April 17, 2018

ER 1.13, Luck of the Draw: Susan vs. Kayson, Round 2

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

Maybe med students shouldn’t be allowed to touch potentially dangerous equipment

Summary: Mark arrives at work at the same time as Susan, who’s nervous because Morgenstern wants to see her about Mr. Vennerbeck’s death. They run into Kayson, who greets Mark and completely ignores Susan. Benton, who’s looking for Carter, is being followed around by a new med student, Jing-Mei Chen (AKA Deb). Benton passes her off to him and runs off to perform surgery without his own clingy student.

Doug’s taking care of a girl named Lucy who was bitten by a hamster. Her aunt, Leslie, has brought her in, and, because she’s a woman with a pulse, she can’t help flirting with Doug. Mark is amazed when Doug doesn’t return her affections. Carol tells Lydia about her weekend ice-fishing (and doing other things) with Tag. Lydia asks if they’ve set a wedding date, which makes Carol tense. She feels like she’s just getting her life back together. She admits that she may have some hesitance about making a life-long commitment. Then she accidentally sticks herself with a needle.

Mark wants to know why Doug didn’t accept what was clearly an invitation to a date with Leslie. Doug says that if it’s only about guaranteed sex, he’d rather play tennis. Mark is very disappointed. Lydia and Wendy try to reassure Carol that her chances of catching HIV from the patient the needle came from are very small. However, she should avoid having unprotected sex for the next six months. Well, at least Carol has an excuse not to get married for the next six months.

A customs agent wants Mark to deal with a detainee named Jorge who swallowed condoms full of cocaine. Mark can’t give Jorge any medication without his consent, but he warns that he could get really sick if any of the condoms break. The customs agent isn’t impressed with Mark’s rudimentary Spanish, which he picked up working in the ER. Doug tends to a boy named Ben who’s in respiratory distress. Ben’s father, Mr. Gaither, says this happened before, when Ben had pneumonia.

Morgenstern tells Susan that he tried to talk Kayson down, but he’s bringing charges against her. She’ll have to appear before a committee next week and defend her actions. Susan argues that she tried to present Mr. Vennerbeck’s history to Kayson, but he wouldn’t listen to her. Morgenstern is concerned that Susan didn’t assert herself. She has a history of deferring to other doctors rather than advocating for her patients. She may not be a good match for the ER. Ben isn’t stabilizing, so Doug takes a chance with some medication. Mr. Gaither isn’t as happy as he should be to hear that his son is going to live.

Mark talks to Carol about her needle stick, joking that he should empty a container of used needles so he can catch up with her (she’s been stuck five times now). He asks if she and Tag have set a date; unlike with Lydia, Carol keeps calm and just says no. Susan, however, is agitated because of her meeting with Morgenstern. Carol talks to a patient named Alan who has organized his medical records so thoroughly that they’re all color-coded. He’s wearing all blue because it’s Monday, and he’d really prefer not to be put in a green exam room.

Ben needs to be admitted to the hospital, so Mr. Gaither sets up some of his things in his room. He’s annoyed that Doug doesn’t have a good idea of what treatments he’ll need. Mr. Gaither starts a metronome, telling Doug that Ben likes rhythm. He was in an accident that left him with a brain injury, and Mr. Gaither likes to surround him with familiar things. He asks if Doug has children, and Doug makes one of his rare references to his son. Mr. Gaither leaves for a job interview.

Mark has passed Jorge along to Carter and Chen, so Carter makes Chen perform the patient’s rectal exam. It’s unpleasant for both of them. As Susan and Carol examine Alan (in a yellow room), Morgenstern invites Benton to cover for a surgeon who will be going out of town. Benton happily accepts, knowing it’ll be good practice for when he’s chief resident. Morgenstern admires his “naked ambition tempered by arrogance.” Benton’s scrubbing in for an operation, but he gets a call from Walt about his mother being missing and has to step out.

Susan looks at one of her patients’ charts and sees that Mark signed it. She checks some others and sees the same thing on them. She goes to find Mark, who’s not seeing any progress with Jorge, probably because the 100+ condoms he swallowed have made his body unable to move anything anywhere. Susan confronts him for signing all her charts, and he reveals that Morgenstern told him to double-check all her work. She asks why he didn’t stand up for her. Mark reminds her that she lost a patient; as chief resident, it’s Mark’s problem, and he has to listen to his boss.

Susan realizes that Mark knew ahead of time what Morgenstern was going to say to her in their meeting. He told Morgenstern that Kayson is hard on her, and he’s not surprised that the result was a lack of communication that led to someone’s death. Mark also agreed with Morgenstern that Susan backs down when she goes up against hard-headed men like Benton and Kayson.

Ben wakes up, so Doug turns on the metronome for him. Wendy shows him that Mr. Gaither signed a do-not-resuscitate order for his son. Susan tells Wendy to give her patient some medication, but she says milligrams when she means micrograms. Wendy timidly corrects her as Mark looks on. A man named Mr. Desmond comes in after having been beaten up for saying derogatory things about people. He explains to Mark that he’s a sociologist studying violence. He says inappropriate things to antagonize his subjects and provoke violence. His insurance premiums are the same as those of NASCAR drivers.

Mr. Gaither returns to the hospital, and Doug tells him that Ben will die – possibly in the next few hours – if he’s not put on a ventilator. If Mr. Gaither allows Doug to treat Ben, he could live for a long time. By signing a DNR, he’s giving up. Mr. Gaither responds by walking out of the room without saying anything.

Benton’s mother has wandered off from her equally elderly caregiver, so he and Walt go looking for her around the city. Walt still thinks Mae should be put in a facility, and Benton still disagrees. They argue about how Walt takes care of all the bills at the house and tends to Mae, but Benton won’t let him make any decisions. Benton reminds Walt that he’s a high school dropout and runs a business the Bentons provided for him. Walt spits out that he takes care of his family and Mae, while Benton only has to take care of himself.

Mr. Desmond picks Carol as his next subject, asking her about her fiancé and wedding plans after noticing her engagement ring. He thinks she can’t commit, possibly because she believes she’s too good for him. Carol gets revenge by pouring peroxide on his cuts. Mr. Desmond tells her she’s high up on his index detailing the time between provocation and assault.

Jorge has popped a condom, so Mark, Carter, and Chen take a crash cart to his room in case he needs it. Chen accidentally shocks Carter with the paddles as she’s handing them over. Hilariously, Mark and Haleh aren’t concerned, since the amount of charge was so low, and they just keep doing their jobs while Carter lies on the floor. Once Jorge is taken care of, Haleh determines that Carter’s injuries are more from bumping his head when he fell than from being shocked.

Carol gets back Alan’s chest x-ray, which doesn’t look good. He has cancer, and he didn’t bother to tell Carol or Susan about it when he came in. He ignores their encouragement to get treatment and asks to be alone. Benton finds Mae at an outdoor ice rink and finally brings up the idea of putting her in a facility. She reminisces about the time they spent at the rink and nearby baseball field when her children were young. In a moment of clarity, she recalls that her husband is dead, then tells Benton she doesn’t want to move into a nursing home.

Susan, Haleh, and Malek tend to a little girl who was shot in a drive-by. Mark comes in to help but lets Susan take the lead. Kayson arrives and criticizes Susan’s technique in a procedure. Susan stands up for herself as Kayson says she can’t do it. She keeps trying but has to admit defeat and get Mark to finish.

