

Carter stabilizes Gunderson, then tells Dale that he’s allergic to the antibiotic Dale gave him. Dale first says he didn’t take the patient’s history since he thought Carter did it. When Carter says he heard Anspaugh tell Dale to do it, Dale says he did, and Gunderson didn’t mention any allergies. But the portion of his file for allergies is blank, so Dale didn’t write down that he didn’t have any.

John and Brenda do something in a supply closet (no, not sex), which Mark hears the tail end of. Weaver basically makes Carol an honorary med student so she can teach her about doctoring stuff. Carol bows out pretty quickly when she realizes that Joel is doing poorly. Doug doesn’t want Andrea back in the trauma room, since he’s had to open Joel’s chest, but Carol brings her in. Unfortunately, she’s too late, and when Andrea gets back to the trauma room, Joel has already died.

Carol’s half upset that Joel died and half upset that she was with Weaver instead of Andrea when Andrea really needed her. Andrea’s now doing tasks like calling the mortuary and trying to figure out what to do with her son’s clothes. Carol thinks it would benefit her to see her son and hold him one last time.

Jeanie and Wendy spot Heidi in an exam room while they’re tending to a patient who suddenly wonders what kind of dump he’s in. Jeanie threatens to bring in her cat tomorrow. She feels something on her foot and realizes she’s stepped in one of Jerry’s trap. (Good thing they’re humane.) She has to go to a suture room to use wire cutters.

Dale brings Anspaugh to Gunderson’s bedside, where Carter explains his allergic reaction. Dale has altered the chart since their last conversation; it now says that Gunderson has no known drug allergies. Anspaugh says in that case, they couldn’t have known he would react badly to the antibiotic, so no one’s in danger of being sued. Dale’s in danger of having his face punched by Carter, though.

Carol lets Andrea hold Joel’s body, telling her to take all the time she needs. Brenda and John return to the ER, as John now has a button stuck up his nose. He claims he sneezed while wiping his nose on his cuff. Haleh notes that his cuff isn’t missing any buttons, but Brenda says he changed his shirt. Mark thinks he can solve this without a specialist. It takes him just a few seconds, but now he wants Haleh to call for a psych consult.

Jackie runs into Benton while he’s shopping for Carla and warns that he’s in for a lot of errands. Benton complains that Carla’s been more difficult than usual. (Ohhhh, just wait, buddy.) Jackie asks who Carla will depend on if Benton doesn’t keep helping her. Weaver has Carol assess a patient, then tells her she can perform an intubation. She does well, and Chuny teases that Carol is Weaver’s new pet.

Nina comes for John and Brenda’s psych consult, but they quickly explain their weird behavior. They’re clinic researchers studying creative problem-solving in ERs. Mark did an awesome job. The researchers say the study is being funded by some very high-up people, including some government officials. In fact, Mark could get some follow-up contact from Hillary Clinton. (Because she…needs information on ER problem-solving?)

Doyle finds Carter brooding by the river, and he tells her what Dale did. She can’t believe Carter didn’t tell Anspaugh that Dale changed the chart, which is both unethical and illegal. Carter says that they have to be team players, and he’s already hurt himself by his actions with Bartok. Doyle thinks Carter’s just scared.

Nina teases Mark that John and Brenda’s study could make him famous for being innovative. He admits that he’s having trouble in other areas of his life, like with Rachel. Nina can’t believe “Super Doc” is having problem keeping his commitments. Weaver needs the room where Andrea’s still holding Joel, but Carol stands up to her, wanting Andrea to take her time. Weaver tells her she’ll have to stop thinking like a nurse once she becomes a med student. Carol says she’s not a med student yet.

Anspaugh and Dale come to the ER for a patient Doyle and Carter are working on, and Doyle decides to do what Carter don’t. She urges Dale to tell Anspaugh anything he hasn’t mentioned yet about Gunderson. Dale just says he’s called Gunderson’s mother, which makes him look like a better doctor for worrying about Gunderson’s emotional care. Doyle gives him another chance to ‘fess up, but Dale keeps quiet. After he and Anspaugh are gone, Doyle slams Carter for also keeping quiet.

Later in the day, Carter encounters Dale in the lounge and calls him a liar. Actually, he calls him a “liar, liar, pants on fire,” because Carter is less mature than Rachel right now. Dale tells him to go to Hell, so I guess he’s not that mature, either. He thinks his “adjustment” to Gunderson’s chart wasn’t a big deal. Carter threatens to tell Anspaugh, which could hurt Dale’s career. Dale promises to help Carter out in exchange for silence, but Carter isn’t about to take any favors from him. He warns that if Dale ever pulls a stunt like this again, Carter will bury him.

