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).

January 29, 2019

ER 3.7, No Brain, No Gain: Mark Shoots His Shot

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

Yeah, I can see why Mark thought they were dating

Summary: Carol runs into Mark as they’re on their way into work. He’s preoccupied and calls her Susan, prompting Carol to say they should just get married already. She reveals that everyone knows they almost went on vacation together. Mark says Susan didn’t really want him to go, but Carol says she did. She wants Mark to ask Susan out, if only to feed the gossip mill.

It’s been almost a week since Benton botched Megan’s surgery, and he’s been spending all his spare time keeping vigil at her side. Carter and Gant are pretty much on their own. Dale asks if they’ve seen his patient, a man who’s supposed to be having a tumor removed from his throat. Anspaugh brought in a hotshot surgeon from Japan just for the case, and everyone’s ready, but the patient is MIA. Dale offers to get Carter and Gant a surgery if they help him search for the patient. The guys pretend they’ll help, but they hate Dale, so they’re not going to follow through.

Megan’s hemorrhaging, but the only solution could kill her. Keaton tells Benton that they can’t do anything more for her without harming her further. Benton also needs to take a step back from all of his cases. He’s not being punished; he just needs to learn more patience so he can be a successful surgeon. And, I would argue, a better human being, because at this point, the only people who like Benton are related to him.

Dale’s patient, Mr. Percy, asks Jerry for change for the candy machine, but he doesn’t quite get that he’ll have to give Jerry a dollar bill to get his coins. Connie’s sick, so Carol needs to find a floater, and she wants to approve whoever’s sent to the ER. Too late – it’s Rhonda, and she’s just as pleasant as ever. Carter and Gant are able to have an uninterrupted breakfast, but they get paged just as they’re starting to enjoy their free time. Keaton and Carter chat a little, making Gant wonder if there’s something going on between them.

Carol listens in as Rhonda takes a very detailed history from a patient, then criticizes her methods. Carol thinks she’s taking too long, but the patient is fine with the conversation. As Carter and Wendy are starting to treat a homeless man’s squirrel bite, they hear a choking sound coming from a cabinet in the exam room. Percy has stolen some homemade taffy Wendy brought in, and he’s choking on it. Carter gives him the Heimlich, then has to use forceps to remove the rest of the taffy from his throat.

A 13-year-old is brought in with gunshot wounds, and Doug gets to work on him despite paramedic Dwight saying he has no signs of life. Doug quickly confirms this and pronounces the boy dead. Benton arrives seconds later for a surgical consult and won’t accept Doug’s pronouncement. When he won’t stop trying to revive the boy, Doug tells Lydia to get Mark to come and override him.

Carter and Wendy de-taffy Percy as Anspaugh, Dale, and the Japanese surgeon, Okida, come to get him for surgery. Carter tries to collect on Dale’s promise, but Dale says there enough people participating already. Anspaugh ignores him and invites Carter to join them. Mark tells Doug that Benton might as well keep working on their patient, I guess since he’s not hurting anything. Amazingly, Benton succeeds in restarting the boy’s heart, though Doug notes that he probably has brain damage.

E-Ray doesn’t feel well, so he comes to the ER for treatment. He tells Susan he had an MRI on his shoulder the day before and is worried that he has radiation sickness. Susan tries to assure him that that’s not possible. Her watch suddenly stops, and E-Ray tells her that his did, too, right after the MRI. Also, his ten-year-old toaster stopped working. Maybe the MRI rearranged his molecules, and now he’s causing electronic interferences. Susan says no, but her flashlight doesn’t work, so…

Keaton joins Benton and Gant for the boy’s surgery, which could take hours. Keaton’s willing to go back on her earlier orders and let Benton operate instead of just observing. Mark tends to a birdwatcher who fell from a tree in the park. He gets distracted by Susan and saunters over to ask her out that night. She says she’d love to, but she already has plans. He says they’ll just do it another time. Susan says they need to talk; she’ll call him later.