Benton goes back to work and rushes to join the operation he was supposed to assist with. While moving Ben to the ICU, Wendy tries to make small talk with Doug, saying that she didn’t know he has a son. Doug admits that he’s never seen the boy and doesn’t even know his name. Carol hears Susan crying in the bathroom, but Susan just wipes her face and walks out like nothing happened. Benton’s too late for surgery with Morgenstern, who chats with his replacement about that piano showroom he mentioned before.

Mr. Gaither tells Doug that he just got offered a job in Detroit and will have to move. He admits that he started thinking about how much easier his life would be if Ben were dead. He wonders what kind of person he is for thinking like that. But for the past two years, Mr. Gaither has taken care of his son on his own, all day every day. He hasn’t been able to work or have a life outside of his son. He loves Ben, but he needs this to end. Doug doesn’t say anything, possibly because he has no place to, considering he doesn’t even know his own child’s name.

Carter’s just now regaining consciousness from his trauma during Jorge’s trauma. Chen and Haleh tell him that Chen used him as a practice patient so she could hone her skills at giving rectal exams. Haleh corrects her recordkeeping – she should write that Carter has normal male genitalia, not average male genitalia. Carter grabs the paperwork and realizes they’re just kidding.

Carol’s next patient is a boxer, and she sticks him in Mr. Desmond’s room for her own amusement. Mark apologizes to Susan for not giving her a heads-up about Morgenstern’s meeting or his orders to co-sign her charts. He thinks it’s understandable that she was unable to do the procedure on the girl with Kayson staring at her. Susan thinks he’s just apologizing to try to make himself feel better. He extends an olive branch by inviting her to Doc Magoo’s, the ER staff’s favorite hangout, after work.

Carol finds Alan in the dreaded green room, thinking about taking more chances. As Mark and Doug are getting ready to leave for the night, Carol’s boxer punches Mr. Desmond, making him fly into the hallway. A bunch of the staff goes to Doc Magoo’s, and Carol announces that she and Tag will be getting married on May 18th. She also won 10 bucks in the lottery, a 1 in 250 chance – the same chance she has of contracting HIV from her needle stick. Doug leads a toast to his ex, and the co-workers start goofing off together. Susan watches from her car, moping instead of joining in the fun.

Thoughts: Leslie is played by Kristin Davis.

Chen complains later in the series about being called Deb, so I want it on the record that that’s how she introduces herself to Carter and Benton.

Speaking of Chen, she’s like a completely different character between season 1 and season 6. Though, really, the same can be said for Carter.

Jorge swallowed 185 condoms full of cocaine. 185. How is he not throwing up everything he’s ever eaten?

I kind of love Morgenstern’s obsession with the piano showroom. I wonder if he’ll ever go in.

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April 10, 2018

ER 1.12, Happy New Year: Susan vs. Kayson, Round 1

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

Really, Susan, you should be glad that this mess is almost out of your life

Summary: Carter runs down the street to the ER to tell Mark that there’s a man out in the street who appears to have been shot. The two of them and Carol take a gurney to the man and start working on him. Carol peg him as a gangbanger who was ditched on the street after being shot by a rival. Mark allows Carter to do an intubation, since he’s observed dozens of them. With Mark and Carol’s help, Carter does it well. He wants to accompany the patient up to the OR, but Benton says it’ll already be crowded enough.

Sometime later, Hicks comes to the ER to check out one of Mark’s patients. Another, Mrs. Davies, insists that she doesn’t need to stick around, though she’s already been under observation for hours. Lydia’s struggling to stick to her New Year’s resolution to quit smoking, so Bob gives her some encouragement. Doug tries to examine a boy who injured his eye while having a paintball fight with his brother. He tells their mother to keep the paint away from them; she’s offended, like she needs that kind of parenting advice.

Al brings in a homeless patient named Gilbert who’s uninterested in seeing a doctor. He’s also racist, and Al smacks him for throwing a slur at Hicks. Susan tries to talk to Kayson about a patient, but he won’t even slow down on his way to the OR. She wants him to see Mrs. Davies so she can finally leave.

Benton tells Carter that the patient he brought in died in surgery. Carter points out that this is supposed to be his surgical rotation, so maybe he should be doing surgeon things instead of Benton’s scut work. Benton doesn’t see the point in breaking tradition, since this is what all medical students do. Carter notes that he’s there to learn. When Benton asks if he’s learned anything, Carter demonstrates that he’s at least learned to keep his mouth shut at the right time.

Gilbert’s legs are severely frostbitten, though he insists they’re fine. He does perk up at the thought of a warm whirlpool bath, though. Kayson finally comes back to see Mrs. Davies, telling Susan she should have been released hours ago. Chloe comes by, and Kayson takes advantage of her interruption to dismiss himself. He tells Susan to try harder to get his attention next time. Susan tries to pay it forward with brushing someone off by telling Chloe she can’t talk, but Chloe blurts out that she and her boyfriend, Ronnie, are moving to Texas.

Susan takes a break so she can interrogate Chloe about her decision to move. Ronnie doesn’t have a job yet, and the two haven’t found a place to live. Now that Chloe’s pregnant, she needs to make solid plans. Chloe guesses that Susan doesn’t think she should have the baby. She refuses to stay with their parents, since they think she always makes the wrong decisions. Realizing there’s nothing else she can do right now, Susan gives her sister her coat.

A firefighter comes in after being injured in a fire, and his colleagues watch anxiously outside his trauma room. Peter gets coffee with his sister, Jackie, who wants to find a care facility for their mother. Jackie just got a new job, which means she can’t be with Mae all the time. Peter thinks she’s making up for the fact that she had to look after him after their mother went back to work. He doesn’t want to send their mother away, so he tells Jackie he’ll find other arrangements. She complains that he’s suddenly stepping up after leaving everything to Jackie and Walt for six years. She tells him they all have to make the decision together.

Carter tells Mark that he doesn’t think Benton is interested in supervising him anymore. Mark advises him to get used to it, since he’ll probably have worse supervisors in the future. Doug watches Carol longingly as she goes to chat with one of the firefighter’s colleagues. He’s only been on the job three weeks and now isn’t sure he can handle it. Carol tells him to get some rest first.

A patient named Mr. Vennerbeck thought he had a heart attack, but Susan doesn’t see any damage. He tells her he came in two months ago with back pain and was given some medication. She doesn’t think he needs it again, since his pain has gone away, but she can’t sign him out yet.

Carol looks for help with a trauma, and Mark tells her to take Carter. He runs into Benton as he’s getting his coat to meet a helicopter, and the two go up to the roof together. Carter volunteers to intubate the patient, and Benton allows him to after Mark indicates that it’s okay. Morgenstern comes to get the patient from the trauma room, and Carter presents the case like a pro. Benton rewards him by inviting him to scrub in on an operation that night.

Susan has to again flag down Kayson to get his input on Mr. Vennerbeck. Kayson says he can be released, so Susan sends the patient home. Mr. Vennerbeck is annoyed that he had to wait around so long, and Susan apologizes. Hicks overhears and tells her not to worry about getting people’s approval. They take as long as they take to make sure they’re thorough, and they shouldn’t apologize for it.

Doug tries to break up an argument between two pregnant sisters who want to give their babies the same name. Mark enlists Susan to help out with a patient – this one also pregnant – who’s on drugs. She goes into labor while they’re examining her. They try to rush her to labor and delivery, but the baby is breech and starts coming out in the hallway.

Carter helps Doug and Carol with an elderly couple found unconscious in their apartment, probably from carbon dioxide poisoning. Hicks talks Mark through delivering the breech baby, who at least sounds healthy. Lydia comes in to tell Susan that Mr. Vennerbeck is back in the ER. She realizes he has a murmur and may have had some sort of rupture. An angry Kayson comes to help out, telling Susan she’s not needed on the case anymore.

