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.

September 3, 2019

ER 4.16, My Brother’s Keeper: Too Much or Not Enough

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

Angst face!

Summary: Doug has spent the night working on Mark’s computer to finish a presentation. Mark is trying to quit smoking (again), this time with the help of a nicotine patch. He has Cynthia’s luggage, which was finally recovered after the trip to San Diego. She quit her job right after returning, so Mark hasn’t seen her to be able to return it. Doug tells him to take the luggage to the hospital so Cynthia can pick it up there instead of being forced to come to Mark’s place. Instead, Mark takes the luggage to Cynthia’s apartment, but she’s moved out. He mopes in his car with a cigarette.

At County, Weaver invites Doug to join interns’ rounds, but he’s not interested. She knows he’s presenting his research on PCA use (pain medication administered by the patient as needed), but she’s not sure he’s been thorough in his work. He’s convinced her that it should be used with pediatric patients, but there are still some issues with his work. Doug ignores her to chat with Mark but tells her she made her point. Carol pulls Doug away to treat a six-year-old who’s having seizures.

Doyle dumps some difficult patients on Carter, then leaves after working the night shift. Carter promises to have some difficult patients for her when she comes back in 12 hours. Lily gives Mark a patient with end-stage lung cancer, at Carol’s request; she’s hoping he’ll take the hint to quit smoking. Carter thinks he already has. Mark asks Jerry if Cynthia left a forwarding address, but it sounds like she just disappeared after picking up her last paycheck a few days ago. Jerry, who’s doing some spring cleaning, is delighted to find some Twinkies that are just a few years old.

Doug’s unable to figure out why his patient, Adrian, is having seizures. Paramedics have determined that he drank soda with something in it, but they don’t know what that something is. Elizabeth and Benton are flirting when Romano approaches them to announce that Elizabeth’s heroics in the collapsed building have been outlined in the newspaper. He follows it up by giving Elizabeth her six-month review, which isn’t as glowing as the article.

Adrian’s parents arrive at the hospital but are equally clueless as to what their son drank. There are photography supplies all over the house, which is probably what Adrian ingested, but without knowledge of what, exactly, he drank, Doug can’t treat him. Mark pulls Anna away for a John Doe who was supposedly in a motorcycle accident. He was sent over from another hospital because he’s uninsured, but Anna was told he just needed observation. In truth, he’s unresponsive for unknown reasons. Anna thinks the other hospital negligently dumped him on them.

Carter treats a man who appears to be homeless, though he claims he was about to take a flight to San Francisco to see his daughter. However, he doesn’t know where, exactly, she lives, and he doesn’t have her phone number. The man says it’s his own problem if he wants to fly across the country and have to figure out where to go.

Adrian’s patient wakes up but, like everyone else, doesn’t know what he drank. He says Eric gave it to him. He starts seizing again as Adrian’s father, Keith, flies out of the trauma room to interrogate another boy. The boy, Eric, runs off, and Doug corners him in the bathroom. Eric explains that Keith is his stepfather and Adrian is his half-brother. He claims not to care if Adrian dies.

Doug works his magic to get the boy to open up to him…as well as show marks on his arm that he claims are from Keith. Once Doug figures out what Adrian drank, he’s able to administer treatment. He promises the boys’ mother that they’ll take care of both boys.

Carter calls around to try to find out where his patient should go. He needs to be cleaned up before he can try to fly again, and Carter, Mark, and Carol all pass the responsibility around until it lands on Malik, who’d tried to avoid it in the first place. Anna determines that her John Doe has a subarachnoid bleed and should never have been transferred to another hospital.

Mark’s patient, Mr. Kyle, declines further treatment, knowing he doesn’t have much time left. His wife is reluctant to take him home, but Kyle doesn’t think he’ll be getting any better anyway. Elizabeth confronts Romano over her poor evaluation; he says she seems distracted. She came to focus on trauma surgery, but now she’s picking up pet projects. He invites her to join him on a study of a synthetic blood product.

Anna gets a neurosurgeon to come see her patient, but they can’t do much for him – he’s going to die. The neurosurgeon isn’t sure if he would have had a chance if he’d actually been treated previously instead of passed along. His only option is major surgery that might not have any effect. The only person who can approve that surgery is Dr. Mack, who’s currently in surgery.

Doug catches Mark smoking outside as he searches a Dumpster for some presentation materials Jerry may have accidentally thrown out in his spring cleaning frenzy. Doug says Adrian’s going to be okay, but his case falls under the category of Sometimes Being a Pediatrician Is Awful. Mark tells Doug that he went by Cynthia’s place, but she’s moved already. He regrets the way he handled the end of their relationship. All he can think about are her good qualities. Doug finds his presentation stuff and runs inside to yell at Jerry. Mark sees Kyle leaving and regrets his cigarette.

Jeanie and Scott discuss Days of Our Lives, which they’ve been watching together. Scott says that Jeanie’s prettier than Deidre Hall, which Jeanie says may be the nicest thing anyone’s said to her all year. (To be fair, it’s only March, and Al would say nice things like that if he were still in town.) He’s finished his last round of chemo, so next week he’d like to go to a movie instead of hanging out in the hospital. Jeanie reminds him that she has to work.

Eric and Adrian’s mother, Mary Jo, thanks Doug for saving Adrian, but she’s not grateful that the family has to talk to a social worker. She thinks it was an accident and Eric didn’t mean to hurt his brother. Doug says this was Eric’s way of lashing out because of Keith’s abuse. Mary Jo insists that no one’s abusing him. Eric’s out of control, and Keith just has to be strict to keep him in line. The burns on his arm are self-inflicted. Mary Jo starts yelling, and Mark advises Doug to avoid the men’s bathroom for a while. Oh, I’m glad we’re joking about his massive trauma now.

Anna and Carter are both on the phone, she trying to contact Mack and he trying to get information on his patient’s daughter. Mark is next on the phone, trying to track down Cynthia by using Carter’s story of finding a patient’s daughter. Scott heads home without saying goodbye to Jeanie.

Paramedics bring in a bunch of people who OD’d on a bad batch of heroin (though…is there such a thing as a good batch of heroin?). Anna recognizes one of the patients as Chase. Carter takes over his cousin’s care, though Anna and Carol don’t think he can be saved. He’s been unresponsive for at least 40 minutes, and Carol figures he’s brain-dead. Carter refuses to stop working.

Benton and Elizabeth go for a walk outside, discussing her evaluation. He advises her to overcompensate in any area where she’s received criticism. They run into Jackie, and Benton introduces Elizabeth to her as a “colleague.” He acts like he’s just showing her around the city because she’s from another country. Jackie notes that Benton isn’t usually so generous with his time. Elizabeth and Benton use “support” as a euphemism for “get naked together.” Jackie gets it.

Mark gets Cynthia’s phone number but chickens out before leaving a message on her answering machine. Carter worries that he pushed too hard in reviving Chase, but Anna says she would have done the same thing. He regrets not trying harder to get Chase into rehab. Anna notes that Carter couldn’t make him go if he didn’t agree. Chase’s parents are in Singapore, but Millicent and her husband are on their way. Anna tries to comfort Carter, who’s really shaken up.

Kyle is brought back in, and this time Mark wants to admit him. Anna’s patient’s son has been found, and he IDs his father as Tom. Anna tells him that Tom’s only hope is a surgery with only a slim chance of success. Carol drags Doug off for his presentation as Jeanie goes to the Anspaughs’ house to see Scott. She’s clearly become friends with the family, as Scott’s younger sister has spent time with her. Scott doesn’t want to hang out with Jeanie anymore, since she clearly was only friendly with him because it was her job. She still wants to be friends, and invites him to a movie.

A doctor Chuny calls the Grim Reaper comes to the ER to discuss organ donation with Tom. Anna wants to give him some time before they confirm that Tom won’t make it. Mack has now examined Tom and determined that he doesn’t have a chance. Her resident shouldn’t have told Anna that surgery was an option. Tom wants a second opinion, but Mack is the highest up the chain, so he’ll have to go to another hospital. That’ll be Tom’s third in a day. Anna asks why Mack can’t take a shot at surgery, but Mack knows it would be a waste of time. She shouldn’t have given Tom’s son any hope.

Carter tells his grandparents that Chase’s brain-wave activity indicates probable damage. This could mean anything from memory problems to a chronic vegetative state. The elder Carter (whose name is also John; we’ll call him John I) asks if Carter knew about Chase’s drug use. When Carter says yes, his grandparents question his decision to try to detox Chase on his own instead of sending him somewhere. They think they should have made the decision for Chase.

Doug gives his presentation at the med school, which Weaver catches the end of. Anspaugh seems at least a little impressed. Weaver asks about the randomization of the control group, a concern she’d brought up previously. Elizabeth tracks down her future husband, Mark, to ask if she can sign up for some time in the ER to get more trauma experience. She accompanies him to Kyle’s trauma room, where he’s been found unresponsive on the floor. Elizabeth finds a gunshot wound, and Malik finds the accompanying gun. Kyle shot himself to end his suffering, so Mark and Elizabeth decide to let him go.

The Carters want to move Chase to a neurology facility, but Carter tells Millicent he needs to be stabilized first. He wishes he could go back in time and change things. Millicent indicates that she knew something was going on, since she says that she assumed Chase would ask if he really needed help. Carter notes that Chase asked him for help.

Millicent wants to know if Chase ever told Carter why he started using. Carter says he probably just felt overwhelmed. Millicent says that her generation just embraced difficulties – they were defined by them. She knows Carter probably blames the family for Chase’s issues. He’s always been indulged by has seen it as oppression.

As Mark flushes his cigarettes, Doug and Weaver bicker over her medical decisions in a case she took on to let him go to the presentation. She knows he’s really upset because her questions pointed out a flaw in his research, which means he has to redo part of it. Doug accuses her of ambushing him, but she reminds him that she brought up the issue that morning and he blew her off.

Doug blasts her for leaving a sick baby in the ER to go undercut him in front of his superiors. Weaver says she wasn’t about to let him use PCA in situations where the research doesn’t support it. He asks if she’s now the self-appointed expert on the subject. Today, she didn’t help any kids, and in fact, could have almost killed one. Weaver responds with, “Screw you,” which isn’t going to make her look any more mature than Doug. Mark tries to play peacemaker, but Doug won’t like that, since Mark sides with Weaver.