Carter’s supposed to prep Percy for surgery, but he’s hiding again. Carter thinks Percy’s just nervous about the surgery. However, Percy’s more interested in candy than his medical condition. Carter realizes that Percy doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand why he’s in the hospital. He sits down with the man so they can talk about candy bars. (They both love Zagnuts.) When Carter asks if Percy wants the operation, Percy just asks for change for the candy machine again.

Rhonda mixes up an enema for her patient, despite not having orders from a doctor. Carol takes over the patient and sends Rhonda to change bedding. The birdwatcher takes pictures of various people in the ER, then tells Mark she’s actually an anthropologist doing a comparative study on the mating rituals of humans and birds. For example, Chuny and the paramedic she’s flirting with are doing the same courtship dance some grouses do. She also thinks Jerry and Wendy are flirting, and that Wendy’s just seconds away from shaking her tailfeathers in Jerry’s face.

Keaton approves Benton’s plans for the boy’s surgery, then steps out to do something else, sending a doctor named Breedlove to continue with Benton. As E-Ray approaches Jerry to ask if his blood tests have come back, Jerry’s computer goes down. Carol discharges Rhonda’s patient, then spots Mark watching Susan and Morgenstern as if they’re birds. He thinks Susan’s flirting. Carol asks what Mark’s talking about. “You’d know if you were a nuthatch,” he says.

Carter tells Dale that Percy’s not capable of consenting to his surgery; he needs a psych consult. Dale asks if Carter really wants to delay a surgery headed by Anspaugh and Okida because he has questions about Percy’s mental status. Carter won’t back down, saying he’ll get the consult, and if the results are that Percy can’t consent, he’ll tell Anspaugh.

Doyle brings Mark in to mediate when the father of Doug’s young patient starts yelling. The boy was bitten (by a human), and his father won’t let Doug give him IV antibiotics for the subsequent infection. Mark looks at the boy’s x-ray, then pulls Doug and Doyle outside to tell them to just let the boy leave. He agrees that IV meds are the better choice, but if the situation is getting heated enough for police intervention, they should just give the boy oral medication and let him go. Doug says Mark can do whatever he wants; he’s out.

Dale decides that Carter’s wasted enough time waiting for Percy’s psych consult, and it’s time to get him into surgery. As Anspaugh and Okida come to get him, Carter tries to tell Anspaugh that Percy isn’t mentally competent to consent. Anspaugh doesn’t get what Carter means and just continues on the way to the OR. Rhonda’s patient is still in the waiting area, and has now soiled herself. Rhonda happily tells Carol that cleaning up is her problem now.

Breedlove joins Benton in surgery. The “joke” here is that Breedlove is really short. That’s it, that’s the joke. He’s also old and wishes surgeons still used catgut for stitches. Benton mostly ignores him and just does his thing. Keaton watches from outside the door as Benton tries to revive the boy when he starts bleeding and flatlines. She knows there’s no hope for the patient, but she doesn’t stop him.

Mark is convinced that Susan’s dating Morgenstern, and that’s what she’s going to tell him when she calls later. Carol says she remembers seeing the two of them having lunch together. Mark thinks he’s missed his chance to date Susan. Benton, Breedlove, and Gant finish the surgery, though it still remains to be seen if the boy will have any kind of life. Gant goes to talk to the boy’s mother, since Benton doesn’t want to see her until he knows the boy’s mental status.

A man who lost his foot during a street game of football refuses to let go of the ball as he’s brought into a trauma room. Rhonda gets brought into the trauma, so I guess Carol doesn’t have much pull in keeping her off of emergency cases. Dale outshines Carter in surgery, at least when it comes to answering tough questions, but Carter’s the one who notices bubbles in Percy’s lungs. That means Dale tore something he shouldn’t have. Carter jumps in to insert a chest tube and prove himself.

