October 1, 2019

ER 4.19, Shades of Gray: Poor Carter Is Basically the Same as Rich Carter

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:55 pm by Jenn

“Ma’am, we don’t accept pro-life literature as a valid form of payment”

Summary: Now that Carter has told Millicent he’s done taking the family’s money, he needs a loan. He only has one tax return to work with, since being a doctor is his very first job. Plus, he agreed to return to interning without pay. The loan application gets rejected pretty quickly, and the man reviewing it advises Carter to make up with his grandparents.

Morgenstern and Benton have to attend an M&M on Swanson’s death, though Morgenstern doesn’t seem concerned that Benton will pin things on him. The surgeons are somber, as their boss is mourning – Scott passed away. Jeanie sings “Simple Gifts” in the shower, sadly getting ready for his funeral.

Carter tells Anna that the loan officer she recommended turned him down. He owes Mark money for a baseball bet, but he doesn’t have it. Anna teases that he can make some extra money selling Tupperware or Amway. She’s amused that he’s about to see how the other half lives. Al G. (who I’m just going to call Al now, since the other Al left) brings in a drunk man named Mike and hands him off to Carter for treatment.

Anspaugh and Jeanie talk about his marriage to his late wife in Scott’s room. Scott boxed up some of his things for Jeanie to have, including his beloved Green Day CD and some copies of Soap Opera Digest. Morgenstern kicks off the M&M, then invites Benton to tell the attendees what happened. In the ER, Mike hovers over a kid who’s having breathing problems. Carter tries to take Mike away, but Mike fights him and shoves him to the floor. Doug complains that Carter put an unstable man in the same room as his young patient; no one cares about kids.

The M&M attendees, including Weaver and Kayson, ask Benton and Morgenstern questions about what happened during Swanson’s operation. Benton admits that he pushed Morgenstern aside and took over. He defends himself, saying Morgenstern was just standing there while Swanson was dying. He thinks the procedure he tried was their only option. Morgenstern disagrees.

Carol arrives at work just as a pregnant woman is brought in. A clinic was bombed because it performs abortions, though it also provides family planning and prenatal care. Doug tends to a pregnant teen named Zoe while Weaver and Jerry deal with the press over the phone. Some injured protesters are then brought in.

Carol helps Doug with Zoe while Anna treats a woman named Brianna, who was at the clinic for an abortion. She starts hemorrhaging, so Weaver announces that they need to finish the procedure. Anna freezes up and says she can’t help. Afterward, Anna says she’s not sure why she couldn’t assist. Brianna was 18 or 19 weeks along, which meant the baby could have had a chance. Weaver tells her she needs to leave her personal feelings and moral leanings at the door when she comes to work.

Carter tends to an elderly man named Mr. Newton whose son, Burke, doesn’t think he needs all the expensive tests Carter’s going to run. He also hasn’t been providing his father with much care at home. The M&M committee comes to a decision: Benton is suspended, effective immediately, until Anspaugh comes back and they can do a more extensive investigation.

Zoe starts having breathing problems, worrying her devoted boyfriend, Donny. Carter calls a social worker about Mr. Newton, and she agrees that he needs to be removed from his son’s home. She’s disgusted that someone could treat his own parent like this. Carter tells Burke that Mr. Newton was horribly neglected and will be sent to a care facility. The hospital now has temporary guardianship, removing Mr. Newton’s power of attorney.

Anna examines a woman named Mrs. Martinez who has glass in her eye from the bombing. She’s horrified by how far the protesters went. She marched with civil rights protesters in the ’60s and wishes people had remained peaceful. However, she also sees abortion as murder, and thinks Anna should be upset that the clinic takes away a life for every life Anna saves as a doctor. She practically calls abortion doctors Nazis and wonders who they’ll kill next.

Anna declines to take her offered materials about her protest group. Mrs. Martinez leaves it behind anyway, then heads off with a graphic sandwich-board sign slung over her shoulder. Anna follows her, telling her that the radical protesters were probably encouraged by the sign to do something drastic. Mrs. Martinez says that if the sign upsets Anna, then it’s done its job. Anna says the only thing the sign has done is incite violence, which is really what makes her upset.

Zoe is now unconscious because of a clot, and Doug doesn’t think she’ll recover. The baby, however, appears to be fine. Benton tells Elizabeth about his suspension as he leaves his shift early. Paramedics bring in a final bombing victim, Allison Beaumont. Mark ignores Benton’s suspension to enlist him for help with a trauma. He even dismisses Kayson when he tries to object. Kayson decides the trauma is bad enough that Benton should keep up what he’s doing.

As Elizabeth and Romano work on Allison, Anna checks on Brianna. She’s already ready to go home after her abortion. Carter tells Mr. Newton that Burke won’t be his guardian anymore because of elder abuse. Mr. Newton is distraught to be removed from his home, where he’d planned to die in his own bed. Mark and Benton’s patient is taken straight to the OR, where Benton starts in on a procedure without scrubbing or putting on a sterile gown. Morgenstern jumps right in to help, sending Benton away as soon as he has control of the situation.

Zoe’s parents arrive, and her father is upset to see Donny there. Donny says Zoe’s parents treat her horribly, and if he hadn’t come into her life, she probably would have killed herself. Allison goes downhill fast, but Elizabeth refuses to stop working on her. Brianna thanks Weaver for her care, saying this will have to be the most memorable abortion she’s had. She’s had a few before, and thought her boyfriend would want this baby. Weaver advises her to start birth control, but Brianna isn’t interested. She thinks Weaver’s lecturing her on sex because she doesn’t get any herself.

Zoe’s parents and Donny have two choices if they want the baby: Have it delivered now, which would give them a premature baby needing lots of care, or wait until Zoe’s farther along, which means keeping her alive even though she’ll never wake up. Doug recommends that option, which Zoe’s father notes will mean using her as a human incubator. Donny wants to give the baby a good chance, since Zoe wanted her so badly, but Zoe’s parents get to make the final decision, since Zoe and Donny are minors.

Carol treats a bombing victim’s minor arm injury, then notes that she left her insurance information off of her paperwork. The woman says she’ll pay cash; she doesn’t want her husband to know she was at the clinic. She thought she was past the baby-making stage of her life, and she wanted to quietly get an abortion and never tell her husband. Thanks to the bombing, she didn’t get the procedure. Carol tells her that she can pass the cut on her arm off as a dog bite.

Elizabeth managed to save Allison, but she admits to Benton that the case scared her. He tries not to be a robot as he comforts her. Jeanie planned to sing a hymn at Scott’s funeral, but she sings his favorite Green Day song instead. Allison’s paramedic buddies have stuck around to make sure she’s okay, and Zadro thanks Elizabeth for her care. Romano apologizes for trying to get her to stop saving Allison. He invites her to get a drink, but Elizabeth is never going to want to spend any more time with him than necessary.

Morgenstern tells Weaver that he let things get out of hand. He’s reviewed the tape of Swanson’s surgery, which he took right afterward, before Benton could get it. He wanted to avoid confrontation, and he knows Benton could handle a black mark in his file, but he wants to be honest about what happened. Morgenstern puts in the tape to show Weaver the truth about his screwup.

Jeanie stays behind at the church after the funeral, and Anspaugh approaches her to talk about her special connection with Scott. He wrote in his journal that Jeanie got what he was going through better than anyone else. She reveals that Scott wanted to join the Army when he grew up, just like his father. Zoe’s parents change their minds and decide to have Zoe carry the baby to term. They don’t want Donny involved at all. Doug thinks they’re just being vengeful, but Zoe’s parents feel that Donny took their daughter away from them, and they’re not about to let him take their granddaughter, too.

Carter also changes his mind, deciding that having Mr. Newton removed from Burke’s care isn’t what’s best for him after all. Mr. Newton wants to go home, so he should be allowed to. The social worker notes that people in abusive situations don’t always make the best decisions. She doesn’t want him to be harmed any more than he already has been. Carter reluctantly lets her take Mr. Newton to a care facility.

Anna tells Weaver that she’s been thinking about her freeze-up in the trauma room all day. Weaver says that she did some work overseas in countries where abortion is illegal. She saw patients who couldn’t be helped because they’d taken matters into their own hands and accidentally harmed themselves too much. Anna thought she was pro-choice, but Brianna was so far along that it made her second-guess herself. She doesn’t know if she’ll be able to get past that.

Morgenstern stops Benton on his way out of the hospital and tells him he’s going to have Benton’s suspension rescinded. He gives Benton the tape of Swanson’s surgery, confirming that Morgenstern screwed up. He’s resigned as chief of surgery. Benton has passion for his job that Morgenstern has lost. He feels like he doesn’t belong there anymore. Benton says that Morgenstern taught him everything he knows. Morgenstern says he may be a great surgeon, but after what he let happen, he’s realized he’s not a great man. He smells spring, “all green and full of possibility.”

Carter resorts to ramen for dinner as he tells Doug that he overstepped with Mr. Newton. Doug invites him to get a real meal. Benton goes to Elizabeth’s to lament that his mentor has just left the hospital. He was close to Morgenstern but never told him how much Morgenstern means to him. Clearly, Benton doesn’t want that to happen with Elizabeth, so even though he doesn’t say verbally that he has feelings for her, he shows her by kissing her.

Thoughts: Carol’s secretive patient is played by Cristine Rose.

Benton staying to help Mark after his suspension is ridiculous, because Mark wouldn’t have done anything if Benton had left, but the people who suspended him are scary and shouldn’t be ticked off for any reason.

Show, leave Allison alone. Hasn’t enough bad stuff happened to her? I don’t think we ever see her again after this, so I’ll tell myself she lived happily ever after.

September 24, 2019

ER 4.18, Gut Reaction: I Don’t Know What Varices Are, But Rupturing One Can’t Be Good

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

Goodbye, doomed preteen

Summary: Carol has gone on a shopping spree for the clinic, thanks to a new donation from Millicent. She checks in with Mark, who’s volunteered to organize this year’s ER banquet, to be held that night. Unfortunately, things haven’t gone as planned. The caterer couldn’t work with their budget, so Jerry made other plans with a Swedish caterer. Mark is skeptical.

Weaver asks Mark about a memo from the dean concerning a pediatric attending. She’s upset to learn that Doug took the idea to the dean; she doesn’t think the position is necessary. Mark thinks that once the dean allows some further investigation, he’ll agree and the whole thing will be dismissed.

Doug tries to convince a mother to let him examine her toddler, but she insists on leaving, since she had to wait three hours and now has to go to work. Doug decides this is serious enough to stop the mother from leaving, and he threatens to call the police and have her arrested for child endangerment if she doesn’t stay. Weaver tries to play peacemaker, then points out to Mark that this might not be the kind of person they want as an attending.

The mom gives in and stays, and though she’s calm by the time she’s allowed to leave with her daughter, she’s not happy. Lydia hopes it doesn’t rain that night so everyone dressing up for the banquet can keep their clothes dry. Jerry says it won’t rain, but Carol says the news reports otherwise. She asks Carter if she can ride to the banquet with him and Anna. Carter says he’s not going with Anna. Carol asks if they broke up; she thought they were dating because she picked up some chemistry. Carter pleads platonic friendship, but Carol urges him to ask Anna out.

Elizabeth complains to Benton that Romano keeps tabs on her too closely; she wishes she could change that, but she might lose her work visa. Benton thinks Morgenstern would sponsor her instead. Elizabeth wasn’t impressed when she met him and doesn’t think that arrangement would be any better. She’s been offered a job back in England but would like to stay in the States, where men actually listen to women.

In a trauma room, Elizabeth gets a big surprise: Allison Beaumont, the young woman whose leg and voice she helped save, is now a paramedic. She’s brought in a patient who has diagnosed himself with something the other doctors haven’t picked up yet. Dr. Swanson is a pathologist, and Benton thinks he’s right about his diagnosis.

Carter urges Anna to go to the banquet, even though she thinks it sounds cheesy. She decides to go since he’s going, and he offers to drive her. Mark hasn’t paid the deposit on the banquet space, and the florist was unable to deliver the flowers there. He decides to have them sent to the hospital instead. Jerry offers to line up music, since the band fell through, but Mark is done with his unimpressive assistance. He books an act called the Machine.

Doug tells Mark that the girl he treated earlier is sick enough to justify the lengths he went to in order to have her treated. He wants Mark to make sure Weaver knows he was right. Mark offers to call the mother, Mrs. Bevins, to have her bring the girl back for IV antibiotics. Doug claims he can be diplomatic and handle it himself. Uh, maybe get Carol to handle that, Doug.

Swanson needs surgery, so Morgenstern comes to the ER to see what’s going on. He recognizes Swanson’s name, as Swanson was one of his med-school professors. Swanson even inspired Morgenstern to become a surgeon. Benton tells Swanson he needs surgery, which Swanson would like to have done laparoscopically. Elizabeth doesn’t think that’s a good idea, but Morgenstern disagrees. Benton sides with him. Morgenstern invites Elizabeth to assist so she can see for herself that Morgenstern has the better idea.

