June 15, 2021

ER 8.19, Brothers and Sisters: Helping or Hurting?

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

This is so dumb

Summary: After spending a few nights on Luka’s couch, Abby is moving back to her own apartment. She may not be ready to live in the place where she was assaulted. At County, Pratt tries to ask Chen out, but she’s not interested. He keeps pressing the topic, verging on sexual harassment. Pablo overhears the conversation, so Chen tries to set him up with Pratt. Luka puts a new lock on Abby’s door while she drinks a beer. Carter comes by and is stunned to see her drinking. He gets all judgy. This is the guy you want to date, Abby? Really?

The next day, Abby joins Pratt to tend to a patient who claims his brother is inside him. Lanny, is that you? Abby suggests a psych consult. Pratt is annoyed that she’s expressing an opinion, and he tells her he flies the plane while she serves the coffee. I can’t wait for him to use this attitude around Haleh. It’ll be fantastic.

Abby leaves Pratt to deal with the patient on his own as Carter joins them. The patient gets more and more agitated, finally saying he needs to get his brother out. He pulls out a switchblade and raises it to stab himself in the stomach. Carter quickly knocks it out of his hand. He calmly tells Haleh to restrain the patients and call for a psych consult.

Romano is bugging Weaver with some information on lesbians and health care. He thinks that this is a great opportunity to make some money – Weaver’s “sisters” are underserved, and County can help. She accuses him of trying to exploit her lifestyle. Romano thinks she should be their poster child for a Center for Lesbian Excellence. Romano, those women aren’t going to sleep with you.

In the lounge, Carter uses the patient’s switchblade to try to get his Pop Tart out of the toaster. He tries to make Susan think he’s shocking himself, because suddenly Carter has a sense of humor (don’t get used to it). She checks her messages as they chat about Mark’s sudden departure from the hospital. One of the messages is from Susie, who sounds frantic. She and Chloe are in a hotel, and Susie’s worried because she can’t wake Chloe. She hangs up without leaving any information about where they are.

Susan calls Chloe but only gets her answering machine. She’s worried enough to call the police, telling the officer she talks to that her brother-in-law, Joe, is a New Jersey cop. She couldn’t reach him, either – he took a few days off, and his precinct doesn’t know how to reach him. The cop says he’ll try to trace Susie’s call, but he doesn’t seem too concerned about the situation. Carter tries to reassure Susan; Susie probably overreacted to something and is fine.

Carter tells Luka he’s concerned that Abby’s drinking again. He asks if Luka even noticed. Weaver pulls Luka away to help her with a boy named Alan who fell out of a tree. Carter tries to join the trauma, but Weaver sends him away. Looks like Carter’s upset that someone else chose Luka over him. Chen teases Pratt about hanging out with Pablo, but it turns out they had dinner together and Pratt learned a lot about Pablo’s life. Chen is surprised.

Carter learns that Pratt sent one of Carter’s patients home without informing him. Pratt thinks the patient made up a complaint so she could get a free meal. Carter says he wants to sign off on every patient Pratt sees, even ones who just come by for directions to Wrigley Field. Susan hasn’t heard anything from Chloe or Susie, but the cop she spoke to was able to trace Chloe’s call to a cell phone in New York. He’s even let the NYPD precinct in that jurisdiction know that Susan will be calling. I’m surprised this cop, who looked so put out earlier, actually put forth this much effort.

Susan calls the precinct, where an officer named Bosco is about to come on shift. The person answering the phones – the Jerry and Frank of the precinct, if you will – assigns him to talk to Susan. They’re now calling this a missing-persons case. At County, Elizabeth comes to the ER to help Weaver and Luka with Alan. Weaver asks about Mark, and Elizabeth reports that he’s spending some time in Hawaii, where he grew up. Susan stops by the trauma room to tell Weaver she has to leave. She’s going to catch a flight to New York and find Susie and Chloe.

A frequent ER visitor named Reverend Ed has stopped by to talk about Jesus. Weaver isn’t a fan. She tells Gallant to kick him out, because in a little while, the rev will start trying to heal people, which is “bad for business.” Heh. Gallant approaches the rev respectfully as paramedics bring in a security guard named Stanley who was shot. Carter lets Pratt take the lead, so Pratt exerts some power by making Gallant give Stanley a rectal exam. Carter tells the “kids” to play nice. It’s only been one episode since Mark passed the torch to him and Carter’s already starting to sound like him.

In New York, Bosco and his partner, Faith Yokas, are surprised that Susan has flown in from Chicago. Bosco thinks she’s freaking out too much and too soon. His lieutenant tells him to deal with her. Susan tells them that she called Chloe’s school, and they said she hasn’t been there for days. Yokas seems to be the only one taking this seriously. Bosco thinks the family is just on a trip somewhere.

Since the family lives in New Jersey, Yokas suggests that they send someone from their local police department to check out the house. Susan plays them Susie’s message. Bosco still thinks this is a nothing case that’s beneath him, but Yokas says they can go around to hotels in their precinct and show pictures of Chloe and Susan to find out if anyone’s seen them. She agrees to let Susan tag along, though Bosco doesn’t want that.

Luka tells Alan’s parents that he tore a blood vessel in his head, and it’s likely that the damage that caused won’t be fixable. He’s only alive because he’s on life support. Bosco calls around to morgues and hospitals, but no one matching Chloe or Susie’s descriptions has been brought in. He tries to convince Susan that the family just left town without telling anyone.

Yokas asks if Chloe and Joe were having marital problems, or if Joe had any addictions. Susan says he was the one who helped Chloe put her life back together. Bosco wishes Susan had mentioned earlier that Chloe had a drug problem. Susan doesn’t think that’s relevant, since Chloe’s been sober for five years. She’s now a responsible wife and mother. Bosco asks why, then, Susan came to New York.

Pratt and Gallant butt heads because Pratt is an insensitive jerk and Gallant…well, isn’t. When Stanley starts declining, Gallant suggests that they get Carter. Pratt thinks they can handle the trauma themselves, though he has to look through his notes to remember how do to a thoracotomy. I don’t know much, but I know that that’s not something an intern and a med student should be doing on their own. Abby catches them and they send her to get more help. She lets Carter know that his intern and student are going rogue.

While Bosco asks an informant sitting in front of a building if Susie and Chloe have been around, Yokas tells Susan that Bosco isn’t as bad as he seems. Susan and I are both skeptical. In a display of horribly bad timing, Bosco kicks the chair out from under the informant and threatens to break his face. Yokas blasts him for being a jerk. A guy who considers himself a neighborhood watch person comes by and asks if the officers are finally going to shut down the business operating in the building; it’s a not-so-secret brothel. Bosco chases him off instead of asking him if he’s seen Chloe or Susan.

Yokas wonders if Chloe and Joe are fighting and Chloe took off with Susie because of a custody dispute. This would have been a good time for Susan to mention that Joe isn’t Susie’s father, because another angle to this case could be that her biological father kidnapped her, but that never comes up. Bosco wonders if they’re even missing – maybe Chloe’s hiding from her controlling sister. Yokas thinks it’s understandable that Susan would jump on a plane to come look for her sister. Bosco says they’re just dealing with yet another junkie who’s gone missing.

Romano meets Pratt for the first time when he sends Stanley upstairs for surgery. Romano also slams Carter for not monitoring his students better. Pratt tries to argue that he was justified in doing a procedure above his skill set, since Stanley would have died without it. Carter sends him and Gallant to the lounge, where they’ll hopefully keep their hands to themselves and not cut anyone else’s chest open. Pratt ignores his instructions and goes back to work.

Susan, Bosco, and Yokas have finally found a lead on Chloe and Susie – they’ve been staying in the basically-a-brothel building. There stuff is all there, as is some drug paraphernalia. Again, Bosco’s mad that Susan didn’t mention Chloe’s addiction issues earlier. Alan’s parents are starting to accept the fact that he’s not going to get better. Elizabeth tells them that he’s not suffering; he’s already gone. The parents are ready to let him go rather than keep his body alive without him in it. Luka starts to remove Alan from life support, and Elizabeth gets overwhelmed and leaves the room.

Carter goes to the lounge to yell at Pratt and Gallant, though only Gallant is there. Gallant says he wanted to go get Carter, but if he’d left Pratt, Stanley would have died. Carter assigns Gallant to scut duty for the rest of the day. He asks if Gallant has heard of Dave. Carter warns him not to be a hotshot like Dave, or he’ll end up fired, too. Gallant tells Carter he gets his anger, but Carter needs to not group Gallant and Pratt together.

Reverend Ed is still in the ER, so Weaver tells Pratt to get rid of him, since Gallant couldn’t. Elizabeth joins Romano in the OR, where he’s trying to save Stanley. Before she can actually help, Shirley tells her Rachel is on the phone from Hawaii – there’s an emergency. We don’t hear the call, but Elizabeth’s face says it’s about something really bad.

Bosco and Yokas track down another informant, but this one runs from them. Yokas chases him and tackles him. I hope Susan’s taking notes on how cops treat people in New York, because this doesn’t make them look very good. The cops force the informant to look at pictures of Chloe and Susie, and he says he may have seen Chloe in a shooting gallery behind an old factory. (I assume “shooting gallery” means a place where drug users shoot up, and not a place where people shoot guns.) He’s not sure if Susie was there. Susan quietly chastises Bosco for possibly breaking the informant’s nose.

Carter catches Pratt working with Chen and tells him to go home. Pratt objects, so Carter tells him to start listening to his superiors if he wants to keep his job. Pratt backs down. Carter tells Chen that they need to keep an eye on Pratt. She says he’s a good doctor, but Carter thinks he’s dangerous. Congratulations – you’re both right!

Carter spots Abby going out to the ambulance bay for a cigarette break and asks if she wants to talk about her relapse. He guesses she started drinking again after her assault. He wants to help her, but Abby says she doesn’t need help. Carter can’t believe she threw away six years of sobriety. Abby says she’s a different person now. She doesn’t think one beer is a big deal. Carter knows that’ll snowball. Abby says it’s not a reaction to something that happened to her – she made a decision to drink.

Elizabeth tells Romano that she needs some time off to be with Mark. He’s gotten worse, and she doesn’t think he’ll be able to fly home after his trip to Hawaii. Romano agrees that Elizabeth needs to go to him, no matter how long she’ll have to be gone. He asks if there’s anything he can do. Elizabeth just tells him to pray. I’d like to add that he shouldn’t pray for Mark to die so he can be with Elizabeth.