Doug leaves the conversation when he sees that Adele is leaving with Eric. She explains that his rage has made him too hard to handle at County. He needs to be committed so his problems can be dealt with. Doug has to admit that Eric didn’t show any remorse when he admitted to poisoning his brother. Doyle arrives in the middle of a very tense ER.

Anna checks in on Tom, whose son still wants him to have the operation. Anna has to admit that she pushed too much to save Tom and was overly optimistic. Tom’s son says that a doctor at another hospital has agreed to do the surgery. That doctor happens to be the same neurosurgeon who sent Tom to County in the first place. Anna blasts him for being negligent because the patient didn’t have insurance.

Mark finally tracks down Cynthia and visits her at her very nice new apartment. She’s already gotten a new job, and says she needed a fresh start, which would have been hard to accomplish while still working with Mark. She must be doing well because her son is spending the night after not living with her for a while. Mark thinks he made a mistake breaking up with Cynthia, but she knows he doesn’t really love her. She feels she deserves better. At County, Carter continues tending to Chase. He was in complete control last week, but this week, he’s helpless.

Thoughts: John I is played by the late George Plimpton, which is A+ casting.

I love that Scott watches a soap. It would definitely give him and Jeanie hours of conversation material.

I also love that the Anspaughs are super-rich but have the same bathroom tiles my middle-class parents had for 25 years.

Carter and Anna should have gotten together! You know I’m right!

August 6, 2019

ER 4.12, Sharp Relief: MISTAAAAAAAAAAKE!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:53 pm by Jenn

This scene from “Scrubs” went through my head multiple times during this episode

Summary: Doug and Carol meet up in the doctors’ lounge before she goes out for a paramedic ride-along. He’s off for the day and planning some big surprise at 5 p.m. He urges her to say “I love you,” which he usually says first. Jeanie meets Romano, who’s going over Scott’s scans with Benton. He needs surgery for some sort of obstruction.

Doug goes to Doc Magoo’s, where Mark has started smoking again. Doug reveals that he’s gotten wedding rings, and his surprise for Carol is a trip to the clerk’s office to get a marriage license. He wants to show her how serious he is. At 12:01 tomorrow morning, he wants to get married. Mark happily agrees to be his best man. Doug says he knew every other relationship he was in was wrong, but he wants to spend the rest of his life with Carol.

As Carol leaves for her ride-along with Doris and Greg, Mark and Weaver receive a patient who’s in pain from a possible ectopic pregnancy. The paramedic bringing her in regrets having to drive farther than usual to transport her; County is the closest receiving hospital. Jeanie checks on Scott, who refuses to have another operation, even though his tumor is back and has to be removed. She tells him straight out that without surgery, he’ll die. Scott still won’t budge, so Jeanie bribes him with hockey tickets.

Elizabeth is supposed to be part of Scott’s surgical team, but she wants to help out with Allison’s vocal-cord surgery instead. Romano passive-aggressively complains about her spending so much time on Allison’s case. Then he tells Allison not to worry, since he taught Elizabeth everything she knows. Weaver complains to West about her patient’s long ambulance ride, thanks to hospitals in the area closing. West has plans to make things better.

Carter and Anna’s patient, Mr. Dwyer, has a worm in his leg, which he contracted after drinking river water. Anna uses a toothpick to start pulling it out. Carter has heard that the worms can be as long as a meter. “I really didn’t need to hear that,” Mr. Dwyer says, laughing good-naturedly. Anna can only pull a couple of centimeters of the worm out every day; if she pulls out too much at once, it’ll break off. Mr. Dwyer says he should put in for combat pay.

Chase shows up, supposedly looking for Compazine for nausea, but Carter knows he’s covering something up. Chase says he stopped using heroin a couple days ago and just needs something to help him get past the worst part. He denies that he wants help detoxing. They yell at each other for a little while, and after Chase storms out, Anna tells Carter it’s better to let him go. She had a friend in med school who had a drug problem, and Anna has been in Carter’s position many times. She warns Carter not to let his cousin drag him into his problems.

The paramedics take a break at their station, and Greg complains about Dwight’s vegetarian cooking. Carol praises his carob brownies. While operating on Scott, Romano tries to rope Benton into trash-talking Elizabeth with him, but Benton won’t take the bait. Romano says female surgeons always have something to prove. Yeah, they have to prove their skills to sexist pigs like you. Romano continues that he likes Benton because he’s “not one of those militant minorities.” Shirley the scrub nurse confirms that the tumor indicates that Scott’s lymphoma is back.

Weaver has done some research and found out that Synergix has closed a ton of hospitals in the Midwest. West tries to dance around how bad that sounds. Instead of just closing bad places, they’re reconfiguring them and turning them into specialized centers. But that means closing trauma centers, and it means charging more for that specialized care, which means the people with the greatest need for medical care can’t get it anymore. West tells Weaver that County is essential and won’t be going anywhere. Weaver shoots back that they can’t close if everyone else does.

Jeanie asks Malik to help her get hockey tickets, since she didn’t actually have them yet when she told Scott she did. Malik thinks she’s going on a nice date. Elizabeth observes Allison’s surgery, offering moral support more than assistance. Weaver’s skipping a big Synergix luncheon, now uncertain that they should be taking over the ER’s operations. She tells Anspaugh they might want to delay the board’s vote for a couple weeks. Benton interrupts to tell Anspaugh that Scott’s cancer has come back.

Cynthia smells cigarette smoke on Mark, which means he has to give her a dollar. I like that system. She wants to hang out that night, but Mark brushes her off because of his secret plans with Doug. Carter asks to leave work early, wanting to go check on Chase, who left him a bunch of messages but now isn’t answering his phone. Anna guesses that he’s going over to help him, the exact thing she told him not to do.

Carol, Greg, and Doris go to an apartment where an elderly woman is bleeding and unconscious. Distressed, Greg blurts out that she’s dead. Carol takes control of the case, trying to keep Greg calm at the same time. He gets the woman breathing again, but Carol is worried about him. Back at County, Allison’s procedure is successful, and she’s able to speak for the first time in weeks.

The paramedics deliver the woman to the hospital, then leave for another run before they can find out if she’ll be okay. Carter goes to Chase’s apartment and offers his help. Chase denies that he needs it, and he doesn’t want the help Carter’s there to provide anyway, in the form of the names of treatment centers. Chase doesn’t want his secret addiction to get out, since he comes from such a prominent family. Also, he’s definitely not getting clean, since his dealer arrives moments later to make a sale. Carter tells Chase that if he buys, he’s on his own for real. Chase sends the dealer away.

The paramedics’ patient doesn’t survive, and it turns out she’s one of the growing number of elderly rape victims the ER has seen recently. There are different detectives on the case now, since the perpetrator has crossed district lines. Mark notes that he hasn’t heard anything on the news about the case. There have now been three victims, and the public has no idea what’s going on.

Carol asks Greg if he’s okay, since he had such a strong reaction when they found their patient. The patient’s wallet is in the ambulance, and when Greg sees a coupon inside for cat food, Carol says that someone should go back to the apartment and check on the cat. Anspaugh tells Jeanie that Scott needs more chemo, and no one knows how long his treatments will take. Anspaugh asks Jeanie to be Scott’s part-time private-duty caregiver, since they’ve developed such a good relationship. Father and son both admire her a lot.

Carter patiently tends to Chase as he goes through detox in his apartment. Then he’s not so patient anymore, and Chase practically turns feral, and really, the whole thing is a mess and a bad idea. Elizabeth tells Benton that Allison’s procedure went well, and Kotlowitz thinks she’ll have full use of her voice in a couple weeks. She invites him out for a drink, dismissing his excuse that he doesn’t drink alcohol. He can have something else.

Carol and Greg return to their patient’s apartment, where no one investigating the crime scene has seen a cat. The door to the roof is open, so Carol and Greg head up there, finding the unfriendly pet. Greg confides that when he first saw the patient, he was reminded of his mother, who hanged herself when he was nine. He found her body. Greg first felt angry, then felt guilty because he was thinking of himself instead of the patient. He sees his mother as selfish for not thinking how her death would affect the family.

Carol says that she thought about everyone but herself when she attempted suicide. She was so caught up in everyone else’s expectations for her that she didn’t consider her own. Now, she’s okay. Greg praises her for opening the clinic, calling her a super-nurse. He tells her she can leave, if she has somewhere to be; he’ll wait for the cat to agree to go inside with him. She decides to stay. This is a MISTAKE, because Greg is totally into Carol, and he kisses her, and she doesn’t fight it, and it’s worse than Chase’s detox.

Weaver tries to avoid West as she leaves for the night, but he doesn’t take the hint. She asks him to delay the board vote – she no longer believes in Synergix’s supposed mission. They’re turning decent health care into a luxury. Weaver says she just needs more time to think about the whole thing. West wonders if she means the Synergix arrangement or their relationship. I’m going to go with both, West.

Carter bugs someone at the hospital pharmacy for a prescription he ordered for Chase. Anna delivers it herself, along with some other things she knows Chase will need. Elizabeth and Benton play darts together at a pub, discussing Benton’s decision not to drink alcohol or eat pork. He’s not Muslim and doesn’t have control issues; he just doesn’t like the taste. Elizabeth recommends Pimm’s, which tastes like ginger ale and fruit. She suggests a darts contest, with the winner picking the loser’s next drink. Benton cracks an actual smile, enjoying himself, at least until Elizabeth hits the bull’s-eye after throwing her dart backwards.

Scott wakes up after surgery and tells Jeanie that since he agreed to have it, he wants his hockey tickets. She produces center-ice seats, which means Malik’s connection with the team must be really good. Scott asks Jeanie to stay with him so he’s not alone. Anna sticks around Chase’s apartment for a while, admiring some photos he’s taken. Carter says his cousin is very talented, which makes his addiction even more tragic. Anna admits that her med-school friend with drug problems wasn’t really a friend – he was her boyfriend. Carter admits that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, but Anna thinks he’s handling things fine.

Benton has loosened up, either from the Pimm’s or the company, and he and Elizabeth are dancing at the pub. They’re having so much fun that they stay until closing. Elizabeth indicates that she wants to continue the date, but she doesn’t want to make a move while Benton’s tipsy. He tells her he had a great time.

Carol finally gets home hours after she was supposed to meet Doug. She didn’t call, so he was worried that something happened. Carol says she and Greg both had a tough day, so they were talking things through. After that, she went for a long walk so she could do some thinking. All the engagement/marriage talk is moving too fast, and she doesn’t think they’re ready. Doug says he is. Carol admits that she and Greg kissed, but things didn’t go further than that. Doug storms out, rejecting her apology.

