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.

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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.