Carol gets the football guy to give up his ball as Morgenstern joins the trauma team. He and Susan joke around a little, and she scratches his mustache while his hands are busy doing life-saving things. Mark is dying inside. Rhonda gives Morgenstern the man’s foot, wrapped in plastic bags, as they take him for surgery to try to reattach it.

Benton tells his patient’s mother that they’re going to take him off his ventilator to see if he breathes on his own. If he doesn’t, his brain is too damaged for him to survive. Ten seconds pass as they wait to see what happens, and the boy doesn’t breathe, so Benton puts him back on the ventilator. He has few words of sympathy for the mother, since he’s a robot and doesn’t understand human emotion.

Doug tells Mark that he’s no longer going to work the same shifts as him. He thinks Mark has been acting morally superior ever since the Nadine situation. Mark shoots back that Doug drags his dirty laundry into the ER, so it’s impossible to keep their work and personal lives separate. Rhonda gives football guy’s ball to his wife as Carol tells her that they’re hopeful about his recovery. The wife is in for a horrible shock when she learns the hard way that Rhonda accidentally switched the bags – the surgeons have the football, and she has the foot.

Percy’s surgery is over, and everyone’s pleased. Well, everyone except Dale, who’s left behind to monitor the patient while Anspaugh, Okida, and Carter get something to eat. Rhonda begs Carol not to write her up for her huge mistake, but Carol’s not about to let her incompetence slide. Rhonda says that her pension is in jeopardy; she’s only nine months away from getting it, but someone higher up is messing with her to get her fired. They’re putting her in jobs she’s not qualified for so they have an excuse to fire her and hire less expensive nurses’ aides. Rather than risk humiliation, Rhonda quits.

Benton goes to check on Megan, whose parents tell him she doesn’t have much time yet. They either don’t know that Benton screwed up in surgery or they don’t care, because they’re grateful for everything he’s done for their daughter. Chuny tells Carol that she heard gossip that backs up Rhonda’s story – the hospital admin is trying to get rid of her before her pension maxes out. Carol still doesn’t believe it, but she changes her mind when Lydia, whose own pension is a year from maxing out, is going to be floated to neurology a few times a week.

Mark invites Doug to continue berating him, acknowledging that he’s a little sanctimonious. Doug says he doesn’t need Mark telling him where he’s screwed up in life; he can do that himself. He’s seeing a shrink, and though she’s a female, Doug doesn’t have plans to sleep with her, since she’s in her 60s. Carter, Anspaugh, and Okida’s meal date has turned into a karaoke date, and it’s…kind of surreal.

Benton tells Keaton that he made all the same mistakes with the boy that he usually makes. He worked harder than he’s ever worked, and he truly thought he would save the boy. Keaton suggests that he check on Megan again before he leaves for the night. E-Ray and Jerry want to continue testing E-Ray’s theory, but as they’re headed somewhere to do so, they get delayed by an elevator that stopped between floors.

Carter’s good mood after karaoke ends abruptly when he returns to the hospital and Dale tells him that Percy had a stroke while in recovery. It’s too bad Carter didn’t back off the psych consult; it could have saved his life. Dale taunts that Carter didn’t have the…uh, little Carters to stick to his guns. The two get into a fistfight, which ends with Carter being smacked into the hallway, right into Keaton’s path.

Mark complains to Carol that Susan didn’t tell him she’s dating Morgenstern. Carol says she wouldn’t tell anyone if she were dating him. She encourages him to just ask Susan straight out what’s going on. He says that’s not his style, so she advises him to get a new style. Jerry and Wendy run an MRI on E-Ray, hoping to reverse his polarity. But they don’t know how to turn off the machine, so now E-Ray probably does have radiation sickness.

Keaton fixes up Carter after his fight, saying that at least he cares about his patients, unlike a lot of surgeons. With the way she keeps telling him to call her by her first name, and the way they keep looking at each other, it’s not that big a surprise when she ultimately kisses him.

