August 18, 2020

ER 6.20, Loose Ends: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Parent/Child Relationships

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:05 pm by Jenn

Can’t snark on this

Summary: Mark is getting ready to face another day of tending to David, whose health has declined a lot. He’s still stubborn, though, and thinks Mark should go back to work. David has a craving for a Bloody Mary, and though Mark says it’s not a good idea, David points out that he’s dying already, so what could it hurt? While David’s getting worse, Carter’s getting better, at least physically, and is up early to work out. Millicent is pleased that he’s getting back to his old self.

At County, Luka asks Carol if things are okay at home, since she hasn’t answered his calls recently. He gives her some flowers from his neighbor’s garden and wishes her a happy birthday. She’s surprised that he knew it was her birthday. He moves in for another kiss, but she’s not that interested, so when Connie comes to get Luka, Carol’s kind of relieved.

Carter comes in after checking out a condo in Lincoln Park, which Dave says is too yuppie-ish an area for him. Carter points out that Dave is a yuppie. Dave objects, but Chuny says Carter’s right. Dave asks Weaver if he’s a yuppie. “No, but you will be when you grow up,” Weaver replies. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! She asks for a sub for Mark’s shift that night, and Carter volunteers, since he’s the senior resident.

Weaver has a meeting about paramedic services and asks Carol for some data she was supposed to compile. Carol realizes she forgot to do it. Mark makes David breakfast, and though David isn’t hungry, he’d rather feed himself than be fed like a child. Abby and Dave treat an elderly patient, and Dave allows Abby to do her first intubation. Carter brings in some new technology that will show him and Dave exactly what Abby sees during the procedure.

Elizabeth examines a woman named Claire who vomited blood and passed out at work. Claire wants to leave, since her condition isn’t serious, but she can’t even sit up without getting dizzy. Elizabeth tells her she can leave after her IV is empty and she’s rehydrated. Outside the room, she tells Lydia that Claire has severe eating disorders and needs a psych hold.

Weaver goes looking for Carol, who’s disappeared while supposedly working on Weaver’s data. Luka figures some nurses took her to Doc Magoo’s for a birthday breakfast. Carter and Dave guide Abby through her first intubation while Dave brainstorms other uses for the camera. Abby does the procedure perfectly, and Dave says it’s easy when you have a good teacher. Abby agrees, turning to Carter, the real leader in the room.

At home, Mark accidentally breaks a container of David’s medication, then cuts his hand on the glass. David gives him medical instructions, as if Mark didn’t learn all that in medical school. He needs stitches, but he doesn’t want to leave David at home while he goes to the hospital. Benton examines a man named Mr. Fulton who needs surgery for complications following treatment he received previously. Benton learns that Luka was his previous doctor.

Elizabeth leaves County to take a suture kit to Mark’s so he doesn’t have to leave David. Lydia assures her that Claire will have to stick around for a while, since her IV is on a slow drip and won’t be empty for a couple of hours. Carol dropped the ball on the data, so Weaver had to postpone her meeting. She confronts Carol for being too busy to handle one of her responsibilities and not saying anything. Carol promises that she can handle it.

Amira delivers a birthday present to Carol – a package full of boxes of animal crackers. They’re from Doug. She explains to Amira and Chuny that Doug would always bring her animal crackers when he went to the store, and Carol would always put a box in his Christmas stocking.

Dave goes to get a new case from the front desk and learns that Carter has already taken care of some of them. Dave is about to start with a guy named Mr. Barclay, but one of his patients stops breathing, so Dave hands him off to Chen. Then Chen has to ditch Barclay for a four-year-old named Kenny who’s having seizures. Barclay thinks he’s a higher priority, because of course he does. Chen isn’t sure what’s wrong with Kenny and asks someone to get Weaver to help her.

Benton asks Luka about his treatment of Mr. Fulton and his failure to follow up to make sure Fulton was seen in a vascular clinic. Luka says he made the referral, but Benton knows that a high-risk patient who lives alone, like Fulton, might not make the appointment. Luka says he made the appointment himself.

Benton thinks Luka should have asked a nurse to call Fulton, or called himself to make sure Fulton was completing his treatment. Luka asks if Benton does that for all his patients. Benton says he does, when the patients are high-risk. Older Black men are especially high-risk, and Luka should know that. He needs to remember that there’s more to emergency medicine than “treating and streeting.” Luka tells Benton that’s not something he needs to learn.

Weaver joins Chen with Kenny, who’s been seizing for 30 minutes. It seems to be due to low blood sugar, but treatment isn’t improving it. The seizures finally stop, and Weaver tells Chen she’s not sure what’s wrong. She notices that one of Carol’s patients’ IV bags is empty and sends her to change it. Carol grumbles about it, and Weaver asks if something’s bothering her. Carol tells Weaver to come right out and say something if she has a problem. Carol complains that she has a heavy patient load and two children in daycare – she doesn’t need Weaver bugging her on top of that. Weaver tells her to just do her job.

Paramedics bring in a man who fell while crossing some El tracks. Barclay still wants his simple wound check, which he’s been waiting hours for. Dude, you’re going to have to almost get hit by a train like this guy to be a priority. Sit down. Carter and Dave work together again, Dave moving quickly while Carter is calm and methodical. Doris the paramedic announces that Barclay stole her ambulance.

Elizabeth stitches up Mark, who compliments her work. (Well, she’s a surgeon. She’d better be good at this.) David invites her to stay a little while and have tea with him. Luka joins Carter and Dave, who think their patient has internal bleeding and can’t agree on which part of his body they should be more worried about. Luka sides with Carter, who manages to stabilize the patient.

Chen tells Weaver that her research has helped her diagnose Kenny with a rare metabolic disorder called MCAD. Weaver apologizes to Carol for being so hard on her, but Carol agrees that she needs to be more on top of things. Weaver offers her any help she might need, saying she knows Carol pretty well after working with her for five years. Carol admits that she hates her life. She loves her job and the girls, but she hates that she ended up a single mother. Weaver offers to let her take some extra personal days whenever she needs them.

Chen tells Kenny’s parents about his genetic disorder, which Chicago hospitals don’t test for when babies are born. If they’d known that Kenny had MCAD when he was born, they would have known to give him sugar water when he got sick, which would have prevented his seizures. Carter accepts a call from an ambulance stating that the driver is bringing in some patients. The driver is Barclay, who was flagged down by some people with food poisoning while he was on his way to Mercy for treatment. Doris tells him not to let the patients throw up on the floor, since she just cleaned it.

Before Elizabeth goes back to County, David wants to give her a string of pearls he once gave Ruth. Elizabeth doesn’t feel right accepting the necklace, but David insists. He tells Mark to help her put them on. Back at County, Chen tells Romano that they need to screen babies for rare metabolic disorders. Romano notes that that would mean spending millions of dollars on tests that only diagnose a few kids. Chen tells him to go ahead and explain to Kenny’s parents why they can’t allocate resources for tests that could have saved their child.

Barclay arrives with the sick patients, and Doris takes him away to treat him/beat him up. In another ambulance, a man and his six-year-old daughter come in after a car accident. Dave takes the daughter, Shelly, while Carter and Abby take the father. Elizabeth returns and learns that Deraad won’t put Claire on a psych hold. She may have eating disorders, but she’s capable of making her own decisions, which basically means she has the right to continue harming herself. She’ll only get psych treatment if she requests it.

David seems a little confused while Mark is bathing him, asking where Elizabeth is and whether Mark has to go to work. He likes the smell of the soap Mark is using, the same Ivory that Ruth used to use. Mark remembers smelling it on her when she kissed him goodnight. David says he was the one who bathed Mark when he was a baby. He tells Mark he’s a good doctor. The day he became one was the proudest day of David’s life. He gets emotional and tells Mark he loves him. Mark says it back to him.

Shelly isn’t badly injured, but Cleo joins Dave to finish her examination. Shelly objects to having her pants removed, and Dave sees blood in them. He thinks she has an injury from the accident, but Cleo doesn’t find anything. Dave realizes what’s going on and gently asks Shelly some age-appropriate questions about whether anyone has touched her inappropriately. Guess what? Shelly’s dad is a child molester! Congratulations on scarring your child for live, Shelly’s dad!

Dave goes straight to the trauma room next door and attacks Shelly’s father, accusing him of molesting Shelly. Carter kicks him out and tells him to follow the proper procedures for an investigation. Dave insists on assisting Cleo in continuing Shelly’s examination.

Carol helps Luka with a patient as he asks if she has plans for her birthday. She doesn’t, so he offers to cook her dinner. Kenny’s mother tells Chen that he may have permanent brain damage. She’s brought in her daughter, Emma, and wants Chen to give her the test Kenny should have been given as a baby.

Elizabeth thinks Claire’s mother can talk her into staying in the hospital for treatment, so she’s broken confidentiality to get her to the hospital. Claire’s mother is shocked to see how unhealthy her daughter has gotten. Meanwhile, Dave reads Green Eggs and Ham with Shelly to distract her while Cleo does her examination.

Mark wakes up from a nap on his couch to discover that David has passed away. He straightens his father’s nightshirt a little, then kisses him goodbye. Luka and Carter take care of a patient who’s having a heart attack, and Carter determines that he needs a procedure they don’t usually do in the ER. Luka has already left to tend to someone else, and Haleh won’t assist Carter, so he says he’ll do it himself. Haleh tells him she’s getting Luka.

Weaver tells Elizabeth that David died, and Mark will call her when the people from the funeral home leave. Elizabeth doesn’t have much time to react before she has to go to Claire’s room to try to convince her to stay in the hospital. Claire refuses, so Elizabeth lets her go. She realizes she went too far in trying to help Claire and needs to back off. If Claire doesn’t care enough to try to stay alive, Elizabeth won’t care, either.

Carter finishes the procedure he wasn’t supposed to do, telling Luka that the patient would have died if they’d sent him up to cardiology, as Luka had ordered. Luka reminds Carter that they’re supposed to work together, so he should have told Luka what he was doing. Weaver finds Dave stitching up Shelly’s father without enough painkillers and orders him to do it properly. Dave tells her to go ahead and take over.

Chen pages Romano to consult on Kenny’s case (and also meet his mother and sister in hopes of guilting him into changing his mind about offering genetic tests at birth). Chen is starting a petition about getting the tests instated at County. Romano can’t refuse while Kenny’s mother is right there, so he signs the petition. Nice work, Chen. Weaver reminds Carter that he’s still a resident and isn’t allowed to do procedures like the one he did in the ER without an attending present. Carter offers Dave a big trauma coming in, but Dave has seen enough for the day.

Luka finds Carol moping on the roof and tries to start a conversation about where things might be going with them. She tells him it’s not going to work out, literally saying, “It’s not you, it’s me.” Elizabeth goes to Mark’s place, where he’s trying to hold it together to finish some paperwork and call people to tell them David died. When David moved to Chicago, Mark promised not to sell his house in San Diego, but now there’s no point in keeping it. He breaks down in tears and Elizabeth holds him.

Thoughts: At this point in the original run, it was common knowledge that Julianna Margulies was leaving the show, and it was pretty obvious that Carol would go off to be with Doug. It was hard not to feel sorry for Luka, but then again, I always liked Doug and Carol together, so it was exciting to think they might get a happy ending.

Speaking of Carol and Doug, their traditions with the animal crackers are really cute. He’s more romantic than we’ve gotten to see.

Dave should have had Randi beat up Shelly’s father. Maybe Doris, too – she could have used an outlet for her anger at Barclay.

August 11, 2020

ER 6.19, The Fastest Year: Dr. No

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

Abby was supposed to be the new Carol, but she’s kind of the new Doug, too

Summary: Mark is examining David at home to see if he has pneumonia. David’s health may be declining but his crankiness is completely intact. Weaver’s back at County after her weeks-long suspension, but I don’t think she’s learned her lesson. Romano has been filling in for Mark in the ER so he can take time off to be with David, and he claims he enjoys working with his “troops.” He reminds Weaver that if she doesn’t follow his rules, he can take away her title as chief.

Carter is still having trouble sleeping, and his grandmother finds him asleep at the kitchen table after getting up in the middle of the night. He’s been watching infomercials, and he jokes that he bought Millicent a machine so she can make her own beef jerky She probably doesn’t even know what that is. He gets a knife to cut some bread, and it gives him a flashback to his stabbing. Millicent suggests that he talk to someone about his problems.

Benton/Cleo relationship update: She’s meeting his family. She quickly bonds with his niece, since they both play basketball. Jackie sends Benton away so she can interrogate Cleo about her family and career. It’s not clear how Jackie feels about her brother’s new girlfriend, but she doesn’t seem to outright hate Cleo.

At County, Elizabeth and Abby tend to a girl named Delia who was in a car accident with her father. Mr. Chadsey mentions that Delia’s been in remission from leukemia for eight months. Carol is looking for a new car, and the nurses (and Randi) all have suggestions. Luka tells her he knows a guy with a dealership, so he’ll take her there when they’re both off work. The nurses think that’s a good idea, since car salesmen don’t often give women the same deal they would give men.

Abby gives Elizabeth Delia’s bloodwork, which shows that her leukemia is back. Abby says she’ll talk to Mr. Chadsey about a bone marrow transplant. Mark brings David in for treatment, then meets up with Elizabeth. David still isn’t thrilled to be brought in, but he’s becoming fast friends with Sarah, the woman in the bed next to his. Mark and Elizabeth take over David’s care instead of letting Malik do his job.

While Cleo plays basketball with Jackie’s kids, Benton asks his sister what he thinks of her. For possibly the first time ever, Jackie says it doesn’t matter what she thinks, just how Benton feels. He likes Cleo but thinks it’s too early for them to be serious. Jackie tells him that’s good, since Cleo isn’t serious about him. She’s just having fun but isn’t ready to settle down. Benton claims he’s not ready, either. In that case, Jackie likes her.

Luka and Carter take care of a little boy named Edgar who may have meningitis. Carter holds him still so Luka can perform a spinal tap, which makes Carter remember the spinal tap he helped Lucy do on Paul. Mr. Chadsey tells Abby that Delia’s doctors discussed a bone marrow transplant with him when she was first diagnosed, but there were no relatives who matched her well enough to donate. She’ll need chemo again, but in a couple months, they can look for a donor. Mr. Chadsey reveals that he has a daughter from his first marriage, but he knows his ex-wife will never let her donate.

Luka passes his patients off to Weaver (good news: Edgar doesn’t have meningitis), then heads off with Carol. Edgar isn’t happy to see that Weaver is his new doctor, thinking she’s mean and possibly abusive just because she has a cane. Someone needs to teach their child about being polite to people with disabilities. Connie can’t calm Edgar down, and he runs off.

David has pneumonia, so he’ll be in the hospital for a little while. Mark tells Elizabeth he’s going to take some supplies for home treatment. Elizabeth is excited to help out with a secret mission to steal from the hospital. Mark starts to get emotional during the heist, but he clearly doesn’t want to talk about it.

Carol and Luka have to take the El to the car dealership since his car is in the shop. That would be the car he bought from the same dealer they’re going to for Carol’s car. He claims it’s just routine maintenance, and that he and the dealer, Herb, are really close. Herb is Luka’s second cousin’s wife’s brother-in-law, which totally makes them family, right? Carol refuses to buy a minivan, as her mother suggested, since she thinks that means her life is over. Luka jokes that they’ll put a Porsche engine in it.

Carter’s next patient is an elderly woman, Mrs. Pooler, who’s been taking her husband’s medication for high blood pressure because Medicare won’t pay for her prescription. Unfortunately, she has asthma, which led to a bad reaction to the medication. Mr. Pooler is in an HMO because of his heart trouble, which is why he can afford the medication, but the HMO won’t cover Mrs. Pooler. In a nutshell, American’s healthcare system sucks and has sucked for a long time.