Carter, Luka, and Abby all work together on a drunk driver who crashed his car. Carter practically says, “See what happens when you drink, Abby? SEE?” Bosco, Yokas, and Susan search the shooting gallery for Susie and Chloe, ignoring the dozen other addicts who are nodding off there. Bosco finds Chloe, who’s clearly overdosed, but there’s no sign of Susie. They call paramedics, who have trouble stabilizing Chloe and won’t let Susan help, since she’s not licensed to practice medicine in New York.

The drunk driver doesn’t survive, so Carter’s rough day has gotten even worse. Luka tells him that Abby’s a big girl and doesn’t need him monitoring her activities. Carter thinks Luka should have stopped Abby when she started drinking while living with him. Luka denies that Abby’s a drunk, so either she never told him she was an alcoholic or he thinks she can have a couple drinks with no problems.

Carter taunts that maybe Luka likes women when they’re vulnerable. He’s itching for Luka to fight him, asking if Luka’s going to beat him up – maybe bash his head into the ground? Not cool, Carter. Luka tries to leave the room, but Carter stops him and says that if he’s not helping Abby, he’s hurting her. Abby returns and Carter leaves.

The paramedics tend to Chloe while Susan asks what she was using and where Susie is. She wants the paramedics to intubate Chloe, but they think they can treat her without doing that. Weaver’s mad that Reverend Ed is still hanging around the ER, since no one will tell him to leave. Pratt passed the buck to Jerry, but Jerry won’t get rid of the guy who cured his sciatica. Weaver finally bites the bullet and tells Reverend Ed to leave. He tries to heal her, which cracks Pratt up.

Carter tells Pratt that Stanley’s going to live, so now Pratt thinks he was justified in breaking the rules. A couple of women from the Illinois Women’s Health Coalition come by looking for Weaver (I assume Romano called them) just as she’s tossing Reverend Ed out of the hospital. Abby pulls Carter aside to apologize for being short with him earlier. She just doesn’t want him to worry about her. Things between them are too complicated even leaving aside their addictions.

Once Chloe’s stable and in the hospital, Susan presses her about Susie, but Chloe doesn’t know where she is. She cries over Joe breaking her heart and admits that she screwed up. Susan’s short on sympathy right now. Abby gets woken up by a crash outside her apartment door, so she checks her locks just to be safe. She considers drinking or calling someone (Carter? Luka? Her so-far-invisible sponsor? Who knows?), then turns on the TV.

The next day, Susan meets up with Yokas, but there’s still no news on Susie. Chloe doesn’t remember anything from her drug binge. Susan knows that if a missing child isn’t found within the first 12 hours, the odds of the child being located unharmed go way down. Yokas’ shift was supposed to be over a few hours ago, but she’s going to stay on the case.

Thoughts: Bosco is played by Jason Wiles, AKA Colin on Beverly Hills, 90210. One of the New York paramedics is played by Kim Raver.

This episode is a crossover with Third Watch. I hate crossovers.

Carter’s handling of Pratt’s psych patient would have been the perfect opportunity to address his stabbing and the aftermath, but…nothing.

Given the choice between watching a show starring Pratt and one starring Bosco, I would choose…to turn off the TV.

May 4, 2021

ER 8.13, Damage Is Done: Child Endangerment

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

Alex Kingston’s makeup in this episode really makes her look sick

Summary: Elizabeth has the flu, and Ella is taking advantage of not being watched every second to cause some trouble, like toilet-papering the hallway. Elizabeth thinks she can still make it in to work, but Mark insists that she stay in bed. The nanny won’t be able to come over for a little while, so Rachel offers to look after Ella until she gets there. Elizabeth says she wouldn’t want to ask Rachel to give up her Saturday. I think that’s code for “I don’t trust you to watch my daughter, but I’m not going to say it out loud.” Mark thinks the arrangement works out perfectly.

At County, Romano chats with Susan about being a member of the Polar Bear Club. He tells Weaver that he’s come up with a solution to her problem of having too much admin work to take care of while still seeing patients. He wants Susan to take over some of the responsibilities that usually fall to the chief resident. Weaver asks why Romano’s interfering with her job. He tells her Susan is basically her assistant now, so she needs to suck it up. Also, she needs to stop kissing people in public. “So you’re gay, huh?” Frank asks Weaver. When she confirms this, he tells her she’s going to Hell. Shut up, Frank.

Carter tells Susan about how he had to take care of her mother after her drunken, Xanax-fueled sickness. Mark is at work now and calls home to check on Elizabeth. Susan laments agreeing to pick up some of the slack in the ER, since it’s left her with a bunch of paperwork. She comments to Mark that she doesn’t think Weaver likes her. Mark notes that Weaver doesn’t like anyone. Except Sandy. And Gallant. And sometimes Carter.

Chen arrives for her first shift back on staff, and though she’s short with Weaver, Weaver treats her like any other doctor. Mark asks Chen for $20 for Cleo’s going-away present. Really, dude? Paramedics bring in a man named Donald Brower who was injured by a mail bomb. His six-year-old daughter, Jessica, was also hurt. Weaver and Chen jockey for the position of second-in-command while Mark treats Brower. Weaver asks Brower who might have sent him a bomb, and he responds, “My wife.”

Mark gets annoyed with Weaver’s attempts to take over for Chen and sends Weaver to help Susan and Carter with Jessica. Weaver throws her weight around with that trauma, telling Carter and Susan to loosen the blood-pressure cuff they have around Jessica’s wrist. When they do, blood shoots out of her injured hand. Jessica isn’t too happy with that. Susan tries to get rid of Weaver, who leaves as Abby comes in to tell Carter that Eleanor is in the ER. She came in with a boy from the cancer center where she’s been volunteering.

Eleanor tells Carter that the boy, Mickey, was doing a photo shoot for a spring mailer when he got lightheaded. His doctors didn’t answer the phone, since it’s Saturday, so Eleanor had him brought to County. Mickey has been in remission from leukemia for a year, but he lives in a foster home, so he may be the unluckiest kid in Chicago. Eleanor requests a private room for him.

Mark and Chen keep working on Brower, eventually having to cut open his chest. Jessica is stable but needs surgery on her hand. Her mother arrives and, after checking on Jessica, runs to her husband’s trauma room. She’s a medical researcher, so Mark speaks to her like she’s a colleague instead of a family member who knows nothing about medicine. Dr. Brower says she told her husband not to worry, that they would be safe. When Mark tells her that they’ve been trying to revive her husband for 30 minutes with no response, she says they can let him go.

Gallant takes care of a man named Manny who’s both diabetic and blind. He comes in sometimes to get his toenails clipped. He predicts that Gallant will one day be a gifted doctor. Manny admires Chen’s perfume when she approaches, but Gallant sneezes right after, which doesn’t give Chen a great first impression of him. When she introduces herself, Gallant comments that he’s heard a lot about her. Only good things, he promises. Manny adds that the bad things aren’t her fault. Gallant explains that Manny has a sixth sense about people. He also has a guide dog, Stinky, who takes a liking to Weaver.

Weaver pulls Chen aside to tell her she needs to drop her attitude toward Weaver. Chen promises that she won’t let it interfere with patient care. Weaver says the last thing she needs is staff members who don’t get along. “Then maybe you should quit,” Chen replies. Hold on…just imagining myself saying that to my boss…yeah, it doesn’t end well. Shove it, Chen.

Mark tells Dr. Brower that the police want to talk to her, but he got them to agree to wait until Jessica’s out of surgery. Dr. Brower explains that her lab has been using DNA to try to create embryos – basically, cloning humans. The bomb was meant for her. She asks to observe Jessica’s surgery, and though Mark thinks her mother side is stronger than her doctor side in terms of being able to handle it, he promises to ask if she can.

Gallant is still sneezing, so maybe he shouldn’t be the one clipping Manny’s toenails. Frank snaps at Gallant for landing one in his coffee, but Manny tells Gallant that Frank is harmless. Gallant actually reminds Frank of his son. (Manny may be missing the mark here. We never hear about Frank having a son.) Gallant kindly tells Manny that he’s Black. Manny reminds him that he’s blind.

Mickey is a pro at having his blood drawn, and he senses that it makes Eleanor uncomfortable, so he tells her she doesn’t have to watch. Eleanor insists that she’s fine. Carter, however, is annoyed and leaves. At home, Elizabeth gets up and finds Rachel playing with Ella. Rachel is suddenly a very pleasant, helpful stepdaughter and offers to make Elizabeth tea. She hopes that Elizabeth’s nearness to Ella doesn’t make the baby sick.

Carter praises Chen for how hard she worked on Brower, even though he didn’t make it. On the flip side of the coin, Weaver has some questions about her medication choices for a patient. Carter thinks they’re valid concerns. Stinky starts following Weaver around, which she doesn’t appreciate. Chen is equally unappreciative of how Carter just sided with Weaver instead of her. She thinks Carter actually likes Weaver, which makes sense to her, since he has a thing for older women. Surprisingly, Carter doesn’t mention that last year, he dated a 19-year-old.

Instead of going back to Mickey and Eleanor, Carter accepts a new patient, Leslie. She and her 13-year-old daughter, Stacy, were in a minor one-car accident. Leslie is very, very drunk, but seems to only have minor injuries (though she’ll have some major injuries if she calls Haleh “honey” again). She tells Carter she’s heartbroken because her fiancé left her.

Susan and Abby take care of Stacy, who insists she’s fine, though she has major bruising from a seatbelt. Susan criticizes Leslie for driving drunk without her own seatbelt. Stacy reveals that she was the one who was driving. She often takes over when Leslie’s too drunk to drive. This was her first accident in three years. Outside the room, Susan and Abby debate whether the situation is crazy or brilliant. Abby is, unsurprisingly, on the side of the teenager who becomes the adult to look after her mother.

Elizabeth wakes up from a nap to hear Ella crying. Rachel runs in with her, worried because Ella’s sweaty and upset. Ella throws up, and Elizabeth sees pill fragments in the mess – Ella must have swallowed something. While Elizabeth calls Mark, Rachel leaves the room, then returns with a plastic bag. She reveals that she had Ecstasy in her backpack, and one or two pills are missing. Elizabeth calls 911 instead.