Mark becomes even more skeptical about Jerry’s food plans when he learns that Jerry’s mother is making borscht. At least it’ll be free! Romano comes down for a consult, second-guessing Mark’s diagnosis. The bone-marrow drive for Scott hasn’t yielded a match for him, but Anna did match with a patient in another state. Romano offers to do the extraction as soon as he’s done with his next patient. He makes it out to be a minor thing, though it involves drilling holes in Anna’s pelvis.

Doug asks Carol if she thinks he has what it takes to be an attending. Carol admits that “diplomatic” doesn’t exactly describe him; a better word would be “insouciant,” which Doug isn’t familiar with. Scott’s still in the hospital, listening to Green Day and trying to avoid eating hospital food. His pain is worse, even with Doug’s PCA. Anspaugh comes by, and Scott’s nickname for him, Dr. Bad News, proves fitting, as Anspaugh announces that they haven’t found a bone-marrow match. They can try experimental chemo, but it sounds like a long shot. Jeanie promises to stay with Scott if he wants to try it.

Elizabeth isn’t looking forward to surgery with Morgenstern, but she can’t put her finger on why she doesn’t really like him. She admits that she doesn’t have much experience with laparoscopic procedures. Benton teases that she always goes after attendings when she’s nervous. She offers to swap procedures with him and observe the laparoscopic surgery when she’s done with hers.

Morgenstern reviews one of his old teaching tapes before he does the procedure. Weaver tells him that Swanson said very nice things about him. Morgenstern likes that Swanson cares about science and people’s souls. She invites him to the banquet that night. Doug offers Scott more pain medication, then says that Anspaugh is worried that he doesn’t completely understand what he’s in for with the experimental chemo. Since Jeanie’s going to stay by his side, Scott wants to go for it.

Carol tries to call Millicent – the check she wrote didn’t clear, and all the supplies Carol bought for the clinic are getting repossessed. Carter realizes that she put a stop payment on the check and asks what Carol did. Carol isn’t sure; the only possibility is bad press from giving out birth control to teens. Carter isn’t sure how Carol can fix this. He hopes it’s just a misunderstanding.

Morgenstern is fine with the Benton/Elizabeth switch in surgery, and has Shirley put on some Peruvian pan-flute music. Anna tells Carter that she matched for a bone-marrow transplant, which means she won’t make it to the banquet that night. She wasn’t aware that the donation will leave her sore for a few days. Carter has performed a bunch of them, so she asks him to do hers, thinking he’ll help her stay calm. He’s surprised that she’s a little bit of a chicken about the procedure and agrees to do it.

Weaver tells Mark that she enjoyed last year’s banquet and wishes he’d been able to book the same space this year. Mark says it was available, but he wanted to hold it in a place called the Shangri-Lodge. It’s less pretentious. Mark questions Romano’s orders for their shared patient, and when Romano ignores him, Mark says loudly that he’ll manage his patients in his ER his way. Romano backs down, glad to see that Mark has a spine.

Morgenstern and Benton’s procedure seems to be going fine, though Morgenstern feels hot. Benton notices that Morgenstern is in the wrong anatomy, but Morgenstern doesn’t want to be questioned. Benton just wants to make sure Morgenstern doesn’t nick one of Swanson’s varices. Morgenstern accuses Benton of screwing something up, then blames him when something goes wrong and Swanson starts bleeding.

Doug tells Jeanie that he’s not sure Scott really wants to do the experimental treatment. He thinks Scott has a crush on Jeanie and wants to please her. Jeanie denies this, saying she wants Scott to make his own decisions. Doug gets that, but he’s not sure Scott can actually decide for himself. Things with Swanson get worse, and as Elizabeth comes in to observe, Benton decides they need to open him surgically. Morgenstern won’t help, so Benton shoves him out of the way and takes over. Morgenstern just watches silently.

Carter gets ready for Anna’s procedure as she talks about having a bad experience with tonsil surgery as a kid. She thought she was going to die, and she promised God that she would always be a good person if He let her live. The drape on Anna’s back falls off and Carter gets to admire her butt for a few moments. This is, sadly, the closest they will ever get to being naked with each other.

Swanson doesn’t survive his surgery, and Benton asks the pathologist, Upton, if he can sit in on the autopsy the next afternoon. Anspaugh has been made aware of the situation, and he talked to the anesthesiologist about Benton and Morgenstern’s disagreement in the OR. He asks Benton to gather all the charts for the case, as well as the tape from the OR – they usually record laparoscopic procedures.

Carter tells Carol that Millicent’s stunt with the clinic money might not be about her. He’s disappointed that Anna went home and will probably skip the banquet. Scott offers to give Jeanie a ride in the Viper he’ll definitely be able to buy one day, because he’s totally going to beat this cancer. She notes that he doesn’t talk about his friends much. He says he’d rather be with her.

Carol is contemplating taking out a home loan so she can keep the clinic open. Before Doug can give his opinion, Mark pulls him away to treat baby twins in respiratory distress. Benton goes look for the Swanson tape, but there’s nothing in the machine. Mark, Doug, and Carol work on the babies together; one is stable but the other stops breathing. Doug calmly walks Mark through a procedure to help her.

Morgenstern tells Benton that today’s disaster was a one-time thing, as far as he’s concerned, and he’ll support Benton in whatever comes next. He plans to say that Swanson’s cause of death was ruptured varices. Benton says Morgenstern accidentally cut his gastric artery. Morgenstern denies ever cutting the wrong thing in his 20-year career. Benton screwed something up with his clamp.

Benton denies this and says the tape will show what really happened. Morgenstern says there’s no tape. He notes that Benton’s actions in the OR could be considered insubordination, and could even be grounds for dismissal. Benton says he wouldn’t have acted so forcefully if Swanson’s life weren’t at stake. Morgenstern advises him to focus on the medicine when they present the case at a morbidity and mortality seminar. Hypotheticals and accusations should be set aside.

Carter appeals to Millicent to give Carol back her donation. He knows Millicent is upset with him; she shouldn’t take it out on the clinic. Millicent says that’s not the case, but come on. She complains that her grandsons don’t want the family involved in their lives, but they’re happy to live off the family trust. Carter says that, in that case, Millicent can keep her money.

Weaver catches Morgenstern on his way out of the hospital and again invites him to the banquet, hoping it’ll cheer him up. He blows her off. Weaver then tries to talk to Mark again about the pediatric-attending position, which Mark is now leaning toward being a good idea. Weaver warns that it’s a policy change that could undermine their authority. Mark says that attendings run the best emergency department. Weaver says she agrees, seeming to think that Mark is on her side.

Mark pulls Doug away from the Bevins girl, whom Doug is amusing with bubbles, because the writers wanted to come up with yet another way to make people swoon over Clooney. Mark tells Doug that if he really wants to be an attending, he should go for it. Outside – where (sorry, Jerry) it’s raining – Romano warns Benton that he’s in for a fight over what happened in the OR. Benton’s a resident and Morgenstern’s the chief, so one of their statements is going to carry a lot more weight than the other’s.

The Shangri-Lodge is…well, there are taxidermy animal heads on the walls. That’s all you need to know. There’s no band, no food, and only one drink ticket for each guest. Doug and Carol can’t hide their laughter when they lie to Mark that it’s nice. The Machine arrives, but it’s just one guy who plays a keyboard and cymbals at the same time. Carter tells Carol that he couldn’t get Millicent to listen, but apparently he did, because she sent another check over to the clinic after he left.

Anna made it to the banquet after all, high on painkillers. Carter addresses their obvious chemistry and says he didn’t want to make a move because he didn’t want to harm their friendship. Anna feels the same, but there’s another guy – she’s not completely done with her ex. Carter resigns himself to just being friends with her. Scott goes into arrest, and Jeanie rushes to help save him. The rest of the team wishes that Scott’s family had agreed to sign a DNR instead of keeping him alive for a short, miserable time period.

The banquet food is bad and the music isn’t much better, but the ER staff is trying to enjoy themselves anyway. Mark thanks his co-workers, who are like his family, for sticking by him through the past year. They always give their best, and they make the ER a place they can all be proud to work. Doug gets everyone to serenade him.

At Doc Magoo’s, Benton tells Elizabeth about Swanson’s surgery, insisting that all the mistakes were Morgenstern’s. It’s the two surgeons’ words against each other, and Elizabeth didn’t see enough to know what happened. She thinks he should stick to his convictions if he’s positive he knows what happened.

At the banquet, everyone forms a conga line, and Mark dances with Weaver. She tells him that the separate pieces of the party were awful, but it’s still been a great experience. Jeanie tells Scott that he needs to make the decision about his medical care by himself and for himself. He tearfully tells her he doesn’t want any more chemo. They fantasize about driving off in his viper, going to the beach, and watching the sunset together.

Thoughts: Things I get strangely proud of while recapping medicalese: I spelled “laparoscopically” right on the first try. (I did not, however, spell “insouciant” right.” I thought the A was an E.)

As a doctor, Anna should probably know more about what bone-marrow donations involve.

Mark, about tiny stethoscope decorations: “Dumb idea?” Chuny: “No, just tacky.” Thanks, Chuny.

Imagine being so mad at your grandson for keeping a secret that you defund a free clinic.

September 10, 2019

ER 4.17, A Bloody Mess: Ahh, There’s the Romano We Know and…Well, Despise

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:08 pm by Jenn

Look at this cutie

Summary: Jeanie’s surprising Scott with a trip to a rock-climbing gym so he can get in shape for a trip to Yosemite over the summer. Mark and Doug are in the hospital cafeteria, where Benton’s having breakfast with Reese while Carter naps at the table. Reese is doing very well after his premature birth, and Benton has fully adjusted to being a parent. Well, except for the part where sometimes your baby dumps his breakfast on you for no reason. Mark and Doug are amused, both at the mess and at Benton being a father.

Carter’s so out of it that he doesn’t wake up when his pager goes off. Mark wakes him just as Doug’s goes off. Mark invites Doug to watch a basketball game with him, telling him he can check with Carol. Doug says he doesn’t have to ask her permission. Mark is also paged to the ER, where a bunch of people covered in blood are being brought in from a car accident. Elizabeth asks a patient if she can use synthetic blood to treat her, but the patient objects since it was tested on animals.

The patient isn’t actually injured, so the ER staff is confused about all the blood. Carol gets the explanation from two of the patient’s friends: It’s cow blood. The friends were going to use buckets of it during a protest of a college’s use of animals in their research labs. After all the supposed traumas, which brought all available emergency staff to the ER, the only victim of the car accident was a squirrel. Jerry pronounces it DOA.

While everyone’s cleaning up the mess, Doug tells Carol that he wants to watch a basketball game with Mark that night. She thought they were supposed to see a movie, but she’ll let Doug choose who he wants to spend the evening with. Weaver tells Doug that Neil (the doctor who hates him…wait, that doesn’t narrow it down) told her Doug hasn’t turned in his paperwork to renew his fellowship. Doug says he may not want to continue it.

Morgenstern was supposed to wait another month before coming back to work after his heart attack, but he’s back early. He’s in an excellent mood and offers baked goods and hugs. He believes that his heart attack was the best thing that ever happened to him. Now he wants to work “in the trenches.” Thanks to his time as a patient, he now knows that all the patients they treat have their own stories.

Benton washes off Reese’s breakfast while going over the steps of a surgical procedure. There’s no door to his shower stall, so he gets a little jumpy when Elizabeth starts talking to him around the corner. She’s just solidifying study/dinner plans for that evening, but he thinks she’s trying to see him naked, since she hasn’t yet.

A man named Dave brings his pregnant wife, Karen, into the ER to be treated for dehydration and nausea. Scott coaches Jeanie through some climbing, impressed with her skills even though she’s only taken a couple of lessons. Scott himself is nervous to climb, but Jeanie won’t let him put it off. Partway up the wall, he asks to come down, and Jeanie realizes he pushed himself too far.

Mark reads Elizabeth’s synthetic-blood study and sees that she’s listed him as an advisor, since he helped her get it used in the ER. He’s surprised that Romano let her proceed on her own. Elizabeth admits that he doesn’t know yet how far she’s gone with the study. Mark doesn’t mind being the only advisor and isn’t going to interfere in whatever Elizabeth wants to do with it.

Dave is unhappy with Karen’s OB’s treatment of her during her pregnancy, her fourth after three miscarriages. She briefly passes out, and Anna tells Dave that she may suffer from morning sickness through her whole pregnancy. Jeanie brings Scott in to get checked over, thinking it’s not serious enough for Anspaugh to put off the operation he’s about to do.

Romano operates with Benton, who’s fully prepared for the procedure. The daycare center sends down a message asking him to come up, and Romano tells him to go ahead and leave. Morgenstern and Weaver work on a store owner named Wan Sak Jang who was shot at work. Elizabeth declares him a perfect candidate for her blood study. Morgenstern laments that someone who worked hard his whole life could now die. He gets shaky during a procedure and says he has something in his eye, then leaves. Unfortunately for him, this is Elizabeth’s first impression of him.