Mark goes to Susan’s place and blurts out that he knows about her and Morgenstern. When she says they’re not dating, he asks if she’s seeing anyone. Susan reveals that she’s been meeting with Morgenstern to get her transcripts together. She’s moving to Phoenix to be closer to Chloe and Susie. She feels like she’s finally moving on with her life. She’s happy, so Mark tries to be happy for her, but he can’t quite pull it off. Benton goes to check on Megan and discovers that her condition is finally improving, in some kind of miracle.

Thoughts: Percy is played by William Sanderson. Since that X-Files episode, I’ve watched True Blood, where Sanderson played Bud Dearborne, and if I hadn’t recognized him, I wouldn’t have guessed that the same actor played three characters who were so different.

So did no one notice Percy’s intellectual delays earlier, or did they just not care? I mean, I can see Dale not caring, but no one else said anything?

Dale is a horribly written character, by the way. He has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

December 18, 2018

ER 3.1, Dr. Carter, I Presume: Who Wouldn’t Want This Inexperienced Doof in Charge of Their Medical Care?

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

A nice, angst-free moment

Summary: Carter arrives for his first day as an intern at 5:45 a.m. on July 4th. Basically the only thing that’s changed is that now he has a locker and a white coat. He’s in for a ton of hard work, but Susan thinks he’s up for it. He meets his fellow interns, who include Dale and Dennis Gant. The group then meets their supervisor, Dr. Melvoin, who tells them all the places they have to be and when. They won’t be sleeping much this year, and they have no idea what they’re in for. Also, Benton is their boss, and they’ll never be able to please him. So…things are going to go great!

A little over an hour later, Benton arrives for work, running into Jeanie. She reveals that she tested positive for HIV. Benton hasn’t gotten his results back yet, but they’re due back today. Jeanie lets him know that she’s going to tell Mark her news. Benton doesn’t know what to say. Doug and Mark play handball in a park and talk about how Mark has been going on dates. So apparently things with Iris didn’t work out.

Benton quizzes his interns on some stuff, settling on Dale as the most competent of the group. He barely acknowledges Carter’s existence, only paying attention to him to assign him to the ER for the day. Chuny tells Lydia she heard a rumor that County is closing down because of budget cuts. Carol, who is inexplicably back after quitting in the last episode, is worried that she’ll lose her income.

Susan interprets Carter’s assignment to the ER as a sign that Benton trusts him. Lydia isn’t so sure that Carter should be responsible for surgical assessments. Mark and Weaver discuss administrative stuff, which she’s more than eager to revamp. She has a new method for keeping track of patients’ conditions while protecting their confidentiality. Carol hopes she’s kidding.

Carter’s first patient as a real doctor is an annoyed woman with abdominal pain. He doesn’t see the need to give her a close exam, since she’s had abdominal surgery before and most likely just has adhesions. Benton stops by and chastises Carter for taking so long and letting more patients pile up. Carter says that his patient needs surgery, so it’s not like he was slacking off. Behind his back, Lydia shakes her head. Benton makes him do the rectal exam he was trying to get out of doing.

Carter complains loudly about the new board, and of course Weaver overhears. He goes to a trauma room to do a procedure on a patient, getting eyerolls from Susan and Mark when he calls a nurse “nurse” instead of using her name. He has trouble with the procedure, accidentally nicking the patient’s lung. Benton takes over, so Carter sulks out of the room. 12 hours into Carter’s first shift, Susan looks over travel brochures for tropical, exotic locations. Everyone’s having trouble with Weaver’s new board procedures except Benton, who simply read and memorized Weaver’s notes.

As he gets a message that his test results are in, Jeanie goes to County’s HIV-AIDS clinic to get started on her treatment. She chats with a man in the crowded waiting room who advises her to get treatment someplace where no one knows her. He was a surgical tech at a different hospital, and when management found out he was sick, he was given awful assignments. It’s not legal for an HIV-positive worker to be fired for his or her status, but management can make their lives miserable however they want.