I guess the theme of the episode is pregnancy, because Mark is now counseling a woman who’s crying over the news that she’s pregnant. She tells him she wants the baby; it’s her husband who’s going to have an issue with this. Turns out he’s infertile. Mark doesn’t know what to say, so he walks out. Susan goes over some x-rays with Carter, who notices that she’s distracted. She sends him to scrub in early for surgery, knowing Benton will be early, too. She advises him to remember the names of three body parts, though he doesn’t get why.

Carol checks on the elderly couple, who are both going to be fine. Doug’s sitting with them and says they’re lucky to have been together so long. We get it, you love her; can we move on? Benton walks Carter through scrubbing in for the first time, as it’s a lot more intensive than just washing your hands. Morgenstern and Benton start the procedure without him, talking about how Morgenstern saw a piano showroom on the highway that he’d never noticed before. Shirley the scrub nurse, who will pop up throughout the series, helps Carter finish getting ready, but he immediately contaminates himself by touching Benton’s shoulder.

Doug ends his day with some noisy sex with Linda, teasing that he can’t remember her name. She thinks someday he really will forget her name. He says it sounds like she believes they won’t last. As she goes to get ready for a trip, Doug says he treated a couple who’ve been married for 48 years. Linda says that if they were the marrying kind, they’d already be married to other people. She thinks he’s too afraid of responsibility and aging and all that stuff that comes with real life.

Carter’s hesitant to get too close to the operation, but Morgenstern is more concerned with him learning than Benton is. He asks Carter about some anatomical feature, and thanks to the three body parts Susan told him to remember, Carter knows the answer. Plus, now he looks smart in front of his boss.

Mark and Susan make eggs in the hospital kitchen and talk about Chloe’s big move. He slams her for not being supportive of Chloe’s plans, but Susan knows that Chloe doesn’t get the realities of parenthood. Mark’s optimistic that having a baby will turn her life around. Susan says that Chloe has never been responsible, and though Susan loves her, she shouldn’t have a child.

Kayson summons Susan to the doctors’ lounge and spits out that Mr. Vennerbeck is dead. He shouldn’t have been released in the first place, considering his condition when he came in two months ago. Susan says his diagnosis then was muscle pain, not anything related to his heart. Kayson says he probably had atypical angina, and Susan should have mentioned it to him. The case was more complicated than Susan thought, and as a resident, she didn’t have the knowledge to present everything to Kayson that she should have. Now Mr. Vennerbeck is dead, and his wife is consulting an attorney. Kayson wants a full investigation.

Thoughts: Chloe, who lives in Chicago, doesn’t have a winter coat, but Susan only gets concerned about it just before Chloe moves to Texas? Uh, okay.

Jackie works for a parks and rec department, and now I’m dreaming of an ER/Parks and Recreation crossover.

Morgenstern and Benton play a game involving foreign capitals while they’re operating, like surgery isn’t difficult enough without throwing in some geography.

March 27, 2018

ER 1.10, Blizzard: It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chaos

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

An army ready for battle

Summary: Jerry sings “Jingle Bells” on his way to work, happy that it’s snowing. The trauma rooms are currently all empty, and there hasn’t been a patient all shift, so Wendy’s amusing herself by rollerblading through the halls. Elsewhere in the hospital, Mark and Susan use headlamps to sneak around in the dark and play a prank on a sleeping Carter. Connie decides to use her downtime to put up Christmas decorations, while Haleh does a crossword puzzle. Lydia’s stuck there because of the snow.

Carter wakes up while Susan and Mark are scheming, but goes back to sleep when they tell him they’re doing inventory. A news report says the snowstorm could be huge, but no one at the hospital seems worried. Mark and Susan use the intercom at the front desk to summon Carter to a trauma room, then gather the nurses to watch as he stumbles out of bed. He falls over because Mark and Susan put a cast on his leg.

A snowball fight breaks out outside the ER, and Carol gets caught in it when she shows up for work. Malik entertains everyone with some rapping while Jerry and the nurses play soccer on rolling chairs. Mookie compliments Malik’s rhymes but looks down on his peach scrubs. Bob helps put up decorations, looking confused about the reindeer. Carter, still wearing the cast, explains that they pull Santa’s sleigh. Mark and Susan tell him he’ll have to wait for the cast to dry before he removes it.

Lydia pages the ER staff to the desk so Carol can show everyone her engagement ring. Doug arrives with Linda and attempts to maintain a poker face when he hears the news. It goes from 0 to awkward really fast. Linda gushes about their Caribbean vacation and complains that Doug just lounged around all week. Carol thinks that sounds like fun.

“If you had an alien baby, would it show up on a pregnancy test?” a temp clerk wonders as Mark does some paperwork. He takes a call from a man named Mr. Blinker whose wife is in labor but doesn’t want to come to the hospital – she’s enjoying watching the snow. Mark tells him to call an ambulance. Linda tries to leave, then comes back in to use the phone, as her Lexus is snowed in thanks to a plow. She sees Carol’s ring and tells her it probably cost about $12,000.

Mookie thinks that since there are no patients, he shouldn’t have to work. Haleh disagrees. As the day progresses, there’s still nothing to do, so the staff plays another round of wheely-chair soccer. Carol gets a call about a huge pile-up on the highway that resulted in 50 to 100 casualties. Since Mercy Hospital’s power is out, all the victims may be sent to County. The staff watches a news report about the accident and gears up for a suddenly busy day.

As soon as patients start coming in, things get chaotic. Doug and Mark use walkie-talkies to communicate while Doug triages people. Everyone helps out everyone else, moving people around quickly so they can clear up space for other patients. Even Jerry and Linda are called into action; he bandages a boy’s forehead while she answers phones. A guy walks in holding a bag containing his own thumb and gets an express ticket to the OR.

Carter has trouble communicating with his patient, Mrs. Thui. A police officer brings in a little girl he found alone in the snow. A man comes in missing a leg, but unlike the guy with the thumb, he doesn’t have the limb with him. Mookie walks around wearing headphones and taking in all the trauma. For the first time, he realizes how intense the ER can be. The unidentified little girl from the snow is still crying, so Haleh sings “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” to calm her.

The snow doesn’t stop Patrick from making his way to the ER for a visit. A firefighter gives Morgenstern a ride so he can help out with some of the patients. One of Div’s patients, Regina, tells Doug that aliens implanted a device in her nose. I wonder what the temp clerk would say about that? Doug puts a senior doctor named Flint to work doing things like stitches, which he hasn’t done in years. Doug also tries to get a woman to deliver some bedpans, but she introduces herself as Dr. Hicks, the new ER attending.

Mookie helps Benton stop his patient’s bleeding in a trauma room. Benton realizes that the man, Dexter, is someone he knows from his old neighborhood. The temp clerk attempts to sign out, since her eight-hour shift is over. Mark’s patient has chest pain, but not from a heart attack – he was lighting a cigarette when his car crashed, and the lighter is now embedded in his chest. “Ouch,” Mark understates.

While Doug tries to revive Mr. Ramos, a man he thought was stable, a seemingly okay patient complains about having to wait for an ice pack. Carter critiques Flint’s stitches, giving us a glimpse of the arrogant doctor he’ll become in the future. Linda puts her wealth to good use by ordering a bunch of pizzas. Patrick plays with the little girl from the snow, then plays “Deck the Halls” over the hospital’s intercom.

Mr. Blinker calls the ER again, and Mark talks to him while trying to help Doug revive Mr. Ramos. He tells Mr. Blinker to disregard his wife’s wishes and physically carry her to the ER. A nun looks on as Mark tells Doug that they need to let Mr. Ramos go. Doug chastises himself for not recognizing that the man’s injuries were serious.