Carter and Abby continue the discussion about Leslie and Stacy’s dynamic. Carter wants to get Social Services involved, even if it means Stacy ends up in foster care. At the very least, Leslie’s committed child endangerment. Abby says she’ll handle talking to the police. Carter checks on Mickey, who’s waiting to see a doctor from oncology in case his cancer has relapsed. Eleanor wishes Carter would get more involved in the case. She insists on staying with Mickey at least until his foster parents arrive, though Carter knows that might not be good for her.

Dr. Brower has gotten permission to watch Jessica’s surgery, and Mark watches with her. Dr. Brower wonders if her daughter will remember her father when she’s older. Mark says that Rachel broke her arm when she was Jessica’s age, but the only thing she remembers from that year is seeing Muppets on Ice. Kids tend to remember the good things, so Jessica will remember her dad. Romano lets Dr. Brower know that Jessica will most likely come out of this with limited use of her hand, but since she’s young, she’ll be able to adapt.

Abby comes to get Mark, telling her that his daughter is coming in with an Ecstasy overdose. He understandably thinks she means Rachel. He asks Abby for more information, but since Abby didn’t take the call from the paramedics, she can’t tell him anything. Mark says he should have seen this coming, since he knew Rachel was getting into trouble. When he gets to the ER, he’s stunned to see that the patient is Ella, not Rachel.

Mark and Elizabeth try to dictate Ella’s care while Chen and Abby work on the baby. The parents object when Chen suggests that they shock Ella to get her heart back into normal rhythm. Chen quietly tells Abby to get Weaver. Manny’s done with his treatment but has lost track of Stinky. Gallant took him for a walk, learning along the way that he’s allergic to dogs.

Weaver joins Ella’s trauma, gently trying to convince Mark that he needs to step aside. Mark refuses. Once Ella has been stabilized, Weaver and Mark are able to talk Elizabeth into lying down somewhere else. As they’re leaving, Ella declines again. Weaver and Chen tag-team to get Mark to realize that if Ella weren’t his child, he would be making different, more aggressive treatment decisions. He finally steps back and lets them treat her.

Rachel comes to the hospital as Eleanor complains to Carter that Mickey’s been waiting for a long time to see a doctor. She stole his lab work and wants Carter to interpret it for her. Carter tells her that Mickey’s out of remission. Eleanor asks Carter to talk to his doctor and try to ensure he gets more personal treatment than the faceless, nameless patients the oncology department usually sees. Carter asks why Eleanor has taken so much interest in Mickey’s care. He warns her that Mickey might not survive, so Eleanor will just be reliving what she went through with Carter’s brother, Bobby.

Ella is stable again, but she’s been intubated and is unconscious. Susan brings Rachel to the trauma room, and Mark blasts his older daughter for endangering his younger daughter. Rachel says the drugs weren’t hers, like that’s the issue here. She thinks Ella will be okay, since she just ate one pill. Mark yells that Ella almost died and could end up with brain impairments. Rachel cries and says she’s sorry.

Up in the ICU, Elizabeth refuses to let Babcock help treat Ella. I’m not sure why he would, since he’s an anesthesiologist, but now he says he’s a critical care attending, so I don’t know what’s going on. When Babcock tries to examine Ella, Elizabeth yells at him and shoves him out of the room. Romano arrives during the fight and lets Elizabeth get rid of him.

Back in the ER, Mark tells Weaver that Ella’s doing better, but she’ll have a long recovery ahead of her. Weaver says she’ll be praying for the family. He thanks her for taking such good care of his daughter. Stacy returns to the ER after talking to the police; she tells Abby and Carter that Leslie was arrested for DUI but can be bailed out in a little while. Carter’s confused, since Stacy was driving the car. Abby and Stacy both lie that no one ever said that. Abby tells that this is Leslie’s best chance for recovery.

On her way out for the night, Abby spots Manny in the waiting area…dead. Poor Stinky is ownerless. In the ICU, Elizabeth asks Mark if he called the police on Rachel. She refuses to talk to her stepdaughter, which is understandable. Susan and Romano decide to buy dinner for Mark and Elizabeth so they don’t have to leave Ella. Weaver and Chen say polite good nights to each other, having demonstrated that they can work together even if they hate each other.

Stinky follows Weaver again, and since she doesn’t want him to be taken away by Animal Control, she decides to take him home with her. And then we never hear about him again, so let’s hope she finds another home for him. Joyce comes to Abby’s door begging to be let in. She tells Abby to turn out the lights, then keeps silent when Brian comes by looking for her. Abby wants to call the police again, but Joyce says that’ll make him madder. They just need to wait until he calms down. Joyce asks to stay for a while, and Abby says she can.

Carter checks on Mickey and finds Eleanor asleep by his bed. Mickey laments that the doctors keep talking to Eleanor about him but won’t tell him anything. He knows his cancer is back, but he thinks he’ll have a better time getting through it than he did last time. He was by himself then. Rachel cries alone in a hallway while Elizabeth and Mark stay by a comatose Ella’s side. Mark tries to stay positive that their daughter will recover, but Elizabeth is more realistic. She knows Ella might never wake up.

Thoughts: Leslie is played by Mackenzie Phillips.

Susan and Carter have absolutely no chemistry. Zero. She has more chemistry with Romano. If I didn’t know Susan and Carter were together, I wouldn’t guess it from watching them.

If you asked a patient who was responsible for his injuries and he said, “My wife,” wouldn’t you think, “This woman is dangerous – don’t let her in his trauma room” when she showed up? That was a dumb attempt at unnecessary drama in an episode full of plenty of real drama.

I’m impressed that Gallant made it all the way to his mid-20s before learning he’s allergic to dogs.

’00s music alert: Pink’s “Get the Party Started”

April 6, 2021

ER 8.9, Quo Vadis?: It’s a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World

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

I need you two to stop

Summary: Jackie has just dropped Reese off at County’s daycare after keeping him at her house for the night. Benton comes by to see his son, but he only gets to spend a minute with Reese before Shirley summons him to the ICU. Benton’s supposed to be off in five minutes, as if Romano cares. Then he gets paged to the ER. As they leave the daycare room, Jackie reminds Benton that Carla once said she wanted him to spend Father’s Day with Reese. He needs to tell the judge that at the custody hearing that morning.

Susan sent Millicent lilies, but she’s made a bad impression yet again, since Millicent is allergic to them. Carter notes that lilies are also for funerals, so that’s another mistake. Millicent is recovering from her broken hip and is more worried about Jill than herself (fortunately, Jill is also recovering, and Millicent gave her some money to head off a lawsuit). Benton comes to the ER, wondering why Elizabeth can’t do whatever it is he’s supposed to be there to do. Mark expositions that she’s been cleared to perform surgery again after all those patient deaths. Frank is skeptical that she didn’t do anything wrong.

Benton joins Luka and Gallant to try to save a woman who was shot. Elizabeth comes in to relieve Benton, who has to rush off to court. The patient is brain-dead, and Elizabeth tells her husband, Mr. Pruitt, that there’s nothing they can do for her. She mentions that Mrs. Pruitt has an organ-donor card. Mr. Pruitt says he guesses that’s what she wants.

Mark calls Elizabeth in to help him with a teenager named Rudy who was injured during a boxing match. They chat while working, and Mark asks Elizabeth to help Rachel with her math homework after work. (It’s that or the Revolutionary War, and it makes sense that Elizabeth, a Brit, would want to opt out of that subject.) Luka bugs Weaver about getting Nicole rehired, even though she was busted for stealing. Weaver reminds him that County has a zero-tolerance policy about theft. Plus, Luka didn’t screen her better before helping her get hired. Uh, I think that’s HR’s fault, but okay.

After spending a moment with Carter, doing their weird version of flirting, Susan joins Gallant to tend to a teen named Jorge. He’s Rudy’s brother, as well as Rudy’s boxing opponent. Their father, Mr. Escalona, lets Jorge know that Rudy will be okay. Jorge gets very stoic when his father comes in, sending up a red flag to Susan and Gallant that something strange is going on here.

Benton meets up with his lawyer, Ms. Prager, before the hearing, and she tells him to be as stoic as Jorge when people are testifying. Their judge, Alter, tends to favor the mother in custody cases, though that won’t be an issue here. Ms. Prager thinks Benton’s tie is showy, so her assistant gives Benton his own tie. Ms. Prager tells Benton not to get too emotional during his own testimony. Benton criticizes his new tie as the whitest one he’s ever seen. The assistant is like, “…It’s blue.” Ha, and also, that guy’s not white, but okay.

Carter and Abby tend to a woman who keeps having an allergic reaction for unknown reasons. (I don’t know her name, so I’ll call her Allegra.) She and her husband are in Chicago on their honeymoon. Abby and Chuny spot Nicole entering the ER, most likely to meet with HR and get officially fired. Abby suggests that Allegra has a latex allergy, but she hasn’t had any contact with latex recently. She and her new husband stopped using condoms when they got married. Meanwhile, Susan tells Jorge that Rudy’s unconscious but his vitals are good.

In court, Roger’s lawyer, Wharton, guides him through testimony about his closeness with Reese and his ability to maintain a flexible schedule. Unlike Peter, Roger has never needed or wanted to pass him off to someone else for childcare. Because…not having a flexible schedule makes you a bad parent who doesn’t want to spend time with his child? Having to rely on help makes Benton less of a father? Ugh. Roger also testifies that Reese has said Roger’s place is his home.

Elizabeth talks to Mr. Pruitt about donating Mrs. Pruitt’s organs, but he hasn’t quite accepted that they have to harvest the organs while her heart is still beating. He doesn’t get that brain death means death death, no matter which organs are still working. Elizabeth gives him some more time to sit with his wife and figure out what to do.

Abby mentions to Luka that she saw Nicole and is sure she’ll find another job. Luka says she might want to stop working now that she’s pregnant. Abby is surprised that Nicole wants to keep the baby. She’s even more surprised that Luka wants to help her raise the baby. She asks if Nicole actually took a pregnancy test, and if Luka saw the results. Luka gets defensive, which is fair, but also, Luka, you’re so dumb.