Dave tracks down Edgar and brings him back to the ER, so Weaver asks him to take over the case. Luka can’t remember the exact location of the car dealership, which is how he and Carol wind up across the street from Wrigley Field. They’re both hungry, so they go to a nearby hot dog cart. Does this count as a date? I think it counts as a date.

Abby tells Mr. Chadsey that the hospital’s legal department says there’s nothing they can do to make his ex-wife allow their daughter to get tested as a marrow donor. Mr. Chadsey is upset that Abby went that far, since he never gave her permission to look into that possibility. Abby pleads with him to let her talk to his ex herself, but Mr. Chadsey refuses. Carter learns that Mrs. Pooler was at County a few years ago for an operation and heads to Medical Records to get more information.

In the empty stands at Wrigley Field, Carol tries to explain the infield fly rule to Luka, then admits that she doesn’t understand it. As they head back out to look for the dealership, Luka mentions that his first vehicle was his dad’s tractor. His father was a train conductor and let him and his brother ride along with him on trips. They felt special because their father drove the train.

Luka asks if Carol used to come to baseball games with her father when she was a kid. As we know, Carol’s father died when she was young, and she doesn’t have a lot of memories of him. Luka says that must make her think about Kate and Tess, and how they’re missing out on a relationship with their father. Carol says that Luka would know what they’re missing more than she would. It’s not clear if she means because he had his father around or because he had children himself, but either way, it makes him a little sad. Carol reminds him that they’re on a mission to get a car.

Carter has to wait for Mrs. Pooler’s records, since they’re stored somewhere else, but in the meantime, he’s also pulled Paul’s records. That’ll make for a fun afternoon. Dr. Deraad comes by and asks how Carter’s adjusting to being back at work. Carter admits that it’s not all terrific, but he isn’t that eager to talk about it. Deraad convinces him to come by for a chat that afternoon.

Sarah’s husband, Sam, used to be in the Navy, so she and David have found even more to talk about. Sarah says Sam still thinks he’s in the Navy and takes his boat out on the lake all the time. David can relate – he loved being on the water. He could feel peace even in the middle of a big storm. The next morning, the water would be calm again, like there was never a storm at all.

Abby goes to Mr. Chadsey’s ex’s (Mrs. Lomax) house and tells her and her teen daughter, Jessamyn, about Delia. Mrs. Lomax doesn’t want to talk about her, and refuses to even let Jessamyn get tested to see if she’s a match. She hates her ex that much. Luka and Carol finally find the dealership, and he plays salesman, trying to talk her into various cars. None of the options seem great to her. Luka accidentally breaks the antenna off a car, and I’m not entirely sure that was scripted, judging from Julianna Margulies’ laugh.

At County, Edgar hides behind a supply cart and spies on Weaver. She tells Dave to retrieve him. Chen suddenly shows up in the episode, trying to convince a man named Mr. Hemmings and his daughter that Mr. Hemmings’ elderly mother’s life shouldn’t be prolonged. They disagree. Abby returns and puts off telling Mr. Chadsey that she went to see his ex and daughter.

Carter meets with Deraad and tells him about his flashbacks to his attack. He calls the incident “the accident,” which Deraad thinks is interesting. Carter thinks he should have realized something was up when Paul reacted to his spinal tap like he was being stabbed. Deraad notes that Lucy didn’t pick up on anything, either. Dude, she was a student. Don’t pin this on the poor dead woman.

Deraad continues that there are a lot of what-ifs here. For example, what if Deraad had gotten his butt to the ER and taken over the case before Paul got violent? Well, doc, I think things would have turned out much better than they did. What do you think? Deraad tells Carter it’s going to take some time for him to get over this. Okay, thanks for your help! Carter asks if Deraad has talked to Paul’s wife. He claims not to be curious about how things turned out for the Sobrikis, but if he’s bringing up Samantha, he definitely is.

Carol successfully buys a used station wagon, and Luka suggests that they celebrate. David asks Mark if he’s stealing supplies, but Mark says he’s just borrowing them. Chen asks for his help with her patient’s family, since she can’t find Weaver, and though Mark isn’t working today, he agrees to talk to them.

Mr. Pooler is brought into the ER after falling in the ICU. Carter helps Elizabeth tend to him while Mark talks to Mr. Hemmings about what prolonging his mother’s life would mean. She’s going to die either way, but if they don’t drag things out, her death will be peaceful. In case it’s not clear, the point is that Mark is going to lose his father no matter what, so he can either seek treatment David doesn’t want or just enjoy the time they have left. He decides to check David out of the hospital.

Jessamyn shows up in the ER, and Abby has to reveal to Weaver that she went against Mr. Chadsey’s orders to talk to her about the transplant. Jessamyn thinks that her desire to help and her father’s desire to save Delia should overrule her mother’s objections. Unfortunately, since Jessamyn is a minor, Mrs. Lomax gets to make the final decision. Abby offers to take Jessamyn to see her father and sister, but Jessamyn doesn’t want to see him. Abby thinks he would want to know that Jessamyn wants to help. Jessamyn doesn’t care what he thinks – she just wants to help Delia.

Carol and Luka get burgers and eat at a spot by the lake where he used to come when he first moved to Chicago. It has a great view of the city, which he’s not used to, having grown up near the coast of Croatia. Carol gently asks if he was there during the war. Luka tells her a little about the small apartment he and his family lived in, and how hard it was for the kids to have to stay inside all the time. One day Luka went out to buy some food, reluctantly leaving the kids behind after they’d begged to come along. He was still near the building when an artillery shell hit it. Now everything has been rebuilt. Luka gets that idea of moving on: “It’s what you do.”

Edgar’s spying on Weaver again, so she goes looking for Dave. Instead, she catches Abby drawing Jessamyn’s blood for a test. Weaver blasts her for going behind Mrs. Lomax’s back; if Jessamyn is a match, did Abby expect to do the transplant without Mrs. Lomax finding out? Sometimes doctors have to say no. Abby says that trying to help isn’t a bad idea. She urges Jessamyn again to go see her father, but Jessamyn still doesn’t want to.

Carter tells Weaver about the Poolers’ situation, hoping they can get Mr. Pooler’s HMO to agree to admit him to County instead of sending him to another hospital and separating him from his wife. Weaver’s on a roll today, saying no again. On their way home, Luka tells Carol about a time when he and his brother rented out their grandfather’s farm animals to a Swedish movie crew. The car suddenly breaks down, and Luka says this happened when he bought his car, too. Herb called it a fluke.

Mark takes David to the lake so they can look out at the water together. David says some years feel faster than others, and this has been the fastest. He served in multiple wars and never saw anyone die in battle, but he did witness a death in a PX in Guam. Everyone ran outside when they heard an explosion at the motor pool, but before David could join them, he came across a man who was having a heart attack.

Anyone who could help had left, and David didn’t know what to do, so he just sat with the man so he wouldn’t be alone. It took four minutes for the man to die, the longest four minutes of David’s life, but also the best. It felt like there was value in being there for someone. He thanks Mark for bringing him to the water. It turns out they’re there to meet Sarah’s husband.

Weaver sends Mr. Pooler to his next hospital, and though he’s not happy to be separated from his wife, he feels like they’re being well taken care of. Weaver obviously regrets having to enforce this rule. Carter goes to see Samantha, who tells him that Paul is on medication and in an in-patient program. She doesn’t know how she couldn’t see that he was having psychological issues. Carol and Luka can’t get her car to start, but other than that, Luka thinks it was a good day.

David would agree, since he and Mark wrap up the day on the lake, on top of Sam’s boat. Mrs. Lomax would disagree, as she’s now at County to retrieve Jessamyn, who’s visiting with Delia. Abby tells Mrs. Lomax that everyone wants the transplant. Weaver goes by Edgar’s room and he smiles at her, as if they’ve been playing a game all day. She’s pleased that not everyone in the hospital is mad at her.

While waiting for a tow truck, Carol tells Luka that she and her sisters ran a lemonade stand when they were kids. They didn’t make as much money as he and his brother did with the farm animals, but at least there was less clean-up involved. Carol looks forward to her kids having fun experiences without worrying about the rest of the world. She says the tow truck should have arrived by now, and Luka notes that nothing has gone as planned today. She leans toward him and they kiss.

Thoughts: Delia is played by Dakota Fanning.

John Cullum (David) is so good in this episode. Every time he talks about his past, it feels like there’s nothing else going on and no one else in the room. You just want him to keep talking.

Imagine being so mad at your ex-husband that you won’t let your child save an eight-year-old’s life. But also imagine not even bothering to ask your ex about it because you think she’ll keep your daughter from helping.

Among Carol’s options: a ’97 Camry for $18,000 and a ’91 Mercury for $2,900. First, that price on a used Camry is a rip-off. Second, that Mercury must have some major issues to be priced so low. I don’t trust Herb.

August 4, 2020

ER 6.18, Match Made in Heaven: This Show Is Not Making a Good Argument for Having Kids

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 5:05 pm by Jenn

This is when Carol pretends she has any idea what Carter’s going through

Summary: Luka has worked more than usual over the past few days, and paperwork in the ER is backed up, so he’s not in a great mood when Romano arrives to tell him he has to work another shift. He reminds Luka that the last four letters of “American” are “I can.” Luka wonders when Weaver will be back. Romano says she might not ever come back from her suspension.

Cleo tends to a teen named Eli who was in a car accident. He’s only had his license for a couple of weeks, and the first time he was allowed to drive his father’s car, he crashed it. Cleo tries to assure him that his father will be more concerned about his condition than the condition of the car. Plus, insurance will cover the damages, though Eli says the car is a classic and can’t be fixed. Cleo reminds him that it was an accident.

Luka goes to Doc Magoo’s for a short break and finds Carol there with the twins. Yay, she’s finally taking them to the hospital’s daycare instead of depending on an incompetent nanny! Carol’s having trouble getting Kate to eat, so Luka lends a hand. Another diner coos over the girls, mistaking them, Carol, and Luka for a family. Carol doesn’t correct her.

A woman named Lynn is brought in after collapsing in a grocery store. She has a bunch of kids with her, and Abby guesses right away that her exhaustion from dealing with all of them is probably part of the reason she fainted. Mark takes a phone call from Mrs. Frederickson, the home-care nurse he hired to look after David during the day. David isn’t pleased with the arrangement and has been questioning Mrs F.’s qualifications. Mark’s annoyed, and since David won’t talk to him, Mark tells Mrs. F. to tell him to knock off his behavior.

Randi tells Carter and Elizabeth that the hospital received Lucy’s match letter – no one called the hospitals she was interested in working for to tell them that she died. No one’s sure what to do with the letter, so Carter takes it. Lynn has a hard time keeping control of her four kids, who are all under the age of eight. (There’s also a baby at home with a neighbor. Yiiiiiikes.) Connie saves the day by taking all the kids to the family room.

Eli’s father arrives as Elizabeth examines him to see if he needs surgery. Mr. Emerson surprises Eli by acting exactly as Cleo predicted – he’s more worried about his son than his classic car. Cleo tells him that Eli might need exploratory abdominal surgery, but Elizabeth announces that they’ll just observe him for a while before making that decision. Cleo pulls her out of the room to insist that Elizabeth do the surgery, even if there’s only a small chance that Eli has internal injuries. Elizabeth still wants to wait and see.

Abby tells Mark that Lynn is pregnant, so let’s bump that yiiiiiikes up to a yiiiiiiiiiiiikes. Carol clues Mark in on a game she plays with Weaver, where Carol needs two of something but asks for three, so Weaver thinks she’s managing things. Luka asks her if the girls seemed okay when she dropped them off upstairs. He jokes that there might be chaos in the wake of the Hathaway twins hitting daycare. Carol tells him their last name is Ross. And now she’s going to think about Doug for a while and mope.

Luka examines a man named Simpson who’s having some tightness in his chest. He thinks it’s anxiety from the rough divorce he’s going through. He asks Luka if he’s married, and when Luka says no, Simpson advises him to stay single. “She’s putting me in an early grave,” he says to the man who was, in fact, married for years before his wife was…put in an early grave. Again: yiiiiiikes.

Abby tells Lynn she’s pregnant, which will put her at six kids under the age of eight. She does most of the childcare, since her husband has to work long hours to pay all the bills. Abby asks Lynn if she already knew she was pregnant. Lynn admits that she did, but she hasn’t told her husband yet. Abby starts to suspect that her collapse was caused by fasting in an attempt to starve herself and miscarry. Lynn confirms this, so Abby reminds her that she has another option for terminating the pregnancy.

Carol and Mark chat while tending to a patient together; she confides that she’s thinking about weaning the twins, even tough they’re only a few months old. She tells him that they deserve a father. Doug visits, but it’s not enough. Carol reveals that he asked her to move to Seattle. Before Carol can tell Mark how she responded, Abby comes to get him to discuss Lynn.

He tells her to refer Lynn to a clinic, but Abby wants to make arrangements for her to have the abortion at County today. This might be the only chance she has, what with her hectic schedule. Mark wonders if Abby has convinced Lynn to do something she doesn’t really want to do. Abby says Lynn already wanted to terminate; Abby just gave her a push. She presented all the options, and Lynn chose abortion. Mark doesn’t think she really did, since she was going to force herself to miscarry instead. He cautions Abby to make sure this is 100% what Lynn wants.

Benton comes to the ER to examine Eli for Cleo, who still thinks he needs surgery. But first, a makeout session in the drug lock-up! (Between Cleo and Benton, not Benton and Eli.) Yosh comes in to actually do his job and dryly tells them not to mind him. Benton says they’re just discussing a patient. “I could use a good discussion myself,” Yosh replies. Hee!

Benton starts examining Eli before learning that Elizabeth already saw him and said he doesn’t need surgery. Cleo pretends she didn’t get a chance to tell Benton that he’s offering a second opinion. That opinion is the same as Elizabeth’s – Eli doesn’t need surgery. Cleo bugs Benton, so he agrees to the procedure.

Carter tends to a guy named Fazio who fell while working on a construction site and says he has pain in his back. Carter examines him and tells Haleh that the pain is MU – made up. He thinks Fazio is faking to get workers’ compensation. Luka tells Simpson that he’s probably right about his anxiety, but he should stay for some monitoring, just in case he has heart damage. Simpson is really upset about the divorce, and Luka tries to make him feel better about pouring his heart out. He suggests that Simpson talk to a psychiatrist.

Abby asks Lynn if she’s sure she wants an abortion. Lynn says it’s not what she wants, it’s what she needs. Abby has made arrangements for her to have the procedure right now, so if Lynn really doesn’t want it, she needs to speak up now. Lynn worries that she’s a hypocrite, since she believes abortion is wrong, but she thinks it’s what’s best for her family. She can’t tell her husband, so she wants to do this now before he can have time to find out.

Mrs. F calls back to complain to Mark that David is making racial slurs. Mark is confused, since she’s Swedish. Haleh brings Fazio’s lab work to Carter, which shows that he has leukemia. Dave complains that Carol keeps going on breaks and visiting the girls in daycare. “Who are you, the hall monitor?” Haleh asks. Mark sides with Haleh, telling Dave that he has no idea what it takes to raise kids on his own. Dave says it was Carol’s choice to have the twins, and he shouldn’t have to suffer because of it. Yeah, and when you complain, we all suffer.

Elizabeth goes looking for Eli and learns from Carter that Benton took him to the OR. Ruh-roh! Fazio tells Carter his back is spasming, though his x-rays don’t show any injuries. Fazio says he won’t be able to work in this condition, but Carter tells him he doesn’t need to worry about that now. His more pressing concern is his leukemia.

Chen calls Carter away to help her with a ten-year-old girl in anaphylactic shock. I’m not sure why she wants his help, since she does all the work and won’t let him take over even when she has trouble intubating the girl. Finally, Carter pushes her aside and does the procedure himself. Chen is shocked by his behavior.