The final patient from the pile-up comes in, and Carter recognizes his name; he’s Mrs. Thui’s husband. Mr. Thui’s confused, since she wasn’t in the accident with him – he’d called her to pick him up. The nun asks to pray over Mr. Ramos’ body, and some of the staff watch reverently. Hicks joins Benton as he works on Dexter, remarking that she’s heard about him. The man who wants an ice pack complains again about the wait while the doctors try to shock Dexter back into rhythm.

Susan’s patient needs immediate surgery for an abdominal aortic aneurysm, but all the surgeons are currently operating. She decides that Benton can perform the procedure in the ER. When she goes to get him, Hicks gives her some instructions. Bob, who’s been taking in all the trauma silently all day, watches as the patient, Mr. Morris, codes. Something in her clicks on and she grabs some equipment and does the procedure herself. The nurses are stunned. When Susan returns, they tell her that Bob saved the patient. Bob runs outside, her hands still covered in blood.

The parents of the girl from the snow come claim her, and Patrick joins them in a group hug. Also now at the hospital: Dexter’s leg. Hicks wants to get started on reattaching it, and she asks Benton to join her in turning the trauma room into an OR. Morgenstern compliments Susan on saving Mr. Morris; she doesn’t tell him who really did the procedure. Carol takes a patient to Carter, who’s trying to remove his cast by himself. The patient, a motorcyclist who often crashes, tries to remove it for him.

While Doug gives Mr. Ramos’ wife the news of his death, Carter finds Bob crying outside. She tells him she’ll never be a doctor in the States. She reveals that in her country, she was a vascular surgeon. She hasn’t taken the board exam in the States, so she’s not permitted to operate yet. She’s afraid that if word gets out that she operated without her certification, she’ll get in trouble. Since the patient lives, Carter thinks the board will be grateful. He offers to help her with her English for the exam.

Patrick puts on “The 12 Days of Christmas” as Mark and Doug go in to help Hicks and Benton operate on Dexter. Mr. Blinker calls again, telling Mark that his wife is ready to deliver. Mark walks him through it, and the doctors can hear the baby’s first cries through the phone as they successfully finish the operation.

Carol checks on Doug, knowing that news of her engagement and the loss of his patient have made for a tough day. He tells her everything’s fine, but it’s definitely not. Linda watches them, then asks Carol if she thinks everyone has one person out there who’s perfect for them. If so, Carol is Doug’s.

Hicks praises the staff for their great work as they get ready for a pizza dinner, courtesy of Linda. Carter brings Bob back in and everyone applauds her. Patrick puts “The Christmas Song” on and dims the lights for a cozy atmosphere. Despite the craziness of the day, everyone’s relaxing and enjoying their time together. As Mark heads home, the Blinkers finally arrive at the hospital with their new son, grateful to Mark for his help.

Thoughts: Hicks is played by C.C.H. Pounder.

Benton, maybe don’t call an orthopedic surgeon a “bone-crusher” in front of a patient.

The guy with the lighter in his chest is waaaaay too calm about it.

I’m really confused about the Thuis’ storyline. Maybe something got cut? I don’t get why Mrs. Thui was at the hospital. Did she crash her car while going to get her husband? Why don’t they ever explain it?

March 6, 2018

ER 1.7, Another Perfect Day: Living Arrangements

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

This wouldn’t be a bad date, if it were…actually a date

Summary: For once, we don’t start the episode with someone being woken up. Instead, we open with Jerry abandoning the front desk because he’s trying to do a bunch of things at once. A patient named Patrick answers a ringing phone, talks for a few moments, then hangs up. Benton tells him to go sit somewhere else, but Patrick, who appears to have developmental delays, doesn’t listen. He spins around in Jerry’s chair, then falls off.

In the lounge, Carter makes a phone call about an apartment. Doug nabs a free bagel, then puts it back in the basket when Carter tells him Tag brought them in. Haleh tells Benton that a stabbing victim is coming in, so Benton gives Carter some instructions to help out. Benton mentions an interview he has that afternoon about the fellowship he and Langworthy both want. He thinks Carter believes Langworthy will get it, but Benton thinks he has a chance.

Benton runs the stabbing victim’s trauma, making the decision to create a surgical airway in the ER (AKA a crike), despite Haleh and Connie’s hesitance. Benton does everything confidently but calmly, and Morgenstern praises him for his success. Since Benton’s fellowship interview is just hours away, this has to be good for his chances.

Carter gets a call back about the apartment, but it’s not available anymore. He tells Jerry that he’s been living at home, but his father things he’s a freeloader. Jerry says he found a place through a patient. When an 85-year-old man died of a heart attack, Jerry grabbed his apartment. Benton learns that his fellowship meeting has been pushed back a couple hours. Haleh tries to assign him a patient, insisting that he take the case when Benton tries to hand it off to Carter. After she leaves, Benton overrules her. Jerry adds his own case – a man in his ’90s who lives in a nice neighborhood.

Mark sleeps in a little, and when he wakes up, Jen isn’t in any rush to see him off to work. Back at the hospital, Susan and Carol tend to Patrick, who has minor injuries from a fall but didn’t hurt his head because he was wearing a helmet. He’s excited that he gets to have an x-ray taken of his arm, and that he’ll get to keep the picture.

As they leave, Carol comments that the patients are sweeter than the guys she dates. Susan confirms that she’s been going out with Div; she thought it was a secret, but everyone’s seen them having lunch together all the time. Carol tells Susan that Div is taking her out for her birthday tonight and wants her to wear a black dress she owns. Susan asks if Div put it in the hospital newsletter. “The bulletin board,” Carol teases. “I will kill him!” Susan exclaims. “…After dinner.”

Doug asks Jerry if Linda’s been around, but she hasn’t. Carter goes to see the patient Benton gave him, a teenager who goes by the street name Slice. The cop who brought him in, Al Grabarsky, is less interested in Slice than he is in Lydia. He goes out to chat with her while Slice uses some sort of tool to try to pick his handcuff lock.

Malik tells Susan that a motorcycle rider hit by a truck is coming in, but when she goes to greet the ambulance, she instead gets ambushed by a bunch of nurses and doctors wanting to wish her a happy birthday. They give her flowers and blown-up gloves with faces drawn on them. While everyone’s distracted, Carol and Tag slip off to the roof to make out. He wants them to move back in together (I think she moved out after her suicide attempt), but Carol’s been hesitant to agree. She wants to move slowly and make absolutely sure that’s the right decision. He tells her that if she has a problem with their relationship, she needs to deal with it.

Doug goes back to Jerry to ask again about Linda, who still hasn’t called. Mark finally makes it in, pretending he had car trouble. Doug knows better, but he thinks it’s nice. Al is still chatting with Lydia, showing her pictures of his dogs. When Haleh learns that Slice (real name: Mookie; I’d use a nickname, too) is still in the ER, being seen by Carter instead of Benton, she gets mad. Slice is equally mad when he learns that, as an intern, Carter isn’t getting paid to stitch him up.

Susan tells Div that he shouldn’t have said anything to Doug about their date; Doug is apparently a big gossip. Malik approaches to talk to Div about a patient, but it’s the third time Malik has brought him up, and Div is fed up. He claims not to have time to see the patient, though he has time to chat with Susan, so… This is early-season Malik, so he says nothing. Later-season Malik wouldn’t put up with this crap, and Div’s just lucky he didn’t snap at Haleh, or he wouldn’t have a head anymore.