Romano comes to the ER and discovers that Elizabeth is using synthetic blood there without his authorization. She tells him Mark approved an ER study. Romano’s not pleased. Karen’s feeling better after being rehydrated, and she insists that she can handle the extreme morning sickness through the rest of the pregnancy. Anna says her lab results disagree. Karen refuses to give up the baby, but Anna has no plans to make her do that. There are drugs she can take, even though they could endanger the baby. Basically, Karen will need to choose between risking her own life or her baby’s.

Doug tells Mark that they’ll have to postpone game night until another time. Mark says Carol can come along, because everyone loves being a fifth wheel. Romano introduces Elizabeth to Mr. Jang’s son, Lindsey, as Mr. Jang is taken to surgery. Lindsey has heard about the synthetic blood and is mad that it was used without anyone’s consent (even though it worked well). Romano ditches Elizabeth to try to soothe Lindsey on her own. It doesn’t work, as Lindsey vows to hold Elizabeth responsible if his father dies.

Doug starts to pull Jeanie out of Scott’s room to talk to her privately, but Scott wants to hear everything himself. His blood cell counts are low, which means his bone marrow may not be working properly. Jeanie decides Scott shouldn’t hear this after all. She leaves the room with Doug, who tells her he needs a biopsy; Anspaugh has already given consent. Carol sees a teen named Natalie while Weaver tells Mark that they need to discuss Doug, as it looks like he doesn’t want to come back to County next year. Natalie’s there for Carol to administer her normal birth control and remind her to use condoms.

Dave is mad at Anna, thinking that she talked Karen into keeping her pregnancy even though it’s putting her at risk. He figures that since her last name is Del Amico, she’s Catholic and is pushing her beliefs on Karen. Carter tries to intervene, which Anna definitely doesn’t need. Anna tells Dave that she’s done everything she can to help both Karen and the baby. She needs to make the decision on her own.

Mark asks Doug about the rumor that he’s not coming back next year. Doug confirms that he’s not renewing his fellowship, but not because he wants to leave – he wants to become an attending. This would be a brand-new position, and Doug thinks it’s necessary. A third of their patients are children, and a pediatric attending would provide better care for them. Doug asks Mark to back him up on the idea.

Elizabeth complains to Mark that Romano torpedoed her plans to use Mr. Jang in her study. He promises to provide backup if she needs it. Reese has a fever, so Benton has to take him out of daycare and get him to Carla’s before a procedure he has to perform. His car won’t start, so Elizabeth offers to take Reese to Carla’s. Benton says it would be awkward, but he agrees when Elizabeth suggests that he drive her car while she plays with Reese.

Weaver finds Morgenstern in a student lab, practicing a procedure on a cadaver. He says he wanted to brush up on his anatomy after months away. He asks if Weaver ever thinks about her patients’ lives while she works on them. Does she think about their hopes or dreams? Weaver surprises no one by saying she doesn’t. Morgenstern didn’t, either, but today, all he could think about was Mr. Jang’s life, and how he was relying on Morgenstern. Weaver tells him that she had a seizure during the benzene incident, so she can relate a little to the experience of being a patient instead of a doctor. Morgenstern thinks that means she’s also looking at the big picture now.

She tells him the big picture can be humbling, but also destructive. It can shake your focus and your confidence. Morgenstern tells her a little about the life lived by the person whose cadaver he’s now working on. Then he admits he made it up. But if he did know the truth, it wouldn’t make him less focused – just a better doctor. Speaking of distractions, Jeanie provides one for Scott while Doug does a bone-marrow biopsy. They pretend Scott’s rock-climbing and looking for handholds.

Benton fills up Elizabeth’s car (though she thinks you can coast for a while after the light comes on indicating the tank is empty – hey, there’s a perfect metaphor for Mark and Cynthia’s relationship!), and Elizabeth tells Reese she hopes he doesn’t inherit his father’s stubbornness. She asks Benton if he’s worried about Carla seeing them together. Is it because he still has feelings for Carla? Is it because Elizabeth’s white? Benton says he doesn’t know how to respond to that. He backs up the car, promptly hitting something. Make that someone – he injured a woman.

The woman, Ms. Ingram, is taken to County’s ER, though she’s not injured too badly (or at least not badly enough to make her forgot that she needs to call her boss, since she’s on her lunch break). Benton brings in Reese, worrying that he’s hurt since he cried right after the accident but is sleepy now. He asks Anna to examine the baby, reluctantly leaving them alone when Mark pulls him away to get a cut on his head taken care of. Instead, Benton tries to help Carter with Ms. Ingram, and Mark has to drag him away.

Anna assures Benton that Reese is fine. Benton quickly starts worrying about something else, the surgery he’s supposed to be performing. Romano’s in the ER to do a surgical consult on Ms. Ingram. Benton asks what Elizabeth told her, since she accused him of worrying too much about Reese to look where he was going. Ms. Ingram works for a lawyer, so Elizabeth shouldn’t have told her anything. Benton definitely won’t be making it to surgery any time soon, since the police want to question him.

Carol tells Jeanie that she’s opened up the clinic so the staff can get tested in case Scott needs a bone-marrow transplant. Jeanie’s grateful but doesn’t think they should jump to that yet. Mark pulls Doug away from Scott to tell him that Anspaugh’s worried about Scott’s pain management. Doug’s using his patient-controlled pain-medication system (PCA) on Scott without having asked Mark if he could. This is exactly why Doug wants to be an attending – so he doesn’t have to answer to Mark anymore.

Carter tells Benton that Ms. Ingram doesn’t seem to have serious injuries. He notes how scary it can be realizing that one small mistake can have such big consequences. Benton hears familiar voices down the hall and heads over to find Carla and Elizabeth chatting. Their first meeting has gone much better than Benton has clearly been fearing. Elizabeth tells him he needs to relax. She thinks he believes that her involvement in the situation led to disaster.

Morgenstern treats a boy with stomach pain, then tells Yosh to get him the number of a Cub Scout pack so he’ll have something to do. Weaver’s happy that Morgenstern came back to the ER. The two of them handle an emergency together, and this time Morgenstern has a steady hand, though he doesn’t look confident afterward.

Carol tells Mark that she’s happy he and Doug are spending the evening together. Mark tells her that Doug canceled their plans. Natalie’s back, this time with her mother, who found Natalie’s medical paperwork and condoms. Carol can’t violate confidentiality, but she offers to talk to Natalie in private and try to get her to open up to her mother.

Romano accuses Elizabeth of trying to go behind his back and get her name on a study. He wishes she were doing something more respectable and less morally ambiguous. However, he also wants to give her a role as a coordinator for the synthetic-blood study in the whole Chicago area. Elizabeth realizes that this is a bribe to get her to drop her ER study.

Carol tries to spin Natalie’s situation by noting that if she tells her parents she’s using birth control and condoms, it’s because she’s trying to be responsible. It could be worse for her if she keeps shutting out the people who care about her. Her mother is obviously concerned, and since her father brought her to the clinic that morning, he clearly loves her.

Natalie corrects Carol – that older man with her this morning was her teacher, not her father. Well, more specifically, he’s her sexual partner. Natalie insists that they love each other; they just have to keep things quiet because the teacher has an unstable wife. Carol tells her the relationship is illegal, but Natalie won’t listen. She really believes they love each other.

Doug tells Jeanie that Scott’s biopsy results show that his cancer is back. Jeanie laments all the times she told him it was behind him. He’ll need a bone-marrow transplant, but he hasn’t been told yet. Jeanie decides not to be present when he is. Elizabeth checks on Mr. Jang after his surgery, and he thanks her for saving him. Lindsey told him about the blood study, and Mr. Jang is interested in learning more. Lindsey still has some reservations but is now open to it.

Ms. Ingram’s labs indicate that she has a pancreatic injury, but Carter points out the Benton what the real culprit is: She was drinking during her lunch break. Mr. Jang wants to participate in Elizabeth’s study, so she’s going to keep conducting it in the ER. She knows it might not be smart politically, but to her it’s the right thing to do. Anspaugh tells Jeanie that Scott handled news of his cancer returning well, and is ready to fight it. Even without knowing about Jeanie’s own health problems, Scott sees her as a kindred spirit.

Anna draws Carter’s blood for the bone-marrow drive, asking about Chase. He discourages her from visiting by saying the facility where Chase is being treated is strict about them. Carol tells Doug about Natalie, who came to the clinic for birth control and wound up having her secret outed. She just hopes it doesn’t scare off other teens from coming to the clinic for methods to practice safe sex.

Thanks to Ms. Ingram’s drinking, Benton is off the hook for the accident. A conversation between Haleh and Malik reveals that Ms. Ingram is embarrassed by the whole thing and won’t be getting any lawyers involved. Benton would like to put the whole thing behind him, too. He tells Elizabeth he wants to cancel their plans for that evening, which doesn’t surprise her. Things have definitely chilled between them.

Weaver tells Morgenstern that she enjoyed working with him again. He’s pleased with how well she’s taken over his role, especially the administrative stuff he never cared about. Now, though, everything interests him. Elizabeth asks Carol and Anna if they have plans for the evening. “I did, and then I didn’t, and now I don’t know anymore,” Carol says. The three women agree to regroup at Elizabeth’s place for drinks. Carol tells Mark and Doug that she doesn’t know what they’re doing, but now she has her own plans, so they can do whatever they want.

Jeanie checks in on Scott, trying to hide her tears over his illness. He tells her Anspaugh said she can come to Yosemite with the family. The bone-marrow registry has already found some possible matches. Carol, Anna, and Elizabeth bond over cosmos, and Carol discovers that she’s the object of envy from the other two because she has a sex life. They ask her for details, but before she can provide any, Benton stops by. He tells Elizabeth she’s right about him feeling uncomfortable dating a white woman. Anna and Carol come to the door and learn of their relationship for the first time. He’s spooked and runs off.

Carter visits Chase, who’s conscious and alert but has physical limitations. Carter gives him a book on Walker Evans, a photographer Chase likes. Chase accidentally spills water on it, and a nurse has to help him take off his wet pajama top. Carter has clearly been visiting a lot, as he knows the nurse by name and is familiar with the progress Chase has made – or not made, since he’s unable to button his shirt on his own. Like Carter said to Benton, one mistake has led to major consequences and changed Chase’s entire life.

Thoughts: One of the students Carol questions is played by Nicole Bilderback.

Fun things that happen when I’m doing these recaps: I find myself deciding that “cadaver” is more accurate than “corpse.”

Why didn’t anyone ever tell Eriq LaSalle that he was mispronouncing Anna’s name as Ana?

Hey, Natalie’s teacher, way to keep your relationship secret by taking her to a busy ER for birth control. I’m sure no one would find that strange or inappropriate.

May 28, 2019

ER 4.2, Something New: Time to Stop Letting Mark Be in Charge of Things

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 5:06 pm by Jenn

“Hi! I’m a doctor now! Please don’t mention my more-famous brother or the time my wife didn’t thank me in her Oscars speech!”

Summary: Mark’s stuck in traffic on his way to work when he spots an open parking spot on the street. As he swerves over to grab it before anyone else can, he almost hits Carter. Carter yells and swears until he realizes he’s yelling and swearing at his boss. Mark says he doesn’t park in the garage anymore, since it gives him the creeps. (I thought he usually took the El anyway?) Carter’s looking forward to meeting his new med student, who he plans to treat…basically the same way Benton treated him: like a servant.

Weaver goes to see Morgenstern and is greeted by William H. Macy’s bare butt. Thanks, show! He’s doing well after his heart attack but is still on morphine, which is making him loopy. This is probably a bad time for Weaver to ask him to work on some paperwork for the hospital. He asks her to take care of them, and in fact would be very appreciative if she took over some of his other responsibilities. He admits that he feels “like a sheriff with no posse.” Weaver gets it and agrees to help out with administrative tasks.

In case it was still ambiguous, Doug and Carol are definitely back together. He brings her breakfast in bed, teasing that when she woke up alone, she probably thought he’d left her. He asks if he can have a drawer so he can keep some of his things at her house. Carol’s surprised, since Doug never wanted a drawer when they dated before. This will make it harder for him to just leave when he gets worried about commitment.

Weaver tells Mark that Morgenstern has made her acting chief of the ER while he recovers. Mark is just happy he doesn’t have to take on the admin stuff. Doug and Carol come in separately and pretend they didn’t spend the night together. Weaver asks Carol and Mark to interview candidates for a desk-clerk position. Jerry’s confused about why there’s someone coming to do his job. Just then, Mark gets served with some kind of papers.