Thoughts: I remember yelling, “Noooooo!” at Carol when this episode first aired. It’s okay, 15-year-old me. It’ll all be okay.

No way did Weaver not do her homework about Synergix’s closings before she pushed County to get in bed with them. No way was she that personally affected by her attraction to West that she wouldn’t do research.

Romano: “You know how it is with female surgeons.” Benton: “No, I don’t. Why don’t you tell me?” Is…is that…my respect for Benton? Is that what this feeling is?

July 30, 2019

ER 4.11, Think Warm Thoughts: The Passion of the Carter

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

Illness is no excuse for that hat, Scott

Summary: Carol’s on her way out of the house to go to work, but Doug wants her to take a minute to set a wedding date and determine her ring size. She doesn’t want to make a big deal out of their eventual marriage, since she’s done that before. She’s fine just being engaged for now. Weaver and West have spent the night together again, and she apparently accepted his invitation to spend Christmas with him in the Caribbean. She thinks Anspaugh will be very happy with the work Synergix has done on the budget. After they get in their cars to go to work separately, they have phone sex.

Speaking of sex, Romano makes a remark about it to Elizabeth while they’re discussing cars. Take a moment and think about what would have happened if Romano had been around during the #MeToo movement. Just imagine it. Anyway, Allison Beaumont needs more surgery on her leg and is ready for the next steps in her recovery, though she’s down about her vocal-cord paralysis. Elizabeth wants to do a procedure that will fix it, noting that there’s a doctor in Chicago who can do it. Romano reminds her that it’s not covered by Allison’s insurance.

Someone in the ER waiting area is very upset that the vending machine has eaten his money. In turn, Randi is annoyed that the guy is making too much noise. She gives him his money back so he’ll shut up, but she won’t do the same for another patient, Carlene, who claims she put money in the machine, too. Mark is trying to quit smoking, which makes Chuny happy. Swift has been sent over by Synergix as a substitute attending, so he and Mark will be working together again. The angry patient accidentally knocks over the vending machine onto himself, cracking up Carlene.

Carter speaks to a bunch of second-year med students about why they should consider emergency medicine as their specialty next year. When it’s time for a Q&A session, a student asks if patients ever come to the ER with foreign objects in their rectums. Carter tries to keep things professional, but he does admit to removing a bowling trophy from someone’s rectum.

Another student asks if Carter’s ever killed anyone. Carter talks about the patient he accidentally killed in “Do One, Teach One, Kill One.” A student is surprised learn that he left surgery for medicine. Can he really make a career out of emergency medicine? Can he see himself still doing it in 10 or 15 years? Carter isn’t sure about that.

West presents his budget ideas to Anspaugh, who’s impressed with how quickly West has put everything together. Anspaugh sends him out of the room so he can ask Weaver what the staff thinks about Synergix taking over. Weaver says she hasn’t heard anything negative, though she hasn’t had a conversation with Mark about it. Anspaugh wants to find out how everyone feels before he makes any decisions.

In the ER, Swift tells Mark and Chuny how awesome it is working for Synergix. He has a regular schedule with plenty of time for his personal life. Synergix also uses different methods to determine injuries, so they can skip expensive tests and scans. Elizabeth visits Allison, who’s using a laptop with a speech program to communicate. It’s been tough for her, since she’s a talkative person, but she’s in good spirits, though still eager for vocal-cord surgery.

Benton has also been speaking to students along with Carter, and he chats with one named Laura as they’re leaving. She spots Carter and recognizes him from the PBS documentary. Benton complains to Carter that speaking to students is a waste of time. They’ll never know what being a doctor is really like until they’re actually doctors, and by that time, many of them will be in the wrong profession. Like Carter’s students, Benton’s were only interested in whether he’s ever killed anyone. His response: “Just med students.”

Weaver asks Mark his opinions on Synergix, and he says it seems like a fast transition to let them take over. He’s worried about having to give up authority over patient care. Weaver promises that they’ll only take over things like administrative tasks like billing. Yosh arrives with Christmas cookies, wanting to keep the holiday spirit alive even though it’s January. Carlene complains that the nurses are slacking off instead of treating patients. Then she gets racist with Chuny, so now no one wants to deal with her.

The vending-machine guy, John, is done being treated for accidentally self-inflicted injuries, and he hits on Randi as he’s leaving. He wants her to know upfront that he spent some time in prison, but he’s done his time and thinks they could have some fun together. Randi’s interested. Carol tends to a client patient who’s brought a bird in with him, in his beard. Carol either doesn’t see this as a big deal or she’s too busy to worry about it, so she just sends him on his way.

She gets pulled away when her mother arrives to announce that Doug came to ask for Carol’s hand in marriage. Helen really hopes it’s a joke. She had no idea that Carol and Doug had been back together for eight months. She has doubts that they’ll actually get married. Carol tries to send her away, so Helen reminds her that she was there when Doug broke Carol’s heart the first time around. She knows men like him don’t change.

Anspaugh tells Mark that his 12-year-old son, Scott, was treated for lymphoma the year before, and he’s being brought in from school with abdominal pain. Scott and his previous doctor didn’t get along, so Anspaugh would like Mark to take care of him. Weaver spots the two talking and wonders what it’s about. Both are surprised that Anspaugh has kids (he also has a daughter); since his wife died, he’s a single parent. Mark enlists Jeanie for assistance, though Jeanie isn’t sure Anspaugh would want her involved. Mark mostly just wants her there because she’s a friendly face.

Scott arrives and sees his trip to the hospital as unnecessary. He just has a simple stomachache. Mark and Jeanie let him walk in instead of riding in a wheelchair, as Carol tries to call Doug to talk about her mother. Scott’s brattiness quickly explains why he and his previous doctor didn’t get along. He’s pretty bold to yell at Mark in front of Anspaugh that he won’t let anyone stick him with a needle.

Elizabeth goes across town to talk to Dr. Kotlowitz, the doctor she wants to perform Allison’s vocal-cord surgery. She thinks that when he meets Allison, he’ll want to perform the procedure out of the kindness of his heart. She makes it clear that she’s there for Allison, not Romano. This week in Plotlines No One Cares About, Anna and Chuny find a Tamagotchi left behind by a patient. Anna will have to take care of it so it doesn’t die before the owner comes back.

Jeanie tells Scott that she made a bet with Anspaugh that she can stick him to draw blood without him feeling it. If she wins, she’ll give Scott some of her $10 prize. Scott blasts her for talking to him like a kid and sends her away. Jeanie stands up to him, telling him that if he doesn’t cooperate, she’ll get a nurse to hold him down while she does her job. Anspaugh spies through the door as Jeanie earns her $10.

Anna, Tamagotchi, Maria Bello should fire her agent. Cynthia misses low-tech toys like her Barbie van. A Meals on Wheels volunteer named Susan brings an elderly woman named Mrs. Reilly who seems to be struggling to take care of herself. Susan worries that she’s had a stroke. Mrs. Reilly is calm and pleasant, but she thinks it’s August and that Carol is someone she knows.

Laura shows up for Carter’s next speaking engagement, ready to get a sales pitch for emergency medicine. Cynthia teases Mark for going through a pack of nicotine gum so quickly. As she looks through her bag for another pack, Mark spots her birth-control pills and sees that they haven’t all been taken. She reminds him that she has another pack in his bathroom. She definitely doesn’t want to get pregnant.

Doug calls Carol back as she and Yosh are examining Mrs. Reilly. She’s annoyed that Doug talked to Helen about their engagement before Carol could even tell her they were back together. As Yosh and Susan are changing Mrs. Reilly into a gown, Carol spots “whore” written on her back. She sends Yosh and Susan away, though she asks Susan to stick around a little while longer, since Mrs. Reilly doesn’t seem to have any family.

One of the detectives from Mrs. Larkin’s case comes in to talk to Carol and Mark about Mrs. Reilly. They’re not sure if she’s altered and can’t remember her assault because of dehydration, Alzheimer’s, or trauma. Mark asks if the police will be making any announcements about what appears to be a serial rapist. Cynthia lets Carol know that Yosh is still seeing clinic patients while she’s working with the police. Carol says Yosh can’t handle them alone, but Cynthia reports that Doug has come in to help. She thinks Doug believes Carol’s mad at him. Maybe not so much anymore.

Jeanie takes Scott for some scans, though he’s already guessed that his tumor is back. Jeanie tells him not to worry until he knows for sure. She asks about his interests, and he scoffs when she says that she shares his love of John Woo movies. Laura catches Carter as he’s leaving for the day and asks if she can shadow him in the ER sometime. He’s working that night and invites her to join him. Then he asks her to dinner before his shift.

Benton heads to work as well, running into Romano, who thanks him for speaking to the students. He calls Peter “Pete,” which Peter says he doesn’t like. Romano thinks he should like it, but Peter won’t budge. Elizabeth was right about Kotlowitz, as he’s just met Allison and agreed to do her procedure. Romano pretends he’s totally fine with that.

After Kotlowitz leaves, Romano yells at Elizabeth for going behind his back (she’s even worked things out with Anspaugh to give Kotlowitz temporary privileges). He finds the procedure unnecessary; the one her insurance covers is satisfactory. Elizabeth disagrees – Allison wants her voice back, and it’s their job as her doctors to do everything they can for her. Romano asks if Elizabeth is questioning his commitment to Allison’s best interests. If she is, she’s making a huge mistake.

Doug makes America swoon by hanging out with a baby, then chats with a pregnant woman named Sherry who has Down’s syndrome. Her food stamps have been cut, so she needs to know what she can do without. (Carol helped her make a food chart the last time she was there.) Doug offers to make some calls and find an agency that will help Sherry out.

Mark performs a rape exam on Mrs. Reilly, who seems to think it’s decades earlier, and that she’s receiving an exam because she’s pregnant. After a few moments, she realizes that’s not right, but she still doesn’t remember her assault. Mark thinks she’s lucky in that way. The Tamagotchi owner arrives, but despite Anna’s daylong efforts to take care of it, it’s dead. Cynthia gives her a comforting pat on the hand and says she did the best she could. Then she gives the young owner the bad news while Anna smacks the Tamagotchi around, trying to revive it. I hope she doesn’t do that with her human patients.