Benton’s test was negative, though it’s hard to tell because he doesn’t make any facial expressions when he gets the news. It’s only clear he’s okay when Carter asks if he is, and Benton says yes. Everyone’s excited for a staff July 4th party that afternoon; Mark tells Doug that they’re playing softball against some paramedics. A nurse calls out, and Carol begs for someone to fill in since she’s supposed to play in the game. Haleh teases that she can always quit again. Lily offers to stay a little late if Carol comes back early. Carter asks her to bring him back a bunch of food.

Melvoin warns Carter that he’s in for a lot of victims of violence tonight. Carter realizes that he’s covering both the surgical floor and the ER on his own. That seems like a great idea for a guy who became a doctor just weeks ago. Benton goes to a barbeque at Jackie and Walt’s house, happy to be healthy. Jackie thinks he’s less interested in spending time with family than he is in hanging out with an old friend of his, Carla Reese. And by “old friend” I mean “woman he used to hook up with.” She’s still interested in him.

Weaver asks Jeanie if she ever got tested for HIV after Al tested positive. Jeanie lies that she’s negative. Jerry pitches for County at the game, but no one’s happy with his performance. County’s losing 17 to 3. Carol spots Shep, who’s moved out in the wake of their breakup, and has seemingly already found a new girlfriend. The players pause for some fireworks, wondering who’s in charge at the hospital.

That would be Weaver, who’s overseeing a trauma with Carter. He finally gets some sleep, but Haleh wakes up at 3:05 a.m. to ask if she can give a patient some Tylenol. Moments later, she asks about feeding a patient. This appears to be a game the nurses play with doctors who need to be knocked down a few pegs. Connie continues the game by paging Carter to the ER, then having everyone pretend they weren’t responsible for the page. Weaver tells him to apologize immediately for whatever he might have done to earn the nurses’ wrath.

Carter’s brand-new coat gets bloody, so he ditches it to go help Weaver and Carol with a patient named Jim. He’s an alcoholic who makes frequent appearances in the ER. Malik tries to get Carter to go somewhere, and Carter gets annoyed with him and snaps at him. Jim gets revenge on Malik’s behalf by throwing up all over Carter.

Carter then has to run to the surgical floor and try to figure out how to treat a post-op patient who’s doing poorly. His two options for treatment are both risky if Carter’s wrong about the patient’s problem. Carter wakes up the attending, Dr. Karubian, who remains in shadows in a dark room as he gives Carter orders and tells him to go away and shut up.

Weaver pages Carter back to the ER, which is quickly filling up. Carol asks him if he wants dopamine for a patient. “I don’t know! Somebody call the doctor!” Carter yells. Carol reminds him that he’s the doctor. Just as things start calming down, Gant shows up, wanting to lend Carter a hand. They’re stitching up a patient when Carter hits the 24-hour mark on his shift. They head off for another breakfast and humiliation session with Benton.

Benton is just arriving, and tells Jeanie that he tested negative. She asks if he’s told anyone about her status. She’s decided not to tell anyone. Benton isn’t sure he can keep this a secret, even if it means that Jeanie’s personal life would be out there for everyone to know about. Weaver dumps more administrative stuff on Mark, who decides he’s done trying to deal with her nightmare board. He tells everyone they’re going back to the old way of doing things.

Randi gives Doug a bunch of messages from someone named Gretchen who keeps calling for him. Mark, Susan, and Carol tease him, asking what kind of bimbo he’s going to bed with now. He surprises them by saying that Gretchen is in mergers and acquisitions at a bank and is a Rhodes Scholar. Haleh and Connie tell Lydia that they’ve tamed Carter, who tries to make up with the nurses by bringing them donuts.