Jeanie and Al have breakfast at Doc Magoo’s, still enjoying their reunion. He hasn’t told his boss about his HIV status, so he needs an excuse for a doctor’s appointment that afternoon. He can’t exactly kill off his grandmother again. Benton and Carla’s son is doing much better and is ready to be taken off his ventilator. Benton’s skeptical that it’s time, but Tabash plans to extubate him that afternoon. Carla chastises Benton for being so pessimistic about everything – he hasn’t even wanted to name the baby. She wants to get on with their son’s life.

Anna treats a boy who broke his arm when he fell out of his bunk bed. Doug pulls her out of the room, calling her Anna, and she asks him to call her Dr. Del Amico in front of patients. Doug didn’t even notice his informality; he calls his friends by their first names at work. He advises her to take on more adult patients, since she’s already done her pediatric residency and is now in an emergency program. Anna wants to control her own caseload, and she reminds Doug that he’s not her superior. He’s in charge of pediatrics, though.

Mark steps in and tells Anna that she’ll need to run adult patients by Doyle, then Mark or Weaver. Oh, and Carter will need to do the same. This is news to Carter, who seems to keep forgetting that he’s back to being a first-year intern and has no say in anything anymore. Carter argues that he’s done more ER procedures than Maggie, and he spent a lot of his surgical internship teaching Doyle. She objects, but Mark says it’s a moot point. His rule stands. Doug soon laments his instructions to Anna, since it means he has to take her younger patients, including the ones who barf.

Hicks reintroduces Benton to Elizabeth, who will be shadowing him on trauma cases today. Meanwhile, Carter and Anna meet their med students, George Henry and Chasity Lee. Chasity is very eager and knows she won’t be doing anything glamorous for a while. Henry states right out that he’s not interested in patient care; he’s a researcher. Because of his combination M.D./Ph.D. program, he hasn’t worked with patients for four years. Carter isn’t sure how to handle this information.

Benton takes Elizabeth to the ER to help Doyle with a gunshot victim named Ernesto. For Elizabeth’s benefit, Benton has everyone go over their steps methodically. Elizabeth and Doyle start talking about kinds of bullets, which almost makes Benton roll his eyes. Carter wants to join them, even though he hasn’t been paged, since he wants to get involved in an interesting case. Benton and Doyle tell him they have more than enough doctors, so Carter isn’t needed.

Mark and Connie take care of a woman named Ethel who appears to be extremely drunk but claims she isn’t. Instead of helping with a cool gunshot case, Carter now has to take care of a drunk who needs rectal medication. Well, really, Henry will be taking care of her while Carter lies back and relaxes. Mark and Carol are working through the list of desk-clerk applicants, with only a few left to go. Jerry learns that when he was up for the job, the nurses took bets on who would get it.

Mark and Carol’s current interviewee is a humorless woman who’s worked in nine other hospitals. She’s obsessed with precision and is already annoyed with the late start of her interview. Jeanie treats an elderly woman named Estelle who fell down her stairs. She claims her sister pushed her. Benton and Elizabeth scrub in for surgery with Dr. Breedlove, and he cautions her to pay more attention than she did in the ER. She quickly goes against the stereotype of polite Brits by commenting on how short Breedlove is. Benton’s like, “Who is this woman who speaks her mind and will clearly be my next love interest?”

Henry bores Carter with talk of some of his research while Anna basks in her med student’s efficiency and cheery attitude. Jeanie asks Carter to tend to Estelle, so Carter hands her off to Henry. Mark and Carol interview Cynthia Hooper, who’s unprepared and has no experience in clerking. She thinks she’d be doing billing, which she wouldn’t. She does like working with people, though. Cynthia’s nerves get the better of her and she starts crying, making Carol give Mark a look that says, “Are we done here?”

Doug treats Jesús, a seven-year-old with a cough that might mean he has pneumonia. Doug has some trouble communicating with the boy’s parents, who don’t speak much English. Doug’s Spanish isn’t great, and though he’s able to ask questions of the parents, the Trajillos, he can’t understand their answers very well. Mark and Carol have no good prospects, and though Mark is willing to hire one of them, Carol says he wouldn’t fit in. They run into Heather, one of Mark’s exes, on their way to see a patient, an 18-year-old named Laura who passed out.

Carter brings Ethel’s case to Mark, wondering why she’s slurring when her blood alcohol level isn’t that high. Mark tells him to just move her along so he can see more patients. Benton and Carla go back to the NICU for the baby’s extubation, which goes well. They’re able to hold him for the first time without any wires or monitors. Carter loses track of Henry, who took an overly detailed history of a patient. Jeanie and Carter tell him to edit himself and stop ordering so many tests.

Jeanie tells Estelle that a social worker is coming to find her a new place to live so she doesn’t have to go home with her sister. As Jeanie adjusts the woman’s pillow, Estelle asks if she’s going to be smothered. Her sister tried that, too. So either Estelle is delusional or people just really hate her. Carol tells Laura that she passed out because she was dehydrated. She thinks Laura’s hiding something she hasn’t mentioned. She looks in Laura’s mouth and asks if her dentist has talked to her about her enamel.

Anna brings Carter and Henry to see her patient, a man named Oliver who was found wandering and may have schizophrenia. Malik, who’s passing by, says Oliver thinks he’s Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field. Malik should be flattered. Oliver is difficult to have a conversation with because he has short-term memory loss and keeps veering off on stream-of-consciousness tangents. Carter and Anna want to do a CT scan before they call psych, and Henry guesses that Oliver has a brain lesion.

Doug enlists Chuny as a translator to tell the Trajillos that Jesús will be okay after some antibiotics. A social worker named Thomas comes to meet Estelle, who begs Jeanie not to let her be sent back to her sister’s house. Weaver tells Mark that Carol wants to interview more candidates, but Mark thinks they’ve found one who will do the job fine. Weaver’s okay with that. Mark chastises Carter for scheduling Ethel for an MRI, but Carter says that Doyle approved.

Carol tells Mark that she suspected and got Laura to admit that has bulimia. They can’t get her an appointment at an eating-disorders clinic for weeks, so Carol wants Mark to talk to her. Mark says he deals with acute patients, not chronic ones, so he’s not the right person for the job. (I don’t know that an 18-year-old woman would listen to a guy like Mark anyway.) Also, if Carol has any other concerns about the desk-clerk candidates, she should talk to him, not go behind his back to Weaver.

Henry was right, and Oliver has a big lesion on his brain. Anna has to tell him that it could be serious, which makes him cry, which makes me feel horrible because he seems so sweet. Carter finds Henry in a lab, working on his research. Because he’s ten years old, Carter starts touching stuff without knowing what it is. Henry manages to stop him from mutating his genes.

Benton rushes to the NICU in hopes of being there the first time Carla tries to feed the baby. It’s been pushed until that night, so Benton asks Carla to page him when it’s time. She wants to pick a name, but they haven’t decided whether to give the baby the last name Reese or Benton. She figures she’ll be doing all the work, so her son should have her last name. Carla asks if Benton would see the two of them as a family without a baby. He wouldn’t, but she admits that she wouldn’t, either.

Paramedics bring in another gunshot victim as a guy scans the hallway for radioactivity. “I love this job,” Haleh murmurs. Elizabeth comes to assist, surprised to have another gunshot victim, because she doesn’t understand America yet. Elizabeth runs the trauma, at one point asking everyone to take a breath and slow down a little so they don’t rush anything. She does everything calmly and just as methodically as Benton would want.

As Carol goes out to get some medication, Jesús’ mother starts yelling for help – her son is coughing up blood. Anna runs in to help. Elizabeth stabilizes the gunshot victim, so when Benton finally comes in, there’s nothing left for him to do. Benton comments that Elizabeth must have been paying attention earlier after all. “Always,” she replies.

Thomas tells Jeanie that Estelle’s sister couldn’t have pushed her down the stairs since Estelle’s sister has been dead for years. Jeanie considers killing Estelle herself. She’s mainly annoyed that she spent all day taking care of one patient and is still waiting on tests for her. On top of that, Estelle told Thomas that Jeanie tried to smother her with a pillow. Jeanie assigns Henry to babysit Estelle until her tests results come back.

Chuny clears up the translation error that led Doug to miss Jesús’ diagnosis – they didn’t realize that by “shots,” he meant vaccines. Jesús may have whooping cough. Anna says she’s missed it herself, and Doug thanks her for stepping in. Anna runs into Oliver as he’s taken for scans, but he’s now forgotten why he’s in the hospital.

Carter tells Mark that Ethel isn’t drunk, she has multiple sclerosis. Mark doesn’t bother to praise Carter for catching that she was sick instead of just drunk. In the restroom where he was attacked, Mark tells Doug that the papers he got that morning were for a malpractice suit filed by Kenny Law’s family. Mark kind of thinks Chris attacked him, and is now adding insult to (literal) injury.

Anna tells Carter that she had to tell Oliver he was dying five times. Her reward for all her hard work is a tiny paycheck. Carter pretends that he’s also hurting financially. He wasn’t supposed to get paid at all, so he’s pleased to have a check. Except then Weaver asks him to endorse it back to the hospital (the check is just for malpractice purposes and other administrative stuff). As a cap to his long day, Carter’s shoes are radioactive, thanks to his trip to Henry’s lab, so he has to get rid of them.

Benton sits with Carla as she nurses the baby for the first time. He’s ready to give in and let her give the baby her last name. But Carla is also ready to give in and accept Benton as the name. In fact, she has an idea that will satisfy both of them: call the baby Reese Benton.

On his way out for the night, Mark lights a cigarette (because he’s in a bad place emotionally! Don’t you get it??) and runs into Cynthia. She apologizes for her awkwardness in the interview. He lights a cigarette for her and they chat about her recent move to Chicago. Mark spontaneously announces that Cynthia got the clerk job, so Carol’s going to be thrilled about that. Right now, though, Carol’s happy because she’s at home with Doug, giving him a drawer.

Thoughts: Cynthia is played by Mariska Hargitay. Henry is played by Chad Lowe.

TV characters on morphine will always be funny to me. My favorite is Ben from Parks and Rec.

Chuny can’t be the only ER employee who speaks Spanish, can she?

I love the compromise of the name Reese Benton. I think it’s the last compromise Carla and Benton ever make.

May 21, 2019

ER 4.1, Ambush: Live from Chicago, It’s Thursday Night!

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

Ha…ha?

Summary: We kick off this live-for-no-reason season premiere in darkness, with a film crew setting up to shoot a documentary. They’ll be following Mark as he works a shift in the ER. A P.A. tells Carol they’re also setting up cameras around the ER for extra footage; there’s now one in the lounge. It makes Carol awkward. Aggie, one of the directors, leads her cameraman to a trauma room, where Mark and Doug are tending to a guy with a broken leg. Carter and Benton arrive, and Benton is exactly as excited about being on camera as you would expect. Mark guesses that he’s also annoyed that Carter has left surgery.

The P.A. interrupts to tell Aggie that another doctor is saying she didn’t know about the shoot. The cameraman, Stuart, tells Carter he can speak at a normal volume, since there are enough microphones around to record him. “OKAY,” Carter says loudly. Mark teases that he’s just like that. At the admit desk, Weaver tries to convince Anna that the documentary is a good thing – the doctors will be shown in a positive light. A second cameraman, Luis, catches Jeanie taking a pill on camera.

Anna complains about her image being used “in perpetuity.” Doug wants to take the conversation off-camera, but Anna’s perfectly fine addressing Luis on the record. She’s not trying to say this is an ambush, but the release form the doctors are supposed to sign doesn’t outline where the footage will be used. Doug makes “she’s crazy” and “she’s drunk” gestures behind her. Aggie introduces herself to Anna to try to work things out, though she’s decided it’s not worth the trouble and they can just shoot around Anna. Malik is excited at the possibility of being on TV, but the documentary will only be on PBS.

In the lounge, Doug and Anna talk about whether Mark is up to the documentary. (It’s been a few weeks since his attack, judging by the fact that he has a brace on his arm now instead of a cast.) Anna thinks Mark is still shaky, but Doug insists that everything is fine. It’s a good sign that he wanted to do the documentary. When Mark comes in, he admits that he’s enjoying all the attention. But when he’s left in there alone, he has to take a moment to collect himself.

Jeanie presents a patient to him named Mr. Schoenberger, who had shortness of breath. Jeanie’s a little nervous on camera and trips over her words. Mr. S. spent the day smoking cigars and taking part in all-you-can-eat burrito night at his favorite Mexican restaurant. Jeanie wants to order a lot of tests, but Mark thinks that’s an overreaction. He blames the cigars, which are too cheap not to affect one’s health.

After a camera-shy Morgenstern comes by to encourage Mark a little, Anna turns in her release to be on camera. Aggie makes sure to record some of the nurses talking about one of Mark’s cases. She asks if any of the doctors and nurses date. Carol says they socialize as a group, and Mark hasn’t come much recently. Malik blurts out that he’s been keeping to himself since his attack.

As Doug passes by behind her, Carol says that it’s a myth that doctors and nurses hook up a lot. He stops to listen, then pulls her away to do nurse stuff. They end up behind a window, so it’s hard for the cameraman to film them, but their microphones are still on, and he catches them talking about meeting up later for sex. They think the cameraman can’t hear them, but soon remember that they’re wearing microphones.