At home, Mark dismisses Mrs. F for the day, telling David that they’ll be lucky if she ever comes back. David would prefer being in hospice care and doesn’t want Mark paying for everything associated with his home care. He gets especially upset about the portable toilet Mark has brought home. David says he’s not an invalid and can still make it to the bathroom. His anger makes him wheeze, which doesn’t help him make the case that he’s capable of taking care of himself.

Lynn’s husband arrives at the hospital, and Abby just tells him she’s exhausted and dehydrated. She suggests getting Lynn some help with the kids. I’d suggest birth control, but I guess this isn’t about me. Mr. Parker is curious about the tests Lynn is supposedly undergoing, if, as Abby claims, she just needs fluids and rest.

Elizabeth confronts Benton as he’s scrubbing in for Eli’s surgery, continuing to insist that he doesn’t need it. If Cleo disagreed, she should have kept discussing his care with Elizabeth instead of dragging Benton into the situation. Benton says Eli’s white blood cell count is elevated, information that Cleo didn’t share with Elizabeth, but which might have changed her mind. Elizabeth tells Benton to stop scrubbing in – she’ll do the procedure. As his superior, she’s allowed to take the case from him.

Fazio has undergone a bone marrow biopsy, but the results have come back normal. It turns out the lab mixed up two charts, and Fazio’s fine. The person with leukemia is Simpson. Also, Fazio wants to sue the hospital for the misdiagnosis. Carter isn’t surprised.

Mr. Parker asks if Lynn has been brought back to the ER yet, and Carter, unfamiliar with the secrets involved with the case, just reads on the board that she’s at the GYN clinic and tells Mr. Parker that’s where she is. Oops! Mr. Parker confronts Abby, who tries to get him to go to the waiting area until she can figure out what to tell him. Carter steps in to remind him that medical information is confidential. Mr. Parker guesses that Lynn is pregnant and is having an abortion.

Luka gives Simpson the news about his cancer and his odds at survival, which don’t sound that great. He’ll need a bone marrow transplant, but he doesn’t have many close relatives who would be a match to donate. He decides to call his soon-to-be-ex-wife. Elizabeth tells Cleo she operated on Eli, who didn’t have internal injuries, just as Elizabeth suspected. She tells Cleo not to take advantage of her “special access” to Benton in the future when the patient is Elizabeth’s.

Pablo is back at County, though it’s not clear what his medical complaints are. He’s been drinking, and he gets a little combative and knocks over a tray when Carol tries to insert an IV. Carter calls for him to be restrained, though Carol doesn’t think that’s necessary. Carter injects Pablo with Haldol, telling Carol that he’s violent. Carol refuses to help Carter restrain him, since Pablo has always been very gentle.

Later, Carol asks Carter why he overreacted to what happened. Carter says he was just trying to be careful, but he admits that he might have made a bad call. Carol says she knows what it’s like to have your life change so drastically. A year ago, she was living with Doug; now she lives alone and parents by herself. Yes, this is totally the same as almost being killed while your colleague bleeds to death across the room. Carter tells her that Lucy got her match letter – she was placed in psychiatry at County. Carol says there will always be something that reminds him of her. All they can do is go back to work.

David tells Mark that Mrs. F. isn’t Swedish; she’s Dutch and married a Swedish man. She wouldn’t shut up while they were watching TV, so he told her to shove her thumb in her dike. Mark has made meatloaf for dinner, but he didn’t include the hard-boiled egg Ruth always put in it. He tries to make conversation with David, because he hasn’t learned over the past 40+ years that David doesn’t do small talk.

Mr. Parker apologizes to Abby for his outburst, having been convinced that Lynn didn’t have an abortion. She’s letting him think that she accidentally skipped some meals because of her chaotic life, which led to a miscarriage. Once she’s better, they can try to have another baby. Abby manages not to throw pamphlets about birth control at her.

Connie and Chuny gush over pictures of Carol’s twins in the lounge, and when Connie shows one to Luka, he’s like, “Yeah, I see them all the time, they’re cute, whatever.” After he leaves, Chuny remembers that Luka also had two children. Carol follows him outside and says that she just realized she’s never seen any pictures of his kids. He shows her a picture of his wife and daughter, but unfortunately, he doesn’t have any pictures of his son. Luka can only see him in his memories. He appreciates that Carol asked to see a picture.

Cleo joins Benton in a bed in the on-call room while Carter raids the kitchen in his grandparents’ house. The housekeeper, who calls him Dr. John, offers to make him a snack, but Carter just wants some milk. Who gets up in the middle of the night to drink milk (other than babies, of course)? Over at Mark’s, David has tried to assert his independence by getting to the bathroom, but all the wires and tubes from his medical equipment have made it difficult. He doesn’t make it in time, so Mark has to clean him up. David says Mark shouldn’t have to do this, but Mark wants to repay how David took care of him as a child.

Thoughts: Simpson is played by Dan Lauria. Mr. Emerson is played by Joel McKinnon Miller. Lynn is played by Kerri Green, making her the second Goonies star to appear this season.

Props to the twin who started screaming the second the woman at Doc Magoo’s said the girls looked like angels. That’s impressive comedic timing for someone so young.

Performing an operation because you want your girlfriend to stop bugging you about it is definitely an ethical, safe, money-wise decision.

“Special access” is my new favorite euphemism for a sexual relationship.

July 28, 2020

ER 6.17, Viable Options: Would Luka Consider You Worthy of a Kidney?

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

Maybe he stabbed the guy to see if his blood was green?

Summary: Romano has decided to get back in the “trenches” with the “little people,” so he’s working in the ER for the day. He immediately has something chaotic to deal with when two men crash through the ER doors, trying to beat each other up after an incident of road rage. Neither is badly injured, at least until one of them, Terry Waters, grabs a pen from Romano’s pocket and jams it in the other guy’s cheek. Romano is more worried about the state of his pen than he is about the guy’s face.

Mark accompanies David to an appointment, mostly to make sure he keeps using his oxygen tank. David is still resistant to having his cancer treated and is considering moving out of Mark’s apartment if he won’t stop pressing for treatment. Luka examines a patient who’s at County to get a kidney transplant he’s been waiting for a long time. He’s grateful for the kidney but not happy about much else. The words “cranky old man” come to mind.

Chen stitches up Waters as his daughter, Jo, learns what happened. Waters accidentally knocks over a cup of water and gets agitated about it. Outside the room, Jo tells Chen that this kind of aggression isn’t typical for Waters. In the week she’s been there to visit him, he’s been lashing out at people and losing his balance. Chen decides he needs some tests.

Cleo brings Benton to examine a man named Hal who may have a bowel obstruction. Luka’s patient is in the next bed, complaining about being hungry, since he’s not supposed to eat before his transplant. Benton determines that Hal doesn’t need surgery and writes a prescription for medication that will help relieve his symptoms. A woman named Mrs. Dwyer brings in a teen named Angie who has Sanfillipo disorder, a metabolic condition that affects the brain. Angie can’t do anything for herself, so Mrs. Dwyer is her full-time caregiver. She’s as familiar with her treatment as any doctor would be and clearly cares a lot about her.

Remember Eddie, the diabetic kid whose chart Carter falsified? Looks like his grandmother’s insulin hasn’t helped him, because he’s being brought in by ambulance. While rushing to get back to Eddie, Cleo quickly gives Hal his prescription and send him home. She doesn’t recognize him from his last visit and is shocked by how high his blood sugar is; he must have been sick for a while. She tells Yosh to page Carter so he can answer some questions about Eddie’s previous care.

Elizabeth returns to Chicago after flying to another state to get Luka’s patient’s kidney, but there’s a problem: The patient developed unstable angina and can’t have the transplant today. There’s another possible recipient on her way to the hospital. Cleo tells Carter that Eddie’s been admitted, but Carter doesn’t remember him, either. She accuses him of doctoring Eddie’s chart to hide his diabetes. She’s furious that Carter let him go without a treatment plan – he could have died.

Luka examines the second possible kidney recipient, Sonya, who’s also been waiting a long time for the surgery. She’s basically the opposite of a cranky old man. Mrs. Dwyer brings a bunch of dolls and stuffed animals to Angie’s room so she’ll be more comfortable. Weaver and Carol want to insert a central line so they can give Angie medications without having to insert IVs, since her veins are difficult to deal with. Mrs. Dwyer admits that she can’t approve the procedure. She’s Angie’s foster mother, not her legal guardian. She wants to adopt Angie, but her medical needs are too expensive. Her guardianship is through Social Services.

Carter asks Eddie’s father, Mr. Bernero, why he didn’t do more to make sure Eddie was healthy. Mr. B says the insurance has been worked out, but obviously his medical care hasn’t. Mr. B says Carter didn’t tell him how bad things could get. He insists Eddie’s been doing great, though Cleo said earlier that he’s been sick for a while. Carter can’t believe Mr. B is trying to pretend he doesn’t have any responsibility here.

Adele gets in touch with Angie’s guardian, who has no familiarity with her care or with medical issues in general. Since Angie’s condition isn’t life-threatening, he won’t approve the central line. Weaver asks if he’s ever even seen Angie. Of course not! Why would he do that? Even Weaver can’t get through to him, so no central line.

Luka discovers through Sonya’s pre-op exam that she’s eight weeks pregnant. She and her husband have been trying to conceive for almost two years. The drugs she’ll have to take after the transplant could cause a miscarriage, so she can either have the baby or the transplant, but not both. Sonya’s husband hasn’t arrived at the hospital yet, and she has to make a decision quickly, so she’ll have to choose on her own. Sonya opts for the baby.

David runs into Elizabeth after his appointment and she offers to go get something to eat with him. Mark is discussing Waters with Chen; both of them think he has a neurological issue. David confides in Elizabeth that he has a hard time discussing his condition with Mark. He knows Mark wishes he could have control over the situation. David doesn’t want to be a burden to Mark, but Elizabeth says he’ll want to take care of David no matter what. David is willing to go to a hospice in Chicago, which he thinks is a good compromise.

Mark and Chen tell Waters that they think he has Huntington’s, which not only causes mood changes and jerking movements, but also eventually leads to dementia. Oh, and there’s no cure. Have a great day, Mr. Waters! His father killed himself when Waters was a teenager, and Mark guesses that it’s because he also had Huntington’s. Waters realizes that he might have passed the disorder to his daughter.

Cleo goes over Eddie’s case with someone from his insurance company to verify the reason for his admission to the hospital. She glosses over the details of Eddie’s previous visit, not wanting to admit that she and Carter both knew Eddie had diabetes months ago but didn’t ensure that he would get treatment. Mark joins the conversation and tells the insurance rep that he’ll look into things. He guesses that Cleo’s hiding something, but she just tells him that Eddie is Carter’s patient.

Elizabeth tells Mark that a hospice center is going to be contacting him about David. Mark’s upset that the two of them discussed hospice behind his back. Elizabeth doesn’t think Mark will be able to handle the level of care David will need as his condition declines, even with nursing support while Mark is at work. He tells her not to interfere. Elizabeth asks if he’s doing what’s best for David or what’s best for himself.

Steve, the third potential transplant recipient, arrives to try his hand at getting the kidney. Chen gets Waters an appointment with a geneticist the same day he’ll need to appear in court for the road-rage incident. Chen points out that his anger is a symptom of Huntington’s, so the incident might not be his fault. Waters doesn’t think that’s a great excuse, though.

He hasn’t told Jo that she might have Huntington’s, since his father never told him and he’s glad not to have known. Chen says Jo has the right to know, but Waters disagrees, since she can’t do anything about it. Chen says that Jo might make different decisions about her life if she knew how she could end up – she might choose not to work or have children. Waters replies that she might not get married or have a life. Chen says she needs to know that she could pass Huntington’s to her own children. Waters wants Jo to stay happy for as long as possible.

Weaver makes arrangements for Mark to be able to override Angie’s guardian’s decision about the central line. Mark is reluctant but eventually approves it. When Weaver returns to Angie’s room, she finds Romano there. He confronts her for circumventing the system to try to improve the quality of life of a teen who’s never going to recover. Weaver argues that Angie’s condition could be life-threatening, and all she needs is a central line.

Romano accuses her of letting her sympathy for Mrs. Dwyer override the system. He overturns Mark’s approval of the central line and slams Weaver for being unprofessional. Weaver argues that she’s just supporting Mrs. Dwyer’s decision, which should be seen as the same as any other parent’s decision, since she’s Angie’s mother in every way but the legal one. Romano says Angie has no quality of life, so they shouldn’t waste their resources or money on her.

Hal is brought back to the ER after collapsing at home. He’s having heart difficulties, though he’s never had them before. Cleo, Carter, and Romano realize that he was given the wrong medication. Luka gets stunning news about Steve while Chen tells Mark that she wants to go against Waters’ wishes and let Jo know she could have Huntington’s. But since Jo isn’t Chen’s patient, she can’t tell her anything. Luka confronts Steve about his lab work, which shows that he used cocaine. Since that’s what destroyed his kidneys the first time, Luka won’t approve him to get a new one he’ll just destroy again.

Jo introduces Chen to her fiancé, Glen, who thinks Waters might be suffering from depression. He offered to pay for Jo and Glen’s wedding, and he might be feeling down about the expense. Chen just says that might be the case. She lets Waters go without revealing his secret to Jo. Carol catches Weaver inserting a central line in Angie and offers to help, but Weaver doesn’t want to get her involved. I wonder what Doug would say if he knew Weaver was going rogue just like him.

Romano gathers Carter, Cleo, and Benton to try to figure out what happened with Hal’s prescription. Benton thinks his handwriting is clear, but Carter says he can see where the pharmacist might have misread it. If it wasn’t clear, though, the pharmacist should have called to clarify. Romano pulls Abby in for an objective opinion, but she can’t read the writing, either.

Benton won’t admit that he might have done something wrong, and Cleo knows what he prescribed, so she won’t go against him. Romano gets her to admit that she didn’t read the label clearly when she gave Hal the medication. Carter tries to speak up but Romano tells him this has nothing to do with him. Then why is he there? Poor Abby asks if she can leave.

Romano criticizes the level of incompetence in the ER, but he’s in charge, so what does that say about him? Abby runs away before he can stop her. Romano tells Benton and Cleo they’re forbidden from writing prescriptions for the foreseeable future. Carter can write any they need. Carter smirks a little, because what’s a little potentially fatal error when it means Carter gets to exercise some superiority? Benton seems to be chalking this up to another Romano tantrum that will eventually pass, but Cleo’s upset.

After Benton dismisses Carter, he asks Cleo if she really handed over the medication without reading the label. She tells him his writing wasn’t legible, but Benton argues that he shouldn’t be writing prescriptions for her patients anyway. Yeah, buddy, she didn’t ask you to – you just did it. He reminds her that one of the first lessons of med school is double-checking labels. Yeah, thanks, Benton.

Luka has contacted UNOS, the national transplant-coordination organization, since there are no qualified recipients in the area. The next one is coming in 40 minutes, which will put them past the mark for the kidney’s viability. Elizabeth is upset that Luka called UNOS without consulting her. She thinks Steve should get the kidney. Their choices are putting a healthy kidney in a questionable person or giving it to no one. Luka would rather let it go to waste than let Steve ruin it. Elizabeth tells him she’ll wait 30 minutes for the next recipient. If she’s not there in time, Steve gets the kidney.

Romano checks up on Angie, actually listening when Mrs. Dwyer talks to him about Angie’s condition and how much Mrs. Dwyer loves her. Is that…a glimmer of sympathy? From Robert Romano? No, I must be imagining things. He confronts Weaver for inserting the central line against his orders, then suspends her and sends her home. Weaver thinks it’s ridiculous but she doesn’t fight him. She probably thinks it was worth it.