Gretchen comes to see Doug, and he tries to keep her away from his friends so they won’t find out that she’s not who he said she is. It’s too late, though; they already figured he wouldn’t date a Rhodes Scholar. Seconds after they make dinner plans, he calls and leaves her a message canceling.

At 7:55 p.m. on July 5th, Carter is probably starting to feel like he should just live at the hospital. He and Mark are enjoying some sparklers when Carter gets paged to the ER yet again. Mark offers to take the patient so Carter can take a little break. He has two hours left in his monster shift, and Mark knows he’ll survive it.

Thoughts: Gant is played by Omar Epps. Dr. Karubian (well, his voice) is played by David Schwimmer.

Welcome to the season of the Doug/Carol reunion slow burn. Be patient – it’s worth the wait.

It looks like County’s softball team is called the Scrubs. Heh.

November 20, 2018

ER 2.19, Fire in the Belly: That Fire Is Actually Your Appendix Rupturing, and Thanks to Benton, You Now Have Sepsis

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

But at least she doesn’t have sepsis!

Summary: Carol’s asleep – drink! Shep wakes her up and tries to talk her into calling in sick so they can spend the day doing nothing together. Carol needs the money, so she wants to work, but she gives Shep her blessing to play hooky alone. He just wants to spend a day away from sick people. They’ll find some cows and have sex near them. The cows will have to be sexy, and they’ll have to be okay with a live sex show, I guess. Carol says they can go somewhere that weekend.

At County, Benton gets some patient information from Jeanie, then learns from Hicks that a doctor has refused to work with him because of either his behavior regarding Vucelich or what happened with Doug and Brett. Harper is thrilled to reunite with a college buddy, Dale Edson, who’s going to be a surgical resident at County soon. Carter silently freaks out about his girlfriend possibly dumping him for another guy.

Doug is still hooking up with Hulda, apparently, and he wants Mark to double date with them and another woman that night. Mark’s not interested, and Doug hopes he’s not delaying getting back into dating. He gets a loan application so he can get money to help him pay for Brett’s cancer treatment. Susan tells Mark she has to miss some M&Ms that afternoon so she can go to court and fight Chloe over getting custody of Susie.

Benton continues being persona non grata as Susan and Haleh deal with a cranky patient named Mrs. Garvey. She had chest pain earlier, but when Susan explains how she wants to monitor her, Mrs. Garvey complains that Susan’s being condescending. She keeps asking to have things explained to her again. Carter asks to run a code, so Mark and Benton humor him and let him give out orders for an incoming trauma. But when the patient comes in, she’s already dead. In fact, Dale guesses she’s been dead at least three hours. Carter was all ready for nothing.

The patient’s young son, Jeremy, has also come in, but he’s in shock and isn’t talking. Shep tells Doug and Carol that a neighbor heard the patient and her boyfriend arguing that morning. Carol worries that the boyfriend will come after Jeremy, since he seems to have witnessed his mother’s murder. Benton realizes, almost before it’s too late, that Mrs. Mendoza, a patient Jeanie sent home with food poisoning, actually needs to have her appendix removed.

Weaver brings in some techs to set up equipment in trauma rooms so they can record procedures. Mark doesn’t think that’s a good idea, but Morgenstern has already signed off. Carter wants to do Mrs. Mendoza’s appendectomy, but Benton brushes him aside. The other doctors participating wish she’d come in sooner. Mrs. Garvey complains about the things Susan has written about her on her chart, calling her difficult. Again, she asks Susan to explain thinks multiple times. Susan has no patience, but I think she makes it pretty clear that Mrs. Garvey needs immediate treatment to keep her heart from exploding.

A detective tries to talk to Jeremy, but Doug gets protective and sends him out of the room. Carter digs for information on Harper and Dale’s relationship; she says they never dated, but they did hook up once. Chuny finds a possible surgical case and decides to give it to Dale. Carter grabs it before she can. Iris the video director is there with the video techs and still wants to cast Mark in something. Now she wants him to be the spokesperson for some exercise equipment.