Mr. E. regrets letting Rudy get in the ring with Jorge, since some weak arteries in his head mean he could possibly hemorrhage. Mark tells Mr. E. that it’s actually a preexisting condition, and it’s fixable. Gallant thinks Jorge blames himself for his brother’s condition. Carter asks Susan and Abby if they’ve ever heard of someone being allergic to semen. He thinks that’s what’s going on with Allegra. A boy named Sean comes in with his foot stuck in a toilet. Well, that’s a new one. Sandy accompanies him in the ambulance and reunites with Weaver. Nicole’s back in the ER, and Abby manages to be nice to her for once, offering her some coffee.

Back in court, Cleo testifies that Benton is a wonderful father to Reese. Wharton asks about her relationship with Benton, which hasn’t been stable. In fact, they broke up a while ago and just got back together recently. What if Cleo and Benton break up again in the coming weeks, months, or years? I don’t know, Wharton – what if Benton dies, like Carla did? What if Roger dies? What if a giant asteroid hits Earth and we all die, except Reese? What then?? Have you thought about that??

Wharton asks about the incident where Reese got hurt while Cleo was watching him. He chastises Benton for letting Cleo take care of Reese when he was supposed to be in Benton’s care. Freaking A, are people not allowed to use babysitters in this guy’s world? Also, Benton’s lawyer sucks, because she’s not doing enough to object or mentioning that Wharton keeps interrupting Cleo when she tries to respond to his questions.

Abby gives Nicole regular coffee, probably trying to trick her into drinking caffeine to show she’s not really pregnant or doesn’t care about the baby. It doesn’t work. Abby offers to give Nicole an ultrasound, since she hasn’t had a prenatal exam yet or even confirmed that she’s really pregnant. She tells Nicole this isn’t the way to “get” Luka.

Abby has questions about Nicole’s father; at one point she said her father killed himself, but then she said he kicked her out when she was a teenager. Nicole clarifies that the father who kicked her out was really her stepfather. “I guess you have an answer for everything,” Abby remarks. “I guess everything is your business,” Nicole replies. Ooh, point to Nicole. Abby says she just doesn’t want Luka to get hurt. Nicole says she wants him to be happy. Abby tells her that a made-up life won’t accomplish that. If this is all real, great. If not, Luka’s smart enough to figure it out.

Weaver and Sandy chat a little about the night they met and how Sandy’s one of very few female firefighters in the city. Sandy says she’s like one of the guys. She hasn’t had her hand checked out, since she doesn’t like doctors. Oooh, Sandy, you’re about to like a doctor very soon. Rudy has stopped breathing, and Mark determines that the pressure in his brain has increased. As he’s trying to stabilize Rudy, Rachel calls to check in. Go away, Rachel. Mark and Gallant end up having to shock Rudy’s heart.

Luka thinks he has a solution to Elizabeth’s problem getting Mr. Pruitt to agree to donate his wife’s organs: Take her to the OR, turn off her ventilator, wait until her heart stops beating, and then get him to consent to the organ donation. After two minutes of cardiac arrest, they can remove her organs without any damage from lack of oxygen.

Elizabeth doesn’t see the point in rushing Mr. Pruitt. Luka tells her that this is the only circumstance under which Mr. Pruitt will agree to the organ harvesting. Elizabeth is annoyed that he gave Mr. Pruitt that option without consulting her. She’s the one who has to get consent, and she’s the one who has to do the actually harvesting.

Carter has a hypothesis he wants to test on Allegra and her husband. They just need an empty exam room (preferably one without a dead body in it). Mark and Gallant haven’t been able to revive Rudy, and Mark tells Mr. E. that they’re not going to be able to. He invites Mr. E. and Jorge to say goodbye before Rudy dies. Mr. E. praises his son for fighting hard and never giving up. Jorge gets distressed hearing Mr. E.’s goodbye message and yells at him to shut up.

Luka and Nicole take a walk by the water, and he tells her not to worry about working while she’s pregnant. Nicole doesn’t want to just lounge around and be a kept woman, even if it means Luka covers her rent. She has a friend who’s opening a café and needs help…but the café is in Montreal. She appreciates Luka’s generosity, but she’s ready to move on.

Luka asks to talk more after his shift, but Nicole says she’ll call him in a few days. He worries that she’s mad at him or thinks he’s mad at her. Nicole says that he talked himself into loving her, but this isn’t real. Luka tells her he made an OB appointment. Nicole says it’s not necessary – she’s not pregnant. She didn’t want to lose him, so she came up with a way to keep him around, but it was all a lie.

Susan and a patient hear some noises coming from an exam room, but Carter says they’re just from maintenance workers doing their job. Lies! The noises are Allegra and her husband banging. Carter tells Susan he’s “conducting a clinical trial.” She teases him for running a brothel. He argues that it’s not a brothel if they’re married. (Also, no money is changing hands. But still, I don’t think Weaver would care about the details if she found out what was going on.)

Mark gets Rudy’s labwork back and asks Mr. E. if he’s ever taken stimulants. Mr. E. says he’d never let Rudy take drugs. They found ephedra in his blood, and Jorge explains that it must have come from the power supplements Rudy was taking. Mark says the ephedra probably raised Rudy’s blood pressure and led to a blood vessel in his brain rupturing. Jorge tells Mr. E. that Rudy wanted to power up so he could make their father proud.

Mr. E. is upset that Jorge knew what Rudy was doing and didn’t stop him. Jorge notes that Mr. E. was always pushing Rudy, so he felt like he didn’t have a choice. Rudy was just a kid. Mr. E. says Rudy wanted to be a champ, but Jorge argues that that was what their father wanted. He’s done with boxing and letting Mr. E. press his children to excel. Mr. E. says Jorge was born with a gift, so Jorge ruins the gift by punching a wall and injuring his hand.

Jackie comes to the courthouse to give Benton some moral support. Benton tells her that Roger is making it sound like Benton calls him for help with Reese all the time, when he’s only asked for help a couple times. Jackie thinks they should bust Roger for perjury. She tells Roger to leave them alone and tell the truth. “Get your own family!” she yells.

Carter finds Susan in an exam room next to Allegra and her husband’s, and accuses her of listening to them have sex. Dude, if they’re loud enough to be heard in the ER, she didn’t need to get closer. Also, how long do they need to go at it for Carter’s hypothesis to be proven or disproven? I’m all for the scientific method, but this is overkill. Finally, the sex stops, and the two go check on the patient. Mark and Gallant walk by, and Mark asks what’s going on. Susan tells him to ask Carter. Gallant makes a face that says, “I know exactly what’s going on, and you two are very naughty.”

Mark and Gallant tell Jorge he’ll be in a cast for a few weeks. As Mark leaves to treat someone else, Gallant tries to assure Jorge that everyone has daddy issues. Jorge says it’s different for him, since Mr. E. is so old-school. He’s from Cuba and immigrated to the U.S. before his kids were born. He was a great boxer in Cuba, and when he tried to leave, his hands were broken. He pushed his kids to have what was taken from him. Gallant urges Jorge to talk to Mr. E. about his feelings on the situation.

Allegra and her husband weren’t able to…fully test Carter’s hypothesis. What, you mean they weren’t able to finish while in an exam room in a busy hospital where anyone could walk in at any time? Preposterous! Carter tells them to use condoms until they can test the hypothesis under medical supervision. Allegra wonders why she would suddenly develop an allergy to semen. Carter and Susan say it could be the result of having multiple sex partners. Allegra’s like, “Okay, yeah, that makes sense.” Her husband isn’t happy to hear that.

Paramedics bring in a 16-year-old who fell off a lamppost. A cop tells Mark and Carter that he and a girl were stealing street signs. Mark recognizes the patient as Andrew, then easily (and correctly) guesses that the girl is Rachel. The teens aren’t under arrest, but a cop wants to take Rachel to the police station to scare her a little. Mark approves. Meanwhile, Sandy returns to the hospital, having decided she wants a wound check after all.

Wharton questions Benton about his work hours and childcare arrangements. He notes that Jackie had trouble taking care of Reese right after Carla died, then brings up Jesse. Is Jackie stable enough to take care of a child when she’s still grieving the death of her own child? Is she taking psychiatric medication with side effects that could hamper her ability to take care of a child? Getting angry, Benton tells Wharton to start asking questions about his parenting abilities and how he’s taken care of Reese for years. There’s nothing more important to him than his son.

At the end of the day, Ms. Prager chastises Benton for blowing up on the stand. He doesn’t regret it, since he said what he had to say. The judge seems to be leaning toward Roger, so Ms. Prager tells Benton they need to do something to tip the scales toward him. Right now, his work hours are hurting him the most, so he needs to make some sacrifices to put Reese first.

The cop who busted Andrew and Rachel returns Rachel to the hospital after her little field trip of fear at the police station. Mark tells her that Andrew tested positive for marijuana, so he has some questions about whether Rachel has used pot, too. She’ll need to provide the answers in a cup. Rachel complains that Mark doesn’t trust her, as if she’s given him even one reason to trust her over the past five episodes.

Luka tells Abby that Nicole’s leaving town and there’s no baby. Abby very graciously doesn’t say, “I told you so.” Allegra’s back in the ER, having finished Carter’s research in a pickup truck. Looks like his hypothesis was right. Benton’s also back and being sent to the OR. Gallant talks to Mr. E. about arrangements for Rudy’s body, and Mr. E. expresses regret over his fight with Jorge. He doesn’t think Jorge understands his reasons for pushing his sons so much. Gallant says Jorge might surprise him. Mr. E. joins Jorge in the room where Rudy’s body is still lying, and the two hug each other and cry.

Elizabeth hands Mrs. Pruitt off to Benton; her husband finally consented to the organ harvest, but he still needs some hand-holding. Benton doesn’t want to hold anyone’s hand, and since Elizabeth has been dealing with Mr. Pruitt all day, he tells her to deal with it. Elizabeth says he just wants to talk to the surgeon who will be doing the harvesting. Benton sucks it up and acts human, learning that the Pruitts have a young daughter, and Mr. Pruitt will now be parenting her alone. Benton blankly tells him he’ll have to do the best he can. Wow, that was almost like compassion! Good job, Benton!

Weaver tends to Sandy’s hand and makes small talk about her co-workers. Then Weaver takes a huge leap and asks Sandy if she’d like to go out sometime. We don’t find out Sandy’s response, but she does confirms that Weaver has read her right as a fellow lady lover. Rachel tested negative for pot, and Mark tells her he had to test her because he has to make sure she’s safe – that’s more important than not making her angry. Rachel, a typical teen, doesn’t want to hear it.