As Carter and Mark get ready to leave for the day, Carter mentions that he’s moved in with his grandparents. Mark asks about a hypothetical patient fitting Eddie’s description, wondering what Carter would do to find out what’s wrong with him. Carter pretends that he forgot to order a test back when Eddie was first seen. Mark is totally on to him, but since Carter won’t admit to the deception, there’s nothing Mark can do.

The fourth potential transplant recipient doesn’t make it to County within Elizabeth’s window, so Steve is the lucky winner of the kidney. Benton goes to Cleo’s place to try to make up with her without actually apologizing. He just tells her he doesn’t blame her for the error. Oh, isn’t that nice? He doesn’t hold her responsible for a mistake they both made! How sweet! Cleo calls him out for his weak apology, which in no way expressed any regret, but obviously it’s not a big deal to her, since she wants to get naked with him.

At home, Mark tells David that he checked out the hospice center David wants to go to, but there are no spots available. David will just have to keep living with Mark. Luka wants to have a cookout in Carol’s backyard, even though it’s cold out. It seems like they’ve been spending a lot of time together, since he knows about the girls’ personalities. Carol teases that if Luka can’t successfully grill his steaks, she has a steak and kidney pie in the freezer. She tells him the nurses thought Luka would have to take the kidney home with him. She thinks Luka scared Steve into rehab. The cookout ends abruptly when it starts snowing, even though it’s April.

Thoughts: Waters is played by Walter Skinner himself, Mitch Pileggi.

Remember Carol’s clinic, which treated uninsured patients? Why didn’t Cleo and Carter send Eddie there originally?

I’m surprised Romano approved when Lucy fought to get Valerie a heart – a much riskier situation than Angie’s – but fights Weaver over a simple central line.

Cleo, do you really want to be with someone who can’t admit when he might have made a mistake?

July 21, 2020

ER 6.16, Under Control: Fatal Mistakes and Other Life-or-Death Decisions

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

Get it, Chen

Summary: Mark and David are repairing a slide projector before Mark has to go to work. He tells David that he set up an appointment for him with an oncologist. David doesn’t want to see any doctors, since he was told back in San Diego that his cancer is untreatable. Over at Elizabeth’s, Isabelle is packing to go back to England. Elizabeth finds one of David’s socks, making her wonder if he only wore one home. Isabelle says she’s enjoyed being single all these years, and she’d like to know what would make Elizabeth happy in her own life.

Carter is back at work for the first time since he was stabbed. He’s on crutches for another week or so, which means he won’t be very fast on trauma cases. Also, I’m sure he’s mentally fine returning to the place where he almost died, and where his co-worker DID die. But it’s not like anyone from psych will be able to help him anyway, since they’re incompetent. Anyway, Mark is the highest-ranking doctor in the ER, which is swamped since it’s Saturday and clinics are closed. Dave still has time to flirt with Chen, though.

Chuny brings an ICU nurse named Frank to the ER after he passed out while working. Haleh tells Mark that patients keep leaving without being seen, since the wait time is so long. Mark goes back to his old trick from “A Shift in the Night,” grabbing a cart and a couple of helpers to do “power rounds.” He goes through the exam rooms to catch up on cases and make fast decisions about treatments.

A man named Adam is brought in after trying to kill himself with a Benadryl overdose. Carol has to take a call from her new nanny, who seems less competent at childcare than psych does at seeing patients. Abby examines a man named Kim who has colon cancer that has probably spread. She offers him some morphine to keep him comfortable while they wait for his lab work to come back.

Chen wants Frank to stay on a heart monitor for a while, though he insists he’s fine. Chen gets momentarily distracted by his bare chest. Frank says he passed out because he ran 12 miles before work; it’s not a big deal. Dave watches, amused, as Chen strikes up a conversation with Frank. I’m surprised Dave isn’t jealous that the woman he keeps flirting with is attracted to someone else. Mark complains to Elizabeth that David’s driving him crazy about repairing the projector and not discussing treatment options. He doesn’t tell her that David was diagnosed with cancer.

Patients keep coming in, and the ER is running out of beds, but Mark won’t take Elizabeth’s suggestion to close to critical cases. Adam is having seizures, and Carter struggles to intubate him without causing himself pain. He determines that Adam will need dialysis. Mark and Elizabeth prepare to work together on a patient who was shot, but Mark quickly realizes that he can’t be saved. They talk Abby through a procedure that will keep him eligible to donate his organs. Abby struggles with it, and Mark wants to let her keep trying, but Elizabeth steps in to take over.

A nephrologist disagrees with Carter’s assessment that Adam needs dialysis, even though Carter has read about a patient in this exact situation who was saved with dialysis. The other doctor refuses to put the patient at risk for complications. After he leaves, Carter decides he knows enough to do what’s needed himself – he can write the orders. Carol agrees to get a nephrology nurse she knows to go along with the plan. Seems like Carol misses going rogue with Doug.

Mark and Abby join Chen to work on a patient who soon needs more care than just having his heart shocked – the defibrillation causes him to catch on fire. Frank comes to help out. Mark knows him and calls him Rambo, his nickname from Desert Storm. Chen is absolutely mentally undressing him right now. Carter tells Mark how he’s treating Adam, skipping over the part where he’s ignoring the nephrologist’s instructions. Mark checks on Robert, the possible organ donor (I think that’s his name. It’s what I’m going with, anyway), but the police haven’t been able to find his family to get their consent. Mark thinks Elizabeth is being unrealistic about keeping him alive.

Carol deals with her nanny again, then goes back to Carter. Dori (the nurse who’s played by a Real Housewife) has a question about the patient’s care, and when she says she’ll have to clarify the instructions with the nephrologist, Carol comes clean about going behind his back. Dori refuses to participate, even when Carter offers to take full responsibility. Mark comes in, overhearing part of the conversation, and pulls Carter out of the room to berate him. If Carter wants to bend the rules, he needs to tell Mark so Mark can be the bad guy.

A woman named Pilar brings in her baby, Estrella, who’s been having seizures. Mark tends to her, asking Chuny to remove the mother from the trauma room. Chen checks in on Frank, then helps Abby with a procedure Mark was supposed to walk her through on Kim. It seems to go fine, but then Kim complains of pain. Frank, who’s in the next bed over, suggests that Abby get a chest x-ray.

Mark tries to save Estrella while giving Carter orders for Adam’s treatment. Frank looks at his own test results at the front desk, determining that he doesn’t have any serious medical problems. Chen sends him back to bed, and Frank jokes that she just wants to keep him around. Dave complains to Randi about him, and Randi mocks him for eating cereal out of an emesis basin. Carol figures out (but doesn’t tell him) that the milk he stole from the lounge fridge for his cereal is her breast milk.

Mark hasn’t been able to revive Estrella, but he steps away while Chuny keeps working so he can deal with Robert’s case. Elizabeth still wants to keep him alive until his family can be found. Benton tells Kim that Abby accidentally perforated his colon. If he has surgery to repair the damage, it’ll take him a couple of months to recover – months Kim doesn’t have. Without the surgery, Kim will probably develop an infection he wouldn’t recover from.

Estrella is still unstable, and her lab work doesn’t give Mark any information about what’s wrong with her. They’ve been working on her so long with no change that Mark decides there’s nothing else they can do. Kim tells Benton he doesn’t want surgery, which means his only treatment option is antibiotics. Abby thinks there should be a better fix for her mistake, but Benton reminds her that she has to respect her patient’s wishes. She argues that Kim is going to die because she screwed up. Benton reminds her that, with end-stage cancer, Kim is going to die either way.

Chuny tries to explain to Pilar that Estrella is dead, but Pilar insists that there’s more Mark can do for her. Mark gently talks her out of her denial. Things start to pick up in the ER again, so Frank jumps in to help out. Abby tells Mark about Kim, though Mark’s already heard the details from Benton. Abby says that Chen supervised her, but Mark points out that she didn’t give Chen a full history; if she had, Chen would have told her to place her needle in a different spot. Kim now has a fever, and Abby thinks he’s septic. She wants to sit with him, since he doesn’t have a family, but the ER’s too busy for that.

Dave brings a patient to Mark for help getting a Gila monster off his hand. Malik declines to help if it means he has to get near the lizard. Mark and Dave get the lizard to detach its teeth from the patient’s hand without hurting the reptile. Mark then goes back to Elizabeth, where she’s trying to stabilize Robert. Mark tells her to declare him dead already; there’s no point in using up time and resources to save him. Elizabeth stabilizes Robert and doesn’t agree to Mark’s orders.

Carol tells Mark that Estrella tested positive for amphetamines. They ask Pilar if someone might have given the baby drugs. Pilar admits that she sometimes takes drugs to stay awake, since she works two jobs, but she never brings them home. Carol realizes that Pilar passed the drugs to Estrella through her breast milk. Pilar is devastated that her actions accidentally killed her child.

Elizabeth tries to get in touch with Isabelle, since they were supposed to meet for coffee before Isabelle left. Yosh gives her a message Isabelle left earlier – she took an earlier flight and is already on her way home. Frank helps run the board, proving to be more helpful than some of the staff members who usually work in the ER, Dave. David comes in with shortness of breath that he thinks is just from a cold. Mark examines him and determines that he has fluid in his lungs. When Elizabeth joins them, David asks her to be his doctor instead of Mark.

The guy who was formerly attached to the Gila monster is now crashing from the lizard’s venom. Super Frank is there to help save the day. He smells smoke, which Lily guesses is from her patient’s stupidity at thinking you can smoke in a hospital. Haleh pulls Mark away to deal with another patient as Randi tells him that there’s a psych patient threatening to jump from a window on the third floor. Mark just tells her to clear a trauma room. Things get more and more hectic, with people coming to Mark while he’s trying to deal with traumas. Maybe the ER needs more doctors?

David tells Elizabeth about his cancer and his decision not to receive any treatments. He doesn’t want to spend the last few weeks or months of his life sick and hooked up to machines. Frank lets Abby know that Kim died; for some reason, no one bothered to tell her. Finally, the ER gets another doctor when Weaver arrives for the night shift. But then they also get another patient when Frank passes out again.

Carter tries to help Mark and Weaver as they tend to the psych patient who jumped out the window. Carol’s nanny calls yet again, unable to take care of crying babies, so Carol steps away from the trauma to sing “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” to Kate. Mark questions her choice of lullaby, but Carol says it works. Mark spots Elizabeth chatting with David through the window, then goes back to trying to save his patient.

By the time Luka comes in for the night shift, things in the ER are calm. The incompetent nanny brings in Carol’s twins, who are also calm now. Chen has Frank admitted for treatment for Addison’s disease, a hormonal disorder. Chen tells Dave she may go visit him later. (Spoiler: She’ll be doing a lot more than visiting him.) Elizabeth finally declares Robert dead, regretting that his organs will go to waste. She asks Mark why he didn’t tell her about David’s cancer. She respects his decision not to seek treatment, no matter whose father he is. She tells Mark to just be there for him, but Mark wants to do more.

Abby goes to the morgue to practice inserting central lines and is saddened to see that the body she’ll be practicing on is Kim’s. She struggles to do the procedure, but she asks the pathologist for help and keeps going. Weaver asks Carter if he’s still experiencing a lot of pain, since he seemed to be having a hard time getting around in the trauma room. She can tell he’s not doing as well physically or emotionally as he’s letting on, but Carter makes it clear that he doesn’t want to talk about it.

On their way out of the hospital, Mark notices that David’s shoelace is untied. David can’t bend over after a procedure Elizabeth did on him, so Mark kneels to tie it himself, reversing their roles as father and son. Benton and Cleo play pool together and make out, I guess to show us that their relationship is progressing, because there’s really no other point to this scene.

Carter is now back on good terms with Millicent and has stopped by the family mansion after work. He tells her he’s back at work and confides that he wasn’t sure he would make it through the day. He was scared that he couldn’t handle it. Millicent’s proud that he got through it and now respects him for pursuing a career in medicine. They used to have chats all the time when he was in high school, and now it seems they’re getting back to that.

David was able to repair the projector, so he and Mark look at some slides at home. Little Mark had very blond hair. He wanted to grow a watermelon tree, so he would sneak watermelon seeds into his mother’s flower garden. David stops on a picture of Mark and David together and wonders why Ruth took it. Mark says she must have liked what she saw.

Thoughts: Frank is played by Morris Chestnut. He would have made a great regular character.

This is another one of those episodes designed to show us that one of the doctors is really good at his job but can’t do anything to help a family member. Dear show: We get it.

If you’re going to call for help every time the baby you’re looking after won’t stop crying, nannying isn’t for you. Carol should put the girls in the hospital’s daycare.

July 14, 2020

ER 6.15, Be Patient: This Is the Episode They Should Have Called “All in the Family”

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

How dare Abby challenge Weaver and be right?

Summary: Mark and Elizabeth are walking to work, discussing an ice-fishing trip David’s on. Seeing Dave somehow reminds Elizabeth that she left something at her apartment (she spent the night at Mark’s), so she heads off to get it. Mark warns Dave to lock up his bike better, advice Dave doesn’t appreciate. He asks if Mark is also going to chastise him for not wearing a helmet. “I’d never want to get between you and your personal path to brain death,” Mark replies. Meow!

Luka wraps up a night shift and leaves as Andrew the clerk arrives for the day shift. Abby gets a call from someone she’s been trying to reach about payments. He’s not cooperative. Abby explains to Carol that her soon-to-be-ex-husband invested her student-loan money, but it backfired. Good thing she’s divorcing him. Isabelle is surprised to see Elizabeth back at her apartment…where she’s not alone. David’s there, pretending he just came over for breakfast. He definitely did not.

Elizabeth waits impatiently while Isabelle says goodbye to David, then tells her mother that getting into a relationship with him is a bad idea. After all, Ruth died just a few months ago. Elizabeth asks if they used protection, so Isabelle asks if she really wants to get into details. She tells Elizabeth to stop caring so much what other people think; she did that as a kid, too. Elizabeth asks if the nanny told her that. Isabelle thinks she always expects relationships to go badly. Elizabeth points out that their relationship hasn’t exactly gone well.

Back at County, Dave bugs Chen, who’s come in on her time off to do chart reviews for Carter and Lucy’s patients. Abby calls Luka, who’s driving home, to give him test results for one of his patients. A girl named Laura runs into the street to retrieve a ball and Luka has to brake quickly to avoid hitting her. The driver next to him doesn’t have the same reflexes and slams into Laura. Luka locks eyes with the guy, who reverses and drives off as Luka rushes to help Laura.

Abby examines a patient named Ron who has some bleeding after hemorrhoid surgery the week before. He’s supposed to fly to Denver that afternoon for his girlfriend’s birthday, so he hopes he can get treated quickly and easily. Abby apologetically tells him to cancel his plans for dancing. As Laura’s sister goes to get their mother, Luka examines Laura, determining that her leg is broken, as well as possibly a rib. He wants to splint her leg and do a closer examination.

Carol chats with two teen girls, Terri and Andrea, who have some questions about STDs. Syphilis is making its way around their school, and they suspect they have it. Luka thinks Laura might be bleeding internally, and her mother doesn’t want to wait for an ambulance to arrive. Luka spots a plumber down the street and asks to turn his van into a makeshift ambulance. Elizabeth tells Mark about their parents’ hook-up, which Mark finds amusing. They’re both adults; it’s fine. He promises to talk to David, who’s coming in for an appointment that afternoon.

Laura passes out on the way to the hospital, and Luka realizes her lung has collapsed. He uses a syringe to try to fix it, but the van goes over a bump, causing the syringe to nick an artery in Laura’s chest. Laura’s poor mom has to try to help Luka stop the bleeding. Luka calls ahead to make sure there’s a trauma room ready when they get to County. Benton, Mark, and Cleo take over her care, wondering why Luka didn’t wait for an ambulance. One arrived just a couple minutes after they left the scene.