Hicks agrees that Carter’s patient needs surgery, and unlike Benton, she’s willing to let Carter do the appendectomy. Benton’s still working on Mrs. Mendoza when Carter shows up next door. Benton asks someone to close the blinds just before Mrs. Mendoza codes. Weaver explains Mrs. Garvey’s condition to her with a lot more patience than Susan. Apparently Susan’s explanation of Mrs. Garvey’s health didn’t convince her to have a necessary procedure; instead, the patient was going to leave AMA (against medical advice). Weaver tells Susan to work on her anger issues.

Carter’s appendectomy patient doesn’t need an appendectomy after all, but he does have a toothpick in a place it shouldn’t be, which explains his stomachache. Hicks congratulates Carter on his first toothpick-ectomy. Meanwhile, Benton tells Mrs. Mendoza’s husband that she made it through surgery, and he thinks she’ll recover, but it’s possible she won’t. Mr. Mendoza is understandably upset that his wife was discharged when she clearly shouldn’t have been.

Shep and Carol go to check on Jeremy, who’s not only wandering around the hospital alone, but has also found his mother’s dead body. Come on, County staff. This shouldn’t be hard to handle. Susan tries to fight her “walking anxiety attack” as she leaves for the day. Iris invites Mark to get lunch, but Mark turns her down, still not getting that she wants to date him. Doug’s father spends him a bunch of money, so Mark thinks Brett’s cancer treatment should be all taken care of.

Benton blasts Jeanie for not giving Mrs. Mendoza a thorough examination. She insists that she did; if Benton didn’t think she was thorough enough, he should have checked her out himself. Hicks tells Carter that they’re going to be ranking surgical interns from now on. Those who fall into the bottom third of the bunch will be cut from the program. So it would have been nice if Carter had been able to do an appendectomy today.

Carol, Shep, and Riley try to tend to an unstable patient who’s wearing a vest full of old buttons. Riley doesn’t know who LBJ is, because a) he’s a baby and b) public schools are awful. The patient attacks Carol, and Shep retrains him with so much force that the patient stops breathing. Shep is about to intubate him when Malik finds the patient’s pulse. Then the patient clocks Shep. Fun day at County!

Susan meets up with her father outside the courthouse, but he doesn’t want to go to the hearing. Even though he’s told Susan he’d back her up, he know can’t choose between his daughters. Henry says that Joe, Chloe’s fiancé, is a great guy. Unlike her past boyfriends, who were mostly criminals, Joe is on the right side of the law – he’s a cop.

Doug keeps bugging Mark about going on the double date, and Mark keeps refusing. He finally reveals that, as he’s been with Jen since they were teens, and he’s never cheated, she’s the only person he’s ever had sex with. Doug laughs because he can’t begin to understand what that’s like. Mark admits that he’s nervous about the possibility that he won’t impress any other woman he might sleep with. Doug just laughs some more.

Carter overhears a radio transmission about an incoming trauma and asks Doug if he can run it. Doug says he already promised the next trauma to Dale. The patient is coming in 15 minutes, so Carter asks Jerry to page him in ten minutes, then invites Harper and Dale to have lunch with him in the cafeteria.

Susan and Chloe appear before an arbitrator who wants to help them settle Susie’s custody without going to court. Susan lists all of Chloe’s past problems, but Chloe thinks she’s done enough to turn herself around and show she’s responsible. The arbitrator gives her three overnight visits a week and warns Susan that if she keeps going with the fight for custody, she’ll lose. She should think about the possible damage she’ll cause by continuing the fight.

As Carol fixes Shep up after his altercation with Button Guy, he complains about the city and says they’re not raising their kids there. Carol somehow keeps herself from responding to his assumption that they’ll be having kids together. But he’s right – her future children will not be raised in Chicago. Mrs. Mendoza has sepsis, and Hicks has seen from her chart that Benton sent her home without a full examination. She thinks it was obvious that Mrs. Mendoza was at risk for a ruptured appendix. She points out that he jumped on Doug for a similar mistake.