Benton starts Mrs. Pruitt’s organ harvest, turning off her ventilator and waiting for her heart to stop. Carter and Susan chat about Allegra and her husband – apparently there’s a way for them to have a baby that involves washing the husband’s sperm and then doing artificial insemination. Susan thinks it’s weird that they had sex in a truck, but it’s not as weird as when she once had sex on a Ferris wheel. Carter asks for more tales of Susan’s strangest sexual encounters. Guys, just kiss already. Oh, hey, they listened to me! Ew, no, stop. It’s weird.

Mrs. Pruitt’s heart is still beating after almost an hour, and she’s breathing on her own, so Benton can’t harvest her organs yet. He tells Shirley they’ll have to keep waiting. I guess there’s a metaphor here for how Benton also has to be patient and can’t rush the custody fight. But also, he could be stuck there all night, which means he has to spend more time away from Reese. So much for making sacrifices.

Thoughts: Sean is played by future Two and a Half Men half man Angus T. Jones. IMDb says Keegan-Michael Key is also in this episode, but I didn’t see him. And chances are you’ve seen Tom Wright, who plays Wharton, in something, but Magicians fans will know him as Santa. (For those who aren’t familiar with The Magicians, yes, I mean Santa Claus.)

“Quo vadis?” means “where are you going?” Not sure why the show thought the Latin was necessary.

The Nicole plot is so pointless. The show was able to land Julie Delpy as a guest star and this is the crap they give her?

Ah, yes, teens stealing street signs. I live near an exit 69, and that sign had to be replaced quite a few times when I was younger because people kept taking it.

January 16, 2021

Felicity 3.9, James and the Giant Piece: Me and Earl and the Addict Girl

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:20 pm by Jenn

Creeeeepy

Summary: Living with Sean has rubbed off on Noel, who wants to sell an idea to a website. One of his professors is a programmer at a cartoon site, Icebox, and has encouraged Noel to submit graphics. Felicity likes the limping robot Noel has designed. Too bad it’s not supposed to be a limping robot. There’s also an elephant that’s really a mailbox. Better luck next time, Noel. He’s starting to question his decision to become a graphic designer. Since Felicity has taken classes about life drawing and figures in motion, she thinks she can help.

Elena comes home with news that she has to appear before the school’s disciplinary committee to address her fling with McGrath. She’s one of nine who have been identified as his love interests. Dang, he really got around. At an Al-Anon meeting, Molly tells the group that her boyfriend, James, is facing eviction because he spends all his money on drugs. She admits to using cocaine with him. James has graduated from that to crack, but Molly’s trying to avoid taking that step.

After the meeting, Ben tells the leader, Alicia, that they need to do more to help members who need it. Alicia told Molly about a program she should attend to help her with her drug use, but there’s only so much Alicia can do. She warns Ben that if Molly doesn’t want help, he needs to accept her rejection. He goes to see Felicity, asking her what she would do if she knew someone who was struggling with addiction. Felicity would try to listen to that person and be there as much as she could. Ben pretends he was talking about his father.

Meghan runs into Earl and some friends, and he taunts her for selling out. She’s boring now that she’s settling down with Sean and isn’t partying anymore. When Meghan gets to the loft, she tells Sean they have to go out tonight. She’s distressed to realize that Earl was right – she’s changed. She wants to go to a rave. Sean reminds her that he just had surgery, so he shouldn’t be in a place where people are slamming up against him. Sean suggests throwing raisins and cinnamon into the oatmeal he’s made, his version of going wild.

Elena meets with Dean Allison, who tells her about a former student named Sabina who’s filed the harassment complaint against McGrath. She got Elena’s name, along with McGrath’s other exes, from his assistant, who thought he was taking advantage of his students. It was a typical quid pro quo arrangement – the women slept with McGrath and he gave them higher grades.

Felicity has been able to improve Noel’s cartoon, so she thinks they should team up again. Elena comes home and tells them she’s not going to address the disciplinary committee. The circumstances of her fling with McGrath weren’t the same as the other students’, since he didn’t coerce her into a relationship and she didn’t sleep with him to get better grades. Sabina is the student Elena and Felicity talked to about McGrath’s seminar, and Felicity and Elena agree that she had a weird vibe. Besides, Elena is more concerned with fixing thing with Tracy.

Ben finds Molly at Epstein Bar and encourages her to break up with James. Molly doesn’t appreciate his input. Ben isn’t an addict, so he can’t understand the situation. James joins them, and Molly leaves with him. Elena agrees to talk to Sabina at Dean & DeLuca, but she doesn’t agree to go before the disciplinary committee. Neither will any of the other women who slept with McGrath, since they need his recommendation for post-grad stuff. Sabina just wants one other person to back her up.

Elena tells her that their situations are different, since she wasn’t coerced. Sabina says he just made her feel that way. She knows now that her relationship with McGrath was really a form of harassment. Elena continues to argue that she wanted the relationship. Plus, McGrath was going through a difficult time and needed someone – his ex-wife was sick. Sabina is familiar with that story and now knows that it wasn’t true.

Noel and Felicity keep working on his cartoon together. Does anyone care about this? Yeah, I didn’t think so. She wants to make a cartoon called “Loser Pet Store,” about animals no one wants. One character is a neutered poodle that thinks it’s a cat. Another is a snake that thinks it’s in a relationship with another snake, but it’s really its tail. There’s also an alcoholic goldfish that wants to swap its water for vodka. Noel loves the idea and wants Javier to voice the poodle.

Molly goes to the loft and tells Ben that she’s in over her head with James. In a clinic waiting room, she tells him she met James when he was on a trip to London. She kind of came to New York for him. Hmm, sounds familiar. James is charming and everyone loves him, including Molly’s mom, whose psychic abilities haven’t told her there’s anything to worry about. Molly appreciates that Ben cared enough to say he was worried. She knows James would have a hard time quitting drugs, but she can’t imagine quitting him.

Elena and Tracy chat after class, and though he’s polite and civil, he doesn’t want to talk much. Back at the dorm apartment, Elena admits to Felicity that McGrath changed her seminar grade after she slept with him. Based on that grade she didn’t earn, she got into upper-level classes and landed on the Dean’s List.

Felicity points out that she had to earn those honors by herself. But Elena knows sleeping with McGrath was what set everything in motion. She wouldn’t have met Tracy or taken chances if she hadn’t gotten that grade. Now she thinks she’s a fraud. She continues that the same thing happened to her as what Sabina went through. If she comes forward, though, she’ll have a black mark on her transcript and she’ll never get into med school.

Meghan brings Earl to the loft after spending all day and night partying with him. Sean is annoyed that she’s spending so much time with a guy like Earl. She’s acting like a completely different person. Meghan says this is who she really is. She changed when she started dating Sean, but he hasn’t made any changes for her. Sean thinks that having his testicle removed counts. “That ball can only get you so far!” Meghan yells.

Ben stops by the dorm apartment, where Felicity announces that James is going to move in for a while. She didn’t even know that Molly had a boyfriend. Ben gets Molly alone and asks why she didn’t break up with James. Molly says they had a long talk, and he’s even going to come with her to a clinic appointment. Ben says his father always did the same thing – he would promise he was going to stop drinking, but he never kept his word.

Felicity tells Ben that she wants to tell Tracy what Elena’s going through. Felicity, has meddling in your friends’ lives ever worked out? Over at the loft, Sean tries to make up with Meghan by offering her tickets to a comedy club. Yeah, not good enough. Meghan wants to go to the Fetish Ball. She plans to dress as a pregnant woman. Sean reminds her that it’s Friday night, so he has to observe the Sabbath. Meghan suggests that he tell God that Sean’s ex-girlfriend is going to the Fetish Ball.

Felicity goes to see Tracy and tells him that Elena is struggling with the whole McGrath situation. She only accepted one grade in exchange for sex, but it wasn’t really like that. Elena held everything in for two years, and now she feels like a fraud. Felicity just wants Tracy to reassure Elena that she’s still a good, smart person. Tracy doesn’t want to get involved.

At Dean & DeLuca, Felicity tells Ben she thinks it’s weird that Molly never mentioned having a boyfriend. Ben is only half listening, and he wants to leave his shift early. Tracy finds Elena and tells her he knows about the McGrath stuff. He confesses that he didn’t get into McGrath’s seminar freshman year, but Elena did, which means she’s smart. She shouldn’t believe that she doesn’t deserve the things she’s earned. Tracy isn’t over what happened between them, but wants her to know this is how he feels.

Molly and James are supposed to go to her clinic appointment, but first he wants to do some crack. She resists, but he basically orders her to join him. Ben goes to the clinic to try to catch Molly, but she’s still at the dorm apartment, making out with James. He tells her she should cut her hair, and when she says she doesn’t want to, he cuts it for her. Poor Ben waits at the clinic for so long that he falls asleep.

Noel tells Felicity that his professor loved “Loser Pet Store” and wants to take it to Icebox. Noel wants them to keep working on it together. He leaves as Ben comes over, just as Felicity finds Molly’s hair all over the bathroom floor. Ben tells Felicity that James shouldn’t be staying there. He starts to move James’ bag and a gun falls out. Ben tells Felicity that Molly’s in his Al-Anon group and has talked about James’ drug use. Felicity is a little annoyed that Ben didn’t tell her that Molly’s using, too. She agrees that James shouldn’t be staying there.

Elena meets with the disciplinary committee, alongside Sabina. She testifies that she initiated the relationship with McGrath, but that probably doesn’t matter, since she was 18 and he was 44. After the interview, Elena tells Dean Allison that she didn’t earn the grade McGrath gave her in his seminar. She wants to retake the class. Allison notes that her course load is heavy, so her other work might suffer, but Elena insists on earning her grade on her own.

Meghan goes to the Fetish Ball with Earl, but she’s not as happy to be there as she wanted to be. Earl is pleased that she’s giving up her boring life to go back to the person she used to be. Meghan says they’re not really over; their fetish is breaking up with each other over and over. Earl calls Sean as loser, but Meghan says she doesn’t date losers – she just hangs out with them.

Elena tells Tracy that she testified against McGrath and he’s going to be fired. She appreciates his advice to be honest and be who she is. He tells her she shouldn’t doubt herself. Elena says she misses him, and he jokes, “I hope so.” At the loft, Noel shows Meghan one of “Loser Pet Store”‘s characters, a dog that claims it’s well-traveled. Sean goes home, wearing rave clothes, since he went to the Fetish Ball to find Meghan. Meghan is touched by how far he went to try to be with her. Noel just cracks up.