Anspaugh thanks Jeanie for all the work she did with Scott. It’s not clear yet if his abdominal problems mean his cancer is back. On their way to the hospital after dinner, Carter and Laura come across an unconscious homeless man. Elizabeth and Romano are cool toward each other as they scrub in for Allison’s leg surgery, but Romano has decided to back down and allow Kotlowitz to do his procedure. He tells Elizabeth she was right to do everything she could for Allison. Elizabeth asks if the two of them are all right. “You and I are a match made in Heaven,” he replies.

Carter and Laura help bring the homeless man into the ER, where Mark starts tending to him. Swift’s shift is over, and he and Mark are supposed to get dinner together, but Mark can’t leave just yet. Laura’s really impressed with Carter’s skills, and Mark can see she likes him. Susan has to go home, which means Mrs. Reilly is really alone in the hospital. Susan admits to Carol that she won’t feel comfortable delivering meals to Mrs. Reilly’s building anymore. Carol assures her that she’s not a horrible person for feeling that way. She did a wonderful thing by looking out for Mrs. Reilly.

West comes by to get Weaver and asks if Anspaugh said anything about his proposal. She laments that Anspaugh asks Mark to help with Scott, when she would have been just as good a choice. She thinks Anspaugh has forgotten that she’s a doctor, since she’s doing so much administrative stuff now. Carter thought the homeless man was hypothermic, but he’s just drunk. Without the rush of an emergency or the flashiness of a special procedure, Laura’s no longer interested. She moves on to Benton instead.

Doug’s hours in the clinic have definitely helped Carol forgive him for approaching her mother. He’s proud of all the work she’s done at the clinic. Carter complains to Mark that he didn’t inspire any of the students he spoke to. He wanted them to see the passion he has for emergency medicine. Mark tells him that, over all the years he’ll work as a doctor, the sum total of his patient care will be what counts, not his passion.

Mrs. Reilly thinks she just got a bump on the head and made an unnecessary trip to the hospital. She tells Carol that she’s become forgetful in her old age; the other night, she accidentally left her keys in the doorknob. This triggers a memory, and she remembers a man coming into her apartment and attacking her. Carol holds her as she cries over her remembered trauma.

Thoughts: Carlene is played by Telma Hopkins.

Who wrote the tamagotchi plot, and where do I send my complaints?

We get it, Carter gave up glamor when he left surgery. Let’s move on.

I love Susan so much. The world needs more Susans.

July 16, 2019

ER 4.9, Obstruction of Justice: Two Protests With Very Different Results

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

These two really should have ended up together

Summary: Jeanie’s worked her last day at County but is up the next morning to go sign papers. Al is still confident that he’ll find work in Atlanta, though he’d appreciate Jeanie not nagging him about getting a job. Synergix sends some computer equipment over to County so they can work there on a trial basis. Weaver tells Anspaugh that she thinks Jeanie’s rumblings about getting litigious over her termination weren’t serious. The budget will be proof enough that they needed to let people go. Anspaugh praises Weaver for her handling of a difficult situation.

Mark’s hungover from his drunken antics with Cynthia the night before. She’s worn his lingerie gift to work, and she gives him a peep show in the doctors’ lounge. Doug was supposed to be back at work today, but he called to say his car broke down. Carol wants to make it very clear that he called the hospital, not her personally. Mark and Cynthia emerge from the lounge, and Carol and Chuny should probably hose it down before they go in.

Jeanie goes to Doc Magoo’s to meet up with a couple of lawyers Doyle knows. The fact that she’s never been disciplined works in her favor, but I’d say the fact that she performed a procedure she wasn’t supposed to because of her HIV doesn’t. Anyway, Jeanie wants her job back. At County, Carter asks Anna and Randi if he can borrow a dollar to get a soda. I guess he doesn’t have anything in his wallet smaller than a $50. Anna gives him a buck, noting that, according to legend, JFK also never carried cash on him. She lets him keep the change.

Carter’s cousin Chase shows up, calling Carter “Scooter,” which I’m going to need an explanation for. At least Anna now has a nickname to use for her least favorite colleague. Chase needs medical treatment for what he says is a spider bite. West meets Mark, who’s fine with the Synergix partnership because it means less work for him. West shows Weaver a new verbal dictation system that includes a hands-free mic.

Carol finds Cynthia in the restroom and tells her that there can be no more sex in the lounge. Cynthia laughs that off, saying she was just “trying to cheer up three of the Seven Dwarfs: Grumpy, Sleepy, and Doc.” She thinks Carol should be happier about Mark’s happiness. Jeanie shows up for work, saying she’s not going to accept her termination. Yeah, that’s…not how that works, Jeanie.

Carter and Chase chat about how their grandparents want Chase to be the next prominent successor of the family, working with the family company. Carter has no interest in that, and Chase is being overlooked despite already working for the company. Weaver and Carol tend to a man named Mr. Jackson who says he needs pain medication for a sickle cell crisis; someone stole his Percodans. Carol and Weaver think he’s a drug-seeker and won’t give him the dose he says he needs.

Paramedics bring in a mother and daughter hurt in a car accident. The mother is unconscious, and the daughter, Allison, is having trouble speaking. Weaver brings West in to help her with Allison. Benton and Elizabeth come in to replace West, and Benton shows the best bedside manner he’s ever displayed when he tells Allison they won’t let her die. Next door, her mother regains consciousness but soon flatlines. Elizabeth takes Allison to surgery for leg injuries.

Chuny tells Weaver that Jeanie clocked in for work. Carol can’t get anyone on the phone at the clinic Jackson says he usually goes to, which makes his story seem even fishier. He demands Demerol, but Weaver still won’t budge. Then she goes to confront Jeanie. She points out that Jeanie’s off the payroll and is no longer covered by malpractice insurance. Jeanie says she won’t see anymore patients, but she’s not leaving. Weaver threatens to have her forcibly removed from the hospital. Jeanie says Weaver can do what she needs to do, and Jeanie will do the same.

Allison’s mother dies in the ER, and Benton volunteers to take the news up to Allison in the OR. Herb arrives to shadow Mark, who hasn’t told anyone what’s really going on. Herb just wants to do a couple of sutures, nothing big. Mark’s like, “Cool, I can go from one malpractice suit to another!” Chase invites Carter to go to lunch, but Carter declines because he has to work. He explains to Anna that his family thinks he’s just dabbling in medicine and will quit sooner or later.

A screaming woman named Darlene is brought in after apparently being beaten up by her husband. Both spouses are drunk, and the husband, Eddie, says Darlene ran him over with her car. The cops believe him, though Darlene says she was trying to get away from her husband. She knows Billy, the officer who accompanied them in, is just siding with Eddie because they’re buddies. He’s handcuffed Darlene, but Carter makes him remove the cuffs so he can do his job. Billy demands that Carter get Darlene’s blood-alcohol level.

Benton tells Elizabeth that Allison’s leg injury is too bad to be repaired; they need to amputate. Elizabeth wants to do a procedure that she thinks will save the leg. Benton thinks Elizabeth just wants a guinea pig to practice the procedure on. Romano, of course, gets the tiebreaker, and he’s eager to see Elizabeth perform her procedure.

Weaver tells Mark that Jeanie is still fired, no matter what kind of protest she wants to stage. She hasn’t been able to reach Anspaugh. Mark’s happy he doesn’t have to deal with the stuff Weaver does. He gives Herb some scrubs and asks for some details on how, exactly, Herb plans to defend him from the Laws’ lawsuit (…heh). Herb says it doesn’t matter.

Billy urges Eddie to back him in filing charges against Darlene for assault with a deadly weapon. Apparently they’ve tried to press charges against her before, but Eddie always backs down. While Carter and Anna are telling Eddie that he’s not badly injured, Billy tries to force Chuny to draw Darlene’s blood for a blood-alcohol test. Darlene starts declining, so Carter and Anna rush to help her. Carter tells Billy he’ll need to get a warrant before they’ll agree to the blood draw. He knows both his and Darlene’s rights.

Apparently scrubs and a stethoscope are all you need to pass as a doctor, since Malik and Doyle both mistake Herb for one. Doyle thinks he’s from Synergix. It helps that he knows some medical stuff, having hired an ER doctor to teach him some terms and procedures. Mark sends him to the lounge to practice sutures on a pig’s foot.

Doug arrives and the nurses immediately put him to work. Carol runs up to him, eager for a reunion, but has to tone it down when she remembers other people are there. West invites Weaver to a Synergix conference in the Caribbean next week, which is definitely not an excuse for them to be alone in the tropics without anyone knowing that they’re totally sleeping together.

Mark sends Doug to an exam room to examine a patient complaining of insomnia and a loss of appetite. Doug suggests a psych consult, but Mark wants Doug to handle it himself. The patient is really Carol, and Mark wanted to give them some time alone. Cynthia catches them making out, and though Carol is briefly embarrassed about doing the same thing she told Cynthia not to do, she lets it go so she can go back to kissing her secret boyfriend.

Carter asks Mark what he should do if the police want blood from a patient who’s refused to give it. Herb tells him that he’s allowed to side with the patient and decline. He offers a consult if Carter needs one, but Mark pulls him away. Weaver catches Jeanie trying to help Yosh with a patient, and she’s finally fed up. She tells Chuny to call security, like Chuny should be dragged into this. She’s already on the phone, since Anspaugh is calling to summon Jeanie for a meeting.

Darlene’s blood alcohol is .270, but her vomit doesn’t show any pill fragments, so that’s one less thing for Carter and Anna to have to deal with. Billy arrives with the warrant for Darlene’s blood and asks for the stomach contents as well. That’s not on the warrant, so Carter flushes them right in front of Billy. Billy responds by arresting him for destroying evidence. Mark tries to step in, but Carter is nonchalant, knowing he was just protecting his patient’s rights.

Anspaugh, Jeanie, Weaver, and one of Jeanie’s lawyers meet to discuss the possibility that Jeanie was fired for something other than budget cuts. There’s a case for discrimination and a violation of the disciplinary process. Anspaugh determines that Jeanie will drop the matter if she gets her job back. He promises to have a decision today. After Jeanie and her lawyer leave, Weaver tells Anspaugh that if he hires Jeanie back, he’ll be giving in to blackmail. But Anspaugh knows the case could blow up, and he doesn’t want to deal with the bad PR.

Benton assists while Elizabeth and Romano perform her procedure on Allison. Mark asks Cynthia to find him when Rachel is dropped off at the hospital for a dentist’s appointment. Cynthia’s excited to meet her boyfriend’s daughter. Mark tries to call the hospital’s lawyer for Carter, but they’re not quite sure what to do. To add insult to injury, Darlene and Eddie are in the process of making up. “Carter went to jail for this?” Mark asks Anna dryly.