Carol summons Doug for an incoming trauma case, a 12-year-old boy pulled from the lake after a boat collision. Like Benton, Doug runs things calmly but decisively, and Carol is right in step with him. Even when the boy’s heart stops, the two keep their cool and send the boy off to surgery in just a couple of minutes. Left alone in the ER, the two compliment each other, moving closer and closer together until they kiss. Doug apologizes, but Carol says he wasn’t alone in the act.

Patrick’s ready to go home, but he wants to come back and visit sometime. Doug sees Carol and Tag talking like nothing just happened. Jerry tells him that Linda hasn’t come by, but Doug has almost forgotten who that is. Mark wishes Benton good luck on his interview, but Benton no longer seems confident about it. Haleh then confronts him in the men’s room for passing off his patient to Carter. Benton asks if he’s supposed to mentor every gangbanger who comes in. Haleh says she’s never asked him to do so before. She’s known Slice since he was a sweet little kid, and she’d like him to go back to being that boy.

Mark has a patient who’s in a coma, but Mark can’t figure out why. Carter does some brainstorming with him and figures out that the man might have had a seizure. That with the man’s fever leads Carter to guess that he has meningitis. Carter’s never done a lumbar puncture before, so Mark gives him the opportunity.

Benton runs into Langworthy before his interview, for which he’s changed into a suit. They laugh over the candidate who’s currently being interviewed, agreeing that he’s incompetent. Since Langworthy has surgery to perform soon, Morgenstern lets her do her interview before Benton. Mark talks Carter through a successful lumbar puncture, calling it a champagne tap. Connie explains that that means Carter’s resident has to buy him a bottle of champagne. Mark says the nurse is supposed to do it.

Mark then goes across the street to Doc Magoo’s to meet Jen. She has a meeting that night, so she’ll need the car to go back to Milwaukee. She’s worried that she’s not up to her job and will blow this great shot. They go through their schedules, trying to figure out when they can see each other again, now that Jen and Rachel are spending most of their time in Milwaukee. Mark tries to assure both of them that they’ll make their new living arrangements work.

It’s finally time for Benton’s interview, but his résumé isn’t as impressive as the fellowship team would hope. The interview is over faster than it took Doug and Carol to stabilize the boy after the boat collision. Jerry leaves for the day, giving Lydia a note to give to Carter about a possible apartment. She tells him there are a couple available in her building, too. Haleh tells Benton that she’s hired Slice for a program that will allow him to do community service and stay out of juvie. Benton will be his supervisor, whether he likes it or not.

Linda finally shows up, so now Doug has someone to flirt with and take his mind off of Carol. He and Susan take a couple digs at each other about their personal lives. Chloe arrives to be annoying again and try to get Susan to come to a club with her and her latest boyfriend. Mark gives Carter a bottle of champagne to celebrate his first great LP, and Lydia gives him Jerry’s note and the info that there are two other possible places for him to live in her building. Carter says it’s the perfect day.

Not for Susan, though, as Chloe and her boyfriend have passed out in the lounge. Susan asks what they’re on, but Chloe says they just drank vodka. Susan confronts her sister for stealing her TV and VCR. Chloe says Susan’s just like their parents, always criticizing her. Susan says she was treated the same as her sister; she had to prove herself just like Chloe did. Chloe starts screaming about how Susan doesn’t have to worry about getting a job and finding place to sleep like she does. She puts her hand through a window and starts screaming more.

Once Chloe’s calm (probably through the magic of drugs) and getting stitched up, Div sits down with her to talk through her problems. Susan decides not to stay for the conversation. Outside, Mark finds Doug playing basketball, and they talk about Linda, who Doug thinks might be too “perky” for him. Lately, he’s been more attracted to withdrawn, confused women. Div tries to cheer Susan up, but she’s not longer in a mood to celebrate her birthday.

Benton praises Carol for how well she and Doug took care of their trauma patient together. She finds Doug and tells him the boy will be fine, then announces that she told Tag she would move back in with him. Doug wants to know when she made this decision. Carol says their kiss was an accident, but Doug says there are no accidents. “Thanks for letting me know,” he says coolly.

Susan’s up on the roof, sneaking a cigarette, when Carter comes up looking for someone to share his champagne. He tells her she’s not the only person with a crazy family. (Oh, Carter. Your family’s not crazy. They’re just super-rich WASPs.) Carter says he comes up to the roof a lot to get a break from Benton. But thanks to Mark, he’s finally had a good day. Susan encourages Carter to call the doctors by their first names, though he notes that she calls him by his last name. Carter asks about Chloe’s boyfriend, joking that he was going to ask her out. Susan tries out calling him John, but it doesn’t sound right to her. They end their very different days with a drink.

Thoughts: Patrick: “Knock knock.” Carol: “Who’s there?” Patrick: “Patrick.” Carol: “Patrick who?” Patrick: “…Me! Patrick!” Can he stay?

Men everywhere, please take note of Al’s flirting methods. You can’t go wrong with dog pictures.

You have to feel a little sorry for Tag. I  mean, imagine having to compete with Doug.

I assume Langworthy was going to be a love interest for Benton, but something fell through, so they brought Jeanie in for him later instead.

February 13, 2018

ER 1.4, Hit and Run: Maybe Carter Can Teach Doug How to Show His Emotions

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

Try not to focus on how this kid was also an evil character on “Buffy”

Summary: I guess all season 1 episodes have to feature someone being woken up, because this one starts with Benton waking Carter. Carter asks if he’ll ever get used to having to function on just a few hours of sleep. Benton claims that he gets sluggish if he sleeps more than three hours. Doug asks Mark how his day off was; Mark complains that Jen and Rachel have gone to Detroit for a job interview. Doug thinks that Mark sees Susan as a temptation.

Susan’s patient is ahead of his time, in that he’s too busy talking on his cell phone to speak to her. Doug’s patient is a young boy named Ozzie whose mother thinks he’s having trouble hearing. In reality, Ozzie just can’t hear the voices that his mother hears, like those of her dead mother and Princess Diana. Doug tells Carol to get a psych consult. Ozzie’s worried that they’ll be separated, which they probably should be, at least temporarily, while his mother’s yelling at people who aren’t there.

Carter presents a patient to Benton, and surprisingly, Benton agrees with his ideas for treatment. A woman named Vilma comes in with chest pain and a history of heart problems. Doug mentions to Benton that he and Dr. Langworthy are both vying for the same fellowship; since Langworthy is a year ahead, she may have an edge. She also knows the answer to a medical question Benton has. Both doctors jump on the next trauma case, a 17-year-old victim of a hit-and-run.

Vilma’s in a lot of pain, but after she burps, she starts feeling better. I hope her health insurance covers that. Div talks with Ozzie’s mother, who stopped taking the medication that kept the voices at bay. She’ll need to be admitted, which means someone needs to make arrangements for Ozzie. Carol tells Doug that a social worker’s calling a group home. Benton and Langworthy’s patient has been pulseless for more than half an hour, so they reluctantly call his time of death. Carter, who tried to help out, is saddened, but Haleh reminds him that patients die all the time.

Susan tries again with her patient, Harry, who’s been having abdominal pain on and off for a year. He’s never seen his doctor about it because he’s too busy working. Harry interrupts the examination to take another phone call. Benton sends Carter to get breakfast, but Langworthy hijacks Carter to tell him to track down their hit-and-run patient’s family. Benton complains about Langworthy’s power grab, telling Carter to report back to him, not her.