Molly comes home to the dorm apartment alone and thanks Felicity for letting James stay with them. Ben announces that he told Felicity everything. Molly is understandably upset that he told her secrets. Ben says that James is probably dealing again, and he thinks Molly knows it. Molly says he insists he’s not, and she believes him. She asks to wait until the morning, and then the four of them can talk.

Ben tells her that James can’t stay at the dorm apartment. He mentions the gun, and Molly slams him and Felicity for looking through James’ belongings. Ben tells her she has to go back to the clinic to get help, or she can’t stay in the dorm apartment, either. Felicity thinks that’s too far. Molly tells them that they’re judging her because they think she has a problem, when instead they should be examining the kind of people they are.

Thoughts: I’m surprised Al-Anon lets people who are drinking or using attend meetings. Wouldn’t that trigger other members or make it harder for them to trust each other?

Felicity’s goldfish character sounds like something from a Seth MacFarlane show.

Felicity, if you’re starting a sentence with, “I know what’s going on is none of my business,” don’t finish the sentence.

Meghan and Earl in costume at the ball with techno music playing has intense Alias vibes.

Molly wears a shirt that looks like a sleeveless sweater. Please fire the wardrobe person who picked that out.

Please enjoy this gif of Sean in his rave clothes.

December 12, 2020

Felicity 3.4, Greeks and Geeks: J-E-L-L-OH, NO

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:11 pm by Jenn

Just put this on a poster and you have an anti-drinking PSA

Summary: Noel has moved into the loft and is studying up for a job at the campus computer center, doing on-call repairs. Sean teases him, asking when the next Star Trek convention is. Noel mostly wants it for his résumé. Natalie is off at Oktoberfest, and Noel plans to have his life sorted out by the time she gets back. While they’re talking, Meghan runs up to Sean’s room and works on her own new job: a phone-sex chatline. She’s disturbingly good at it. Sean’s just disturbed. When the guy she’s talking to hears Sean’s voice, he asks to talk to him, but just so he can ask Sean to spank Meghan.

Felicity spent the night on the couch at the dorm apartment; she couldn’t fall asleep in her own bed after watching Julie’s tape. She watched it again, focusing on how final Julie’s goodbye was. Julie’s mother calls, obviously unaware that Julie has moved out. Elena tells Felicity not to say anything about that, since Julie will want to tell her parents on her own. Felicity lies that Julie’s in class and takes a message.

Sean films Javier as Ben and Felicity try to calm him down for his citizenship test. Ben offers to help him study, even though he should be studying for midterms and taking care of his father. Javier asks Felicity if Ben even knows anything about American history. Noel interviews for the computer-repair job with a guy who is waaaaay too into computers. He says Macs are guys and PCs are girls – not as easy to get to know. He also calls computers “patients.” The guy wants to put Noel through a trial to test his skills later in the week. He wishes Noel luck with a Vulcan salute.

Felicity finds a little baggie with powder in it in her and Molly’s closet (formerly Julie’s closet) and wonders what it is. Molly says it looks like meth, which her brother used while they lived together. Felicity thinks she’s covering and says she doesn’t care if it’s Molly’s, but Molly says it’s not. They take it to Elena and Ben, and while Elena says Julie would never use drugs, Ben thinks it would explain her change in moods.

Sean interviews Meghan about her new job, which she says is an important service – fantasy fulfillment. It’s not as easy as it sounds, since she has to work to keep them on the line and get more money. Sean asks if she ever gets turned on. Meghan admits that she does, then says she’s kidding. Back at the dorm apartment, Felicity and Elena regret not telling Julie’s mother that she left. They decide to call her back and tell her Julie dropped out, but not mention the drugs. Felicity does the honors.

She heads to the loft next and tells Ben about the call. Mrs. Emrick is scared for her daughter, which in turn scared Felicity. She also told Mrs. Emrick the truth about Julie’s birth father’s death. After they got off the phone and Mrs. Emrick talked to her husband, she called back, now angry that Felicity and the rest of her friends didn’t notice that something was wrong with Julie. Felicity beats herself up for being too wrapped up in her own life to notice that her best friend was going through something rough. Ben tells her it’s not her fault.

Sean interviews Noel, who has two days until what he’s calling the PC Olympics. Tracy got a new laptop and is going to use his old one to test Noel on his PC knowledge. (Remember, as we’ve learned before, Noel is a Mac guy.) Sean advises Noel to “let the Wookiee win.” Now who’s the space nerd? Tracy thinks he’s stumped Noel, but Noel has done his research and fixes the computer. He asks Tracy to stump him again.

Noel takes a look at Tracy’s new computer, which Tracy calls his Porsche, as Tracy works on messing up the old one again. Elena has a paper on the new PC, and Tracy warns Noel not to lose it. Tracy messes up the old computer again and tells Noel that if he can fix it, he’s a super-mega-nerd.

Sean films Javier and Ben as they head to the library to study for Javier’s test. They pass by a table where a woman is registering people to vote, and Javier admires a little American flag. Javier can’t vote in the next election since he won’t be registered to vote in time, and Ben says he’s not planning to vote, either. “In an ironic twist, Javier’s citizenship mentor, unpolitical himself–,” Sean starts to narrate before Ben shuts him up. Javier lectures Ben about the privilege he’s giving up. Ben says it doesn’t matter who becomes president. Javier calls him a pineapple head and says he should vote Hypocrat.

Felicity goes to her French class, where she gives a presentation on a book. I don’t speak French so I don’t know what she’s saying, but it sounds like something about independence. She stops and apologizes for not being prepared. At the dorm apartment, Sean complains to Meghan that he doesn’t have a hook for this week’s docuventary episode. She’s on a phone-sex call and studying at the same time, and Sean finally blows up, saying Meghan is cheating on him. She tells him she’s not like his exes. She yells that talking to guys on the phone is like having sex with him – over with quickly after she does all the work.

During an interview with Javier, Sean gets a call from a phone-sex client who’s looking for Meghan. Javier takes the phone and pretends to be a “luscious blonde” named Amber. He recognizes the voice on the other end and thinks it’s his ex-roommate. Ben wants to get back to studying, and when Javier is off the phone, Ben asks when the Civil War began. “What Civil War?” Javier asks.

Noel is struggling to fix Tracy’s old computer, and Tracy thinks it’s time to give up. He says this is like ER – eventually you have to stop CPR and let the patient go. Elena comes home and panics because she was using Tracy’s old computer for her paper, not the new one. She didn’t back it up, of course. She orders the guys to get the paper back.

Meghan tells Elena and Molly that Felicity has been spacing out in her room for a while, and Meghan’s worried. Elena and Molly want to take her somewhere to distract her, but Elena’s hesitant to leave before the guys rescue her paper. Felicity agrees to a night out, so Meghan asks Noel for the most out-there club he went to while he was crazy Leon. Noel tells her she can’t handle those places. Meghan goes across the hall to the apartment where the cute guys live and learns of a frat party they can go to.

Sean interviews Meghan the next day and learns that Felicity tried to back out of going to the party. Meghan threatened to tell everyone her dirty secrets if she didn’t go. Sean asks what those secrets are, but since Felicity went to the party, Meghan can’t tell him. At the party, Felicity, Meghan, and Molly do Jell-o shots. Back at the apartment, Elena waits impatiently to get her paper back. Tracy suggests that they call the guy Noel is interviewing with. Noel says that would be suicide for his job prospect. “It’s murder if you don’t,” Elena tells him.

At the party, Meghan and Felicity get roped into a game of strip ping pong. Computer Guy (sorry, don’t know his name) comes to the dorm apartment and demands a bunch of junk food to fuel his attempts to retrieve Elena’s paper. Tracy has to hold Elena back from pounding on the guy who’s about to save her. Meghan and Felicity appear to be really good at ping pong, even with a couple of Jell-o shots in them. A guy recognizes Meghan’s voice, and she tells him to walk away. Molly lets her know that it’s time for her phone-sex shift.

Ben helps Javier study some more, but it’s not going well. He worries that he’ll fail the test and all the people he invited to his citizenship ceremony will watch him embarrass himself. Ben tries to downplay the importance of citizenship. Javier tells him he’s spoiled, and this is about more than just citizenship – it’s about being a part of the family of America. Unlike Ben, Javier wants to be a part of the democratic process. Sean decides to turn that into a PSA.

Felicity’s had too many Jell-o shots, and her ping pong game is hurting. She takes off her shirt. Meghan does her phone-sex shift at a pay phone on the street. A guy from the party tells her that Felicity’s losing inside, then tries to hit on Meghan. She tells him that she and Felicity both have boyfriends. The guy tells her that someone should give that information to a guy named Randy, since Felicity just ran off with him.

In the morning, a distressed Meghan tells Sean that she screwed up, and she’s not talking about how she fell down some stairs and hurt her arm: She lost Felicity. Meanwhile, Felicity wakes up in bed with Randy and is horrified to realize that she completely lost control last night. Computer Guy is still working on Tracy’s computer at the dorm apartment; Tracy and Noel are asleep, but it looks like Elena was up all night. CG determines that he has to completely wipe the computer, which means Elena will get her very first F. At the last minute, Noel comes up with a solution. Elena gets her paper back and Noel gets the job.

Felicity does the walk of shame home, stopping to puke in a trash can. Everyone else (minus Ben) gathers at the dorm apartment, still unsure where she is. When Felicity comes home, she keeps quiet about where she was the night before. Meghan feels bad about ditching her, but Felicity says that if Julie leaving wasn’t Felicity’s fault, this isn’t Meghan’s.

Molly checks on Felicity later and offers her a bindi as a blessing to keep away negative things. Girl, you’re white. Cut it out. She thinks Felicity should accept who she is and see it as wonderful. Felicity admits that she woke up in some random guy’s bed and doesn’t know if they slept together. Now she has to figure out what to tell Ben. Molly warns that the bindi might not work right away.

Julie calls and assures her friends that she’s okay. She agrees to call her parents. Sean films Ben and Javier on the way to Javier’s test; Ben cheers Javier up by promising to vote. Javier tells him he’ll be a part of history. Sean is allowed to film Javier’s test, which he confidently aces. He gets sworn in right away, which I don’t think happens, with Samuel, Ben, Sean, Felicity, and Meghan watching. Felicity tells Ben that Julie called. Felicity asked about the drugs, which Julie said weren’t hers. Ben says Felicity must feel better now, but she obviously doesn’t. Poor, clueless Ben.