At the police station, Carter tries to name-drop, saying the commissioner is a family friend. The officer booking him is unimpressed. Carter smiles during his mug shot, because he has no idea what he’s doing. Carol asks Doug for advice on handling Jackson; she can’t figure out if he’s a drug-seeker or if he’s actually in pain. Either way, he’s not happy. Doug examines him, talking to him about what might have brought on his crisis. He tells Jackson to trust him, and Doug will trust him in turn. He gets Jackson to visualize a calm place, which helps him relax.

Weaver tells Jeanie that she can have her job back. Jeanie immediately gets back to work, ignoring Weaver when she claims the termination was never about her HIV. In the OR, Allison declines, and Benton tries hard to revive her. Romano decides they can’t take the time to give her CPR; they need to cut open her chest for compressions. Herb asks Mark to let him help reduce a woman’s dislocated elbow. He reminds Mark that they had a deal that would let Herb do actual procedures. Mark gives in, and Herb is thrilled to get to help.

Rachel arrives and immediately makes friends with Cynthia. While Mark’s distracted, Herb helps himself to a patient chart. Mark asks Cynthia to take Rachel to the dentist for her so he can figure out how to help Carter. Mark stops Herb from doing more sutures without supervision, but when they come across a patient in distress, Herb grabs a crash cart and shocks the patient before Mark can react. The patient stabilizes.

Jeanie meets up with Al and gives him the news that she got her job back. But Al has gotten the job he wanted in Atlanta and is eager to move. Jeanie doesn’t want to just walk away from a job she fought for. Al thinks she doesn’t believe in him. Jeanie knows he wants to keep his HIV status quiet in Atlanta, which will make her feel like they’re running away. Al wants a fresh start; Jeanie may have a life in Chicago, but he doesn’t. Jeanie says he doesn’t get what her job means to her.

Because he only committed a misdemeanor, Carter doesn’t have to wait for a fingerprint check, and he can leave lockup as soon as he pays his $100 bond. He tells the cop who booked him to run one of his credit cards. The police station only accepts cash, though, and all Carter has is the change Anna let him keep from her dollar.

At County, Mark decides that his deal with Herb is too much trouble, so it’s over. When Herb hears that Carter’s in jail, he tells Weaver it’s not a big deal. Then he tells Mark that he’s already taken care of his case – he got a buddy to convince the Laws to drop the charges. The patient Herb saved sings his praises in the hall as Herb leaves, pleased with his exciting day.

Jen shows up to get Rachel, unhappy to learn that Mark sent her off with Cynthia. She’s even less happy when she discovers that the two went to a salon after the dentist, and Cynthia let Rachel dye her hair pink and purple. (Fortunately, it’ll wash out.) Mark pretends he’s not upset, but he does ask for a night off from Cynthia.

Anna objects to letting Carter stay in jail all night when they can easily get a bail bondsman to get him out. She also knows they can’t call his family for help. Mark sends her off to handle things. Doug gives Jackson some medication, and Weaver complains that he helped a drug-seeker get exactly what he wanted. Doug believes Jackson’s story and says he can’t function without pain medication. Weaver says people live in pain but suck it up. Doug thinks she’s suffering the consequences of all the responsibilities she’s taken on.

Cynthia emotionally apologizes to Mark for overstepping her boundaries with Rachel. She thinks Jen hates her now (to be fair, I don’t think there are many people Jen doesn’t hate). Mark tries to comfort her. Carter is left in lockup with a muscled guy who knows he’s a doctor. Despite his angry demeanor, the guy is also in for obstruction of justice. He pulls down his pants, freaking Carter out, but he just wants Carter to examine a bump. Carter’s actually about to when Anna arrives with his bail. He’s so happy to see her that he kisses her.

Anna jokes that this is Carter’s Christmas present. She tells him that Darlene did, in fact, try to kill Eddie, but they’ve made up. Carter laments that he could have had lunch with Chase after all. Anna notes that it’s expensive to have a rich friend. Benton brings Elizabeth some tea as she checks on Allison after surgery. Her leg is still attached, but now she’s in a coma. Elizabeth wonders if she did surgery because of personal reasons, not because it was best for Allison. Benton admits that he also struggles with the balance between helping and being ambitious.

Weaver has to take a break on a bench as she heads home that night. Jeanie thinks Al has already left by the time she gets home, but he’s still around, wanting to see if she’s changed her mind. Jeanie says again that she’s worked too hard to walk away from her job, no matter how she’s been treated there. Al doesn’t want to walk away from their relationship, either. They’ve been together on and off since they were teens. But this is where it ends for them, and it’s the last time we’ll ever see Al.

Thoughts: Jackson is played by Hill Harper.

I’m totally sympathetic to Jeanie, but showing up to your job after you’ve been laid off makes you look crazy.

I’m so disappointed we didn’t get a scene where Millicent got a call about her grandson getting arrested for standing up to the police.

Remember how Anspaugh was painted as tough and tyrannical when he was first introduced? He’s actually very fair and level-headed.

July 9, 2019

ER 4.8, Freak Show: Reversal of Fortune

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

Cher’s dad got bitten by a snake

Summary: Mark and Carol are back from California and ready to go back to work. He’s feeling refreshed, which Carol is pleased about, because maybe he’ll stop being a jerk at County. Doug is still away, but he sent a note back with Mark for Carol. At the hospital, Carter and Anna work on a patient together, making polite conversation while he tries to figure out if she’s still mad that he never told her his family is super-rich. (The answer is yup!)

Benton and Romano also make awkward small talk about Romano’s reservations about accepting Benton onto his team. Can he play nice with Elizabeth? And more importantly, can he keep up with her? Benton says yes, so Romano suggests a trial run. The waiting area is packed when Carol and Mark get to County. Cynthia tells Carol that people are there for her new free clinic. It’s not supposed to open until next week, but Cynthia put out an announcement with the wrong date. The not-yet-existent clinic will just have to find a way to accommodate them early.

Carol is so busy that she doesn’t have time to open Doug’s note. She was also supposed to work in the ER, but will have to skip her shift to run the clinic. Weaver agrees to sub in a transferring nurse, Yosh Takada, who makes a poor first impression by tripping over a cart. Jeanie’s finishing up her time at County in the wake of her firing, though Doyle thinks she should try to fight the termination. Jeanie says she’ll just move to Atlanta with Al. Doyle thinks she was fired because of her HIV status, though Jeanie accepts the explanation that it was for budget purposes.

Mark meets up with Cynthia, who he didn’t talk to the whole time he was in California. He gives her the necklace he got at the pawn shop, which she loves. He compliments her coffee after Connie and Lydia say it’s awful. A 12-year-old boy named Rodney who was hit by a car is brought in with internal injuries. Benton and Weaver study his X-rays, which Benton thinks were mislabeled, since they’re backwards. He quickly realizes that, in fact, Rodney’s internal organs are reversed.

Yosh is coming to the clinic from chart review, so he doesn’t work with patients much. Carol tells him to get patients started and check their vitals, then send them to triage if they seem to need emergency care. She laments that she didn’t have an extra week to get more organized. Mark is busy with Doug out of town, but he agrees to help out however he can. Cynthia gives him some papers sent by a lawyer, but Mark wants to put ignore them for as long as possible.

Elizabeth has looked up Rodney’s condition and hasn’t found any published cases, which means Benton could be the first to write about it. Romano invites her to join them as they operate. Benton pretends he’s not territorial. Carter wants a truce with Anna, though she’s trying to play things off like his lies aren’t a big deal. Henry comes by to thank Carter for giving him time to work on his research when he was supposed to be in the ER. But since Carter wasn’t able to evaluate his work, Henry has to repeat his clerkship. Carter and Henry ride again!

Weaver tells Jeanie that she’s given her a recommendation at a hospital in Atlanta. Jeanie is understandably cold to her. A man brings in a bunch of people from a shelter to be seen in the clinic, thanks to encouragement from Cynthia. Carol snaps at her, so Mark pulls her aside and tells her to keep her criticisms out of earshot of the rest of the staff. Carol, of course, doesn’t appreciate getting her own dressing down.

A nurse snaps pictures as Benton, Romano, and Elizabeth operate on Rodney. Benton jokes about putting a mirror on the ceiling to reverse the organs to their proper locations. Romano, of course, cracks a joke about having one in his bedroom. He hopes they can find Rodney’s family soon, since he wants permission to collect some blood and samples. Benton and Elizabeth agree to work on publishing the case together.

Carter uses a mnemonic device to teach Henry the bones of the wrist. Anna has a different mnemonic because she learned different terms for the bones. Both are sex-related. Guys, just take your clothes off already and save the rest of us from having to watch this. Cynthia finds Doug’s note and thinks it’s for her, since it’s only labeled with her initials, “C.H.”

A man named Herb Spivak comes in with a snake bite sustained while feeding a python at a reptile farm. Ellis West lures Weaver out to the parking garage to tell her that Synergix has approved extra attending coverage. He wants to thank her for her cooperation with flowers. Rodney’s surgery is successful, and his father, Isaac, has arrived at the hospital. He recognizes Benton as a high school classmate. Benton promises that they’ll do what they can to help Rodney make a full recovery.

Carol discovers that Doug’s note is missing, and no, she doesn’t want Cynthia’s help finding it, thank you. Mark treats Herb, whose snake bite isn’t venomous, though he’ll have to have the python’s teeth removed from his chest. The reptile guy, a knockoff Steve Irwin, has brought the python, Flora, with him in case she needs to be swabbed for bacteria. Malik will opt out of that task.

Anspaugh brings some students to Rodney’s bed to use him as a teaching case. He’s eager to eventually see photos from the surgery. He’s also pleased with Benton’s work. Romano hopes that Benton’s past with Isaac will be an advantage when they ask Isaac to let them do tests on Rodney to learn more about his condition. Elizabeth offers to talk to Isaac instead, since Benton might be uncomfortable talking to someone he has a personal connection with. Benton insists that they don’t have a connection, but his worry is that Isaac will think they’re using Rodney for personal gain.

Jeanie meets Yosh and is upset to learn that he was transferred to the ER during what was supposedly a hiring freeze. Herb tells Mark about other injuries he’s sustained, like during a scuba diving mishap. He’s a lawyer defending Knockoff Steve Irwin, AKA Gary, in a wrongful-death suit (someone claims Flora ate their dog). In exchange for Herb’s legal counsel, he gets to hang out with snakes.