Ozzie’s mother is taken away, kicking and yelling, as he looks on. She even bits Div as she fights her admission to the psych ward. Ozzie takes off, but only Carol notices. Mark determines that Vilma’s heart is fine, but she has an arm spasm that makes him realize that her internal defibrillator is misfiring. She’ll have to see a cardiologist after all. Susan treats Div’s bite as he complains about the mistreatment he gets from patients. Ozzie’s hiding out in the exam room and listens in.

Carter doesn’t have much to go on for the hit-and-run patient’s identity; he’s going to have to match him with a yearbook photo. He wishes he could do more. As he’s heading off to find Benton, he comes across an electric wheelchair moving around by itself. Tag looks at a patient for Doug, then mentions that Doug’s been “attentive” to Carol since her return. Doug tries to pretend it’s not a big deal.

Susan tells Harry that he may have ulcerative colitis or irritable bowel syndrome. He’ll need to decrease stress in his life, which he knows he can’t do. I mean, he has to sell ten million…somethings so he can go to Palm Springs! What could be more important? Benton’s brother-in-law, Walt, stops by after fixing up Benton’s car. Carter eavesdrops as Walt talks about the date he’s taking Benton’s sister Jackie on that night. Benton will be staying with his mother, who has undisclosed problems.

Carol finds Ozzie in the exam room and tells him that the doctors are going to try to make his mom better. Ozzie’s upset because Doug said they could stay together, but they’ve already been separated. Carol invites him to hang out with her while they find out when he can see his mom. Harry tells Susan he’ll follow up with a specialist, then tries to make a “business machine” sale. (How specific.)

As Vilma’s being taken through the lobby, her arm spasms again and she knocks over a tray Carter’s carrying, spilling urine samples everywhere. Another electric wheelchair starts running by itself. Mark realizes that Harry’s cell phone is to blame for the wheelchairs malfunctioning and for Vilma’s defibrillator misfiring. Oh, technology.

Carter gets a yearbook from the hit-and-run victim’s high school and prepares to figure out who he is. The task makes him emotional. Carter IDs the patient as Steven Tierney and sees that they had a few things in common. Benton tells Carter to call Steven’s parents but let Langworthy tell them their son is dead.

Doug wonders if Mark has ever considered hooking up with Susan, despite being married to Jen. What if Jen took a job and moved away? What if Jen cheated first? (Ooh, foreshadowing!) Doug basically offers to play matchmaker if Mark ever wants his services. Mark’s next patient is a man with chest pains who happens to be handcuffed to a barely dressed woman. Jerry seems amused. Carol leaves Ozzie with him to look at pictures of diseased body parts.

It turns out that Mark’s patient, Neil, isn’t married to the woman he’s handcuffed to. Jerry discovers this when Neil’s wife shows up looking for him. The handcuffed woman panics, revealing that Neil’s wife is her boss. Benton examines one of Susan’s patients, then berates her for calling him in for a case of arthritis. Susan insists that her problem is surgical, but Benton disagrees. Jerry goes looking for Neil’s wife, but she’s missing. He realizes that Ozzie is missing, too.

Carter calls the Tierneys, telling them that Steven was in an accident and is in serious condition. While Neil’s wife wanders around, Doug asks Carol to make a call for him about a patient from a few months ago. She responds coldly, and he calls her on her behavior. She tells him he shouldn’t have lied to Ozzie about being able to stay with his mother, even though it was obvious they would have to be separated. It’s just like Doug to make something up so he could avoid a big, emotional scene.

Susan’s arthritis patient definitely needs surgery, so she tells Haleh to page Morgenstern. Malik uses bolt-cutters to remove Neil and his mistress’ handcuffs just before Neil’s wife comes in. Unfortunately, the cuff itself doesn’t come off of Neil’s wrist, and his wife sees it. Mark, Lydia, Connie, and Malik play dumb when she asks to see her husband’s clothes. She easily figures out what’s going on and busts the mistress, Priscilla. Neil will probably not be going to his own home when he’s released from the hospital.

Morgenstern blasts Susan for not getting a surgical consult for her patient, whose appendix has ruptured. Benton is mature enough to admit that he examined the patient but didn’t think she needed surgery. Since Morgenstern wants Langworthy, not Benton, to assist him in surgery, Benton has to go with Carter to tell the Tierneys that their son is dead. But when they go into the trauma room to see the body, they tell the doctors that the boy isn’t their son. Carter’s life flashes before his eyes.

A guy named Bob comes in with some steaks for Mark, who saved his life a year earlier. He declares August 25th Dr. Greene Day. The steaks come with a side of bear hug. Mark offers to share the food with Susan, but she already has a date. She reveals that she’s been dating Div. A drug addict is going through withdrawal a few feet away, and Susan comments that he sounds like a car alarm that won’t shut off. She and Mark start humming in harmony with the addict.

Carter finally figures out the hit-and-run victim’s real identity and tells his real parents that he’s dead. I mean, I assume they’re the right parents and he got the right kid this time. I don’t think Benton would let him make the same mistake twice. Morgenstern berates him again for missing the appendicitis diagnosis, knowing Benton didn’t listen to the patient like Susan did. But he wants him to assist in another procedure, so he’s not going to hold a grudge.

Tag summons Doug to where he’s chatting with Ozzie so they can tell the child that he has to go to a group home. Doug finally tells Ozzie that his mother’s sick and needs to go to a special hospital to get better. Ozzie says he hates his mother, then breaks my heart by crying. Carol takes in the sight of her ex being a sweet guy to a cute little kid.

Benton tells Langworthy that he got to do surgery with Morgenstern. Unfortunately, that means he didn’t get off work in time to look after his mother, so Walt and Jackie had to miss their anniversary dinner. Walt’s ticked that Benton doesn’t pull his weight with his mom. Benton says he forgot and will come by on his next three nights off. Walt chastises him for “forgetting” about his family.

Jerry runs into Carter outside, and Carter confides that he might quit. He can’t even remember why he wanted to be a doctor. Benton told Carter’s advisor that he was doing an “adequate” job, but Carter figures that assessment will change after his big screw-up today. Suddenly a car screeches up carrying a woman in labor. Carter starts to deliver the baby while Jerry goes inside to get help. Carter completes the delivery himself and, I assume, now has a reason to come back to work tomorrow.

A tipsy Doug takes Carol some flowers after work, but a half-dressed Tag answers the door, and Doug immediately regrets the decision. He pretends that his car broke down and he wanted to come in while he waited for a tow truck. The flowers are for his date. He flees, but Carol chases him to the El and yells at him for thinking that she would accept this gesture as romantic. Did he think she would immediately invite him back into her life and her bed?

Doug apologizes, but Carol’s not done. She thinks he believes he still loves her, but will eventually get distracted by someone younger. She won’t let him put her through the same things he put her through before. Doug apologizes again, but Carol’s done listening.

Thoughts: Walt is played by Ving Rhames.

Early/mid-’90s cell phones will always be funny to me. They’re so big! Why did we think they needed to be so big?

I think I found the humming scene funnier than I should have. I guess doctors have to make their own fun.

January 23, 2018

ER 1.1, 24 Hours: Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 8:48 am by Jenn

This show is brought to you by the color sea green

Summary: Dr. Mark Greene is woken by Nurse Lydia Wright at 5 a.m. so he can see a patient. He tells her to give the patient to an intern, but she tells him it’s Dr. Ross. Mark heads to the mostly quiet ER, where Doug Ross is drunkenly singing “Danny Boy” to himself. Mark and Nurse Wendy Goldman start to sober him up in an exam room as Doug tells Mark about a date who was surprised to learn how sexy a pediatrician could be.