Thoughts: Sean’s Star Trek joke isn’t really funny in and of itself, but it is now that Greg Grunberg has been in a Star Trek movie and probably gone to Comic-Con.

“It doesn’t matter who becomes president.” You fool! This was 2000!

Computer Guy asks for Jolt cola. Do they still make that? It doesn’t look like it. Awww, RIP, Jolt.

November 3, 2020

ER 7.9, The Greatest of Gifts: Merry Kissmas

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

Sorry, but Carter holding a baby isn’t as hot as Luka holding a baby

Summary: It’s early in the morning a little before Christmas, and Chicago is experiencing its first major snowfall of the winter. Carter stayed past the end of his shift to help with a big car accident, and even took over running things from the temp attending who was filling in for Mark. Weaver apologizes for having Carter work nights, but now that Mark has left his position, he was needed. She tells him to take an extra hour in his day off before he has to report back to work in the afternoon.

Carter heads home and crawls into bed, but moments later, his pager goes off. Back at County, Chen is in labor, and has summoned Carter as her birthing coach. She thought she could deliver by herself, but she decided she needed a friend with her. Carter is sweetly supportive and willing to give up sleep to stay with her.

At Cleo’s, she and Benton are asleep, but she wakes up when she hears voices in the living room. He tells her it’s just Kynesha, who’s been staying there, but Cleo makes him go check on her. Kynesha has brought a friend over and is complaining about how uptight Cleo is. She tells Benton that her friend is just staying there for a little while since she got locked out of her house.

Mark and Elizabeth are in New York to see a specialist. Mark notices a boy in a red hat with pompoms on it and remembers seeing the same hat on a kid in Chicago at Thanksgiving. Elizabeth wonders if it’s a sign. Mark makes a dark joke, and Elizabeth urges him to be optimistic. Mark thinks he’s just going to hear more bad news from the specialist. He hasn’t told Rachel about his tumor yet, and Elizabeth believes it’s because he thinks the specialist can help him, and he wants to be able to tell his daughter that he’ll be okay.

The parents Chen has chosen to adopt her child have arrived, wanting to be there for the birth. Carter greets them and lets them know that everything’s going well, but Chen is uneasy about letting them be in the room. James and Linda aren’t happy that they traveled all the way from Portland only to be sidelined. They worry that Chen is going to change her mind about the adoption. Carter promises that he’ll bring the baby to them as soon as he’s born. (For the record, James is Black and Linda is Asian, giving the baby adoptive parents of the same races as his birth parents.)

Down in the ER, Randi suggests that they send Chen flowers. Weaver tells Randi to leave her alone (probably because she knows Chen is placing the baby for adoption and doesn’t want to be congratulated for giving birth to a child she won’t raise). Legaspi comes down for a consult, and Weaver gives her a Christmas present. She has the hiccups, so Legaspi suggests that she drink water upside-down.

Cleo complains to Benton that what was supposed to be a single night hosting Kynesha has turned into a week. Benton hasn’t been able to find Kynesha’s mother, and he doesn’t want to hand her over for foster care. Cleo says she’s manipulating Benton. She gets two more days before Cleo kicks her out.

Just as Benton notices a little girl sneaking around near the ER, he hears a woman yelling and runs to help her. Her son, Jeff, was attacked by a dog, which bit through a facial artery that’s bleeding a lot. Weaver hiccups through the trauma. Chen has progressed quickly, and it’s already time to have the baby. Carter coaches her as Coburn handles the delivery. Chen doesn’t look at the baby and declines to hold him.

Later, Chen thanks Carter again for being there for her. He tries to downplay exactly how much of her anatomy he saw. She thinks he was surprised that the baby is half Black; she never told him who the baby’s father is. The baby is now with his adoptive parents, who would like to see Chen. Carter assures her that the parents seem great. He offers to stick around a little longer, but Chen talks him into leaving.

Mark checks in for some language tests and mapping at the hospital in New York. Elizabeth is eager to meet the specialist, Burke, but he’s busy and probably won’t see them until later in the day. Weaver reassures Jeff’s mother, Shelly, that he’ll be okay and his scars shouldn’t be too bad. Mona, the owner of the dog, shows up and Shelly demands that she put the dog down. Too bad she does this in front of Mona’s son, who now has to worry about his dog dying. Thanks, Shelly, and merry Christmas, Mona’s son.

Benton spots the little girl he saw earlier hiding in a utility closet. The girl, Taylor, says she hurt her foot, so he goes in to check it out. She’s supposed to be in the blood bank, donating blood to her sister, Nicole, who has leukemia. Every time Nicole gets sick, Taylor has to go to the hospital, too, in order to help her. This time, they’re going to a procedure called leukapheresis, where Taylor’s blood is drawn, some white blood cells are removed, and her blood is replaced. Benton promises he can heal her foot without taking any of her blood.

Carter grabs a nap in the on-call room but gets woken up again by his pager. Chen is trying to leave the hospital and wants a ride home. A social worker suggested that she see the baby, saying it’s better for both sets of parents. Chen admits that she’s not sure she can say goodbye. Mark undergoes an MRI while looking at pictures and doing a kind of word-association thing. Elizabeth observes as a couple of doctors look at his scans and debate whether he should have surgery. She’s upset by how casually they discuss his chances and how much time he might have left.

Lily tells Cleo that Kynesha is on the phone, saying something about Cleo’s car. Kynesha claims it was stolen by unknown thieves. While Cleo calls the police, Romano yells at Benton for “stealing” Taylor and refusing to take her to the blood bank. Also, he calls her “it,” so I don’t think Romano is in the Christmas spirit this year. Benton wants Taylor’s parents to come get her, and he wants someone to fully explain to her the procedure she’s going to undergo to help her sister. Romano cares more about Nicole and orders Benton to send Taylor to the blood bank.

Carter tells James and Linda that Chen has reluctantly agreed to see the baby. Linda’s worried that Chen will regret not seeing him before the adoption papers are signed in three days, which might make her change her mind about the adoption. The social worker suggests that Carter take the baby to Chen, and after Chen is done saying goodbye, she can hand the baby back to Linda. Carter takes the baby to his birth mother, who cries over him.

In New York, Mark is nervous about the conversation doctors are having about his best course of treatment. They still haven’t met Burke, and Mark wonders if he only meets patients he can help. He knows the MRI tech didn’t think he could be helped. Mark wishes the discussion group called itself something other than the Tumor Board, though Elizabeth notes that the name is fitting. They make up new names to amuse themselves. Mark asks if Elizabeth will still have the baby if he doesn’t survive. She says she will.

Weaver’s hiccups went away, but only temporarily, so cross a spoonful of sugar off the list of attempted remedies. Malik passes along his mother’s hiccup cure, standing on your head and swallowing. Legaspi comes back to the ER to see if Jeff needs counseling after his dog attack. Weaver asks if she’s opened her present yet. Carter comes back down for another nap, but James follows, distressed that Chen wants to nurse the baby.

Jeff is worried that his father will be mad about what happened. He was going to “put it back” before his dad found out. Legaspi thinks he’s upset about the dog attacking him unprovoked, but Jeff reveals that there was provocation. He opened his Christmas present early – a BB gun – and tried it out on the dog. (Cue the entire audience saying, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”)

Linda now regrets forcing Chen to see the baby. The social worker is familiar with this kind of dilemma and knows Chen will come around when she sees how well Linda and James are going to care for the baby. They send Carter to talk to Chen, who is doubting her decision to place the baby for adoption when she has the means to take care of him. Carter reminds her that James and Linda really want him, and Chen is giving them a wonderful gift.

Chen worries about what could happen if her child tracks her down in 18 years and wants to know why she gave him up. Carter thinks the truth is enough: Chen wanted to give him a good home. She feels like a coward, and like she’s choosing her bigoted parents over her child. Carter tells her to keep them out of this. If she wants to keep the baby, she can. If not, she needs to know she’s not abandoning him. She’s creating a family.

The police find Cleo’s car, which she thinks Kynesha stole and then abandoned when it broke down because she couldn’t drive stick. She tells Benton to bring Kynesha to see her, or she’ll send the police to Kynesha. Taylor’s mother, Melissa, comes to the ER to get her, and Benton tells her that Taylor feels she was only born to help Nicole. Melissa fully admits that they had an additional child because they were desperate to save Nicole (though they were planning to have more kids anyway). She hates being judged as if she’s done something wrong. Melissa loves Taylor no matter how useful she is for her sister.

The social worker brings James and Linda to Chen’s room so she can give the baby to them officially. They tell her they’re naming him Michael. Chen gives him over and Linda sings “Baby Mine” from Dumbo. Elizabeth gets a call from Price telling her that her malpractice case may go to trial. Yeah, Elizabeth, no one cares anymore. There’s much more important stuff going on.

Burke finally arrives and gives Mark and Elizabeth the news that, despite what the Tumor Board thinks, he believes the tumor is operable. It hasn’t invaded Mark’s language center as much as the surgeon in Chicago thought. Burke has perfected a procedure to remove the tumor, and many of his patients have survived 24 months and counting. He has a slot open for surgery on December 31st, so Mark can start the new year without his tumor.

Carter’s next attempt at a nap is interrupted yet again when victims of a van/motorcycle crash are brought into the ER. Dori (the nurse played by a Real Housewife) finds painkillers in the motorcycle rider’s pocket. Benton and Cleo come home to find Kynesha on the front steps, worried about the whole car situation. She didn’t take it, but she thinks her friend from that morning did. She didn’t want to say anything because she thought Cleo would kick her out. She has nowhere else to go.

Carter tends to some of the people from the van, kids on their way to a Christmas pageant. He winds up in the biker’s trauma room, looking for something in a cabinet. The biker’s painkillers are on the counter, and Carter grabs a bottle and takes a couple of pills, almost on autopilot. Moments later, he realizes what he did and runs to the bathroom to throw up the pills. He fights back tears over his impulsive decision.

He quickly pulls Abby away from a patient and tells her he took two Vicodin, then threw them up. Then he hands them over to her, like, at least put them in a cup or something! EW! Abby asks if he’s going to tell Weaver. Carter knows he’ll either lose his job or get sent back to rehab. He’s not sure this counts as a relapse, since the pills never got into his system. Is this the “I didn’t inhale” defense? Abby tells him to say he’s sick so he can get out of his shift and go to an AA meeting with her.