Mark solves his Brownie problem by inviting Rachel’s troop to the hospital for a tour. Nina thinks this was a very creative solution. Mark asks her out, though it’s more of a group outing than a date; they’ll be bringing their daughters along. Andrea’s done holding Joel, and she’s very grateful to Carol for giving her this extra time. They pray over the baby’s body together.

Doyle admits to Carter that she can’t really judge his actions since she doesn’t understand the surgery game. He admits back that he might be full of crap. She encourages him to talk to Benton, since Carter trusts his judgment. She reveals a secret stash of beer in the lounge fridge, which is all Carter needs to put together the feelings he’s been developing for her and start to ask her out. “Not a chance,” Doyle says. (I guess Carter thinks she’s bi, or else he’s forgotten that the ex they ran into at the shooting range was a woman.)

Jerry’s annoyed with Jeanie for wrecking one of his traps. Jeanie tells him to take it out of his reward. But there may not be any reward – Wendy has accidentally squashed Heidi. Jeanie determines that the mouse is still breathing, and when she learns that there are thousands of dollars at stake, she decides it’s worth it to do a little work. She orders Jerry to being “mouth-to-mouse resuscitation.” (HA!)

Jeanie reveals that she once worked in a vet’s office. Once she gets a promise from Jerry that he’ll split the reward with her, she works with Wendy to revive Heidi. Once the mouse is okay, Jeanie heads off to get her reward – which she’ll be sharing with Wendy, not Jerry. She offers him 10% for being in the room while the women did all the work.

It’s nurses’ night at some restaurant, but Carol doesn’t get invited along. She’s annoyed that she spent the whole day being treated like a beginner. She’s good at her job – why does she want to change that? Mark and Nina take their girls bowling, and she clearly wishes the two of them were alone. They kiss, and Rachel doesn’t look too happy about her dad’s blossoming relationship.

Carla invites Benton to hang around after he’s made her dinner. She gets all juvenile and whiny when he says he has to go home and do some things for work. He said he’d be a part of the baby’s life and her pregnancy, but now he’s busy. As they fight, Carter shows up to give Benton some files and talk about Dale. Benton just brushes him off. Carol goes to nurses’ nights and tells her co-workers she’s going to stick to her current job. Everyone’s happy.

Thoughts: John is played by Harry Shearer. Brenda is played by Julie Hagerty.

Interestingly, Carla’s now fine with needles.

Mark gets the credit for creative problem-solving, but Haleh deserves some, too.

Weaver tells Carol to hold her breath while doing the intubation – if she runs out of air, she’s taking too long. If that were me, I’d focus too much on holding my breath and get distracted, or I’d rush before I passed out. Yet another reason I’m not a doctor.

March 5, 2019

ER 3.12, Post Mortem: I Thought Confession Was Supposed to Make You Feel Better

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 4:52 pm by Jenn

Don’t bother me, I’m brooding

Summary: Carter is contemplative when he gets to an El station to head to work, since that’s where Gant died. At County, he tells Anspaugh that he thinks it was an accident, probably in denial since the other option is that Gant killed himself. Carter admits that they weren’t as close as they’d been in the past, since Carter was staying at Keaton’s place a lot. (Of course, he doesn’t mention Keaton by name.)

Anspaugh wonders if there was anything they could have done to prevent Gant’s suicide, if that’s what it was. After all, Benton’s treatment of Gant was common knowledge. Carter says that Gant complained a lot about the hours and the work, but Carter thought he was just venting. Anspaugh asks if Carter believes Benton was too hard on Gant. Carter diplomatically says he’ll have to give that some thought. Anspaugh asks Carter to go to Gant’s apartment with his father to box up Gant’s things.

Dale and another resident catch up with Carter as he’s leaving Anspaugh’s office. Dale asks if Gant “pulled a Cobain.” Stay classy, Dale. He thinks their hours could get shortened if Gant’s death is ruled a suicide. Well, I’m glad someone’s going to get something positive out of the death of his colleague! And I’m so glad it’s Dale! The other resident thinks Carter would have noticed if Gant showed signs of depression, since they were roommates. Carter says he would have.

He goes to the ER to cover Gant’s shift, telling Weaver he hasn’t seen Benton. Everyone’s getting ready for two patients coming in with gunshot wounds, and the advance warning allows them to get everything they’ll need ready. In fact, they’re ready way before the patients arrive. Benton arrives, and Carter asks him to say a few words at Gant’s memorial service. On what planet does Carter think that’s a good idea?