Al didn’t get the job he was interviewing for in Atlanta, but Jeanie is sure he’ll find something else. Carol chats with her about how much work is going into running the clinic – she doesn’t even have a doctor available to write prescriptions. Jeanie points out that, as a PA, she can do that. And it’s not like she can get in trouble for working in the clinic instead of the ER. After all, she’s already been fired.

Cynthia has read Doug ‘s note and thinks Mark wrote it for her. He plays along, and she says her answer is yes, she will. Benton tells Isaac that Rodney’s blood may not be clotting properly, so he could require a transfusion. Isaac isn’t aware of Rodney’s reversed organs, which are one of the reasons he’s in critical condition. If his organs were in the right places, his liver wouldn’t have been injured. Benton gently asks if they can draw some of Isaac and his ex-wife’s blood to do some genetic tests. Isaac easily agrees, willing to do anything to help his son.

Carter oversees Henry’s examination of a patient, something Carter could have done on his own in one-fifth the time. Jeanie proves extremely helpful at the clinic, and she tells Carol she wishes she had her guts to fight for something she wants. Carol encourages her to look for ammo she can use. While Benton’s drawing blood for testing, Rodney has complications relating to his inability to clot. Isaac panics helplessly while Benton and Elizabeth work on the boy.

Connie tells Mark that Cynthia really, really likes him. Mark says they’re just having fun, but since the necklace he gave her contains a diamond, Connie says it’s “serious fun.” He tries to dig in Cynthia’s purse to read Doug’s note, but Weaver catches him. Mark questions some parts of the budget (like the part where Weaver’s making more money than he is), though he approved them months ago.

Henry’s looking sick as Carter finally calls time of death on his never-ending patient history. He thinks it’s from allergies, but Carter has no sympathy. Anna comes in immediately afterward to tend to the patient she thinks is hers. Carol gives a little boy named Hector a shot, then examines his chin, since his mom says he keeps complaining about it. When she touches it, Hector says he doesn’t feel anything. After a lot of blood loss and 20 minutes without a pulse, Benton and Elizabeth are still working on Rodney. Elizabeth finally decides that they need to let him go.

Jeanie asks Weaver if she can look at the ER budget. Weaver says her termination isn’t personal, but Jeanie wants to look at the facts and make sure they support Weaver’s claims. After all, there was supposedly a hiring freeze, but Yosh has been hired. Weaver says he’s replacing two nurses who left. Jeanie questions Weaver’s recent raise, but Weaver won’t address that with her.

Carol asks Carter if he’s ever had a patient with a numb chin. Anna finds them with her patient; Henry didn’t sign him out on the board, so she didn’t know that Henry had already done his history and physical. “Actually, I’m quite fond of all of you,” the patient says. Carter thinks he needs surgery, but Anna wants to treat him medically first. Carter agrees, making Anna think he’s giving in to appease her. He lies that he was already considering alternatives to surgery.

Weaver slams Mark for telling Jeanie their salaries, which he denies doing. The patients in the waiting area have disappeared, thanks to some quick thinking by Carol, who gave them Doyle’s unused meal tickets and sent them to the cafeteria. She’s looking up Hector’s numb chin in the hospital’s medical database, but the medical terminology isn’t giving her anything. Mark tells her to just look up “numb chin.” Success!

Benton asks Isaac if they can autopsy Rodney’s body. Isaac doesn’t get why it’s necessary, since his cause of death is apparent. Benton says it would be important for research into his condition. Isaac thinks Benton’s shown so much interest in Rodney not because of his injuries but because of his condition. Now Isaac doesn’t want him to be studied. He’s already been through enough. Benton realizes that Isaac is right and leaves him alone with Rodney’s body.

Henry, still not feeling well, struggles to help Carter with a trauma patient. Carter thinks it’s from seeing blood, but when he passes out and Lydia checks on him, she realizes it’s more serious. She pulls Mark, Anna, and Malik into the trauma room to help both Henry and Carter’s patient. Carter still thinks Henry was just lightheaded; he complained all day about feeling sick, but he’s a hypochondriac. Soon, he realizes that Henry has had a bad reaction to his latex gloves. It’s bad enough to cause respiratory arrest, though Anna and Carter are able to help him. Herb, also in the room, assures Mark that everything’s under control.

Benton tells Romano that he’s rethinking his decision to join Romano’s team. He didn’t press Isaac about letting them study Rodney, and he doesn’t feel comfortable bringing it up again. Romano thinks they have a responsibility to study that “freak of nature” because that’s how medical breakthroughs are made. Benton argues that Rodney was a little boy, and Isaac has made his wishes known. Romano warns him against sentimentality and orders him to get Isaac’s consent. Benton tells him to get someone else to do it.

Carol tells Weaver that her research about Hector has led to a diagnosis of leukemia. Carol asks Weaver to talk to Hector’s mother, who might feel more comfortable talking with a doctor about his diagnosis, but Weaver thinks Carol should do it, since the mom already knows her.

Herb is now in the doctors’ lounge, hanging out with Mark’s lawyer, Alan, whom he knows from some committee. Alan thinks Herb is now representing Mark, and he’s thrilled about that. He reveals that Mark came close to losing his job over the Kenny Law case. After Alan leaves, Herb tells Mark that Alan is a horrible lawyer and just jumped to the conclusion that Herb was defending Mark. He’d be happy to take the case, though. Mark can’t afford him, but Herb is willing to make a trade. He’ll make the civil suit go away for free if Mark lets him shadow him in the ER.

Thanks to Elizabeth, Isaac has agreed to let the doctors do a case study on Hector. And despite Benton’s refusal to obey his commands, Romano still wants Benton on his team. Elizabeth thinks Romano likes him because of his backbone. Henry’s recovering from anaphylactic shock and kind of remembers Carter and Anna helping him. He also saw a bright light and had an out-of-body experience. Henry praises how well Carter and Anna worked together to save him. They’re his angels.

Carol finally gets Doug’s note back and confides to Elizabeth that it’s a love letter. Elizabeth wishes she hadn’t broken up with her boyfriend back home, which leaves her without someone to write a love letter to. She invites Carol to get a drink with her. Weaver joins a meeting between Jeanie and Anspaugh, whom Jeanie approached to discuss the budget. She thinks her termination and Weaver’s subsequent raise point to something other than just budget cuts. Was she fired because of her HIV status? Anspaugh asks for some time to go over the figures again.

Weaver asks Jeanie if she’s really going to use her health like this. Weaver fought to keep Jeanie on staff at County, then worked to get her a job in Atlanta. She’s never discriminated against Jeanie because of her status. Jeanie throws Weaver’s “it’s nothing personal” claim back in her face. Mark and Cynthia get drunk in his bed and he gives her some lingerie. She quotes part of Doug’s note, which, of course, Mark doesn’t recognize, though he’s still going to pretend he does. Whatever she agreed to from the note, she wants him to do it first. And fortunately, we don’t have to find out what that was.

Thoughts: Herb is played by Dan Hedaya. Isaac is played by Harold Perrineau.

For some reason, I’ve remembered the “numb chin” thing for years.

The only problem with Henry’s plot is that he’s not wearing gloves when he first starts feeling sick. Shouldn’t that make him feel better? Also…he’s never come into contact with latex before? Ever?

June 25, 2019

ER 4.6, Ground Zero: Guess Who’s Secretly Rich!

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

Ick

Summary: Despite still not having a job and just getting in a huge fight with his friend, Al’s in a good mood: He has a lead on a job in Atlanta. He thinks Jeanie would be willing to move there with him. Jeanie’s more realistic about their ability to just start their lives over. Al knows he has no options in Chicago, but in Atlanta, they could keep their HIV statuses quiet.

Carol’s finishing up her grant proposal in preparation for meeting with Carter’s grandmother that night. Mark comes in to work happy – the Kenny Law case has been settled, and he has just one more day of work before a short vacation. He and Carol discuss how many patients the ER sees in year, though she’s not sure they should include the turkeys who aren’t really in need of medical care. He suggests a bet about the ratio of turkeys to real patients over the next 12 hours. A real patient comes in right then, and Mark says Carol’s already winning.

Carter goes by Anna’s apartment, which is probably the smallest living space he’s ever been in. He spots a roach, which she squishes with her shoe. Carter encourages her to report her landlord to the Health Department. Anna comments that Carter seems so middle-class that she wouldn’t have expected him to know how to deal with slumlords. He says his family always had enough to get by and put food on the table. So he’s not lying lying to her about his family’s wealth, he’s just understating it.

Mark and Carol’s patient, Prole, explains that he injured his knee during a performance-art piece. He was doing a twist on William Tell, putting the apple between his legs instead of on his head. Doug notes that he’s lucky the person who shot him (with a bullet, not an arrow) didn’t aim higher. His assistant/photographer/toadie thinks the blood he left on the wall will make a great statement. Prole decides to turn himself into a piece of art and experience everything in his course of treatment without morphine. Mark thinks this makes him a turkey instead of a normal patient.

Benton arrives for an operation that was pushed up without his knowledge. Elizabeth tells him she thought she was doing him a favor by taking something off his plate. She offers to let him do one of her operations instead. Cynthia gives Jeanie a message from Al reminding her of the nice things they’ll get to experience in Atlanta. Anspaugh tells Weaver that an ER management group called Synergix is coming to help them with money issues. She complains to Mark that she’s expected to cut another $98,000 from the already bare-bones budget.

In the process of checking over an unconscious man injured at the gym, Jeanie sees that he has a KKK tattoo. A teen named Danny is brought in from juvenile detention after having a seizure in his cell. Doug pulls Carol out of the room and tells her he thinks Danny’s faking to get some time out of jail. Carol wonders if Doug isn’t just letting all Mark’s talk about turkeys get to him.

Jeanie tries to pass her patient off to Carter, but Mark intervenes and tells her to keep the guy, tattoo or no tattoo. If there’s a problem, Jeanie can call security, because we all know their history of prompt, appropriate responses to emergency. Danny keeps having seizures (allegedly), so Doug asks Carol to prepare an “H20 NA” treatment. Carol says it’s experimental and asks the guard who accompanied Danny if she knows his next of in. Doug says that Danny’s best chance is to stop seizing on his own. He immediately does, thanks to the “experimental” treatment of salt water.