Weaver gives Andrea a pelvic exam and tells her to stick around for test results. Terri’s exam was fine, but Weaver detects something potentially bad on Andrea’s exam. Abby tells Ron his blood loss isn’t dangerous, but she’s not comfortable letting him get on a plane just yet, so she wants to do a scan that detects further bleeding. Ron asks her advice on what to get his girlfriend for her birthday. Abby tells him that her best birthday gift from her husband was a surprise picnic. Yeah, but they’re getting divorced, so…

Weaver comes to check on Abby’s work and questions her decision to do the scan to detect more bleeding. She pulls Abby out of the room and tells her there’s no need for an expensive test when Ron isn’t showing any symptoms of further bleeding. Abby says he just doesn’t seem well. Weaver urges her to discharge him without the scan, but after she leaves, Abby continues with what she was doing.

Benton stabilizes Laura in the trauma room, but as Cleo’s taking Luka out to give Laura’s mother an update, alarms start going off. There’s something wrong with her internally, so the doctors rush her to surgery. Luka asks to stay with Laura, but Benton tells him she’s not his patient anymore. Cleo suggests that Luka go home and get some sleep, as if he’ll be able to sleep after all this.

Carol tells Andrea that they found some abnormal cells that could indicate cervical cancer. Thanks, HPV! Andrea refuses to tell her parents, reminding Carol that this was all supposed to be confidential. Carol warns that if she doesn’t get treated, she could get really sick. They also need to tell the guy she slept with. Andrea admits that there have been multiple guys. She goes to parties where everyone sleeps with each other.

Luka follows Benton to the surgical wing, asking to be kept on Laura’s case. Dude, you’re not a surgeon. You can’t do anything right now. Go sit down. Chen visits Carter to update him on some of his patients. He asks how Lucy’s memorial service was, since he wasn’t able to go. She tells him it was weird. Carter claims he’s doing okay; his grandmother has even reached out to him again. He thinks he’ll be back to work soon. As Chen leaves, she notices that he’s in pain but trying to hide it.

David arrives for his appointment, and Mark pretends he still thinks David was off ice fishing. David knows he knows the truth and comments that Elizabeth definitely wasn’t as amused as Mark is. He says they’ll spend the night in a hotel so Elizabeth can have her apartment to herself. Mark is surprised that David expects the relationship with Isabelle to keep going. David says she makes him happy. It’s only for a couple more weeks anyway, before Isabelle goes back to England.

Carol fills Weaver in on Andrea and Terri’s activities, hoping she can talk Andrea into telling her parents. Weaver can’t force Carol to break confidentiality, but this is a matter of public health now. All the girls who attend the sex parties need to get examined. Carol will have to contact the girls’ school. Unfortunately, Andrea and Terri have already left.

A woman comes to the ER and introduces herself to an uninterested Dave as Barbara Knight. She’s looking for Mark and Weaver, but Dave doesn’t know where they are and couldn’t care less. If Dave would pay attention, he would recognize Barbara’s last name and realize that she’s Lucy’s mother. She’s there to get Lucy’s things from her locker. Dave takes her to the lounge and manages to be respectful while Barbara gathers her dead daughter’s belongings.

Isabelle comes to the hospital to tell Elizabeth she’ll be staying in a hotel the rest of her time in Chicago (the Ritz – ooh la la). She’s annoyed by how “insufferable” Elizabeth is being over the David situation and their own cool relationship. She notes that Elizabeth doesn’t hold anything against her father for working when she was a child. Mothers always get slammed when they choose to work. If Elizabeth ever gets married and has a child, will she give up her own job? Elizabeth says she doesn’t know if she’ll ever get married or have a child. (Spoiler: She will do both, and no, she won’t give up her job.)

Weaver finds out that Abby did Ron’s scan against her advice. Abby wanted to follow her instincts that something’s wrong, but Weaver tells her that med students can’t make decisions like that. As Luka heads out to get something to eat at Doc Magoo’s, wanting to stay close for news about Laura, he spots a guy getting some stitches in the hallway and recognizes him as Laura’s hit-and-run driver. He tells Abby to call the police. The guy tries to run, but Luka stops him and confronts him for the hit-and-run. The guy says he just panicked because he’s had a couple of DUIs. Okay, well, enjoy jail, guy!

Carol goes to Andrea and Terri’s school as Abby discharges Ron. She tells him he was right to come in, and he’d be right to come back. Like, for example, in 15 or 20 minutes, if he’s feeling sick or feverish. If he came back in, he might be seen by someone other than Abby who could give him a more thorough examination. Ron asks if she’s saying he’s not okay. Abby tells him she’s just saying that this has been a bad flu season.

Carter does some physical therapy, working on walking up and down a hallway in the surgical wing. He’s determined to get back to normal as soon as possible. Barbara comes by to see him, and Carter realizes who she is much faster than Dave did. Carol finds Terri and Andrea, who are upset that she wants to break their confidentiality. Andrea doesn’t want anyone to find out she’s sick. The girls refuse to talk to Carol.

David visits Elizabeth in the surgical wing and tries to smooth things over with her. He jokes that it would be a lot easier if children didn’t grow up to be adults who feel the need to express their own opinions. He wants to arrange another double date and try to work things out with everyone. Elizabeth seems to really like David, so she doesn’t resist. Ron does come back to County, but not the way Abby had hoped – he’s brought in with heavy bleeding. Chen takes over his care, telling Weaver it’s a good thing he came back.

Barbara talks to Carter about Lucy, sensing that he’s uncomfortable with the conversation. She tells him that Lucy talked about him a lot and really respected him. Carter downplays how closely they worked together. Barbara says Lucy loved her work, and Carter says she was better at it than he gave her credit for. Barbara asks what went through Carter’s head when he was stabbed – what did it feel like? He can tell that Barbara wants to know if Lucy suffered, so he lies that he didn’t feel any pain.

Mark goes looking for test results for a patient, then asks a tech if he did David’s CT scan to find out how his emphysema is. Mark takes a look at the films himself and is stunned by what he sees. He tries to keep his mind on the conversation when Elizabeth tells him David’s organizing a double date to a surprise location.

Weaver tells Carol that she’s done the right things with Andrea and Terri, then lets Abby know that Ron came back and is now in the OR. Pretty lucky that he came back, right? Weaver admits that Abby was right about him being sicker than he presented. Abby says it’s good that he felt “flu-ish.” Weaver remarks that that’s the exact term he used. Weaver, stop being passive-aggressive. Abby just saved a guy’s life after you told her to turn him loose. She probably saved you from a lawsuit.

Benton tells Laura’s mother (and Luka, who’s waiting with her) that Laura’s done with surgery and doing okay. Laura’s mother is grateful to both of them. Luka apologizes to Benton for trying to demand to stay on the case, but Benton gets his concern and doesn’t have any hard feelings. He thinks Luka saved Laura’s life. (Heh. Luka and Laura. Soap fans share a chuckle.) Luka points out that they had to open Laura’s chest in the trauma room because Luka injured her. Benton says they would have had to do that anyway. If Luka had waited for the ambulance, Laura might have died. He should be proud of himself for making a gutsy call.

Paramedics bring Andrea in after a suspected suicide attempt. Weaver and Carol take over her care from Dave, who’s not happy to have Carol making decisions, since he’s a big, brainy resident and she’s a lowly nurse. Benton visits Carter to talk about anything other than Lucy or Carter’s treatment. Benton has stepped things up with Cleo, and Carter knows all the steps he usually takes with girlfriends, so he knows exactly what they’ll be doing tonight. He admits to Benton that he lied to Barbara about Lucy not suffering when she was stabbed.

Carol asks Terri what Andrea might have taken, and Terri says it could be Diazepam, a medication used for muscle spasms. Dave is trying to approach the trauma calmly while Carol wants to get out in front of any potential problems. Andrea stabilizes but seems confused, possibly not remembering that she overdosed.

Elizabeth, David, and Isabelle go bowling together (Mark’s running late), and Isabelle tells Elizabeth she skipped a meeting that afternoon to sit by the lake. She wanted to think about the conversation she and Elizabeth had earlier. She acknowledges that she wasn’t a great mother when Elizabeth was younger, and she hopes Elizabeth can forgive her. Elizabeth reminds her that she never wanted forgiveness. She adds that David thinks children shouldn’t express their opinions. Isabelle jokes that he’s right.

Carol checks on Andrea, promising that she only told the school about the HPV so other girls could get tested; she hasn’t told Andrea or Terri’s parents. If something happened to one of Andrea’s parents, wouldn’t she want to know? Mark arrives at the bowling alley and watches as David acts like everything’s normal.

Benton takes Cleo to a jazz club (just as Carter expected), telling her about his relationship with Carter and Carter’s past as a surgical intern. When they get to the club, Cleo suggests that they go somewhere quiet, so they can talk. Benton jokes that she’s going to disappoint Carter by taking him out of his normal routine.

At home after the double date, Mark tells David he saw his scans. He has lung cancer that’s spread to his liver. David has known since before he came to Chicago. One of his colleagues in the Navy had cancer, and every time David saw him, it was all he could think about. David doesn’t want his illness to define him. He admits that he’s scared.

Thoughts: Syphilis and hemorrhoids are hard to spell. From no on, only one hard-to-spell medical condition per episode, please.

Imagine hiring a plumber who shows up late because he drove a girl to the hospital and helped save her life. I don’t think I would believe that story.

And that’s why you don’t look at your relatives’ medical records without their permission, Mark.

Cleo may have been useful in the previous episode, but really, nothing she does during her time in the series justifies creating her character. It’s just a bone they threw Eriq LaSalle so Benton could have a Black girlfriend.

July 7, 2020

ER 6.14, All in the Family: This Place Is Killing Me

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

Pour one out

Summary: Weaver arrives at County for a night shift in the middle of a slow spell. The Valentine’s Day party is still going on, and the music is still loud, though at least it’s more Valentine-y now (“More Today Than Yesterday”). Luka and some nurses are discussing Malik’s no-polish manicure, which he says women love. Weaver asks them to turn down the music, then tells the staff they can party for five more minutes before getting back to work.

In the lounge, Abby’s on the phone with someone, trying to work out some kind of payment. (Come back for the exciting explanation in a future episode.) Carol gets ready to go home, still feeling stung by the loss of Robbie and Julia’s parents. Weaver comments that it must be nice that she has her girls to go home to. Randi needs a doctor for a patient who’s supposed to be Carter’s, so Weaver tells her to find him. Pablo comes in with a foot injury, and Weaver’s pleased to see that he’s alive, since he hasn’t been around for more than a year. Haleh thinks he was deported, then snuck back into the country.

Dr. Deraad has finally managed to get himself to the ER, though it’s way too late for him to be able to help anyone and also people have been horribly injured because of his negligence and I can’t look at him anymore. Weaver’s unfamiliar with the whole Paul situation and can’t tell Deraad where to find him. She goes to treat an injured man dressed as Cupid, then runs into Chen, who needs help dealing with the toxicology department. Weaver stops outside Paul’s exam room and sees blood on the floor. When she opens the door, she’s horrified by what she sees inside.

Mark, Elizabeth, and their parents are still at the restaurant; Mark and Elizabeth have loosened up enough to sing “Piano Man” together. Alex Kingston is a talented woman but…not musically. Elizabeth’s pager goes off in the middle of the song, so she mercifully stops singing. Mark keeps going alone, getting as far as “Bill, this place is killing me” before his pager goes off as well.

Back at County, things have gone from slow to chaotic as the staff starts tending to Carter and Lucy. They’ve put together that Paul must have attacked them, but they have no idea where is or if he’s still in the hospital. Lucy has multiple stab wounds and has lost a lot of blood; Weaver’s shaky when she tries to take care of her. She’s upset that Carter and Lucy were bleeding to death while the staff was having a party, completely oblivious.

Luka heads up tending to Carter, who’s not doing as badly as Lucy. Abby notes that she was just talking to him. Connie shows a couple of cops the scene of the crime, and Deraad tells them the attacker was Paul, though he doesn’t know anything helpful about the patient. Benton races to the ER at an Olympic-qualifying speed, having heard that Carter was injured, and takes over his care. Weaver and Dave determine that Lucy needs surgical attention, so Haleh brings Benton over to her trauma room.

Abby goes to a supply cart in the hallway, looking for an infuser kit for Carter. Instead, she finds the knife Paul stashed there after the attacks. Connie recognizes it as the cake knife that disappeared from the lounge. Abby tries to gather herself so she can keep looking for the kit. A cop asks her if Carter’s awake and if he’s going to survive. Abby doesn’t have any answers for him.

She goes back to Carter’s trauma room, where he wakes up confused. Chen tries to reassure him, getting protective when a cop tries to question him. Carter sees Lucy in the next room, but Abby can only tell him she’s alive, not how badly she’s hurt. Chen pulls Benton back to Carter’s room, telling him that Carter has an injury to his kidney.

Mark and Elizabeth arrive at County, leaving their parents in the car. Benton stays with Carter as he’s taken up to surgery. Weaver asks Luka questions about Paul, but Luka isn’t sure what happened. Mark and Elizabeth join them with Lucy, who’s still unstable, and Elizabeth determines that they need to open her chest. When Weaver advocated for a sternal saw in the ER, she never could have expected she’d be using one on Lucy. Everyone’s uneasy watching someone they know get sawed open. Together, Weaver, Elizabeth, Mark, Luka, and Dave manage to get Lucy’s heart rate stabilized.

As soon as Lucy’s in the elevator on her way to the OR, the ER is quiet again. Luka and Mark think they were able to help Lucy enough to keep her alive. Weaver leaves the hospital, brushing off people who need to talk to her, and goes outside for some fresh air. She throws up in a garbage can, then goes back inside to her responsibilities.

Anspaugh gets word of the attacks and tells Benton he’s scrubbing in on Carter’s surgery. Carter knows his injuries are bad, but Benton stays calm and promises to take good care of him. “I’m glad it’s you,” Carter says. Benton heads for the scrub room as Lucy is brought up to be operated on by Romano and Elizabeth. Anspaugh, Benton, and Elizabeth scrub in together, all silent as they think about the stakes of what they’re about to do.

Down in the OR, Luka asks Amira why the nurses thought they needed a six-inch butcher knife to cut a cake. Amira argues that she’s not the one who brought it; she couldn’t even find it. She doesn’t know how Paul was able to get his hands on it. Weaver tells her to get Carter and Lucy’s emergency-contact info but not make any calls herself. She asks Mark what he knew about Paul, which isn’t much. Mark says Carter was supervising Lucy, and Weaver wonders who was supervising Carter. She’s upset that Mark left early and didn’t pass the case off to Luka.

Mark says he reviewed the patient board with Luka before he left, but Luka says he didn’t know that Paul was psychotic. Mark replies he didn’t know, either – no one presented the case to him. Luka says he was managing the whole board and didn’t know that Paul had gone from stable to possible dangerous. Weaver points out that he was having a party, not doing his job. Mark tells her that they both thought Carter and Lucy had everything covered.

Chuny interrupts to announce that Paul’s pregnant wife, Samantha, has arrived. Lucy left her a message letting her know that Paul was in the hospital. Luka takes her off to tell her what’s going on. As Cleo returns from an errand, having missed the entire chaotic situation, Mark enlists her to help him with a patient being brought in by helicopter.

Samantha doesn’t believe Luka’s claims that Paul stabbed two people and ran away. She denies that he could ever hurt anyone. Luka tells her that Paul may have schizophrenia. Benton and Anspaugh operate on Carter, and Benton’s usual calm, methodical demeanor is out the window. Anspaugh keeps his cool, stopping Benton from doing anything drastic like removing Carter’s injured kidney. Next door, Elizabeth and Romano are tense as they operate on Lucy, who’s still losing blood.

The patient brought in by helicopter is a man who was injured when a heavy stream of oil hit him while he was fixing a pipe. (Apparently that’s a bad thing to have happen.) David comes looking for Mark, wanting to know how long he and Isabelle will have to wait before Mark and Elizabeth can take them home. Of course, Mark doesn’t know.