Carter tells the camera that working in the ER requires staying on your toes. When he was in surgery, someone was always looking over his shoulder. In the ER, the residents get to be in charge of themselves. Well, until they have nurses yelling at them to take care of patients. Carter gets brought down a notch when a patient pukes on him.

Aggie does an interview with Mark, telling everyone else at the admit desk to keep working as usual. But the interview ends quickly when an ambulance arrives with a cancer patient in respiratory distress. Then Jeanie brings Mark some of Mr. S.’s tests, which may indicate a problem. Mark asks him to stick around while they run another test. Mark explains to Aggie that Mr. S. may have had a heart attack. He wants to give Mr. S. some time before he hears the news, and since Mark missed it, he needs to buy some time for himself.

The cancer patient, Boz, comes in accompanied by a friend named Rog. Rog is extremely unhelpful; he knows nothing about Boz’s end-of-life wishes, and he thinks he can smoke in the trauma room. Mark tries to ask Boz if he wants help breathing, since Mark isn’t sure if he has a DNR. Boz can’t speak or write an answer, so Mark decides to cut a hole in his neck.

Luis interviews a janitor named Nat as he cleans up Carter’s patient’s puke. He says this is no big deal; he’s seen much worse. The job can be gross, but you get used to it. The blood and gore, however, never get easier to see. Nat’s religious, and he believes people were created in God’s image, “so whatever I’m cleaning up must be just fine.” He doesn’t think you could be a janitor if you didn’t believe in God. Aggie pulls Luis away to come back and record Boz, who’s stopped breathing. Luis says he’ll come back to finish the conversation, but Nat doesn’t think he will.

Mark tells Aggie that one of his early patients was the sister of one of his med-school classmates. It hit him that traumas don’t just happen to strangers. Aggie asks if it changes things when doctors go through traumas. Mark gets defensive, not wanting to talk about his own experiences. He asks if he was chosen for the documentary because of his attack. Aggie and Luis promise that he doesn’t have to talk about anything he doesn’t want to.

Weaver and Carter discuss Boz, whose wife Petra has arrived. She’s much younger than Boz, and Weaver thinks Haleh might be the person to talk to her about Boz’s options. Carter volunteers to try, and Weaver explains to the camera that this isn’t usually an intern’s job, but Carter’s been there a while. Carter says he’s a second-year anyway, but Weaver corrects him. By moving to a new specialty, he has to start his internship over.

Carter goes over options with Petra, but she knows from experience what will and won’t work. She presents a DNR, which Rog was too panicked to remember. Petra’s been taking care of Boz for a long time and is both upset that things are going this way and jaded about everything they’ve been through. Carter asks if there’s anything else he can do for her. She asks him to refill one of her prescriptions, since she’s already at the hospital.

Doug and Anna examine a baby (who cries throughout the scene, as well as other scenes, but it’s live, so what can you do?) whose parents think she was bitten by their dog. For some reason, she’s been put in the curtained exam area with an angry woman named Doris, who’s unhappy to be near a crier. Doug quickly determines that the bite isn’t from a dog – it’s from the girl’s preschool-age brother.

Mark examines Doris, who has burns on her face that she claims are from hot popcorn. Mark advises her to stop doing crack. His bedside manner here is about a 2 on a scale from 1 to 10. Aggie asks Doug how Mark is able to handle these kinds of difficult situations every day. Doug tells her to talk to Mark about that.

After a shot of the crowded waiting area, Weaver wakes Benton from a nap in a hallway to alert him to a trauma. A teenager was being beaten by a gang, and he and a man who tried to break up the fight are being brought in. In the lounge, Doug wonders how the film crew found out about Mark’s attack. He warns Mark not to get mad at the crew on camera. He also thinks Aggie is into Mark. Mark tells him Aggie’s married to one of the other crew members. Carol lets them know that their conversation has been on camera.

The two trauma victims come in as a bored patient in the waiting area provides a soundtrack with a makeshift drum. Mark, Benton, and Anna take the innocent bystander, Theo Williams, who may have a spinal injury. Mark yells for someone to shut up the drummer. He determines that Theo isn’t in any immediate danger, but he seems to be paralyzed.

Some gang members have followed the ambulance to the ER, and Chuny has trouble keeping them calm and out of the trauma area. She tells Benton, Weaver, and Jeanie not to take the beating victim, Chico, to CT yet, since his “homies” are there. Chico’s sister (who only gets credited as Ms. Cruz) goes to the waiting area to tell the gang members to stay away from him. She’s angry both because they hurt her brother and because they injured an innocent man. A fight starts, and the camera gets shoved to the ground.

Weaver explains to Stuart that Theo’s condition is currently stable, but it’s possibly that, as swelling increases, he could lose the ability to breathe on his own. Stuart starts ignoring Weaver, choosing instead to spy on a hot woman in the hallway. He snaps back to attention, only to focus on Weaver’s limp. She laments that Theo tried to help a teen he didn’t even know, and was rewarded with paralysis.

Morgenstern wanders in, looking ill, and Weaver realizes he’s having a heart attack. She kicks Stuart out of the room, but he films through the window as Weaver and Linda try to save their boss. Mark tells Theo that he may need to go on a ventilator. Connie tries to get in touch with Mrs. Williams, who’s at a night class. Malik steals some sort of monitor from Jeanie, who’s annoyed until she learns that it’s for Morgenstern.

Benton kicks Carter out of the elevator as he takes Chico to surgery – switching to emergency medicine means Carter stays in the ER. Doug and Carter meet Elizabeth Corday, a British doctor looking for “casualty,” by which she means trauma. Carter wants to talk to Weaver about his intern status, but she’s kind of busy. Carter approaches Mark next, but he’s even busier. He gets the Williamses’ babysitter on the phone and tells her to run to Mrs. Williams’ school to get her. Theo will need intubation soon, and Mark wants his wife to be able to talk to him while he can still speak.

Elizabeth goes looking for Chico, not realizing he’s already been taken to surgery. She mentions to Carol that in England, surgeons aren’t addressed as Doctor; they’re called Mr. and Ms. Theo’s disappointed to hear that Chico isn’t doing well. Weaver, Jeanie, and Lydia send Morgenstern up to surgery, and Stuart invites himself along in the elevator. He asks why Morgenstern is being taken straight up while other patients have to wait. Weaver angrily schools him on priority patients.

Mark runs to a trauma room where Carter’s trying to revive an 82-year-old man. Stuart’s battery starts dying, and his picture gets fuzzy as he loses power. Carter saves the patient, but before he can tell Aggie how great it feels, the battery dies. Elizabeth introduces herself to Benton, who’s been on call for 36 hours and can finally leave now that she’s there. Benton tells Ms. Cruz that Chico is still in surgery, and they don’t know yet how bad his condition is.

Carter’s patient is pleased that he’ll be able to return to his retirement home and continue being a stud. The patient wants to make sure the camera crew keeps this in the documentary. Anna and Jeanie try to treat a man who appears to have fallen through a glass window. He’s covered in blood, and when Anna and Jeanie try to help him, he warns them to stay away because he has HIV. Jeanie comforts him and promises to help him.

Aggie interviews Elizabeth, who tries to explain the hierarchy of surgeons in England. She pulls Benton into the conversation, but he dodges the camera while looking for Ms. Cruz. Mrs. Williams arrives and Weaver tells Carol and Doug that she wouldn’t want to be in either Mrs. Williams or Mark’s shoes. The three of them talk about how difficult it is to give bad news to families.

Theo’s in good spirits, and his wife is trying to be optimistic about his condition. Mark can’t wait any longer and has to intubate him. Benton stops by to tell Theo that Chico’s going to be okay, and Ms. Cruz thanks Theo for saving her brother’s life. As Mark finishes Theo’s intubation, Malik sends him to help Carter, whose heart patient has flatlined again. Mark’s annoyed that Carter didn’t call him, though Malik did try to pull him away earlier, and Mark ignored him. He slams Carter for trying to run his own code; it was allowed in surgery, but not in the ER. Carter’s upset about the loss.

Mark tells Aggie that he’ll give an interview about his attack as long as she agrees not to use the footage of Carter’s failed code in the film. He says that the best part of his job is repairing some of the violence that happens to people. While they can’t fix Theo, they at least saved Chico, so Theo’s actions weren’t in vain.

Mark admits that he was attacked, and the culprit hasn’t been found. The worst part is that some of the violence in the world has leaked into the ER. The hospital is supposed to be safe, and now it’s vulnerable. It’s hard to accept. Aggie asks if Mark is scared. He says he fears losing control, both of what’s outside and of what’s inside him. Once Mark is sure that Aggie’s gotten what she needs, he tells the cameraman to stop filming.

Thoughts: There are five before-they-were-famous guest stars in this episode:

I love that they include Nat in the documentary. It’s a little bit of recognition for someone with a very thankless job, who I’m sure gets ignored all the time.

If I went all the way through med school, became a surgeon, and was still called Ms., I’d be ticked. Get it together, U.K.

Since it mainly happens in the background, it doesn’t get addressed, but Benton is very Carter-like in this episode. He wants to keep Ms. Cruz updated on her brother’s condition, and he stays even after his shift is over so he can keep her informed. I hope Carter teased him later about softening up.

March 12, 2019

ER 3.13, Fortune’s Fools: Is Doug Also Going to Yell at Carol for Trying to Do the Right Thing?

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

No commentary necessary

Summary: On their way to work, Mark asks Doug how many people know that he and Chuny are dating. Turns out they’ve run out of things to discuss, so Mark’s ready to end it. Doug tells him he’s already covered the spread in the office betting. He advises Mark to tell Chuny that their relationship is starting to interfere with work, and he doesn’t want to ruin their friendship.

Carter and Benton’s schedule has been light lately, but Carter thinks that’s good because it’s given them more time to prepare for a conference that afternoon. Benton doesn’t confirm that he’s ready to do his half of their presentation, so Carter offers to help him out. Benton says he’ll ask if he needs assistance.

The nurses are back, trying not to worry that management will just fire all of them. Haleh thinks they’re going to get everything they want. Chuny disagrees – the news about Carol’s mistake is out, and is featured in the day’s newspaper. They all think a temp is responsible, and that their sickout led to a man’s death. Carol tries to visit the man’s grave, but there’s no headstone, so she just sticks some flowers in the snow.

Prospective interns are interviewing today, and Anspaugh wants Weaver and Mark to show them what a real ER is like. The nurses tell Carol that they’re not going to take the fall for what a temp did while they were out. Carol says it was her fault, and she was told that after she filed an incident report, the whole situation would be over.

Two men come in with gunshot wounds, one a teen named Hernandez, the other a cop named Mattimore. Mattimore’s injuries are less severe than Hernandez’s, and he insists that the doctors help the teen first. Lydia has little sympathy for a teen who would shoot a cop. Mark assures Mattimore, who just has a leg injury, that they’re helping Hernandez.

Jeanie meets with a patient named Mike who’s been experiencing headaches. His wife, Cindy, says he hasn’t been himself – he’s been aggressive in his sleep and was confused when he woke up. Chuny had invited Mark to dinner the previous night so her family could meet him, but he backed out. To his surprise, she gives him the exact same line Doug said he should give her about how they should split up because of work and their friendship. So apparently a complete consensual breakup is possible.

Carol confronts Mary, the nursing supervisor, thinking she went to the press with the story about her ER error. Mary says it wasn’t her; someone must have wanted to influence the nursing union’s negotiations. Carol says the negotiations and the sickout have nothing to do with her mistake. Mary disagrees – if the nurses had been working like they were supposed to, Carol wouldn’t have made the error. Carol still wants to take full responsibility. She can’t believe she’s the only person who cares that she killed someone.

Now that he’s out of pediatrics and back doing general surgery, like his dozenth hernia repair, Benton is a little bored. Morgenstern thinks it’s good that he’s slowing down. Sometimes, people need to take a step back and reevaluate things. Mark tells Doug that he and Chuny are over, and Chuny seemed a little hurt but will be okay. She is already – she’s back flirting with Zadro.

Weaver introduces Mark to the six prospective interns, but don’t bother worrying about their names because none of them ends up on the show. Weaver gives her half of the interns thick handbooks and takes them on a tour while Mark throws out his handbook and invites his three to play doctor with him. (Not like that. Probably.)

A cop tells Connie that when he found Mattimore after he was injured, he didn’t have his gun out to defend himself (this cop is the one who shot Hernandez). Carol’s annoyed by how proud the cop is of himself for shooting someone. After he leaves, Carol asks Mattimore why he didn’t shoot back after Hernandez shot him. Mattimore says he’s been a cop for more than 30 years and has only fired his gun twice outside the practice range. Carol notices a twitch in his arm, and he says it’s just a little sore.