Anna informs a patient named Vinnie that he has gonorrhea. Again. He’s in the “entertainment industry” and often gets tested for other STDs. Anna would rather be anywhere but there. Hey, maybe Jeanie will trade patients with her. Carol mentions to Carter that she’s meeting with his grandmother that night, which Carter forgot about. He cautions her not to mention politics, religion, or baseball.

Mark starts treating a man’s wrist injury, but it’s just a ruse for someone to serve him with papers. Mark thinks it’s for the Kenny Law case, which was settled, but it’s a new suit: Chris is bringing a civil suit against Mark, alleging that he violated Kenny’s civil rights. Weaver attends a Synergix seminar, led by Ellis West, who tries to avoid answering her questions about how, exactly, the company will help County cut costs. Romano enlists Elizabeth to operate on Prole, and it’s clear she doesn’t know him well, because she thinks he’s giving her the case out of the kindness of his heart.

Doug tells Mark that a golfing buddy who’s a judge has recommended a lawyer to help him with Chris’ lawsuit. Mark would rather Doug not talk about his legal issues with other people. Carol overhears and asks Doug what the statute of limitations is on PTSD. They’ve cut Mark plenty of slack – he needs help. Doug says he just needs supportive friends. Carol notes that, with his attitude, Mark soon won’t have anyone left he can call a friend.

Lydia tells Jeanie that her tattooed patient, Lindermulder, is awake and very polite. Yeah, well…Lydia’s white. Jeanie treats him politely but not warmly, and Lindermulder asks for someone else to treat him. No offense, of course. When Jeanie pulls down his gown to inject him in the shoulder, right where his tattoo is, he asks if she’s been saved. Jeanie asks what his tattoo has to do with God. Lindermulder is sorry she had to see it. He keeps it as a reminder of the intolerance he left behind when he was saved. He built a new life, whether or not Jeanie thinks that’s possible.

Weaver tries to talk to West more after the seminar, and he’d be more than happy to meet with her later to discuss whatever she wants. Clothing optional, I assume. Carol treats a patient for Mark’s turkey column, a woman wearing a gas mask and spraying aerosols around her to fight germs. She claims she’s allergic to her apartment building, but Mark thinks she has anxiety and just wants attention.

Benton and Anspaugh operate together, and Anspaugh notes that Benton and Elizabeth seem to be getting along well. Anspaugh has recommended Benton to join Romano’s team, but Benton isn’t interested in Romano’s procedures, which use more technology. Anspaugh points out that he needs to keep up with developments in his job. Out at a restaurant, Weaver tells West that she has to cut 10% of the budget by the next day. She’s reluctant to have to fire someone she considers a friend. West is like, “Yeah, that’s rough. Let’s get coffee and see what happens next.”

The gas mask lady left against medical advice, which Carol blames on Mark. He says it’s not his job to be the patients’ friend. Romano and Elizabeth earn a lot of attention by doing Prole’s surgery, the first of its kind at County. Anspaugh reminds Benton that this is the sort of thing he should be trying to get in on. Paramedics bring in an elderly man named Scarletti who fell in his bathtub. His wife is distressed, but Mark has no patience for her.

Benton and Elizabeth scrub in for more surgery at the same time, and he accuses her of giving him her operation with Anspaugh so she could take the better one with Romano. She tells him that Romano asked her to consult, but he doesn’t seem to believe her. She’s supposed to operate with Anspaugh, but he’s doing another procedure. Elizabeth doesn’t want her schedule to get backed up, so she wonders if Anspaugh would mind if she started without him. Benton basically says he hasn’t minded anything else Elizabeth has done so far.

Carter was supposed to go somewhere with Anna that night, but he tells her he remembered he had to have dinner with his grandmother. Of course, he doesn’t mention that this dinner is at the family’s mansion, where Carol will be asking for a lot of money for her clinic. Lydia calls them over to the ambulance bay, where the gas mask woman is saying she can’t breathe. She won’t let Anna take off her mask.

Mark and Carol discover that Scarletti has inoperable cancer; he found out previously but clearly hasn’t told his wife. A bunch of people try to ask Mark for things, but he brushes them all off to go to Mrs. Scarletti in the waiting area. He wants to take her somewhere quiet to tell her about her husband’s condition, but she’s so focused on going to see him that she doesn’t listen. She’s also hard of hearing, so when Mark says he has no chance of a meaningful recovery, she misunderstands and thinks he’ll be okay. Mark ends up yelling in the middle of the waiting area that Mrs. Scarletti’s husband is going to die.

Doug pulls Mark away for a chat, but Mark runs off with Cynthia on his tail. Anspaugh joins Elizabeth just as she’s finishing her appendectomy (she calls it an appendixectomy, which sounds really weird) and blasts her for operating without an attending. She says she thought there was leeway in a hospital like County. She adds that she was led to believe that it was okay to operate on her own, though she won’t say who led her to believe that.

Doug asks everyone to stop gossiping about Mark, since it’s not helpful. Carol says he’s rejected all the help they’ve tried to give him. She’s leaving but won’t have time to go home and change before her meeting with Carter’s grandmother, so Anna offers to loan her a jacket. She realizes that Carol’s meeting with Carter’s grandmother, and that they’re going to be discussing. Carol reveals that the family is super-rich. Anna asks to tag along for the meeting, since she has experience with grants.

Mark and Cynthia sit by the water, talking about his struggles after his attack. She’s sympathetic, noting that his attacker could have killed him. She thinks that he has trouble asking for help because he’s used to helping others. He agrees and thanks her with a kiss. Back at County, Weaver tells Jeanie that the budget deficit is going to require some aggressive changes. Two PAs need to be let go, and since Jeanie was the last one hired, she’s out. Weaver thinks she can get a job in another department, and the arrangement would only be temporary, but that doesn’t make Jeanie feel any better.

Carol and Anna go to the Carter mansion, which is overwhelmingly fancy. How fancy? The butler lets them into the music room, where there’s a harp. I guess I could have stopped at “butler,” huh? The women quickly get material to tease Carter with when they spot a portrait of him as a teen, riding a horse named Marigold. Carter is…not so happy to realize Anna’s there.

With Cynthia out of the ER and no other clerk around, Lydia’s left answering phones. She uses such gems as, “ER. What do you want?” Doug’s on his way out when she tells him he has a long-distance collect call. He has a short conversation with the caller, asks a couple of questions, and leaves. Carter tries to show his support for Carol, but his grandmother, Millicent, would rather just talk to her one-on-one. Carter and Anna go for a tour of the grounds instead.

Elizabeth confronts Benton for sending her into surgery alone, and he tells her it was payback for starting what was supposed to be his operation early, then sending him to another one so she could do the better procedure. Elizabeth is offended that he would accuse her of being manipulative. Besides, if that was what she wanted, he wouldn’t have been aware of it.

Benton tells her she’s not the only one who likes to operate. Elizabeth argues that she was there and he wasn’t, so she took her opportunity. He says he’ll just have to make sure that opportunity doesn’t come up again. He tells Romano he’ll join his team, and Elizabeth taunts lightly that he just wants to keep an eye on her. Benton smirks that someone needs to.

Carter tells Anna a totally relatable story from his childhood: He used to put the family’s Faberge eggs with his Weebles, “as pets.” He apologizes for not telling her he was rich, but he thought she would turn on him because she’s anti-rich people. Anna says she doesn’t like liars, either. Carter says he wanted her to get to know him apart from his money first. He insists that he doesn’t mind her lower-class life. Anna feels like he was patronizing and doesn’t get how important their wage gap is.

Doug goes to Mark’s place and is surprised to find Cynthia there, clearly having just gotten out of Mark’s bed to answer the door. Mark says he’s fine and doesn’t need a chat. Doug announces that he’s taking a few days off – his father died. He’s as fine about it as Mark is about all of his issues. Mark insists that he stay for some coffee.

Millicent and Carol are getting along well, and Millicent thinks the clinic could be successful. She gives Carol $75,000 without even reading her proposal. She just wants Carol to keep the amount from Carter so she can keep up her “stern” and “unapproachable” façade. Jeanie goes home to Al, who’s all but settled on moving to Atlanta. Jeanie still isn’t sure.

Weaver asks West to meet her at a bar, where she’s drinking to ease the pain of letting Jeanie go. West doesn’t think Jeanie will appreciate the hard work Weaver will have to put in to improve the budget and get Jeanie back to working at County. Doug packs to head off to get his father’s body, saying goodbye to Carol. He’s picking up Mark on his way to the airport so Mark can get out of town for a while. In what seems like it’s probably a rare instance, Doug tells Carol he loves her, without any lead-up or prompting, then drives off.

Thoughts: As if Mark hasn’t already treated Jeanie badly, with digging into her medical records and discovering her HIV status, now he’s made her treat a bigot.

Benton, you can’t refuse to try new things and then get mad when Elizabeth succeeds at them. What are you, seven?

Cynthia’s short-sleeved ribbed turtleneck and plaid skirt are deliciously ’90s.

June 18, 2019

ER 4.5, Good Touch, Bad Touch: Instead of Opening a Free Clinic, Carol Should Host Anger-Management Classes

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

Is this the good touch or the bad touch?

Summary: Carol’s in bed, but not asleep. She’s brainstorming ideas for ways County can reach out to the underserved, such as teen moms. Doug is half-listening while he sets up a video camera. He mentions that Carol once accused him of taping himself with other women. Now he’s focused on making her happy. Benton’s at Carla’s, trying to study for a procedure, but Reese hasn’t yet learned to be patient. Benton passive-aggressively tries to wake up Carla, who ignores him. Reese settles down when Benton reads aloud from his procedure book, which makes sense, because that would definitely put me to sleep.

Mark is up late, watching TV and ignoring a phone call that turns out to be a wrong number. The person calling leaves an angry message for the woman he thinks lives there. Mark picks up to tell him he misdialed, getting angry when the guy won’t back off. So yeah, his anger issues are still there. In the morning, he runs into Benton, who’s started drinking coffee. Benton clarifies that Rachel was born while Mark was in med school. Mark says that was a mistake, which doesn’t make Benton feel better.

Jeanie asks Mark to look at a patient who may need surgery. Carol greets a homeless man named Pablo who was hoping to get some TLC from Haleh. Carol tells him she’ll be at work tomorrow. Carter and Anna discuss Ivan, who’s still struggling with bloody traumas. Mark examines Jeanie’s patient, a woman who doesn’t want medical treatment so much as she wants Mark to grope her. He runs off as soon as he can.