Luka and Samantha talk to a detective who asks Samantha where Paul might have gone. She’s still in denial that he’s dangerous – if he was, why didn’t the doctors take more precautions? Luka tells her they don’t have any answers, but no matter what’s going on, Paul needs help. Samantha suggests that he might have gone to the roof of their apartment building, since he likes to go there to be alone.

Lucy’s operation is calmer now, and her surgeons are lamenting how horrible it is that Paul attacked her. Carter’s condition is much better, and Benton and Anspaugh have managed to save his kidney. Anspaugh notes that he could live with just one, but Anspaugh didn’t want to remove an organ. Alarms start going off and they realize there’s a problem with Carter’s lumbar artery. He’s suddenly at risk for paralysis.

David and Isabelle sit in the waiting area, wondering if this is a normal day at work for their kids. Abby and Chen receive a patient brought in by paramedics after being hit by a car. Chen recognizes him as Paul and tells Abby to get Weaver. Paul’s altered again, making paranoid rants and complaining that “they” wouldn’t stop sticking him. Weaver tries to head up his care, but she gets overwhelmed and asks Mark to switch patients with her. He sends Cleo up to the OR with their oil guy (I don’t know his name; I’ll call him Exxon) to wait for a surgeon to become available.

Elizabeth and Romano are done operating on Lucy and somewhat pleased with her condition, figuring it’s the best they could hope for. Romano’s called away for a phone call, so Elizabeth goes in alone when she learns that Lucy’s waking up. Thanks to a stab wound to her neck and a subsequent thoracotomy, Lucy can’t speak, but she’s able to whisper a thank you to Elizabeth for saving her.

Benton and Anspaugh are finishing up with Carter, so Shirley asks Anspaugh to operate on Exxon. Benton tells her to get Elizabeth instead, ordering Shirley to have Cleo stay with Exxon until Elizabeth can get to him. Just as Elizabeth is about to go to the OR with Exxon, Lucy suffers what she’s able to self-diagnose as a pulmonary embolism. Elizabeth and Romano debate whether or not to thin her blood, since that could cause post-surgical complications.

Mark tells Samantha that Paul is doing okay and is now talking to a psychiatrist. Mark wants her to wait before she sees her husband. Lucy’s incision is bleeding a little, but Elizabeth tells her that’s normal because of the medication she was given. She does have a pulmonary embolism, but they’ll be able to fix it. Elizabeth can tell that Lucy’s scared, and she promises to get her through this.

Chen and Dave go over to Doc Magoo’s, done with their shifts but not wanting to go home before they know if Carter and Lucy will be okay. Abby and Luka are already there for the same reason. Back at County, Lucy wants to stay awake while Elizabeth takes care of her embolism. Romano assures her that they’ll save her – after all, they put a lot of time and money into her training, so her death would be a big waste. He offers to talk her through the procedure so she knows what’s going on.

Lucy’s alarms go off again, so Romano opens her up in a procedure room, knowing she doesn’t have time to get to the OR. This delays Elizabeth from operating on Exxon, so Anspaugh tells Benton to go take care of him. Benton quickly determines that Exxon’s stable enough to wait a little longer, so he tells Cleo to stay with Exxon while he goes back to Carter.

As Elizabeth and Romano take care of the clots Lucy’s forming, Exxon starts to go downhill. Cleo can’t keep waiting for a surgeon; she thinks Exxon tore an artery, and the only way she knows how to fix it is by opening his chest. Lucy’s also doing worse, and Elizabeth and Romano have to shock her heart. Benton finally returns to Cleo and Exxon, blasting her for opening the patient instead of continuing to wait for a surgeon.

Romano and Elizabeth continue trying to stabilize Lucy, but Romano determines that they can’t do any more for her. He has Elizabeth stop shocking her, and they wait quietly while Lucy’s heart stops. Upset, Romano throws the equipment tray across the room, then decides they need to try to save Lucy again. This time it’s Elizabeth who says they can’t do it. R.I.P Lucy Knight.

Paul is calmer now, so Deraad lets Samantha come see him. Paul remembers bits of the events of the day, like the blue cake. He says he had to do what he did because the doctors were trying to take his internal organs. Samantha finally accepts that something’s not right with her husband. Paul begs to go home, only concerned with feeding his dog.

Mark leaves Paul’s room and goes to the front desk, where Weaver’s face tells him all he needs to know about Lucy’s fate. Benton finishes up with Exxon, then asks Cleo about Carter, who’s now in recovery. He tells her she was right to make the decisions she did about Exxon; he regrets putting her in such a tough position. She tells him that there was a complication with Lucy.

Haleh and Lydia have joined the group at Doc Magoo’s, and they’re reminiscing about a prank Carter pulled on Lucy. He told her to do a pelvic exam on a well-known patient named Vanessa, leaving out the part where Vanessa’s a drag queen. Chuny interrupts the fun by coming over with news about Lucy. Back at County, Benton examines Carter to make sure he has full function in his legs. Carter thanks him, then asks how Lucy is. Benton ignores him to continue the examination, which is all Carter needs to know.

Elizabeth finally makes it home early in the morning, looking like she’ll never stop picturing the things she saw today. Paul’s room is still blocked off as a crime scene, marked with both police tape and Valentine’s Day decorations. Carol is back on shift, and she points out to Mark that they’re down a resident and a med student. They ask Abby to work another shift. Mark takes a moment to himself, then goes off to take care of a patient. Weaver finds Romano stitching Lucy’s chest closed on the surgical floor and helps him finish up with her body.

Thoughts: Samantha is played by Liza Weil.

I absolutely hate TV and movie scenes where people throw up, but I give a pass to the scene where Weaver does because I think her reaction to the trauma is realistic. She’s portrayed as cold and uncaring a lot of the time, but here we get to see that even she can’t turn off all her emotions when a colleague is involved. The same goes for Romano when he gets angry after Lucy flatlines. He hates almost everyone, but he was proud of the way she fought for Valerie, and he’s genuinely sad that he couldn’t save her.

Imagine being Carol and leaving work for the night thinking everything’s normal, then coming in the next morning and being told that one of your co-workers was murdered. How does everyone on this show not have some form of PTSD?

June 30, 2020

ER 6.13, Be Still My Heart: My Bloody Valentine

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


Summary: I guess David’s thing is playing things at high volume early in the morning, because here he is again, making noise. He’s looking through Ruth’s records and has put on a cha-cha song. Over at Elizabeth’s, she’s also dealing with a parent, since her mother’s staying with her. Isabelle wants to come observe a procedure Elizabeth is doing later in the day, but Elizabeth tells her it’s not allowed. Isabelle thinks her daughter has enough pull to change the rules.

David has switched over to the Oklahoma! soundtrack, and Mark is singing along to “Surrey With the Fringe on Top” while shaving. David bugs him about getting a prescription refill, but Mark says family members aren’t allowed to do that. David wonders what the point is of having a son who’s a doctor if he doesn’t get perks like prescriptions. Isn’t it enough to be able to tell people your son is a doctor?

At County, Amira is decorating for Valentine’s Day and Yosh is handing out valentines. Luka confirms that they celebrate the holiday in Croatia; they even have those little hearts with the messages on them. Paramedics bring in Jean, who wants Carter to be her doctor since he was so wonderful with her husband, Barry. Abby starts her off with an examination, thinking she has an infection.

Mark and Elizabeth meet up on the way to work, looking forward to having dinner together that night. Elizabeth warns that Isabelle may come visit the hospital, and Mark shouldn’t be too excited to meet her. They start goofing around in the snow, which leads to Elizabeth running into the ER, screaming, while Lucy’s trying to talk to her next patient, Paul Sobriki.

That’s right, friends. It’s THAT episode.

Dave and Chen are trying to work together on a patient named Hudson, who was in a fender-bender. They’re acting like squabbling siblings, so they miss the part of their patient’s history where it turns out he’s a doctor himself. Mark takes over the examination as an amused Hudson reports that the residents are asking the right questions but not waiting to hear his answers.

Carter doesn’t remember Jean or her husband, but he tells Abby he’ll come see her anyway. First, Lucy pulls him away to help her with Paul, who’s had a headache for a couple of days. It seems like a migraine, though he doesn’t have a history of those. Carter approves of Lucy’s suggested treatment, saying he trusts her judgment and doesn’t need to examine Paul himself.

He heads on to see Jean, pretending he remembers her. Abby wants to give her every treatment available, but Carter isn’t sure Jean would want all of that. Mark asks Carter if he’s overseeing Lucy’s work with Paul, and Carter says she presented the case to him. Mark reminds him that if he’s going to supervise med students, he needs to, you know, supervise them. Carter goes to check on them, finding that Paul is now altered and saying strange things. Carter chastises Lucy for not giving him all the details about the case before. Lucy says he was fine before and she was about to get Carter.

Romano pages Elizabeth to the OR for an unscheduled procedure on a patient named Gretel. Romano is uncharacteristically concerned about the patient…who happens to be his dog. (That’s right, friends. It’s THAT episode, too.) Once Paul has been knocked out with a sedative, Lucy and Carter prepare to give him a lumbar puncture to see if he has meningitis. He wakes up when Lucy sticks him with the needle, so Carter holds him down and tells Lucy to keep going. She has trouble with the procedure, and it’s not helped by Paul begging her to stop.

I guess dogs and humans have the exact same anatomy, because Elizabeth and Romano are fine operating on Gretel. Romano acts like it’s totally normal to remove your own dog’s tumor, because what else should he do? Let a doctor specially trained to operate on dogs, who’s familiar with dogs’ anatomy and care, do the operation? Romano would be crazy to let that happen!

Chen and Dave tell Mark that Hudson had been in remission from cancer for 15 months, but it’s come back. They disagree about the best treatment, and Mark gets them to admit that they haven’t even asked Hudson what he wants. Mark takes over the case and tells them to be quiet.

Abby checks on Jean, who’s doing better after getting fluids, though she thinks Yosh’s TLC and valentine are what have helped the most. She didn’t think she would get a valentine this year, since her husband died a few months ago. Barry was always very thoughtful and remembered all their special occasions. She shows Abby a pin he gave her last year; she didn’t tell him that he got her the same pin the year before. It says “be still my heart.”

Paul is mentally stable again, and tells Lucy that his wife is probably out shopping for Valentine’s Day, which is why Lucy can’t reach her. He doesn’t have meningitis, but Lucy hasn’t figured out his diagnosis yet. Paul wants to go back to the diner where he usually studies (he’s in law school); he’s been avoiding the library since there have been some muggings there recently. Lucy picks up on a little paranoia. She wants to do a CAT scan, assuring Paul that he won’t be affected by the radiation.

Romano is the only one taking the Gretel situation seriously until she has a seizure that leads to heart trouble. Romano wants to do everything himself, but Elizabeth won’t let him. Mark gives Hudson his diagnosis, which comes with only about a year left to live. He decides to have chemo, since radiation on his esophagus could leave him unable to eat. If he only has a year left, he wants to still be able to enjoy food.

Lucy chats with a friend of Paul’s who used to study with him in the library. He tells Lucy that Paul has been acting weird for a few months, seemingly wearing the same clothes all the time. They went to the same college, and Paul did really well there, but now he’s cutting classes. He also picks fights with the friend over dumb things like parking spaces.

Jean is doing worse, and since she’s unconscious now, Abby has to make a decision about her care. Carter runs to join her, getting delayed by Lucy, who wants to talk to him about Paul. She thinks he might have a psychiatric disorder. Carter ignores her and goes to Jean’s room, where Abby has given her dopamine to help her. She didn’t want heroic measures, but Abby doesn’t think dopamine falls into that category. Carter warns that she’ll flood Jean’s lungs if she gives her more fluids. Abby will have to make more hard decisions.

Paul and his friend get into an argument in the hallway when Paul accuses the friend of following him to the hospital. Mark and Carter separate them, and Malik takes Paul back to his room. Mark has to rush off to see to Hudson, so the friend tells Carter to let Lucy know about the fight. Hudson is unstable and needs radiation immediately, even though he wanted chemo instead. Mark says he won’t live long enough for chemo if he doesn’t have radiation now.

Carter blasts Lucy for not keeping a better eye on Paul. Lucy thinks Paul has schizophrenia, and she’s planning to call for a psych consult once she’s presented the case to Carter. Carter needs to get back to Jean, so he tells Lucy to page psych now and hand Paul off so she can see other patients.

Jean is conscious again, but Carter was right about the fluids, and her lungs have been affected. Abby wants to intubate her and treat her infection, thinking that’ll be the end of the story. Carter points out that she’s elderly and has multi-organ failure. If she undergoes intubation, she might never be able to be extubated. He reminds Abby that this isn’t about what she wants – it’s about what Jean wants. Jean stops breathing, a complication of the heart failure that’s going to kill her.

As Carol and Luka get read for a trauma that’s coming in, Romano and Elizabeth finish Gretel’s surgery and move her to a recovery room. Romano thinks Elizabeth’s joking when she asks if Gretel has insurance. Isabelle picks this moment to show up for Elizabeth’s fancy laser surgery, instead seeing her tending to a dog. So much for making a good impression. Romano makes an even worse impression when Isabelle says she’s in town for some lectures on wave-particle duality, and Romano says that sounds horrible. Isabelle clarifies that she’s giving the lectures.

Carol, Luka, and Cleo meet a couple of ambulances bringing in a family from a car accident. The young kids, Robbie and Julia, only have minor injuries, but their parents are in serious condition. Cleo and Haleh try to tend to the kids, but Robbie’s more concerned with his parents’ conditions than his own. Isabelle watches from the hallway as Elizabeth finally gets to put her skills at treating humans to use. Julia slips out of her and Robbie’s exam room and almost gets a glimpse of her father’s bloody trauma before Cleo pulls her away.

Luka and Carol work hard on Robbie and Julia’s mother but ultimately can’t save her. They go next door, where Benton and Elizabeth aren’t having much more luck with the father, and let them know that his wife has already died. Benton realizes the father isn’t going to make it, either. Luka and Carol volunteer to tell Robbie and Julia that they’re now orphans.

Julia’s too young to really grasp what it means that both her parents are dead, but Robbie gets it. He asks to see his parents’ bodies. Luka, who we know from previous interactions with kids believes in telling them the truth, says that’s fine. He prepares the kids a little for the scary sight they’re about to see, which turns out to be too much for Julia. Robbie goes into the trauma room alone, takes a last look at his parents, and cries over his mother’s body.

Hudson is awake but probably wishing he wasn’t, since Dave and Chen are looking after him again. Even though Mark went against Hudson’s wishes, Hudson is grateful. Chen and Dave keep bickering, and Mark tells them he only had one child because he didn’t want to listen to two of them argue. Just wait until season 8, Mark. Then you’ll wish you’d never had any children.

Elizabeth goes looking for her mother, and Mark tells her that they met. In fact, the three of them are going out to dinner, along with David. Mark says Isabelle arranged it all; she “has a way about her” that makes her hard to turn down. Elizabeth meets up with Isabelle at Doc Magoo’s, where Isabelle claims Mark (who “has a way about him”) organized the group dinner. She thinks he’s trying to set her up with David. Isabelle says she had no idea how difficult Elizabeth’s job is.

Lucy finds Paul in the lounge, where he says he was looking for coffee. Chuny and Lydia are getting ready for a staff Valentine’s Day party, though they only have one small cake, and it’s blue instead of red or pink. David resists being set up with Isabelle and says it must have been Elizabeth’s idea. Mark tells him it’s just a friendly dinner. He tells David he can skip it if he wants.

Carter bugs Lucy about still looking after Paul; she’s called psych twice but they haven’t been able to send anyone to see him. Carter tells her to let Malik stay with Paul while she does her job. Lucy’s fed up with Carter and ignores him. David and Isabelle get along better than expected, bonding over their children’s heroic medical actions. They restaurant they’re at doubles as a piano bar, and they laugh together over how bad one of the singers is.