Carter gets a page that he pretends is about some labs he was waiting for. While Harper and Dale stay in the cafeteria, completely clueless about Carter’s scam, he runs to the ER and steals Dale’s trauma. Hicks comes in to watch as Carter performs a successful procedure. Mr. Mendoza thinks Benton is going above and beyond with his wife, since he’s been sitting by her bed all day. Benton admits that he wasn’t completely honest earlier. He didn’t examine her, so he didn’t catch her condition before it became serious.

Hicks asks Carter to tag along as she takes his patient to surgery. Dale and Harper arrive just as they’re leaving, and Harper easily figures out what Carter pulled on Dale. Susan takes Susie to her parents’ and drops her off with Chloe for the night. Joe is friendly and invites Susan to stay for dinner. Susan hesitates, but Chloe and Henry encourage her to spend some time with her family.

Weaver goes over a recording of Carter’s trauma with some bored staff members and highlights him wiping his nose on his glove before grabbing a piece of equipment. She wants to compare it to a trauma Dale ran earlier in the day. Just as Mark asks Iris to have dinner with him, the tape starts playing Doug and Mark’s conversation about how Mark has only ever slept with Jen. Everyone has a good laugh as Mark runs away.

Jeanie wants to know if Benton hates her, since he doesn’t even look at her when they talk. He claims he’s past their failed relationship, but he certainly doesn’t do or say anything to make her feel like that’s true. Jeanie, face it – he’s just not a warm person. It’s not about you. Doug’s loan gets denied, so Mark encourages him to use Ray’s monetary gift to pay for Brett’s treatment. Doug doesn’t want to have to thank him.

Apparently Iris wasn’t scared off by Mark’s lack of sexual experience, as she’s accepted his dinner invitation. At the Lewises’, Joe tells Susan that she did a great thing by taking care of Susie. He reveals that he and Chloe met in AA. He knows he’s not really supposed to get involved with a newcomer to the program, but they two of them won’t get married for a while. Susan isn’t sure she’ll even make it a year staying sober.

Harper’s ticked about Carter’s behavior and calls him a weasel. He’s more interested in doing procedures than maintaining their relationship. They’re done. But at least a mime at the carnival they’re at gives him a giant balloon as a consolation prize. Doug learns from the detective on Jeremy’s mom’s case that Jeremy did, indeed, witness his mother’s shooting, but not in the way everyone thought. He grabbed a gun to shoot the boyfriend but accidentally killed his mom instead. Everyone have a great night!

Mark and Iris’ date ends in bed, and she teases that she taped them. Shep drives Carol home in his ambulance, saying that he thinks Jeremy is going to be haunted by his actions for the rest of his life and will end up like Button Guy. They come across a fight, and Shep gets distracted while calling for police backup. He almost hits a pedestrian, who responds by breaking the ambulance’s windshield. Shep tackles him and beats him up. He yells at Carol when she tries to pull him off.

Doug goes looking for his father and finds Karen instead. They get a little flirty and start drinking together. Benton gives Hicks some of Vucelich’s files and announces that he’s going on the record about Vucelich’s fraud. He’s done making excuses for not doing the right thing. Susan tells Chloe that she’s not convinced that she’s changed, and Susan’s still mad about her past screw-ups. Chloe really believes that she can be a good mother, or at least she wants to be. Susan sees them off to bed, listening to Chloe sing “Blackbird,” the same song Susan sang to Susie right after she was born.

Thoughts: Ugh, Dale Edson. I can’t stand that guy.

“It’s Nuremberg Chicken day.” Do I want to know what that is? Why would you name a dish that?

Jeanie continues to amaze me in thinking that Benton is anyone other than who he always presents himself to be. Girl, just keep things professional and become friends with everyone who hates him. He’s doing you a favor by not talking to you.