Carter teaches Ivan how to insert a catheter in a patient’s penis, and I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want an inexperienced med student doing that to me if I had that anatomy. Another patient, Ernesto, wanders in and says he wishes he knew who’d done that procedure on him last time he was in the hospital. Mark runs into Cynthia and confides that he’s distracted because he has to give a deposition that afternoon in the Kenny Law case. Cynthia offers to help him relax with a back rub.

Mark heads into the bathroom, where Doug asks where things are going with Cynthia. Mark denies that he’s interested in her or anyone else, and if he were, he wouldn’t ask Doug for advice. Anna and James tend to a college student named Brett who had shortness of breath while out for a run. He’s a track star and is worried that he has a condition that will keep him from running.

Carol tells Weaver about her idea for patient follow-up after they’re seen in the ER. She’d like to open a women’s and children’s clinic staffed entirely by volunteers. Weaver thinks it’s an okay idea, but there’s no money in the budget. Though she can’t take on another project, she appreciates Carol’s input.

Doyle bickers with Ernesto, who wants to leave before his gunshot wound is examined for the last time. Carter volunteers to do it, but Ernesto’s out of patience and just pulls out his IV to leave. He licks the blood off his arm (ew) and tells Doyle, “Bye-bye, chica.” Charming. Doyle asks if Ivan’s going to be sick. I don’t know, but I might.

Benton does the procedure he was studying, but he can’t answer a question Anspaugh poses about another method. He’s falling behind in some of his tasks, so Anspaugh sends him to complete his charts while Elizabeth finishes the surgery. Anna looks at Brett’s x-rays and discovers that he may have testicular cancer. Doug offers to do the testicular exam, since Brett might feel more comfortable with a male doctor doing it, but Anna gets defensive. Because Anna’s feelings are more important than the patient’s comfort level.

Pablo comes back, so Carol sends Cynthia to tell him to come back tomorrow. Carter calls for a surgical consult and, unfortunately, gets Dale. It’s a simple procedure that Carter could have handled himself, except for the fact that he’s not allowed to, since he’s not in surgery anymore. Dale mentions that Robert “Rocket” Romano is back at County. I let out the loudest, most frustrated groan ever heard on the planet.

Carter leaves Dale with his patient to take care of a man named Tom who was in a car accident. He says he had a blinding headache before he crashed. Even though he has a head wound and a history of hypertension, Carter asks Connie to work him up for an abdominal issue. Anna tells Brett that he needs a testicular exam, and though he’s a little nervous, he submits. Things get awkward when he gets an erection during the exam. Anna tells him it’s common and he shouldn’t be embarrassed. Brett needs a minute to collect himself.

Weaver chastises Carter lightly for ordering abdominal scans for Tom, even though he presented with symptoms of a tumor that Carter thought needed to be checked out. She asks him to check with her in the future before he spends so much of the hospital’s money. Weaver tells Carol that an ER clinic is a great idea, and she can look into grants to fund it. Carol says she wasn’t planning to actually set it up, but Weaver thinks she should see her own idea through.

Jeanie tells Weaver that Mark walked out in the middle of an exam. She thinks he needs to leave his bad mood at home when he comes to work. Anna finishes with Brett and tells him he has a mass on one of his testicles. It may have spread and caused the spots on his lungs that left him short of breath. He starts taking notes while Anna goes over what will happen next. She tells him he’ll need to talk to an oncologist for more information, but Brett wants answers now. She tells him he may need surgery and chemo.

Mark takes a nap in an on-call room, getting woken up by his lawyer, Alan, who thinks he should be more prepared for his deposition. Mark thinks they should have settled already, but the Laws are insistent that they get at least eight figures for Kenny’s death. Mark says the other lawyer’s questions won’t rattle him – he did everything he could to save Kenny.

Benton finds it hard to concentrate on the giant stack of records he has to complete. He tries to talk to another doctor about balancing parenthood with work, but the other doctor lets his wife take care of all the family stuff, so he’s no help. Carter and Anna have lunch together, and he turns her down when she tries to pay for half. She still thinks he’s a poor resident like her. Weaver tells Carter that he was right about Tom’s condition, so the tests he ordered were necessary after all.

Mark and Cynthia have a conversation about snack cakes, which puts him in a good mood for the first time all day. Weaver pulls him aside to tell him that the groping patient, Miriam, is a Medicare patient, so the hospital won’t get reimbursed until a doctor completes a full exam. Mark wonders why they have physicians’ assistants if doctors have to examine all the Medicare patients.

Carol looks through grant applications, and Chuny mentions that a well-known clinic at another hospital was also started by a nurse. Carter and Weaver rush to Tom’s room, where he’s experiencing heart problems because of his tumor. Romano and Dale arrive to whisk him off to surgery, the world Carter gave up for the ER. Carter may regret leaving the glamour of surgery, but at least he gets praise from Weaver.

Benton falls asleep in the records room, but Elizabeth wakes him up with some tea. She offers to get him on a team for a high-tech surgery Romano will be performing the next day. Romano is her sponsor for her job in the States, and she thinks Benton should get in good with him. Benton already has enough to deal with and says he’s not interested.

Anna goes looking for Brett, who appears to have taken off. Ivan asks Carter for help with a blood draw, so Carter loudly complains that he’s about to put his years of medical training to the test by doing a simple procedure. Is it lonely up there on your high horse, Carter? Carol and Chuny try again to explain to Pablo that Haleh isn’t there, so he’ll need to come back tomorrow.

Carter and Ivan’s patient is a long-time IV drug user, which makes it hard for them to find a vein to draw blood from. The patient offers to find one himself, inserting a needle in his chest and drawing his own blood. Carter’s thrilled but still tells Ivan to never let a patient do that. Ivan responds by passing out. Maybe Ivan should look into a different profession.

Anna admits to Doug that she screwed up and lost Brett. If they can find him, she’d like Doug to take over his case and help him realize that losing a testicle won’t be the end of the world. They rush off to help Mark with a combative patient, McNamara, who needs to be restrained. He kicks Chuny while he’s thrashing around, so Mark grabs his injured leg and yells at him to settle down. Doug sends him out of the trauma room.

Carter gives Ivan some stitches for a wound he sustained when he passed out. Carter thinks that once he sees some more traumas, he’ll be able to handle them better. Ivan wonders that his life plans are a bad decision. Benton apologizes to Anspaugh for making errors that morning and for falling behind with his charts. Anspaugh says they all cut him some slack when Reese was in the NICU, but now that he’s home, Benton needs to get with the program. It’s not just for his own career – Elizabeth is so talented that she’s liable to surpass all the other surgeons.

Connie tells Carol that the nurse who started the other clinic got her grant because her father has connections. That’s not going to be an option for Carol. Brett returns to County, and Anna offers to let him talk to Doug instead, but Brett doesn’t care who gives him the possibly bad news about his prognosis. She encourages him to call his family so he’s not alone in whatever happens. Doug sees the two of them talking but leaves them alone.

Mark goes out by the water for a cigarette and chats with Cynthia again. She thinks the way he handled McNamara was great, since no one else could get him under control. She offers a back rub again, and this time he accepts. They head back to the hospital when he gets paged for his deposition. Carter suggests that Carol look for a grant from a private foundation. His grandmother has one, and she hears all sorts of crazy ideas, so a pitch for a clinic might get somewhere.

Mark gets deposed, and the lawyer brings up the Jodi O’Brien case, another instance in which Mark was blamed for a death. He felt regret but not guilt over Jodi’s death; people die at the hospital all the time. After Kenny’s death, Mark also felt regret. He insists that he gave the same care to both patients regardless of race. Chris scoffs at that, and Mark yells that he, of all people, can’t accuse Mark of anything.

He won’t answer the lawyer’s question about whether he holds a white life above a black life. He admits that he’s fallible, then gets even more upset when the lawyer mentions again that Kenny was black. Mark shouts that if she wants him to say he’s racist, then fine, he’s racist. Does that make Chris feel better about beating him up? Chris looks surprised about that accusation. He blasts Mark for never expressing any regret to his mother after she lost her son. “You belong in jail,” Mark spits as he leaves the deposition. Chris says he wishes he had been the one to beat Mark up.

Carter can’t get any answers about Tom’s surgery, so he goes to the OR himself. He arrives as Dale is getting thanked by Tom’s wife and son for saving his life. Carter introduces himself, but Tom’s wife doesn’t care about the work done by the guy who actually diagnosed her husband and led to his life being saved. Poor, unappreciated Carter. Pablo comes back yet again, and this time Carol says she’ll take care of him herself. Doug asks Mark how things went at the deposition, but Mark leaves without talking to him.

Elizabeth introduces Benton to Romano, and Romano immediately shows his true personality by asking if Benton thinks Chris Rock is funny. You see, because Benton is black, and Chris Rock is black, so why not ask one black man’s opinion about another black man? Romano complains that Rock uses the N-word too much – if Romano used it, Benton would want to smack him. Benton says he thinks Rock is hilarious. After he leaves, Romano tells Elizabeth that he likes Benton.

Carol cleans Pablo up, learning the kind of personal care Haleh gives him, like listening to his chest because he’s had pneumonia before. He enthusiastically tells her that he would come to a free clinic if one opened at the hospital. Carter tells Benton that he made a great diagnosis today, but Dale got all the glory. Benton tells him Dale is a weasel, and Carter’s twice the surgeon Dale will ever be. Carter asks if Benton’s enjoying fatherhood, and Benton happily says he is.

Jeanie and Al go to a bar, and she’s annoyed when he ponies up for a pool, even though they said they were going to be more careful with their money. Al’s friend Bill comes in and glares, mad that Al exposed him to HIV. Jeanie encourages Al to say hi, but Al knows he wouldn’t be well-received. Bill yells across the bar that he wants to know how Al contracted HIV. When Jeanie tries to intervene, Bill calls her a nasty word, so Al gets aggressive. Jeanie tries to make Al leave, but Bill isn’t satisfied. He calls Al a gay slur and throws a beer bottle, which leads to a brutal fight between the friends. Even Jeanie can’t get Al to just walk away.

Thoughts: I’m pretty sure the Doug/Anna rivalry ends fairly quickly, which is good because it’s dumb.

If you want to know how bored Benton is in the records room, he’s making small talk with people he does’t know. He’s voluntarily talking to strangers. Normally, he doesn’t even voluntarily talk to people he knows!

How many times can a med student get sick or pass out before he gets kicked out of the program? What hospital or med school wants to spend the money to train a guy who can’t even stay upright during a routine procedure, let alone an emergency? Imagine applying to med school and losing your spot to that guy.

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