Shirley checks on Gretel, assuring Romano that not everyone at County thinks he’s crazy – just the ones who were part of the operation. Romano lives alone, so Gretel’s the only one he goes home to. Shirley makes the insane suggestion that Romano try to show compassion for people the same way he shows it for Gretel. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. She tries to keep Romano from giving Gretel a dog biscuit, since she’s not supposed to have any food yet.

At the restaurant, David sings “They Call the Wind Mariah,” definitely showing up the previous singer. Mark says he used to do this sort of thing to embarrass Mark as a kid. He agrees with Elizabeth that David is pretty brave. Back at County, Abby’s still sitting with Jean in the last moments of her life. Abby admits to Carter that he was right and she shouldn’t have chosen the treatment she did for Jean. Jean dies and Abby whispers, “Be still my heart.”

David and Isabelle duet on “I Remember It Well” as Elizabeth and Mark discuss the movie it’s from, Gigi. Elizabeth watched it a bunch as a kid because Isabelle liked the movie’s lesson – women shouldn’t define themselves through men. Mark thinks the evening is really bizarre.

Abby’s smoking on the roof again, even though it’s freezing outside. Carter brings her some coffee and suggests she find a warmer place to mope. She tells him that in OB, everything is almost always happy. This is the first time she’s seen someone old die. Carter gives her good news and bad news: She’ll never get used to it. They decide to go back inside for the Valentine’s Day party.

In the ER, “Battleflag” by Lo Fidelity Allstars is blasting, to ensure that we always associate it with this episode. The nurses cut the cake, and Lydia says there’s a bigger knife in the lounge. Amira says she couldn’t find it. Carter realizes that Lucy still hasn’t seen the patient he’s been telling her to treat. Lily reports that she’s still waiting on Paul’s psych consult. Abby asks Carol and Luka if the patients mind the loud music, but it’s so loud that they can’t hear her.

Carter goes off to find Lucy, but Paul’s room is dark. Carter spots something on the floor – one of Yosh’s valentines – and when he straightens up after grabbing it, Paul appears behind him in a dark corner. He sneaks up behind Carter and thrusts something into his back. Carter touches the spot and his hand comes away bloody.

He leans on a supply tray to try to keep his balance, but it collapses and he falls to the floor. He calls for help but the music drowns him out. Carter clutches his back and tries to get up, but he’s too weak. He looks across the room and sees that he’s not alone. Lucy is also on the floor, bleeding. They both lose consciousness.

Thoughts: Paul is played by David Krumholtz. Robbie is played by the late Anton Yelchin.

Laura Innes directed this episode, which is probably why she’s not in it.

To me, this is the most memorable episode of the series. When I think of ER, this is the episode I think of. I still remember how shocking the ending was when it first aired.

There’s discussion later about who’s to blame for what happened with Paul. Carter absolutely dropped the ball by not getting more involved in the case, but ultimately I blame the psych department. It shouldn’t take three phone calls to get them to the ER.

Who came up with the dog plot? I want to have a word with you.

June 16, 2020

ER 6.11, The Domino Heart: If the ER Is a Circus, Chen and Carter Are Both Clowns

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

Poor Valerie

Summary: David has moved in with Mark and is up early, watching the weather channel…loudly. He wakes both Mark and his neighbor. Also, he drank all the coffee. Mark’s like, “Well, I wanted this,” and just goes to work. Carol is already there, back for her first shift since having the twins. She’s barely there for 20 seconds when a patient is brought in. A trapeze artist named Vito fell while practicing his circus act and has a deep cut. Mark comes in to join the trauma and notices that the water in the trauma room isn’t working.

Vito starts declining, thanks to blood loss, and Carol struggles a little to get back into the rhythm of the ER. Luka tells her she can start off slow if she needs to; he seems amused when she insists that she’s okay. Romano joins the group, familiar with Vito and his brother Dominic’s trapeze act. He does something to Vito that agitates him, so Dominic and another guy drag him out of the trauma room.

Mark has bottled water brought into the hospital since there’s a water-main issue that won’t be fixed for a while. Lucy comes in hours ahead of her shift, having been summoned by Valerie – a heart has been found for her, and she’s coming in for a transplant. Lily discovers another downside to not having water: They can’t flush the toilets. Mark requests some Port-a-Potties for the ambulance bay, and maybe some air freshener.

Another circus performer is in the ER, a young acrobat named Peng who hurt her foot. Dominic explains to Luka that when Vito’s trapeze broke, the pieces fell on Peng. Luka’s confused, since her injury is to the bottom of her foot. Peng clears things up by doing a one-handed handstand. Luka’s impressed and decides to get himself some circus tickets. Romano ruins the vibe by having security remove Dominic from the hospital.

Chen’s patient is Mrs. Duffy, an elderly woman with Parkinson’s who may have had a stroke. Her daughter, Louise, takes care of her at home, and though Mrs. Duffy sees herself as a burden, Louise is fine tending to her. Chen notices that Louise seems tired, but she says she’s okay.

Mark bugs Carol about falling behind on patients, and she gets defensive about it. Weaver interrupts to ask Mark why she wasn’t told about the water issues. Mark says he handled everything, though he didn’t think of the fact that without water, surgeons can’t sterilize their equipment. Weaver has canceled all elective procedures and decided to use water from the physical-therapy pool to flush toilets.

Lucy welcomes Valerie back to the hospital, thrilled to be there for Valerie’s transplant. Carol is annoyed to have to fax stuff for Dave. Shouldn’t the file clerks do stuff like that? Cleo can’t get an x-ray back for her patient because the radiologists can’t process the films without water. Benton wonders if they might be able to leave work early, since they can’t do their full jobs. He hints that he’d like to get something to eat with Cleo, but she doesn’t take the bait.

Paramedics bring in a man named Michael who had a seizure while driving. His boyfriend, Curt, isn’t aware of Michael ever having seizures before. His only known medical problem is asthma. Mark notices bruises on Michael’s chest, which Curt says must be from playing hockey. Mark thinks Michael’s condition might be the result of taking too much asthma medication.

Mrs. Duffy’s tests come back normal, so her declining health is probably due to her Parkinson’s. Louise asks Chen to admit her anyway; she can’t care for Mrs. Duffy if she can’t walk. Chen recommends a home aide, which Louise can’t afford. She wants Mrs. Duffy to be admitted for a few days so her medications can be adjusted and she can regain her strength. Chen apologetically says they can’t do that. Louise begs Chen to do something so she can get some rest, but there’s nothing Chen can do.

Lucy buys Valerie some Tweety Bird slippers, since Valerie packed for the hospital so fast that she forgot her own slippers. Weaver pulls Lucy aside to tell her that Valerie has a fever of 100.9. She’ll need immunosuppressants after the transplant, which will weaken her immune system so much that even a small cold could be fatal. Weaver warns that they may have to decline the heart. The transplant committee will probably decide to give it to someone else.

Michael’s stable now and only has a minor hand injury, but Mark is concerned about his mental health. He thinks Michael might have intentionally overdosed on his medication. Michael says he took some extra pills because stress makes his asthma flare up, but he wasn’t trying to hurt himself. Curt checks in and Michael doesn’t mention anything about Mark’s suspicion that he’s depressed.

As soon as Romano and Benton hear that Valerie has a fever, they agree that she can’t have the transplant. Lucy argues that all her tests have come back normal, which means she must have an infection in her LVAD. All she needs is antibiotics. Once the LVAD is removed (which is necessary anyway to do the transplant), she can get the new heart. Romano seems annoyed by Lucy’s persistence, but he probably also admires it.

Carol gets defensive again about criticism that isn’t really criticism. Weaver wants to make sure she’s getting enough sleep. With two babies and no partner to help her? I’m sure she’s getting eight hours every night, Weaver. Dave brings her into a case involving a man who’s been taking some kind of medication that has led to him vomiting blood. Weaver isn’t familiar with the medication, which Dave says is a combination painkiller and steroid easily available in Mexico.

Benton decides to be more straightforward with Cleo and…kind of, sort of ask her out. She casually tells him she’s never sure when she gets off work, so if he wants to have dinner, he shouldn’t wait for her. Elizabeth finds Carol crying in the lounge and suggests that she go home. Carol admits that sometimes she just has a good cry at home, then feels better and goes back to whatever she was doing. She appreciates Elizabeth’s concern. Chuny comes in and Elizabeth tells her that Carol’s feeling overwhelmed. They talk about Carol’s struggles as if she’s not in the room.

Lucy tells Valerie that they think they can clear up her infection with antibiotics and still do the transplant. Valerie worries that the antibiotics won’t work, which could lead to a life-threatening infection. She asks what Lucy would do in her position. Lucy thinks the risks are small and Valerie should go ahead with the transplant.

Mark asks Michael about his relationship with Curt, suspecting that Curt is abusive. Instead of insisting that everything’s fine, which is usually what happens with abuse cases on this show, Michael admits that he and Curt had an argument that turned physical. Mark suggests that he talk to a social worker, but Michael isn’t sure if he wants to take that step.

Linsey Cordova comes to see Elizabeth and lets her know that they held Jenny’s funeral yesterday. She’s grateful that Elizabeth got Dean to tell her where Jenny’s body was. Linsey’s trying to forget him, but she hears his voice all the time – gentle, but telling her horrible things. Elizabeth tells her that Dean wanted her to suffer, but he can’t hurt her anymore, so she shouldn’t give him any more thought.

Valerie heads to surgery, asking if Lucy can observe. Lucy says med students can only watch if they’re on the transplant service, but she’s going to talk her way into having an exception made. If anyone can do it, it’s Lucy. Valerie realizes she forgot to feed her cat and asks Lucy to let her mom know.

Elizabeth goes to the prison ward to see Dean, whom she didn’t euthanize after all. He admits to being glad when he realized she didn’t follow through on her part of the bargain; he never thought she might turn out to be a coward. He thinks her conscience is bothering her. Elizabeth says it is, but not because she almost killed him. It’s because she enjoyed how much power she had over his life.

She could have easily killed him and repaid the pain he’s caused others, but she realized how pathetic he was and didn’t want that power. Elizabeth’s job is done – she made her sick patient better. Now he gets to suffer in prison. Elizabeth saunters out, ignoring Dean when he yells after her that he’s not finished with her yet. Fortunately, this is his last episode, so we’re finished with him. Yay!

Louise slipped on some ice in the parking lot while getting her mother into their car, so she’s back in the ER. In addition, Mrs. Duffy’s wheelchair fell over, so she might need medical attention again. Carter wants to do some tests on Louise, whose blood pressure is high. He’s judgmental about Chen’s decision to let Mrs. Duffy go instead of getting her further care.

Lucy observes Valerie’s transplant, much more in awe of the sight of the new heart than Benton is (though, to be fair, he probably sees this a lot. Also, he’s a robot). Michael agreed to talk to a social worker, but when Mark brought in Adele, he changed his mind. Adele tells Mark that this is common; Michael probably wants to protect his boyfriend. Mark thinks he can eventually get Michael to talk to someone.

Carter argues with Chen about admitting Mrs. Duffy so Louise can get some rest. Chen sticks to the rules, refusing to take Carter’s suggestion to lie that Mrs. Duffy had a stroke. She reminds him that she bent the rules with Alyssa, which got her into trouble, and she doesn’t want to take any more chances. Carter – who, remember, just lied on kid’s chart a couple weeks ago – thinks she should worry less about getting in trouble. Everyone admits people who don’t necessarily need to be admitted. Chen puts her foot down, saying that Mrs. Duffy is her patient, so it’s her call. Carter responds by having Louise admitted for high blood pressure.

Michael has changed his story, telling Mark that his bruises are from hockey. Mark worries about Michael’s safety in his relationship, noting that most people who are killed by their partners have experienced physical abuse. Curt comes in to get Michael, but Mark delays his discharge, saying he wants to run some more tests. Michael is about to give in when Curt tells him to shut up. Mark tells Michael he doesn’t have to go – it’s his choice. Michael chooses to leave with Curt.

Dave clears out the vending machine, knowing there won’t be any good food in the cafeteria since there’s no water to cook with. Cleo mentions that she’s treating a Spanish-speaking father and daughter who both have aplastic anemia. Dave realizes they must be tied to his earlier patient who took the Mexican meds. He knows enough Spanish to be able to communicate with Cleo’s patients, who tell him they got shots from a pharmacist who works out of a backroom clinic. Cleo wants to call to the police, but Dave would rather confront the pharmacist on his own.

Mark looks on silently as Michael leaves with Curt. The water has finally been fixed, but the pressure hasn’t been tested yet, so everyone still needs to use the Port-a-Potties. Chen asks Mark if it’s possible to page an individual beeper for someone working on the code team. The answer is yes. P.S. Carter’s on the code team today.

Valerie comes out of surgery fine, and Benton finally acknowledges Lucy’s awe over the idea of using someone else’s heart to keep a person alive. He wonders if she might want to go into surgery now. Lucy notices that Valerie’s eyes aren’t normal, and she doesn’t respond when Lucy says to squeeze her hand. Benton rushes her to CT.

Chen and some nurses watch gleefully as she pages Carter, who runs out of a Port-a-Potty to answer a code in the ER. He slips on a wet floor and falls, making Chen feel a little bad about her prank. He quickly realizes that she was messing with him, which she calls payback for what she considers blackmail. It worked, though, since she finally admitted Mrs. Duffy. She hopes Carter doesn’t see her as heartless.

They hear a crash outside and run to the ambulance bay, where Michael has crashed his car into the truck driven by the guy fixing the water main. Now Curt’s the one who needs medical attention – Michael thought he was in drive, not reverse, and ran him over. Mark, Carter, and Chen work on Curt in a trauma room but can’t use a piece of equipment for suction because it needs water they don’t have. Carter and Chen come up with a makeshift replacement involving a vacuum hose and sponges.

Romano checks in with Benton, who’s examining Valerie, then tells Lucy that she’s in a permanent vegetative state. Lucy blames the LVAD, but Romano says they can’t be sure what happened, so she shouldn’t feel guilty. After all, he approved the LVAD implantation. Surgeons know that nothing is risk-free. The positive news is that there’s a patient in Milwaukee who’s a match for Valerie’s new heart. Valerie’s not going to recover, so they can remove the heart and give it to someone else who can use it.

Once Curt has been stabilized, Michael tells Mark that the accident was just that, an accident. If I were Mark, I would be very skeptical. Carter is snarky with Chen over their different approaches to taking care of the Duffy women, like, let it go already. He’s disappointed that Chen can’t admit that she made a mistake. He tells her that things will go a lot easier for her if she can deal with them honestly. Chen agrees not to play any more practical jokes.

Lucy speaks with Valerie’s mother, who agrees to donate Valerie’s new heart. Chen examines an x-ray she’s been waiting on and sees a bunch of nails in her patient’s stomach. As she runs off to check on him, Carter stops Chuny from calling any surgeons. He lifts his shirt and shows her that he’s taped nails to himself so he could mess with Chen by giving her a fake x-ray. What a great use of expensive hospital equipment!

Carol’s made it through her first day back and heads home to her girls. Dave returns from the clinic with some bruises from his confrontation with the pharmacist. He tells Cleo he got a prescription by claiming he had a sore throat; the pharmacist didn’t even examine him. Dave grabbed a vial of some medication no one should take and just ran. Now he has evidence to get the clinic shut down.

Benton grows a very, very small spine and quietly asks Cleo if she wants to get dinner with him. It turns out she thought he was inviting her on a group outing, but he admits that it’s just going to be the two of them. She definitely seems interested. Mark speaks with a cop who talked to Michael about the crash, but doesn’t bring up Curt’s abuse. Michael notes that Mark is getting what he wants – Michael will be safe at home tonight. Mark offers to call Adele in again, but Michael still isn’t ready for that.