The two shooting victims are a bride and groom shot at their wedding. They’ve also brought along a surprise third victim, the best man. Carter is assigned to take care of the best man, but he takes a moment to study Benton first, seeing that Benton isn’t affected by Gant’s death like everyone else in the ER is.

The best man tells Carter that the shooter was the bride’s ex. He suddenly gets worse and needs a central line, but there’s no room for Carter to perform it in the hallway. He pulls the best man into the groom’s trauma room and works back to back with Benton. That makes it harder to figure out which patient’s monitors are beeping.

Mark and Chuny are…a thing now, apparently. She tells him that the nurses are still unhappy with their new shift proposal, and if nothing changes, they’re going to stage a sick-out. The bride and best man are stabilizing, but the groom is dead. While finishing up with the body, Carol asks Malik to work a double shift since some nurses have already called in sick that afternoon. He keeps a poker face when he tells her he can’t do it.

Carter and Benton take an awkward ride in an elevator on the way to getting the best man to surgery. Carter asks again for Benton to speak at Gant’s memorial, but Benton says he’s not good at public speaking. He doesn’t get why Anspaugh is questioning all the residents on their team, since it’s not like they were with Gant when he died and could answer any questions.

Carter says Anspaugh’s curious about Gant’s state of mind before his death. He adds that he doesn’t think anyone’s blaming Benton. “Why would they?” Benton asks. Carter checks his mail slot, then sees that there’s something in Gant’s – an evaluation from Benton.

Charlie is still in the hospital, moved to the psych ward while she’s being evaluated. Her doctor, Middleton, doesn’t think Doug should see her, since Charlie’s mad that he told her he wouldn’t call the police or a social worker, then did exactly that. Middleton isn’t surprised that Doug wants to keep trying to see her, since obviously he doesn’t want Charlie to hate him.

The nurses make plans for their newfound free time while they’re on their sick-out. Haleh thinks that it’ll only take one shift without nurses for the administration to realize cutting their overtime is a horrible idea. Connie’s worried about leaving their patients without proper care, but Haleh says that’s the whole point – the contract they’re expected to sign already compromises patient care.

Chuny goes off with Mark, not bothering to try to hide their new relationship, and Haleh and E-Ray express concern over her falling for him. Connie doesn’t see the problem. Haleh reminds her that Mark is on the rebound, and that doctor/nurse flings never work out. (Fun fact: Connie herself had a fling with a doctor.) E-Ray says the bigger problem is with Chuny and Mark’s astrology. Carol asks Haleh to work a double shift, since some illness seems to be going around and the whole night shift has called out. Haleh says she’s coming down with the illness herself.

Doug visits Charlie under the guise of checking her neurological status, and tries to defend his decision to call the police and social worker. She’s having some vision issues and will need to see an ophthalmologist. Doug promises that she’ll end up somewhere safe, but Charlie thinks she’s been placed on a psych hold because she was raped. She wishes she’d lied, so Doug wouldn’t have called the police. She’s especially worried that she’ll be sent to a group home. Doug promises that no one will hurt her.

Mark surprises Chuny with a motorcycle helmet so she can ride his bike with him. He wants to go away for a vacation with her in the spring. Carol sends Chuny away to do her job, trying to get her to agree to work a double shift. Chuny says she has to stick with the other nurses. Carol points out that she’s a nurse, too, but Chuny says they all see her as management. After she leaves, Carol pointedly asks Mark if he’s heard from Susan. He denies that he’s using Chuny as a rebound.

Paramedics bring in a patient who got sick at the airport after coming back from Paris. Jeanie sees from his itinerary that before Paris, he was in Gabon, in West Africa. Suddenly they might be dealing with an infectious disease like Ebola. Mark calmly puts some protocols in place. Jeanie started the case, so she offers to stay on it, which will keep other doctors and nurses from potential exposure.

Carter asks Benton if he should take on Gant’s patients, but Benton says he’ll do it. Carter relays a message from Morgenstern that the police have ruled Gant’s death an accident. Benton says that makes things easier on everyone, but Carter notes that it’s not necessarily true. The two of them knew Gant better than almost anyone, so they know his emotional state. Benton says that he’s not Keaton, and he’s not interested in talking about, like, feelings and stuff. Hicks resurfaces to pull the two into surgery with her.