Haleh pulls Carol outside to tell her that management is using her error to pull their agreement and renegotiate the nurses’ contracts. She can’t believe Carol didn’t see this coming. Carol tells Haleh that she and management can fight all they want – Carol’s priority is her patients. Weaver has her interns follow the journey of a urine sample while Mark takes his group around to see actual patients. Jeanie asks his opinion about Mike, thinking he may have a lesion. Mark tells her to consult with Greg, her infectious-disease-specialist non-date.

Sasha, a chef from the hospital cafeteria, is in the ER with a burn on his leg from scalding water. Mark lets his interns assess and treat the patient, which is much more interesting than the tour the other interns are taking. Carol finds Doyle chatting with Mattimore, who arrested her cousin for breaking and entering. Mattimore is the kind of guy who goes easy on young offenders, and has in fact helped rehabilitate at least one. His arm twitches again, and Carol thinks there’s something going on that Mattimore doesn’t want to talk about.

Hicks suggests that Carter sign Benton up for an operation that afternoon, since he hasn’t been very active in choosing his cases. Carter signs up his boss, because he’s an idiot. An ICU nurse named Lisa brings in her son, Benny, who hurt his elbow. He’s wearing a Superman costume and will only respond to the name Clark Kent. His mom thinks he got hurt trying to fly.

Mark treats a woman named Heather for a hand injury, still keeping his interns involved. Heather flirts with Mark right in front of them, which amuses one of the interns. Carol mentions Mattimore’s twitch to Doyle, advising her to order a CT just to make sure it’s nothing major. Doyle’s hesitant to order such an expensive test without more indication that it’s needed, but she agrees to perform a neurological exam on Mattimore to see if anything comes up.

Greg comes to see Mike, thinking he might have an infection in his central nervous system. Once Cindy mentions that she found Mike talking to himself in the middle of the night, I figure they should call a psych consult, but considering how much psych on this show sucks, it’s probably a waste of time. Once they’re alone, Greg tries to talk to Jeanie, but she’s not interested in anything other than being professional.

Carter tells Benton he signed them up for surgery, but Benton tells him to back out. Doug notices Benny’s lack of communication and asks Lisa if that’s normal. She explains that her husband died in a car accident a few months ago; Benny was in the car, and was alone with his dying father for about ten minutes before the ambulance arrived. Doug suggests having Benny talk to a child psychiatrist. But in the minute Doug and Lisa have been out of the exam room, the child has taken off.

Since flirting hasn’t gotten her anywhere, Heather straight out asks Mark on a date. Mark once again turns to his interns, quizzing them on the ethics of a doctor dating a patient. Heather points out that if Mark weren’t her doctor, there would be no problem. Hypothetically, if she were at a bar that night at 6:30, and he came in to have a drink, everything would be fine. Then she asks to see a specialist.

Weaver’s interns have to watch while Weaver and Chuny treat a man’s abscess. It’s gross. Doyle asks Mattimore to participate in her neurological exam, but he declines, since his only injury is to his leg. Carol pushes him to do it, but he refuses, so Doyle can’t do anything. Benton spots Carla in the ER waiting room, but she won’t tell him why she’s there. He finds out himself when Lily tells her Dr. Coburn is ready to see her. Yep, guess who’s pregnant!

Morgenstern bores the interns during lunch while staff members look for Benny. Sasha’s so pleased with his treatment that he sent free bratwurst to the ER. Mark’s not that grateful. Doug teases him about Heather, so Mark hands her off to Doyle. Jeanie and Greg discover that Mike has neurosyphilis, which Jeanie notes will be a big surprise to his wife. Greg reminds her that they can’t tell Cindy. Jeanie wants to take the case back over, but Greg is worried about handling it wrong and destroying the couple’s marriage. Jeanie points out that Mike could destroy the marriage by not telling Cindy.

Carter’s late for the seminar because he was waiting for Benton so they could go over their notes. Benton isn’t there at all, as he’s bugging Carla about her pregnancy. He’s not sure the baby’s his, but she’s offended when he questions the paternity. She’s going to have the baby, no matter how he feels about it, and doesn’t even bother to wait around and hear if he wants to be involved.

Mattimore tells Carol that when Hernandez pulled his gun, Mattimore just saw him as any other kid he’s encountered. He figured that in a matter of seconds, they would both walk away. When Mattimore’s arm twitched, Hernandez thought he was going for his gun, so he fired first. Carol asks if anyone else in the police department knows about Mattimore’s twitch. Mattimore says no, since he’d be placed on desk duty. He’s worried that he has something serious, but Carol says it could be something treatable. He agrees to think about getting tests done.

Carter finishes his part of his joint presentation, but Benton still hasn’t shown up to do his half. When Carter realizes he’s not coming, he pretends he already knew Benton couldn’t make it and just does the rest of the presentation himself. No one goes easy on him, even though he has no idea how to answer their questions.

Doug finally finds Benny, who’s trying to break up a fight between an angry couple in the waiting area. Benny thinks he would have been protected if the man had come after him, since he has superpowers. Doug tells him meanly that he’s just a six-year-old boy, not a superhero. Way to be gentle with the traumatized kid, Doug. I don’t think you’ll be adding Lisa to your list of single moms you’ve dated.

Mark checks in with Carol, who tells him no one will talk to her. She’s considering going to the newspaper and telling them the man’s death had nothing to do with the sickout. That might lead to her losing her job, and Mark isn’t sure she’s ready for that. Greg wants to separate Cindy and Mike before he gives Mike the news about his health, but Jeanie won’t force the issue. Mike wants Cindy to stay, so she hears along with him that he has neurosyphilis. Mike’s confused, since they’ve only ever been with each other…right? Apparently not, and Cindy’s not the one who’s most surprised to get this news.

Mark lets his interns into the ER while he and Doug treat a man injured in a car accident. He even lets them participate in procedures. Benny’s hiding in the corner, and Doug has Haleh take him away. Carter finally finds Benton and lays into him for missing their seminar. Benton has no sympathy for Carter’s interrogation, saying he shouldn’t have tried to cover for Benton. Carter complains that his reputation is now shot. Benton doesn’t even have a good excuse for why he wasn’t there.

At Doc Magoo’s, Carol meets with a reporter named Tom so she can give her side of the story. Doug apologizes to Benny for the way he reacted when Benny tried to be a superhero. He just doesn’t want Benny to be haunted by the failure to help someone. But Benny should always do what he thinks is right, no matter who tries to stop him. Doug can’t remember if Superman had a dad, but if he did, Doug thinks he was proud of his son.

Carter assists Hicks with the surgery Benton wanted to back out of. Hicks asks if Benton’s recent mopiness is affecting Carter’s career. Carter doesn’t want to badmouth his boss, but Hicks tells him that if Benton has no use for him, her team would welcome Carter. Jeanie won’t hand over Mike’s chart so Greg can call the Department of Public Health; she argues that part of her job is advocating for patients. He reminds her that she’s a physician’s assistant, and he’s the physician here, so she needs to assist him. Blah blah blah, just make out already.

Mark’s interns leave for the night exhilarated by the experience. Weaver complains that her group didn’t seem to care about the job. Mark’s, however, all want to intern at County. Anspaugh thinks Mark should consider going into teaching. Mary hears about Carol’s statement to Tom and asks why she went to the press. Carol insists again on taking responsibility for her error, no matter the consequences.

Carter tells Benton that Hicks offered him a position on her team, so next week, Benton will no longer be his boss. Benton doesn’t care. Carter notes that just weeks ago, Benton would have been furious about Carter going behind his back to another surgeon. “Since when did I start caring about what you do, Carter?” Benton asks. “Never,” Carter replies. But now Benton doesn’t care about himself or his own reputation either. Carter asks for an evaluation, which Benton promises he’ll provide. Carter says he learned all the surgical skills he used today from Benton.

Mark goes to the bar where Heather’s waiting and they pretend to meet for the first time. Mark’s interns are also there and send the two of them drinks. Carol hands off some administrative tasks to Haleh, revealing that she’s been suspended. Everyone watches as the one person who’s been mature and responsible about this whole situation leaves the hospital.

Thoughts: Why did they bring C.C.H. Pounder back after all those episodes away if they’re not going to have her do anything?

Benton: “And you’re sure it’s mine?” Carla: “I’m gonna forget you said that.” I’m not, because your story is going to change in a couple years.

Doug, please don’t yell at the traumatized child. Wait, let me amend that – don’t yell at any children.

’90s music alert: Sublime’s “What I Got.”

February 12, 2019

ER 3.9, Ask Me No Questions, I’ll Tell You No Lies: Starring Mark Greene as Judge, Jury, and Executioner

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

Okay, ladies, time to stop looking like you’re hiding something

Summary: Benton is using Keaton’s visualization techniques to prepare for an operation. Scrub nurse Shirley messes with him by going over the steps of a recipe. She offers to set things up for Keaton, since Carter hasn’t arrived to do it, but Benton doesn’t know what size gloves Keaton wears. When Carter finally shows up, he knows. At Doc Magoo’s, Carol is again struggling with physics, and she won’t have time to do more studying before her midterm. William doesn’t have much sympathy.

Haleh and Malik have much more sympathy for Gant, who’s again handling all of Benton’s scut work. Doug is surprised to hear that Mark called a staff meeting. Carter helps Benton continue prepping for surgery, but he doesn’t think his book knowledge will mean anything if Keaton doesn’t approve of his methods. Lydia’s hoping she’ll get time off for her honeymoon, but Carol can’t promise her anything. She’s just as surprised as Doug to learn about Mark’s called staff meeting.

Benton puts his studying to the test, and Keaton is pleased with his work. But then Morgenstern enlists Benton for another procedure, one he hasn’t prepared for. Mark has some new organizational ideas for the ER, and Weaver approves. No one else seems to be taking him too seriously. Doug especially thinks that Mark is putting too much into his work because he’s moping over Susan. Mark just says that he’s been distracted over the past few months, and now he’s focusing on his job again.

Carol tries to get in some studying at work, but when she asks Doug a physics-related question, he just feels incompetent. Jeanie treats a woman with sickle-cell anemia who says her regular pain medication isn’t working. Morgenstern tells Benton that he’s chosen a difficult specialty, and not everyone who tries pediatric surgery is successful. Benton wants to know if Keaton’s said anything about his performance. He wonders if she asked Morgenstern to take him out of their surgery because he wasn’t good enough for it.

Carter and Keaton discuss their plans for that evening while trying not to let the others in the OR know that they want to do something together. Carter is, unsurprisingly, very unsmooth. Al comes to the ER with some breathing trouble, so Mark learns for the first time that a) Jeanie’s divorced and b) her ex has HIV. Carol goes to meeting with the reengineering committee and tries to determine how long her nurses will be floated to other departments. She stands up for her colleagues, arguing that critical patients should have nurses who have experience treating them.

Mark tells Jeanie that he met Al, fishing around to find out if she got tested for HIV. She lies that she tested negative. The ER is busy, so Doug has to treat adult patients for once, including a woman who takes a cabinet full of medications. Mark tells Weaver that he knows Al has HIV, and Jeanie said she doesn’t. Weaver brushes him off, making Mark wonder why she isn’t more concerned.

As soon as he’s done with Morgenstern, Benton rushes off to try to get back into his original OR. As Mark has Al’s previous charts pulled, Keaton and Carter discuss the fact that she’s soon going to Pakistan to teach pediatric techniques to surgeons. She’ll be gone for at least four months, possibly six, and Carter worries that she’ll never come back. Keaton notes that they never said they had long-term plans with each other, so while she’s in the U.S., they’ll just keep having fun.

Mark tries to get Jeanie’s medical files pulled, lying to a file clerk that he thinks his patient didn’t tell his wife that he has HIV. Jeanie’s file confirms his suspicions that she has HIV. Carol wishes she’d skipped the committee meeting and studied, since she’s still stuck trying to remember some basics. Gant is busy and Mark can’t be bothered to do his job, so an impatient patient (…heh) will have to keep waiting to get her B12 shot.

Doug deals with a sassy girl named Natalie who wants her antibiotics right away so she can get to playdate. Since Natalie seems to know a lot, Doug challenges her to help Carol study. It turns out Carol remembers more than she thought. Jeanie’s sickle-cell patient is still in pain, so she turns to Mark to authorize more treatment. Mark sends her to the waiting room to do triage instead of seeing patients.

Carter tells Keaton that the two of them are going to be cutting down his family’s Christmas tree that night. Benton asks Keaton if he can assist with an operation that afternoon, but Keaton has already set up her crew. Benton tries to look like a responsible supervisor by questioning Carter’s assignments for the day, but Carter’s caught up on everything. Mark spots Jeanie and Weaver having a serious conversation that leaves Jeanie looking upset.

Carol tells Carter that he would be smart to help Gant out, since Gant has five times the number of patients Carter does. Jeanie accuses Al of telling Mark that she has HIV, then blasts him for coming to County, where people know her. She thinks he’s just being his usual selfish, irresponsible self. Al feels bad, not just because she’s in a tough spot, but because he’s the reason she’s sick. Jeanie wishes that hating him felt better. Haleh and Connie mess with Mark’s new organizational board, since they disagree with the colors he’s chosen for various personnel.