Doug asks if Mark and his wife, Jen, have resolved their problems. He hopes Mark doesn’t leave the ER. Wendy asks Mark if Doug does this a lot; Mark says it’s just on Doug’s nights off. He goes back to bed, but Lydia wakes him again to ask a question. She wakes him for real at 6:30 so he can start his shift.

Dr. Susan Lewis and Dr. Peter Benton are also on duty. Desk clerk Jerry Markovic is done for the day and heads out with the shift change. Benton sees on the news that a building has collapsed, which means a number of patients will be coming in, and Benton will have lots of people to operate on. Mark gives instructions to his intern, then strikes them all so they can prepare for the mass casualties coming in.

As Nurse Carol Hathaway takes a patient, Doug wakes up hungover. Benton works calmly on his patient, with a better bedside manner than we will ever see again over the next six seasons. Despite his adventures the night before, Doug steps in to help, working with Nurse Haleh Adams. Benton tells a surgeon that he’d better save a patient’s hand, since he told the patient they would. The other surgeon knows that Benton would love to do the operation, but he’s only a resident, so he’s years away from being able to handle it himself.

Susan’s patient only has minor facial injuries, and also lets us know that it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and the hospital is called Cook County General. He asks if Susan’s married; she says no, since she’s a doctor. He starts to ask her out, but she shuts him down, saying that he wouldn’t want to fall on his face again.

Benton takes over Doug’s patient just before she starts coding. They work to shock her heart back into rhythm. Doug helps Susan with her next patient while Nurse Malik McGrath tries to get Benton to check out some more people. He’s still working on Doug’s patient, and is able to revive her. Mark tells the son of one of the victims of the building collapse that his father died. The son pounds on Mark a little, then breaks down in tears.

Once things have quieted down, the doctors go to a lounge to do paperwork and catch each other up on their patients. Benton complains that the nurses keep coming to the doctors’ lounge and drinking their coffee, but Mark makes him calm down. The doctors hope that their new medical students, who are starting that day, will be better than the last bunch.

Carol comes in with more paperwork, and Benton confronts her for being a coffee thief. She tells him to make more. Benton complains that they work 90 hours a week for very little money; they shouldn’t have to make their own coffee. Carol has no sympathy.

Mark rushes off to the cafeteria to see his wife, assuring Susan that everything’s fine. (Spoiler alert: It’s totally not.) Mark and Jen’s daughter, Rachel, is also there, being cute and eating grilled cheese for breakfast and showing no signs of the brat she’ll become in a few seasons. Jen asks if Mark is going to go to an interview for a job elsewhere; the hours would be better, allowing them to spend more time together. Mark doesn’t seem that excited about taking a job somewhere else.

Later in the morning, med student John Carter arrives in a tailored white coat, which the doctors quietly make fun of. Carter is Benton’s third-year surgical student, and Benton isn’t that excited about having to teach him. He gives Carter (and us) a quick tour and a run-down of things he’ll need to know. Despite being a third-year, Carter has never started an IV, which doesn’t help Benton’s impression of him.

As they pass Carol, Benton mentions that “she goes with an orthopod who used to be a Big 10 tackle and looks like King Kong.” (Who says “goes with”?) Then he takes five seconds to teach Carter how to start an IV. Carter tries to take notes on everything Benton says, but he’ll never be able to remember it all. Benton introduces Carter to Dr. David Morgenstern, the head of the ER, warning that he eats students for lunch. Morgenstern says that Benton is one of the best residents at the hospital, and Carter’s lucky to learn from him.

Benton takes Carter to a suture room to stitch up a woman’s hand. Meanwhile, Doug meets his own student, Tracy Young, who seems immune to his charms, somehow. Wendy calls Benton away, so Benton leaves Carter to finish with the woman by himself. Tracy is much more confident with her first patient, though she could use some help with bedside manner (that’s where Doug’s charms help). They determine that their young patient has an ulcer, most likely because of his super-type-A mother.

Benton checks on Carter, criticizing him for taking so long with the woman. The woman is pleased with the work and asks when she should come back to get the stitches removed. Carter makes something up. Susan does some labwork, then gives Carol some instructions for a patient. Carol is clearly a higher-up, as other nurses come to her with questions. She also used to date Doug, and obviously regrets that they’re not still together.

Carter’s next patient is Officer Martin, who accidentally shot himself in the leg. Carter tries to start an IV but is hopelessly incompetent. Officer Martin asks how often Carter has done this before. “I’d hate to tell you how often I’ve done this before,” Carter replies. Officer Martin complains about his wife, who he was fighting with when the accidental shooting occurred. Officer Martin needs some anger management, and his wife should probably move out.

Mark and Carol tend to a man who had double vision when he woke up. Since he doesn’t have any other symptoms, Mark doesn’t want to waste the patient’s money by calling in a neurologist. He should just go home and come back if the double vision returns. The man accuses Mark of refusing to treat him because he’s black. Since Mark appears to be Jewish, at least according to the patient, he should be more sympathetic to discrimination. Mark tells Carol to call neurology and bill the patient for the consult.

A cab driver runs in and announces that there’s a woman in labor in his cab. Mark grabs Carter to help him bring the woman in from the snow. Carter has to put his hand between the woman’s legs to hold the baby in before they get to a trauma room. Doug comes in to help, but the baby comes so fast that Mark is the only one ready to deliver it. Carter just stares at the miracle of birth, amazed. Benton tells Carter to go back to his actual job; the ER doctors can screw things up on their own.

An x-ray tech takes a long time with Officer Martin’s x-rays, only telling Benton what he already knows. Mark’s next patient has an injured ankle and only wants to know if he gets workers’ comp. Mark thinks he should be glad he’s still alive, unlike the next patient over. Doug diagnoses a young boy with an ear infection, and the boy’s mother comments to Haleh that Doug is handsome. “He knows it,” Haleh remarks.

Carter asks Benton for his next patient, but Benton tells him he can go have lunch. Carter says he’s fine and wants to keep working. Benton tells him not to be a hero – it may be a while before he gets to have dinner, so he should eat when he can. Tracy is shocked to see that a crack dealer in the ER is just a kid. She has to call security in case the dealer’s rival gang members come in to finish him off.

Just as things are getting hectic in the ER again, Mark announces that he’s going off to an appointment. He meets with a Dr. Harris, who has a job opening in a private practice that will pay Mark tons of money. Harris thinks that the ER is for young doctors. Mark will be much happier going to conferences around the world and working in a calm, nice-looking facility. Mark still isn’t that enthusiastic.

It’s 3 p.m. and the snow has turned into rain. Mark returns to Cook County, where Doug asks about his interview. He also wants to know about the rumor that Mark hooked up with a technician. Doug knows it’s not true; Mark is faithful to Jen. Mark adds that he’s also too tired to cheat.

Susan leaves her patient, Mr. Parker, to take a phone call from a guy named Paul. He wants to go out; she thought they broke up. She goes back to Mr. Parker with bad news: There’s something in his lung, and it might be bad. Susan doesn’t want to say anything definitive, but Mr. Parker wants a straight answer.

She finally tells him that, with his history, he could have cancer, but he shouldn’t jump to conclusions until he’s had more tests. Then she tells him that he probably has six months to a year to live, if that. Mr. Parker thinks this is a good time to take his wife to the Bahamas. He thanks Susan for being straight-forward, then remarks that at least now he doesn’t have to quit smoking. He starts to cry, but Susan tells him that, in her job, she’s learned that nothing’s certain. He hugs her, then leaves. Susan takes a moment to collect herself, then goes back to work.