Doug fights with Adele Newman, a social worker, about where Charlie should go when she’s released from the hospital. Doug and Middleton know that Charlie will most likely run away if she’s sent to a group home. Adele wants to try to find her mother, but she gets the sense that Charlie doesn’t want that, since she hasn’t been helpful in giving information that could locate her. Doug thinks Charlie’s mom is incompetent, so sending Charlie home is a bad idea. Middleton notes that Charlie could go live with another relative, but she still won’t cooperate. Adele agrees to let Doug try.

Greg Fischer, an infectious-disease specialist, comes to the ER to examine Jeanie’s patient. Greg wants to follow the proper precautions, but so far he hasn’t heard anything that makes him think they’re on the brink of an outbreak. Carter’s a little off in surgery, and Benton isn’t having it. Hicks is much more sympathetic, since everyone on staff has taken Gant’s death hard. She asks Benton what it was like working with Gant, and he says it’s too soon to say. He hadn’t “distinguished himself” yet.

Hicks is surprised, since Gant had awesome transcripts and strong recommendations. Benton says he must have been having adjustment problems. Hicks notes that that must mean Benton noticed him struggling. Benton says Gant wasn’t prepared to work in a place like County. Carter asks why, if that’s the case, Benton gave Gant a great review.

Benton argues that he gave that review before some recent backsliding, and he didn’t think Gant even saw it. Carter confirms that he didn’t, which means Gant never heard anything encouraging from Benton. Hicks tries to defuse the situation by sending Carter out of the OR, but Carter gets off a parting shot by telling Benton that he’ll have to live with the weight of Gant’s death.

Chuny tells Mark he can stop sending flowers; in her family, that means a much deeper commitment than where they are now. Carol tells Mark, Weaver, and two others – Roger Drummond from labor relations and the nursing admin, Mary Cain – that all of the nurses scheduled for the night shift have called out. The hospital is filing an injunction against the nurses’ union, since the sick-out is a violation of their contract.

Carol says no one has admitted to an organized sick-out. Mary has arranged for substitute nurses to fill in, but Carol isn’t happy about that idea. Mark backs her up, saying they’ll be helpful with non-emergencies, but not with what the ER needs to do. The two of them and Weaver decide that they need to close to trauma.

Charlie sees an ophthalmologist, but he doesn’t think there’s anything major to worry about. He also thinks Charlie is Doug’s daughter, thanks to a joke she made. Doug’s annoyed that Charlie either clams up or lies, which makes it hard for people to help her. Charlie points out that adults lie plenty, so why shouldn’t she? She asks why Doug doesn’t have kids, and he says he hasn’t gotten his life together long enough to have a family. (I guess he doesn’t want her to know that he does have a kid; he just doesn’t see him.) Charlie would be happy to let him adopt her and make him a father.

Adele has a surprise for both Charlie and Doug – she found Charlie’s mom. She’s not in Cleveland, as Charlie claimed, but in Chicago. She’s also a horrible mother and is only concerned about the scars Charlie will be left with after her attack. Doug’s face: “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

Carter reaches out to a psychiatrist, Nina Pomerantz, who Anspaugh said is available to help Gant’s colleagues work through their grief. She recognizes Carter’s name, revealing that Gant came to her for a few counseling sessions when he first started at County. Carter asks if she approved when Gant quit therapy. Nina says he seemed to be adjusting well to his new job, so she didn’t see anything wrong with stopping their sessions. She can see that Carter’s experiencing some survivor’s guilt. Carter thinks he really is guilty.

Carol greets her subs as the regular nurses leave. Chuny tries to convince Carol that the sick-out will be good for the nurses, but Carol knows that’s not the point – there just isn’t money to meet the nurses’ demands. Greg has determined that Jeanie’s patient doesn’t have Ebola, but he’s going to keep working the case with Jeanie. Weaver sees them getting along well and tells Jeanie she should have suggested Greg for her earlier. Jeanie thinks she means as a boyfriend, but Weaver means as Jeanie’s doctor. He used to have a private practice specializing in HIV and AIDS, but he came to County after his partner died of AIDS.

Doug fills Mark in on Charlie’s issues and how awful her mom seems. Fortunately, she won’t be sent home right away, so Social Services can take some time to figure out what’s best for her. Carol runs into Carter, who’s taking a few minutes alone in a waiting area, and says she could get used to not running around for traumas. She tries to ease his guilt over not realizing that Gant needed help. They get interrupted when a homeless man is brought in by his friend after having a Dumpster dropped on him.

Greg and Jeanie do some lab work and end up talking about astronomy. He invites her to join him and his telescope that night (not a euphemism). They determine that their patient has malaria, which they can easily treat, and which, best of all, isn’t going to cause an outbreak.