Weaver pulls Mark outside to slam him for the way he’s treating Jeanie. He’s mad that she didn’t tell him about Jeanie and Al’s diagnoses, which Weaver says are none of his business. Mark disagrees. Weaver says he doesn’t even know for sure that Jeanie’s HIV-positive, and he admits that he looked at her medical records. He blames Weaver for forcing his hand. She tells him he knows there’s no excuse for what he did. Carter offers to help Gant out, but Gant doesn’t want to make Benton think that he can’t handle being overloaded. Carter’s like, “Well, I tried,” and leaves.

Mark goes to Anspaugh to announce that one of the ER staff members may have HIV. Anspaugh warns him not to do anything, since they could face a discrimination lawsuit. Mark says that Weaver may have known for as long as six months without telling anyone. Anspaugh’s pleased, if that’s the case, and he wants Mark to be just as discreet. Mark argues that Weaver could have left them open to patient litigation, but Anspaugh points out that right now, they just have a suspicion that someone has HIV. If he’s wrong about that, Mark shouldn’t correct him.

A bunch of kids on a nature hike came in contact with a bat, so they may all need rabies shots. However, the bat isn’t available for testing because an adult chaperone got rid of it. Doug gets him to admit that he panicked. Carol’s stubbornness has paid off, and the nurses learn that they won’t be floated to other departments anymore. Weaver’s pleased that Carol has again demonstrated strong management skills.

Benton tries again to get in on one of Keaton’s operations, but it’s been canceled. She thinks he should be grateful for what he’s been able to observe so far, since he’s seen more at this stage than she did. His residency is five years long; it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Mark and Weaver work together tensely as Jeanie calls the records department to find out if anyone looked up her file.

Benton’s annoyed to see Carter helping out in the ER, since it’s supposed to be Gant’s area today. Carol says she asked Carter to help because Gant’s slammed. Benton denies that; Gant just needs to work faster. Weaver agrees with Carol’s decision, while Mark thinks Benton should be able to make his own decisions about what his interns do. Benton punishes Carter by leaving him in the ER while he takes a patient to the OR.

Doug administers rabies shots and bat-safety instructions to the kids, then tells their chaperone he’ll need the shots, too. One of the kids wants to watch his chaperone in pain. Carol tries to tell Mark that she won with the reengineering committee, but he thinks she just wants to complain to him about something, and he’s tired of hearing about other people’s problems. She’s like, “Sorry for giving you good news, then.”

Benton finally gets in on a surgery with Keaton, taking advantage of their time together to discuss Carter’s performance. At first it sounds like Benton’s going to express concern, but he’s actually impressed with his intern’s work. Keaton encourages him to tell Carter, because it’s always nice for a student to hear that his teacher is proud of him. Benton obviously wants the same treatment from Keaton and is too wimpy to ask for it.

Carol tells Doug that she’s not going to be able to take much more of Mark’s crankiness. Doug says he tried to talk to Mark already, but Mark doesn’t want to discuss his feelings over Susan leaving. They should just let him get it out of his system. Carol wonders if Mark will still have friends when he’s done tantruming.

Jeanie checks on her sickle-cell patient, who’s still in pain because Mark didn’t listen when Jeanie asked him to treat her. Mark catches Jeanie with the patient and pulls her aside to reprimand her for not listening when he told her to do triage. Jeanie wasn’t aware that he could give orders while breaking rules by going into her file. They accuse each other of unethical behavior. Mark claims that he would have dealt with things if Jeanie had been upfront with him from the beginning. Jeanie thinks it’s better this way – now she knows the kind of person Mark really is.

Carol heads off to take her midterm, having to skip happy hour with the other nurses. Gant chastises Carter for not getting him from radiology so he could be in the ER when Benton came to get Carter’s patient. Gant doesn’t appreciate Carter’s attempts to help. Jeanie apologizes to Al for accusing him of telling Mark about her HIV. She knows better than to blame him for her condition, since she sees every day that bad things happen for no reason. Al hasn’t told most of his friends he’s HIV-positive, knowing they would treat him differently. He and Jeanie each say the other doesn’t deserve their illness.

Mark apologizes to Doug for his crankiness, as if that was his worst sin today, and as if Doug is the person he needs to apologize to. Mark says he doesn’t enjoy his job anymore, and doesn’t see the staff as family like he used to. Doug wants him to talk about his feelings over Susan’s departure. His mom used to tell him not to confuse where he works with where he lives. But he still wants to be friends with his co-workers.

Carter waits impatiently for Keaton to finish talking to a colleague so they can leave. Benton passes by his car and tells him he’s doing a good job. Carter’s so worried that Keaton will interrupt and Benton will get suspicious that he can’t appreciate this human moment with his robot boss. Weaver tells Jeanie that she, Anspaugh, and Mark are going to meet to discuss hospital policy. She promises that her condition will remain confidential. She thinks her colleagues will be okay with her illness once they learn of it, though, since they at least understand how it’s transmitted.

Doug meets Carol outside her exam, which she thinks went pretty well. He wants to take her out for a drink to celebrate her hard work. William comes along and suggests ice cream, so they go off with him instead. Carter and Keaton get a tree, and she gets turned on, and it’s kind of weird. Is anyone rooting for this relationship? Anyone?

Thoughts: The boy who asks to watch is chaperone get a shot is played by a teeny-tiny Corbin Bleu.

Hey, Mark? You suck.

One of the patients in this episode is a ten-year-old who tried to emulate some circus sword-swallowers, only with a butcher knife instead of a sword. Kids are…just…so dumb.

Carter and Keaton, if you don’t want people to know you’re together, stop…being together so much.

January 29, 2019

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

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

Yeah, I can see why Mark thought they were dating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 25, 2018

ER 3.2, Let the Games Begin: Welcome, Overlord Anspaugh

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:07 pm by Jenn

These dorks are kind of cute

Summary: Jeanie has finally gotten an appointment with an HIV/AIDS doctor to go over her treatment. Jeanie plans to pay for the medication in cash instead of letting her insurance handle it, since that would alert County to her diagnosis. The doctor goes over the instructions, which will give Jeanie a lot to keep track of. However, if she uses the proper medical precautions, she has only a tiny chance of transmitting HIV to a patient. Jeanie is clearly overwhelmed, and her doctor tells her to try to keep the disease from taking over her life.

Carter has moved to a new apartment building, and his neighbor, Betty, would like some medical advice. She’s having breathing problems, but she doesn’t seem to think that smoking a cigarette will do her any harm. Carter tells her to try an inhaler, then runs off to try to get to work without getting on Benton’s bad side. Carol, Haleh, and Lydia try to get control of a patient who’s high on PCP; she’s not their only wild patient today, and they wonder if the hot weather is making things worse. They then start worrying that the hospital will close, as is the current rumor.

Benton’s trying to track down Carter when he meets a surgeon named Wayne Lentloff who’d like to recruit him for cardiothoracics. Benton isn’t interested, but Lentloff is eager to change his mind. Susan and Mark get to work at the same time and talk about horrible dates they’ve gone on recently. Obviously these two should just get together, but that’s never going to happen.

On a train after her appointment, Jeanie opens a bill and gets annoyed. Carter’s late for surgery with Benton and Morgenstern, who are discussing Lentloff and Benton’s options for fellowships. Gant is there observing, and Benton tells Carter that Gant stepped in for him because he was late. E-Ray helps Jerry dress up his résumé in case County closes, though Carol points out that there are a few other hospitals that could close instead. Jerry suggests that she get her work history in order, too, but Carol knows she can’t make nursing sound like anything other than nursing.

Carter heads to the ER to do what Gant can’t do while he’s covering for Carter. Weaver tells Mark and Susan that Donald Anspaugh, the chief from Southside, has outlined some good ideas for rearranging the layout of the ER. For example, security should be closer, as it took them four minutes to help Carol, Lydia, and Haleh with their high patient. I have news for you, Weaver: Security will never get better, no matter how close they are to the patients.

Jeanie finds Al on a job site to confront him for having his medical treatments billed to her insurance. His new boss doesn’t give benefits, and Al is trying to work things out with COBRA. Jeanie’s unwilling to keep him on her insurance while he gets his own, since she has her own bills to worry about. As Carter and Carol receive an elderly patient, Doug tells Carol that her car is being towed away. She runs to the tow truck and learns that the car is being repossessed since she missed three payments.

Doug tries to get out of meeting his latest girlfriend’s parents, though he tells Jerry and Randi that she’s a friend from college. Randi tells Carol that she knows some guys who can track down the repo man, if she wants. I feel like Randi knows a lot of guys who can do a lot of things. A couple of teenagers Mark was supposed to talk to complain to Carol about how long they’ve had to wait. Carol takes them to the trauma room where Mark is doing something important and whines at him, only to be told to take the kids back to the waiting room. Come on, Carol.

Carter’s elderly patient has abdominal pains but is also disoriented and keeps yelling for someone named Thomas. The man’s home health-care nurse dumps him on the hospital and leaves for the weekend. Benton doesn’t think the patient needs surgery, so he advises Carter to dump the patient as well and go do something surgical.

Carol apologizes for being a brat earlier, then asks Mark if she can borrow his motorcycle. She has to be home at 3 for some reason, and she has no car, obviously, and won’t be able to catch the El. She takes Susan to meet the waiting teens, who had a mishap during sex and have misplaced their condom. Well, it’s not really misplaced. The girl definitely knows exactly where it is. She just won’t be able to extract it on her own.

Morgenstern tells Mark and Weaver that he has no idea which hospital is going to be closed. There’s going to be an announcement that afternoon. Anspaugh called Morgenstern to discuss the situation, panicking that he’s going to lose his job. Weaver likes Anspaugh, but Morgenstern has only horror stories to tell about him. He apparently hates everyone and won’t hesitate to act on personal grievances.

Doug admits that he knew Carol’s car was being repo’d, not towed. She calls him a coward for not telling her. He offers her a loan, but Carol has a plan in the works already – she’s going to sell her money pit of a house. Mark passes word to Susan that there’s a meeting at 5 to announce which hospital is being shut down. Susan just doesn’t want the news to affect her vacation, as she’s decided to go to Hawaii.

Betty shows up in the ER just as Manny, who runs the “roach coach” coffee cart outside, throws up on the admit desk. Thanks, show. Jeanie’s next patient, a boy named Alex, needs stitches, but she’s a little hesitant now that her blood can be dangerous for others. Speaking of dangerous, Carter gives Betty an oxygen tank, which is going to be fun since she keeps smoking. Carter’s elderly patient, Heath, flatlines, but Carter is able to revive him. Carol and Malik are pleased with his quick work. Benton arrives after Carter’s shown his stuff and is just annoyed that Carter hasn’t dumped Heath on someone else yet.

Carol rides Mark’s motorcycle home to meet a real estate agent, Mrs. Puro. Carol’s mother Helen is also there, and has told Mrs. Puro that Carol’s not selling. Carol says she is, but Mrs. Puro gives it to her straight: “I couldn’t sell this house if the rest of Chicago burned down around it.” It needs too much work, and even if Carol were able to fix it all up, no one’s going to want to live next to the El tracks. Mrs. Puro can’t believe Carol herself ever did.

Carter preps a hernia patient named Hartley for surgery while the patient chatters nervously. Carter advises Hartley to have local anesthesia instead of general so he can stay awake and talk to the surgeon during the procedure, since that will help him stay calm. I’m sure this recommendation is only for the patient’s benefit and not at all because the surgeon is Benton, and Carter knows that having to talk to the patient the whole time will drive him crazy.

Doug teases Susan about her bad recent date, then mentions that she has another date tonight, so Mark can laugh about it with him. Helen thinks that Carol wants to sell her house because it makes her think of Shep. Carol says she hadn’t even though of that. She’s enjoying living on her own; she just can’t afford it. Helen suggests that she call her uncle, who’s made a lot of money in real estate. At the very least, he’ll enjoy Carol’s company. Also, he’s sick and old and rich, and he has to leave his money to someone…

Carter’s revenge on Benton works perfectly, and in no time at all, Benton is fed up. Gant tries to distract Hartley with conversation, but Hartley takes more of Carter’s advice, asking about anatomy. Weaver and Mark head to the meeting where the closing announcement will be made. They were supposed to keep it quiet, but Mark told Susan, and Weaver told a bunch of people. Heath now thinks Carter is Thomas, and whispers something that makes Carter laugh.

The big meeting starts, and the woman running it cuts right to the chase: Southside is closing. Some staff members are coming to County, including Anspaugh, who will be the new chief of staff (since County’s current chief is retiring). News spreads through the hospital, and the staff celebrates at the admit desk. Mark notes that everyone’s happier than they’ve looked in a long time. Jeanie points out that they’re especially happy for people who get thrown up on for a living.