A nicely dressed woman named Mrs. Raskin tells the desk clerk, Timmy, that she needs medical attention. He directs her to Mark, who hesitates to take care of her hangnail, since it’ll cost a lot of money. Mrs. Raskin is wearing a fur and wouldn’t be out of place in Millicent Carter’s circle of friends, so she doesn’t care. She’s very familiar with Mark and even knows that Jen is studying for the bar exam.

There’s another shift change, and Jerry and Nurse Connie Oligario come in as some other nurses head out. Carol takes something from the drug lockup before leaving for the night. Carter stitches up the foot of a teenager who’s upset that she crashed her father’s new Cadillac. When her dad arrives, at first he’s just happy that she’s okay, but when the news sinks in, he’s pretty angry. Carter makes a great “if I sit very still, they won’t know I’m here” face.

Benton criticizes Carter’s speed again, telling him that since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, they’re going to have a lot of people to look after. One of them is a little boy who swallowed a key. His mother is more concerned about being locked out of the house than she is about the fact that her kid ate something that wasn’t food. Doug and the kid giggle at her.

Carter questions a patient who denies that she’s pregnant, even when Carter warns that she could have an ectopic pregnancy that could require surgery. He takes the case to Benton, who gets the girl to admit that she’s had sex. He agrees with Carter’s assessment that she has an ectopic pregnancy.

Mark and Susan have coffee, and he complains about Jen’s expectations of him and how often she laments the little time they get to spend together. Mark gets paged, and the two return to the ER, where the staff is practically silent. Doug is shaken, wondering how this could happen “to her, of all people.” An ambulance arrives with “her” – it’s Carol, and she’s unconscious from an overdose.

Lydia asks why she would overdose, but Mark chastises that they don’t ask that about any other patient who overdoses, so they can’t ask it here. Mark and Susan work on Carol as other staff members, including Doug, watch. Mark finally notices and has Malik close the curtain around them so they can have some privacy.

Morgenstern is called in, but he’s not sure if they should keep trying to save Carol. Mark thinks they have to keep working, if just for the morale of the unit. Morgenstern tells him everyone’s looking to him: “You set the tone.” They all feel guilty and angry and scared because one of their colleagues is in the ER, but they need to take care of her, then take care of everyone else. He repeats that Mark sets the tone and will need to get the unit through this crisis.

Doug can’t believe that, after a day when she seemed so normal, Carol would try to kill herself. Mark tells him to go get some coffee, but Doug has a hard time making himself leave. Meanwhile, Benton takes on a patient who was stabbed, but Carter struggles to keep down his lunch. Mark notices him going outside for fresh air and follows him. Unlike Benton, who’s spent the whole day telling Carter to move faster, Mark tells him to take his time.

Carter apologizes for getting sick and emotional, but Mark says he shouldn’t be sorry. There are two kinds of doctors: those who get rid of their feelings and those who hold on to them. It’s more important to help the patients than think about their own feelings, but it’s not easy to keep them inside. Sometimes it’s enough to make Mark want to quit. He tells Carter again to take his time recovering, then reveals that Benton got sick all the time in medical school, so Carter shouldn’t take any crap from him.

Once he’s better, Carter finds Benton and tries to make small talk. Benton says not to worry about what just happened, but he shouldn’t make a habit of it. Susan talks to an administrator about Carol; she thinks Carol took the right drugs to get the job done, so she knew exactly what she was doing. No one had any idea that she was suicidal, even her fiancé. The administrator worries about how the hospital will look now.

Mark wants to admit a patient, Mr. Larkowski, who has an ulcer and pancreatitis. Larkowski starts crying, thinking that Mark is trying to sugarcoat his real diagnosis. Mark assures him that he doesn’t have cancer. Larkowski doesn’t seem to hear him, so Mark says firmly that he’s okay – he just needs to stop smoking and drinking. Larkowski’s more upset about that than he is about being terminally ill.

Doug treats a baby who fell out of his crib, according to his babysitter. Doug tells her that the baby was beaten, so he’s calling the proper authorities. The babysitter worries that she’ll get in trouble. Mark treats a woman who burned her legs when she accidentally spilled hot water she was pouring into the sink. She tries to flirt, but Mark stays professional. Lydia witnesses the whole thing and gives some great “you have to be kidding me” faces.

Benton’s next patient was supposed to undergo an operation for an aortic aneurysm next month, but it’s leaking. He needs immediate surgery, but no one’s available to do it. Benton tells Susan to call Morgenstern in; Benton will get things started. Susan reminds him that, as a resident, he’s not qualified, but Benton knows the patient will die if he doesn’t go to the OR immediately. He admits to the anesthesiologist that he’s scared, but he thinks he’s the patient’s only chance at survival.

Just before it’s time to scrub in, Benton sticks his head into another OR and announces that he’s operating next door and would like some help when the surgeons are done. They think he’s joking. Benton gets started, and though the bleeding and beeping alarms indicate that things aren’t great, he keeps his cool and repairs the leak. Morgenstern and another doctor are on their way, and Peter comments that now he has all the help he wanted before.

While working on a patient, Mark stops and says he can’t give up working in the ER. Lydia tells him Jen is on the phone, and he tells her to say he’ll call back. Benton and his thrown-together team take a break while waiting for Morgenstern, and Benton’s about to start jokingly reflecting when Morgenstern finally comes in. He blasts Benton for the ugly incision he made on the patient, then takes over. Benton starts to leave, disappointed not to be acknowledged for his life-saving measures. Morgenstern then praises him for doing the right thing. Benton quietly celebrates with a fist pump in the hallway.

Doug’s patient’s mother has arrived, and she’s annoyed that Doug hasn’t given the baby anything that will calm him down. She blames the babysitter for the baby’s skull fracture, but Doug knows the sitter isn’t responsible for that or the other injuries the baby has sustained in the past. The mother also denies responsibility, but Doug has seen enough abuse to know she’s lying. He yells at her for beating a child, then takes out his anger on Tracy. He assures the sitter that the baby will be okay, and that she did the right thing.

Benton finds Susan in the lounge and asks after Carol, who isn’t doing well. A young cop brings in a man in diabetic ketoacidosis, and is proud of himself when Mark says he probably saved the man’s life. Jerry, unimpressed: “What do you want, a medal?” After tending to the patient, Mark realizes he didn’t call Jen back. He decides to wait until the morning.

Benton checks on the man he operated on, who’s doing well in recovery. The patient’s wife is grateful that Morgenstern came so quickly and saved her husband. She wants to thank Benton, too, but he pretends he only helped out a little. Doug apologizes to Tracy for yelling, and she invites him to get coffee. It’s safe to assume that they end up in bed together after that, but we never see her again, so who knows?

As Carter finishes his day of doing stitches by doing more stitches, Susan falls asleep while listening to a call-in radio show. A caller is complaining about how much doctors charge for their services. Susan just rolls her eyes. Benton goes off to get some sleep in an empty room, while Carter decides that the chairs in a hallway are comfortable enough. Mark asks Lydia for another 6:30 wake-up call, just like that morning. It comes before he knows it.

Thoughts: I make no promises about recapping the entire series, since it’s 15 freaking seasons. But I’ll see what I can do.

Mr. Parker is played by the late Miguel Ferrer, George Clooney’s cousin. Carter’s pregnant patient is played by a very young, unrecognizable Shiri Appleby, who also plays Daria in season 15. Officer Martin is played by Troy Evans, who later plays Frank Martin. Officer Martin’s first name is Jonathan, but I think we’re supposed to assume that he and Frank are the same character.

Most people probably know this, but Carol was originally supposed to die. The audience liked her character, so the writers saved her.

Speaking of likable characters, Benton is more likable here than at any other point in the series. And he’s still kind of annoying here.