Mark, Carol, Weaver, Carter, and their ragtag band of nurse subs work on the homeless man. His friend bugs Carter, who gets more and more agitated as the friend says that he let his buddy down. Carter finally leaves the room before his guilt makes him explode. Mark goes after him, and Carter admits that he knew Gant was struggling, but he was too busy to help or let himself get dragged down. Mark understands that Carter had his own struggles, so he wasn’t responsible for his friend’s problems. He can’t be sure that he could have even helped Gant. Carter laments that he wasn’t a very good friend.

The homeless man doesn’t make it, so Carol and Weaver inventory the trauma room to make sure all their supplies are accounted for. Weaver compliments Carol for handling the sick-out, since she can’t just participate with her friends. They realize that they administered the wrong type of blood to the homeless man, possibly because Carol didn’t take a bag off the infuser before putting on a new one. She may have killed the patient.

They bring Mark in to figure out what to do next. Carol thinks it’s simple – she screwed up and killed someone. Mark and Weaver note that they were in the middle of a busy trauma, working with people who didn’t know what they were doing, and Carol was doing the jobs of multiple people. Carol doesn’t see that as an excuse. She didn’t check the label, so it’s her error. Mark and Weaver agree to let it go if Carol doesn’t file an incident report, but Carol knows that wouldn’t make up for what she did.

After Gant’s memorial service, which Benton skipped, Carter apologizes to Hicks for going off on Benton during surgery. She understands and lets it go. Benton arrives and meets Gant’s father, who believes that his son looked up to Benton. Benton admits that he was tough on Gant. Gant Sr. says he had to, because life is hard. Gant picked an ambitious specialty, so he knew he was in for hard work. Gant Sr. hopes that his son didn’t disappoint Benton. Benton says he thinks Gant would have made a great surgeon.

Jeanie tells Weaver she’s meeting Greg that night; he’s the perfect friend to hang out with because he’s gay and won’t pressure her to date. Weaver’s confused, because Greg isn’t gay. The partner he had who died was his professional partner. Greg is totally straight and totally eligible. Jeanie wants to back out so she doesn’t have to tell Greg that she has HIV. Weaver encourages her to go anyway.

Mary and Drummond come to the ER to tell Carol that the nurses’ union has backed down, and everyone will be back to work for the next shift. She gives them her incident report and confesses to giving her patient the wrong blood. Mary and Drummond aren’t too concerned, possibly because the man was homeless and has no family to sue the hospital. Carol says the sick-out wasn’t a factor; she just screwed up. Mary says they may be able to bypass an investigation, but Carol doesn’t want special treatment. She worked a double because she’s a manager (which she’s never accepted before), and it was her job.

Adele tells Doug that Charlie’s home situation with her mom is bad, and one or two of her mom’s boyfriends have been abusive toward her. The two of them and Middleton meet with Charlie and her mother, and Charlie reveals her plan to get her mother to allow her to live with Doug. Adele, Middleton, and Charlie’s mom think Doug has signed off on that, but Doug sets things straight. Charlie threatens to run away for good, which would be Doug’s fault. There’s yelling, and Middleton tells Doug to leave.

Jeanie and Greg go to Doc Magoo’s when they realize the conditions aren’t good for astronomy. They talk about Cassiopeia, who, according to myth, was sitting around, waiting for Mr. Right. Greg appears to think he’s Jeanie’s Mr. Right, so he kisses her. She’s not disappointed, but she wants to make sure he knows what he’s getting into, so she tells him she has HIV. Suddenly, things go from cute and potentially romantic to completely awkward.

Carter’s back on the El platform, where Benton is also contemplating things. He admits to being hard on Gant, but says he thought that was the best way for Gant to learn. Carter says he doesn’t blame Benton, but he feels like he’s been walking around with a secret Benton won’t admit to. Benton says he went to his high school reunion a few years ago, which was pretty sparse because there were a lot of dropouts, and many of his classmates are now in prison or dead. He doesn’t know how he feels about Gant’s death, but he doesn’t want Carter to tell him how he should feel.

Carter asks if Benton really wants to go through this alone. If he does, they’ll just keep their distance from each other and pretend nothing happened. After all, that worked out really well for Gant. Carter heads off alone, leaving Benton behind on the platform to think about what a jerk he is.

Thoughts: Nina is played by Jami Gertz.

Noah Wyle is really good in this episode. His body language alone says how hard this all is for Carter.

I don’t know if it’s Gloria Reuben or what, but Jeanie is cute with every love interest this show pairs her with (except Benton).

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