Carol has returned for the party, and asks Carter who he thinks Thomas was – Heath’s son? Carter thinks Thomas was Heath’s dog. The thing he whispered to Carter was, “Kibble, kibble, kibble, kibble.” Weaver calls Jerry from the lounge to let him know that Morgenstern isn’t coming to the celebration. He’s moping because he has to work for Anspaugh and thinks things are going to change for the worse. He tries to cheer himself up by asking Weaver on a date. She accepts! This is so weird! Maybe she doesn’t know it’s a date.

Susan runs away as Anspaugh approaches so Mark will have to talk to him alone. Mark flees, too, because he’s a chicken. Anspaugh puts on some jazz. Malik has a special patient for Carter and Carol – Heath’s nurse, who dumped him at the hospital. They scare him with all the possible health problems he might have and all the things they’ll need to do, starting with a barium enema.

Doug tries to butter up a co-worker named Heather, who’s annoyed that he’s canceled on her in the past. She gives in, because…I mean, have you seen him? Carol tells Jeanie that she was glad to help Carter have some fun, since Benton’s been so hard on him lately. Well, not just lately, but yeah, he’s been worse since Carter graduated.

Mark and his date run into Susan and her date out on the waterfront. The dates quickly hit it off with each other. Weaver, Jeanie, Carol, and Connie take a patient who should have gone to Southside if they hadn’t already closed to traumas. When the patient starts bleeding as Benton arrives, he tells Jeanie to leave. Weaver nicely (especially for her) sends Jeanie on an errand to cover up the fact that Benton decided on his own that he doesn’t need her help.

Susan and Mark’s dates may have ditched them, which Susan says will at least be a good story for them to eventually tell their grandchildren. The two of them take some pictures in a photo booth. Jeanie comes back to the trauma room (after the patient dies) and tells Benton to never treat her like that again. Benton doesn’t want her to put patients at risk, even though the odds of transmitting HIV through their work is so small. Jeanie asks if he would have quit his job if he’d tested positive. Benton says yes, and Jeanie points out that it’s a moot point, since he’s not the one who has to live with the disease. He leaves her there alone.

Thoughts: Betty is played by the late Eileen Brennan.

What would be worse, the anxiety involved in being rendered unconscious for surgery, or staying awake and having to experience (and remember) everything involved? I think I would want to be knocked out.

Mark, maybe you’re not having any luck with dating because you’re wearing scrub pants on your dates.

December 11, 2018

ER 2.22, John Carter, M.D.: When Bad Things Happen

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

He’s officially responsible for stuff. I’m scared

Summary: The County staff is jamming to some music on a relatively quiet day in the ER. Mark and Weaver are still discussing whether Susan should be chief resident. Weaver yells at Jerry to turn down the music, but Malik wants to do a verse first. Weaver finally agrees with Mark about Susan, though Mark has had to make a deal for the arrangement.

Susan treats a patient who says her name is June Allyson, so she’s probably not mentally competent. Susan thinks she has Alzheimer’s and wandered away from whoever was supposed to be keeping an eye on her. Mark and Weaver attend a staff meeting with Morgenstern, saying goodbye to an attending who’s moving to Iowa. Weaver has been touted as his replacement, but Mark has hesitated to agree until now. This is the deal he’s made with her: He supports Weaver as attending in exchange for her support of Susan as chief resident.

Carol has asked Shep to see a psychiatrist, but he doesn’t think he needs one. Carol tells him that he’s become so erratic, she worries that he’ll exhibit road rage the next time someone cuts them off in traffic. He tells her she sounds like Riley. Carol says that Riley was right about the circumstances surrounding the investigation into Shep’s behavior, and admits that she lied for him. Shep insists he’s fine and refuses to see a psychiatrist. Carol predicts that something horrible will happen if he doesn’t.

Carter invites Benton to his graduation, which everyone in his family will be attending (including his mythical sister who doesn’t exist after this season). Benton says he didn’t even go to his own graduation, which…sounds exactly like him, and I bet his mom was ticked. Carter says he can come by a cocktail party his father’s throwing for him; the mayor is even supposed to come. Benton thinks Carter’s sucking up, because he doesn’t understand that some people are nice for no reason. He doesn’t see their relationship going beyond teacher and student.

Mark tells Weaver that he did his part and she’s going to be the new attending. She’s excited to have the chance to bring about change (and also get a raise). Mark tries to confirm that Weaver will hold up her end of the bargain and back Susan as chief resident. Weaver suggests someone else, then says she’s joking. Jerry, Chuny, Malik, and Lily aren’t happy with Weaver’s new position, but Mark says he’s happy with the decision.

Paramedics bring in a newborn who was sent home just 12 hours ago, only a day after he was born. Now he’s not breathing. Carol is angry that a hospital would send a mother and baby home so soon after delivery. Lily tells her that hospital is their hospital. Jeanie asks Chuny to draw some of her blood for a test she’s been putting off.

Carter checks on T.C., then asks her doctor, Davitch, about her worsening condition. She’s moved up to the highest priority on the transplant list. Davitch asks Carter to join him while he talks to T.C.’s parents, since Carter’s familiar with the case. Doug comes to examine the newborn, Joseph, and quickly diagnoses him with a heart condition. Carol’s mad that the condition wasn’t caught before Joseph was discharged.

Carter and Davitch tell T.C.’s parents that she’s been moved up the transplant list. Davitch keeps getting paged, so he asks Carter to stay with the parents and answer any questions they have. Davitch doesn’t seem to know Carter, so he doesn’t realize that this is exactly the job for him. Once Joseph is sent to surgery, Doug asks Mark if the rumor is true that Weaver’s going to be the new attending. Mark defends her again. He tells Doug he got a call from a pharmacy about Doug writing a prescription for 100 Percodans for Karen. Doug confirms that it’s a legit prescription; Karen hurt her knee and travels too much to get regular refills.

Al finds Jeanie after an appointment and thanks her for staying with him when he got home from the hospital. He asks her some medical questions, and she tries to give him encouragement, but it’s hard to find anything good in his new HIV diagnosis. Al thinks it’s a little funny that his doctor gave him condoms, since “the horse is kind of out of the barn on that one.” Jeanie doesn’t find the humor there. She tells him she’s getting tested but hasn’t gotten the results yet. Al may have been HIV positive for as long as ten years, so he needs to contact anyone he’s slept with in that time period. It’s a long list.

Carol complains to Weaver and Susan about Joseph not getting the proper care after his delivery. Susan notes that not all serious conditions are apparent right after birth. Carol says that patients trust them; they told Joseph’s mother that it was safe to take him home, and she believed them. Weaver says it’s about money – if they spend it on healthy postpartum mothers, they don’t have it for other patients. June cuts the tension by parading through the waiting area naked, singing “June Is Busting Out All Over.”

Vucelich and Benton wind up in an elevator together, apparently seeing each other for the first time since Benton accused Vucelich of fraud. They discuss Benton being named resident of the year, which he knows was due in part to Vucelich’s recommendation. Vucelich’s study has earned the hospital a ton of money, even though he included the negative outcomes. (They weren’t statistically significant.) Both men dance around the whole scandal without mentioning it outright.

Carter’s about to leave for a fancy lunch with his parents when Jerry tells him T.C.’s parents have left him messages. He puts them off so he doesn’t annoy his father by being late. Morgenstern tells Carter that there’s one spot left for him on a plastic-surgery residency team, which will put him ahead of his peers. This also means he won’t be working under Benton anymore.

Mark tells Susan that Weaver is going to back her as chief resident, which should secure the title for her. Susan and Carol examine a patient named Kenny who has a cough he hasn’t been able to shake. Susan wants to give him a TB test. Mark meets Jen at Doc Magoo’s, where she announces that she and Craig (the guy she cheated on Mark with, I think) are getting married. Hey, do you think Craig knows that Jen and Mark slept together again? I bet he doesn’t!

Doug goes looking for Karen so he can ask about her prescription. He wrote it for 10; she apparently added an extra 0. Karen denies this, but since prescription pads come in triplicate, Doug can easily check his copies and see if she’s lying. She sticks to her story, then gives him the pill bottle and tells him to count the Percodans.

Susan tells Kenny that there’s a density in his lung; it’s not TB, but they’ll need to run more tests. Kenny doesn’t have insurance, and he doesn’t have any extra money to spend, so he’d rather leave than learn more about his condition. Susan and Carol can’t change his mind. Loretta’s back in the ER, having had surgery a few days earlier, but Lydia thinks she’s just scared and needs to talk to Mark to ease her mind.

Susan and Carol had to let Kenny leave, which Carol’s mad about. She argues with Susan about not doing more in terms of billing so Kenny had more options than just walking out. Susan says she did her job, telling the patient his options and letting him made his own decision. Loretta asks Mark to be her kids’ guardian in case something happens to her. She’s not surprised when he declines, though he appreciates being asked. He tells her she’s going to be fine anyway, and Loretta agrees.

Carter goes to T.C.’s room to talk to her parents, but they’ve gone to get food. T.C.’s worried that she’s not going to make it. Carter tells her that her new status on the transplant list means that she gets the next one that’s available. T.C.’s saddened that in order to live, someone else has to die. He reminds her that she’s not responsible for any bad things that lead to a death that gives her a new liver.

T.C. worries that nothing bad will happen this week that leads to a transplant. Carter assures her that bad things always happen around there. (Not the best way to encourage a kid, but okay.) T.C. notes that bad things are already happening to her. Even though he’s already late to get to his graduation, Carter offers to hang around for a while and keep T.C. company.

The nurses are unhappy to learn that Susan hasn’t been named chief resident after all. Mark finds out and confronts Weaver, who says she offered Susan the job, but Susan turned it down. Jeanie corners Benton in the lounge and, before she can chicken out, blurts out that Al has AIDS. (I thought he had HIV? The show seems to go back and forth on that.) Since Jeanie and Benton “were careful but not that careful,” he needs to get tested.

Mark, Carol, and Wendy tend to a girl named Monique who was hit by a car while riding her bike. Morgenstern hands out diplomas at graduation, but Carter isn’t there to get his. He’s playing cards with T.C., pretending he didn’t have anywhere important to be. Monique needs ankle surgery, but her insurance wants her moved, which means she has to be sent across town in an ambulance while her injury is still unstable. Carol is furious, but Mark won’t challenge the insurance company’s decision, since doing so would cost them tens of thousands of dollars. Carol’s response: “I quit.”

She heads straight for the lounge and starts clearing out her locker, listing all the horrible things they’ve had to deal with today. Mark points out that they also treated a ton of people who have nowhere else to go. He warns that Carol will feel awful about this decision in the morning. Carol says she’ll feel great about it.

Carter finds Benton sitting on the floor of a trauma room (ooh, that can’t be clean) and admits that he missed his graduation and cocktail party. Hey, now he has something in common with Benton! Benton says he missed his graduation because he was assisting in surgery. Carter says he was keeping T.C. company while her parents talked to her doctor. Benton points out that now Carter’s the doctor. Carter doesn’t know any more than he did this morning, but now everything’s changed. He’s sad he missed the ceremony.

Mark tracks down Susan and tells her that Carol quit. Susan confirms that she turned down being chief resident, inadvertently screwing up Mark’s deal. She says that every few months she gets a case like Kenny’s that makes her think about how little time we all have, and how we need to figure out how to fill that time. Susan had Susie, but now all she has is work. It’s not enough for her.

Carol heads home and tells Shep she left County. She was getting her shifts cut back and had to work nights too often, so she was sick of the job anyway. She’ll make more money working per diem or in home health care. Shep senses that things are about to end, as he says he wishes that things could have kept going the way they were. Carol says that something bad happened, and he needs to deal with it. If he won’t, she’s done with him. It took her a long time to get her own life together, so if he doesn’t have his together, she can’t take care of him.

Mark tells Doug that Jen’s getting remarried; Mark feels pathetic for being left behind. Doug says he never liked her and only pretended to for Mark’s sake. Mark encourages him to list all of Jen’s horrible qualities. Doug tells Mark that Karen forged the prescription, and he knows he needs to get away from her, but…she’s hot! What can he do? He asks Mark to list her positive qualities.

Carter asks Morgenstern if it’s too late to change his mind about his job for next year. Now he wants to work on Benton’s team. Morgenstern thinks Benton will be pleased to have him on board. He’s even left Carter a present: a white coat with his name on it. Susan invites him to give it a test drive by helping out with a trauma. Carter puts it on, and Susan calls for him to join her, using his new title: Dr. Carter.

Thoughts: ‘Bye, Shep! I won’t miss you.

Trivia: Carter’s middle name is Truman. You know, in case it wasn’t clear that he came from a WASP family.

Carter, T.C. did you a favor. Graduations are BORING. (To be fair, though, I don’t actually remember much of my college graduation. The guy next to me was having an anxiety attack the entire time, and I spent the whole ceremony trying to calm him down.)

Done with season 2! Time for Carla, Anspaugh, and Benton driving an intern to suicide. Good times.

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