Luka finds Lucy sitting on a bench outside the ER and gives her his coat, since it’s started snowing. He offers her a ticket to the circus. Lucy says she’s on duty now, after having been at work all day but not technically working. They bond over feeling out of place at County, though Luka’s used to it, having moved around a lot. Lucy feels grateful every day to be able to walk in on her own rather than be brought in as a patient. At the end of every day, she hopes she’s helped even one person, but today that didn’t happen.

Luka reminds her that her day’s not over. Maybe the person just now being brought in by ambulance is the one person she’s going to help. Luka offers to stay behind and find out. He’ll skip the circus, since working in the ER is enough of a circus for him. They receive the patient and Luka offers to walk Lucy through a procedure she’s never done before.

Thoughts: Mark again demonstrates great leadership skills in handling the water problem. He stays calm and makes decisions quickly. Harriet the disaster coordinator would be proud.

Abuse storylines featuring same-sex couples are extremely rare, so good for this show for doing one.

Not one person suggests that Carol get screened for postpartum depression. Good job, medical professionals.

June 9, 2020

ER 6.10, Family Matters: Chen Is Back in Action (Act-Chen?)

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

I don’t think I could go back to the place where I almost killed someone, but I guess doctors do that all the time

Summary: Mark and Elizabeth are on their way to work, discussing the possibility of barbecuing, even though it’s January and snowing outside. Mark was able to do it in San Diego while he was visiting David, and now he wants to do it in Chicago. At County, they’re greeted by Andrew, then Romano, who tells Mark that a new resident is starting in the ER today. She’s not actually new, though – she’s Chen. Elizabeth is surprised that she’s starting in January. Romano says her program in New York fell through, and her rich father made a donation to County to get her a job there.

Andrew gives Mark a message letting him know that David has disappeared from his retirement home. It sounds like he ran away, which isn’t surprising, since we know he didn’t want to move there in the first place. Elizabeth and Romano meet with Detective Cruson, who has tied Dean to another missing woman, Jenny Cordova. Cruson wants Elizabeth to ask Dean where Jenny’s body is. Romano agrees that Elizabeth is the best person for the job, though she doesn’t think Dean will tell her anything. Cruson says this is the Cordova family’s best option.

In the ER, Carter and Yosh struggle to deal with a woman who’s manically scratching herself. They get security to restrain her, but only after Carter has wrestled with her and landed on the ground. He’s still there when Chen comes to greet him. She’s surprised he’s working in the ER, not the OR. Mark joins them, and Chen tells him she goes by Jing-Mei now, not Deb. She also insists that she always went by Jing-Mei, but I distinctly remember her introducing herself to Carter and Benton as Deb back in season 1, so nyah. Anyway, Mark has to go back to San Diego and get his father to behave.

Carter is surprised that Chen is still in medicine after almost killing someone as a med student. She tells him that incident made her realize how competitive she was, and that she was trying too hard to make herself look competent. Carter tells her about his patient, Cassandra, whom he and Yosh think has a psychiatric problem. Chen notices spots on Cassandra’s arms that indicate body lice. She probably applied a medication called lindane, scratched herself too hard, allowed the lindane to enter her bloodstream, and gave herself lindane toxicity.

Mark is angry at David for being childish and pulling him away from his job. Also, this means no barbecuing. Mark gives Andrew his stethoscope to give to Yosh, then tells Andrew he’s in charge until Weaver comes in. Andrew takes him seriously. Then he swings the stethoscope around and smacks himself in the face. Two women run in, ask for a doctor, and take Andrew’s picture, mistaking him for a doctor since he has a stethoscope. They explain that they’re in a scavenger hunt and have to take photos of, among other things, a doctor, a groom, and a polar bear.

Carter and Chen take on a patient together, a man named Mr. Sumpter who hurt his knee. Chen demonstrates that she’s become very confident in medicine and is good at communicating with patients. Carter draws some fluid from Mr. Sumpter’s knee and sees that he has an infection, probably staph. Dr. Myers comes down from psych and congratulates Chen on diagnosing Cassandra correctly. He thanks Carter for thinking of psych, even though it wasn’t necessary.

Benton and Cleo treat a high school student named Tamara who crashed her car on the way to school. She doesn’t have any serious injuries, just some wrist pain. Chen tells Carter that Mr. Sumpter’s staph infection is actually gonorrhea. Carter can only tell Mr. Sumpter the news and hope he tells his wife. Chen notes that they have to make a report to the Public Health Department, who may tell Mrs. Sumpter themselves. Carter isn’t concerned about the possibility of Mrs. Sumpter never finding out that her husband has an STD.

Elizabeth visits Dean on the jail ward, where he’s displeased with her treatment instructions. He wants a new doctor. Weaver meets Chen, who confesses up front that her father bought her way into her residency. Yes, she almost killed someone while she was a med student, but she knows she’s more competent now. Weaver believes her. She asks Andrew to get her a phone book so she can find a mechanic, since her car broke down. Dave announces that he can fix it. For some reason, Weaver agrees to let him try. Meanwhile, Chen asks Andrew to get her the number for the Public Health Department.

Carter gives Mr. Sumpter the news that he has gonorrhea. He asks if Mr. Sumpter has had sex with anyone other than his wife. Mr. Sumpter says he did, once, and Carter encourages him to come clean to his wife. Too late – she and Chen are behind the curtain around Mr. Sumpter’s bed, and his wife heard everything. She’s…not happy.

Luka’s patient is a young man named Dylan who burned his hands. He’s accompanied by his brother, Jake, who’s developmentally disabled. Carter complains to Weaver that Chen got Public Health to tell Mrs. Sumpter about her husband’s STD. Weaver says that no one did anything wrong. She takes Chen to talk to Officer Al, who’s brought in a teen panhandler who won’t provide her name. Al advises the Jane Doe to take advantage of the warmth in the ER and the free meal she’ll get.

Dylan tells Luka and Lydia that he burned himself making breakfast. Luka determines that Dylan is only 18 and isn’t in school. Jake gets distressed and apologizes over and over. Dylan yells at him to shut up, which just makes Jake more upset. He punches something and cuts his hand. Carter checks on Dave, who’s struggling to fix Weaver’s car. He asks Carter if he knew Chen when she was a med student (really he wants to know if they hooked up). Carter encourages him to ask Chen out, most likely looking forward to seeing Dave get rejected.

As Luka tends to Jake, Dylan explains that he had to take care of some things the night before (no details there), so he slept in this morning. Jake tried to make his own breakfast but accidentally started a fire. Their parents aren’t in their lives and the brothers move around a lot, so they’re not on Social Services’ radar. Dylan says they do fine on their own. Jake even makes a little money by cleaning up around their apartment complex and doing odd jobs for the residents.

Chen and Haleh get Jane Doe into a hospital gown so they can clean her clothes. Chen tries to chat with Jane, but she won’t give up any information about herself. Haleh pulls Chen out of the room with fake test results so she can tell her that she found the girl’s ID. Her real name is Alyssa, and they now have her address and phone number.

Cleo tries to get information out of Tamara, wondering if she was depressed from all the stress in her life and crashed her car on purpose. Tamara finds that crazy, especially since her basketball team is having a great season and has a big game coming up tonight. Tamara’s parents arrive, wondering if their daughter will be able to play in the big game. They’re also making arrangements for her to take chemistry in summer school, since her struggles in that class are part of all the stress she’s under.

Romano tells Elizabeth that she needs to try again to get Dean to tell him where Jenny’s body is. Elizabeth is more than happy to never have to speak to him again. Cruson has brought in Jenny’s mother and sister Linsey to try to guilt Elizabeth into changing her mind. Paramedics bring in a boy named Jason, and Dave takes a break from his mechanic duties to treat him.

Luka tells Weaver about Jake and Dylan, hesitant to call Social Services since he thinks getting Dylan a job will solve most of the brothers’ problems. Weaver wants them in school, since education will help them in the future. She gets Luka to agree to call Social Services. Chen calls Alyssa’s mother while a couple more scavenger hunters run in, looking for a doctor to photograph. Andrew puts on his most doctor-like face and happily poses for them.

Elizabeth asks Dean about Jenny, but he plays dumb. She notes that he’s already been charged with murder, so there’s no point in causing more grief. Dean asks if she’ll stay on as his doctor if he talks. Elizabeth agrees, but Dean says he’ll only talk to Linsey. Dave examines Jason, who’s been experiencing shortness of breath for a few days. Dave thinks he has pneumonia.

Weaver asks Adele if she was able to help Jake and Dylan, but Adele hasn’t spoken to Luka, so she doesn’t know anything about the brothers. Benton examines Tamara’s x-rays and doesn’t see any fractures, so Cleo can release her. Tamara starts crying when she hears what’s supposed to be good news. She confides that her life is super-busy, and though she insists she loves it, she’s tired. Cleo decides to get a second opinion on her x-rays, which will give Tamara some time to rest.

Alyssa is desperate to leave the hospital, thinking that Chen is trying to keep her there for no reason. Chen says she just wants to help. Alyssa explains that her parents tricked her into going to a treatment center, which she ran away from. The center wasn’t for drug or alcohol abuse, but it was supposed to straighten her out…literally, since Alyssa’s gay.

Mrs. Cordova objects to Dean’s request to talk to Linsey, but Linsey is willing to talk to him. Elizabeth and Cruson assure Mrs. Cordova that Dean isn’t a physical threat to Linsey. Elizabeth thinks Dean might actually tell Linsey where Jenny’s body is. If they don’t try this, the family might never get answers to their questions.

Lucy finds Dave in a trauma room, trying to clean something he took out of Weaver’s car. She has Jason’s scans, which show that instead of pneumonia, he has a mass around his heart – probably lymphoma. It’s spread through both lungs and is inoperable. Chen tells Carter that Alyssa’s parents sent her away for deprogramming to turn her straight. Carter urges her to get Alyssa out of the hospital before her parents arrive. Chen doesn’t want to tell her they’re coming, since she might run away.

Before Chen can get Social Services involved, she and Carter hear a commotion from Alyssa’s room. A Dr. Ramsey has arrived, having been called by Alyssa’s parents; he says he’s Alyssa’s legal guardian as the principal of her treatment center. Carter says she can’t be discharged since she needs more test. Chen blurts out that Alyssa’s pregnant, which makes her an emancipated minor. Dr. Ramsey scoffs that Alyssa can’t be pregnant, since she’s a lesbian, but there’s nothing he can do without a court order to take Alyssa back to the center.

Elizabeth takes Linsey to see Dean, who says he’s done horrible things and is paying for them now. Linsey says her family doesn’t want him to suffer; they just want Jenny’s body. Dean says Linsey’s a nice person, and he wishes he’d met her instead of Jenny…because he could have killed her instead. Jenny just screamed all the time. Elizabeth rushes Linsey out of the room, having accidentally traumatized her.

Dave brings Luka into Jason’s case, telling him that Jason’s mother didn’t bother to mention that he had lymphoma two years ago. Good job, Mom. She doesn’t want to give Jason the bad news, and Dave thinks an oncologist should do it, but Luka tells Dave it’s his job. He runs off to follow Dylan and Jake, who are leaving the hospital because Adele came to talk to them. Dylan thinks Luka handed them over to Social Services. Luka just wants to help them come up with better ways to take care of themselves.

Chen and Carter fill Weaver in on Alyssa’s situation, and Weaver helps them arrange to send her to an LGBT center. She cautions Chen not to lie about her patients’ conditions. A scavenger hunter tries to take Weaver’s picture, but Weaver ignores her and goes looking for Dave, who’s left her car parts lying around. The hunter turns to Benton, who dismisses her with an annoyed (but funny), “Go away.”

Tamara’s father pulls Benton back into her room, since Cleo is putting a cast on Tamara’s wrist. She says that Tamara might have a kind of fracture that’s hard to see on x-rays, so Cleo’s just being cautious. Tamara’s parents say it’s important for her to play in the game that night. Benton pulls Cleo out of the room and questions her choice to put a cast on Tamara. She’s allowed to make her own decisions; if she doesn’t want to play in the game, she needs to say so. Cleo thinks everyone around Tamara pressures her too much for her to be able to speak up for herself.

Dave gives Jason the news about his health, showing that when he really tries, he has good bedside manner. Weaver interrupts to blast Dave about taking apart her car, but when she realizes Dave’s in the middle of something important, she apologizes and dismisses herself. Mark surprises David at home in San Diego, where David’s trying to halt the sale of his house.

Luka’s annoyed that Weaver got Adele involved in Dylan and Jake’s case instead of trusting Luka to help them himself. Now that he’s convinced them to come back, he wants to handle things alone. Weaver agrees. Cleo tells Tamara that she can play in the game tonight if she feels up to it. She just put on the cast to help her slow down. Tamara doesn’t want to slow down, though – she’s sure things will get better soon. Cleo doesn’t want Tamara to start resenting her talent. I guess we’re supposed to think that Cleo went through the same sort of thing, but I just can’t bring myself to care.

Lucy talks to her landlord, who agrees to interview Dylan for a job as the building’s superintendent. That gives Dylan both a job and a place to live, which could lead to him being able to apply to be Jake’s legal guardian. Unfortunately, Adele has gotten involved again, and she and Reggie are taking Jake into custody. They think Dylan is neglecting him. Poor Jake is very upset, but Dylan promises to come find him as soon as he can. Luka tries to be reassuring, but Dylan’s done listening to him.

Dean summons Elizabeth to tell her he’s done playing games. He wishes she’d let him die when she found him after the car accident. Paramedics bring in a scavenger hunt participant who suffered numerous injuries while trying to take a picture of a polar bear at the zoo. She’s more interested in the $1,000 she won in the hunt. Then she learns that Andrew isn’t really a doctor, so her win isn’t valid. Weaver wants her to split her prize money with the ER.

She tries to smooth things over with Luka, since calling Social Services is how they handle situations like Dylan and Jake’s. Luka’s upset that her actions broke up a family. He confides that his wife and kids were taken in the war in Croatia, then killed. (This is different from the way he describes things in season 7, but whatever.) He repeats that they shouldn’t break up families.

Mark asks David about his plans. David says he’ll get by on his own. Mark suggests that David come live with him in Chicago for a while. David still refuses to sell the house in San Diego, but he’s open to Mark’s idea. Dave assures Weaver that he fixed her car, even if he couldn’t do anything to help Jason. He tries to make small talk with Chen, who’s nice to him but not interested.

Carter asks Chen why she came back to medicine. She tells him that she was on a subway when a man had a heart attack. No one could help him, but she realized that she knew what to do. She felt so good after saving him that she decided not to waste her skills. Carter tells her she hasn’t changed a bit. Well, except for going by Jing-Mei instead of Deb.

Elizabeth tells Dean that she’ll inject him with 100 milligrams of morphine and send him off into a peaceful death if he tells her where Jenny’s body is. Dean reminds her of the Hippocratic Oath, then guesses that she’ll stop the injection as soon as he tells her what she wants to know. She insists that she’ll keep her end of the bargain. If he doesn’t, she’ll save him and he’ll continue suffering from his chronic pain. Elizabeth asks where Jenny is, then injects Dean’s IV with morphine.

Thoughts: Tamara is played by Gabrielle Union.

The running “joke” of the episode is that no one can pronounce the second part of Chen’s name. Which is ridiculous, because IT’S JUST LIKE MAY. THE MONTH OF MAY. If they saw it written, yeah, I could get not knowing how to pronounce it, but there’s no way anyone would have a hard time saying it after hearing it. It makes them sound racist.

Chen is a little too much in this episode, and she gets really annoying later in the series, but I love how she handles Alyssa’s situation. I also like that Carter and Weaver both want to help. They could easily turn her over to the doctor and say it’s not their problem, but they truly want to help her. Carter even comments that trying to turn someone straight should be illegal.

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