Mark and Elizabeth hang out at Rockefeller Center, watching people skate, as he goes over his plan to fly out and see Jen and Rachel so he can tell them about his diagnosis and treatment. He mentions living New York for a couple of months as a kid, which Elizabeth didn’t know about. Mark says he can’t tell her everything; he has to keep her interested. He regrets that he’s gotten sick, which she didn’t sign up for, but she reminds him that marriage means sticking together through all the hard times. Mark spots another kid in that red pompom hat, and Elizabeth says it must not be a sign after all.

Dave is annoyed that Weaver wants him to do another shift, since Carter had to leave. Dave thinks Carter just wants to sleep. Hey, at least you’re getting a scene in this episode. Luka’s not in it at all. Weaver’s still hiccuping, so she tries Randi’s remedy, drinking a cup of water after dropping a lit match in it. Legaspi comes to thank her for her gift, a first edition of a book she loves. However, she doesn’t want to be friends with Weaver, since Weaver is straight and Legaspi isn’t.

Weaver argues that they get along well and should keep hanging out. Legaspi kisses her, clarifying that she can’t just be friends with someone she has feelings for. On the plus side, it looks like Weaver’s hiccups are gone. Chen’s mother calls her hospital room, but Chen doesn’t want to talk to her. She’ll be spending Christmas alone while Michael starts his life with his new parents.

Thoughts: Lots of familiar faces in this episode:

Helping Chen through labor is the first good thing Carter’s done in this season, and the first time he’s seemed like his old self. I appreciate that the show never tried to put the two of them together – they just let them be friends.

How do you drink water upside-down without choking? Well, I guess if you’re choking, you’re not hiccuping, so there you go.

September 1, 2020

ER 6.22, May Day: Out of Options

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

Yeah, you walk into this, you know things aren’t good

Summary: Two empty swings are swaying back and forth on a playground as a helicopter lands nearby. Benton and Luka emerge and meet up with some police officers. Three people have been shot in a school, and one is dead. Luka seems surprised that someone opened fire in a school, because he’s not from America and because it’s only 2000, so this wasn’t happening that much yet.

Benton checks out a boy who was shot through the eye. He’s awake and alert, amazingly. Luka declares another shooting victim too far gone to help, then checks on a boy named Nicholas who begs Luka to call his father. A cop tells Luka that the school is being evacuated from the front of the building; they’ve arrested two suspects, but there might be another.

Benton comes to help Luka with Nicholas, who was shot in the leg. They’re discussing which boy to transfer to the hospital first when more shots are fired. A cop tells them the third suspect is coming out of the building. After a few more shots, a sniper takes down the shooter just outside the school door.

The police search the shooter for more weapons or explosives, then allow Benton and a couple of paramedics to come tend to him. Benton treats him like any other patient, managing to ignore the fact that this guy shot some kids. Luka asks if it’s okay for him to take Nicholas to the hospital in the helicopter. Benton wants to transport the shooter instead, but Luka doesn’t listen to him.

At County, Carter, Abby, Randi, and Connie are watching a news report about the situation. Dave’s jealous that Benton and Luka got to go to the scene, then jealous again when Carter says he’ll take a patient coming in. The shooter is bleeding out, so Benton tries to get Luka to leave the helicopter and let the shooter take Nicholas’ place. Luka refuses. Benton argues that his patient is more critical than Nicholas, but Luka points out that Benton’s patient killed people. Benton eventually has to back down because the helicopter is taking off.

Carter and Weaver examine a man who hit a parking structure with his car. Abby finds a goiter on his neck, making Weaver think that the patient has a thyroid problem. That could explain why he’s so combative. Carter gives the man some fentanyl, then pockets the vial it was in. Carter and Abby work together to fix the man’s dislocated hip, but the man kicks Carter across the room. Weaver calls for Dave to take Carter’s place, but Carter says he can keep working.

Once the patient has been taken for x-rays and the trauma room is empty, Carter injects himself with the rest of the fentanyl. Abby comes back in, and even though Carter’s back is to her, she can tell something’s going on. He pretends everything’s fine, but once Abby has left again, he kicks himself for taking such a big risk.

Luka gets Nicholas to the hospital and meets up with Elizabeth. Mark finds Dave using a screwdriver to remove a wood screw from a patient’s leg. The patient won’t accept any pain medication, saying it’ll interfere with his healing process. (Not seen: Carter calling dibs on that guy’s pain meds.) Mark tells Dave that the guy has to at least stop screaming and scaring other patients. He asks Carter if he’s okay after being kicked, then tries to talk about Carter’s therapy, since Carter told him he’d call a psychiatrist. Carter clearly hasn’t.

Carter joins Luka and Elizabeth to take care of Nicholas. Through the trauma-room window, Carter spots Abby talking to Mark and worries that they’re discussing him. They’re actually discussing a man named Mr. Tanner who got hurt playing rugby. He thinks he only hurt his clavicle, but his chest is blue. He blames the dye on his new jersey. Mark notices that Abby seems distracted, and she asks for a minute to talk.

Nicholas starts declining as Weaver discovers that the bullet that entered his leg has made it to his heart. He needs immediate surgery. Benton makes it to the hospital, having failed to save the shooter, as paramedics bring in an 18-year-old college student named Gloria who was stabbed in the abdomen.

Benton tells Luka that the shooter died after Luka abandoned him at the scene. Luka has no sympathy for the guy. Benton reminds him that they’re supposed to prioritize the most critical patient. Luka thinks he was justified in rushing Nicholas in first, since his condition could have gotten worse at any time (and, as we know, did). They yell at each other for a minute until Weaver tells them to cut it out.

Mark calls Weaver away as Luka tries to argue his side of the battle with Benton. She tells him to go help Cleo with Gloria. The police are questioning her about who stabbed her; she says the guy was “darker, maybe Mexican.” Luka examines Gloria and asks her how far along she is in her pregnancy. She denies that she’s pregnant, even though she looks almost full-term.

The baby’s heart rate seems fine, but the placenta has been damaged, which means Gloria might need a C-section to save the baby. Luka tries to reassure her that the baby will be fine, but Gloria only cares about what might happen to her. When Luka says her life isn’t at risk, Gloria tells him not to do a C-section.

Carter and Dave go to the lounge, where Mark, Weaver, and Abby are having a meeting. They stop talking while the guys are in the room. Mark asks Dave to leave, then tells Carter that Abby saw him inject himself in the trauma room. Abby confirms this. Carter lies that he was just cleaning up, but the patient’s chart shows that he didn’t receive the full vial of fentanyl, and the rest of it isn’t accounted for.

Carter says he must have poured the rest down the sink, which is hospital procedure. Weaver reminds him that he’s supposed to have a witness for that. Carter brushes it off, saying they all do this sort of stuff. Just because he had meds left over doesn’t mean he took them himself. No one believes him. Carter asks Abby why she didn’t talk to him if she thought she saw him do something he shouldn’t have.

Mark asks if Carter’s still taking pain medication for his stabbing injuries. Carter says that’s between him and his doctor. Mark asks him straight out if he’s overmedicating. Carter challenges Mark to accuse him of being addicted to drugs, then tells the group that they’re ridiculous for thinking that. He gaslights Abby for making up a story about him, then asks if he can go back to work.

Coburn comes to the ER to examine Gloria, determining that she needs a C-section right away if they want to save the baby. Gloria refuses to consent. Coburn can’t operate without Gloria’s permission, which means if the baby dies, it dies. Luka’s shocked that Coburn has no power in this situation. He thinks he might be able to get Gloria declared incompetent to make her own medical decisions. He suspects that she stabbed herself. Coburn agrees to operate if psych says Gloria isn’t in her right mind.

Elizabeth and Benton operate on Nicholas, discussing how Luka bought the boy some extra time by putting him on the helicopter. Benton notes that Luka didn’t know that Nicholas’ condition was this bad. Elizabeth can sympathize with Luka’s difficulty in prioritizing a patient who hurt other people. Nicholas starts bleeding but the surgeons can’t figure out what’s wrong. Benton finds another injury from another bullet and works fast to fix it before Elizabeth has to shock Nicholas’ heart.

Tanner is disappointed to learn that he’ll have to miss an upcoming rugby tournament. Weaver pulls Mark away from him to tell him she had a hypothetical conversation with the legal department about Carter. Without more evidence that he’s using drugs, they can’t keep him from working with patients. Mark asks if they can have him take a drug test. Weaver points out that since Carter’s taking prescribed pain medication, he’ll test positive no matter what. Asking him to take the test will just make him madder.

Weaver wants to get him help, but since he hasn’t admitted to anything, that will be hard. Mark thinks Carter might open up to him if he doesn’t feel threatened. Weaver wonders how they all missed the signs that Carter was using drugs. Mark says that it’s Carter – he’s not the sort of person who would become an addict, so no one even considered it.

Deraad talks to Gloria while Cleo tries to stay optimistic that she’ll agree to the surgery. Nicholas’ father arrives, and Luka fills him in on Nicholas’ condition. Cleo takes him upstairs while Deraad tells Luka that Gloria understands her options and the potential consequences. She’s competent to make her own decisions. Luka disagrees, arguing that Gloria’s a danger to the baby. Deraad says Gloria can make decisions about her own body. Without a court order, they can’t do anything.

Mark finds Carter smoking in the ambulance bay, because on this show, psychological and physical trauma lead to smoking. Carter apologizes for getting so angry and insists that he’s okay. Mark calls him out for not seeing a psychiatrist after saying he would. Carter says his behavior is all justified because of his attack, and though he’s had to take more pain medication to get through the day at work, it’s all been prescribed. Mark tells Carter that he needs help. Carter asks to deal with it himself, but Mark assigns him to do chart work for the rest of his shift.

Benton and Elizabeth have finished Nicholas’ surgery and think the case would make a great write-up for a medical journal. They bicker over who gets to keep the bullet. Weren’t there two bullets? Cleo catches them acting friendly with each other and obviously isn’t pleased. Chill, Cleo. Abby apologizes to Carter for causing trouble for him but says she felt it was her responsibility to tell Mark and Weaver what was going on. Carter isn’t interested in hearing her excuses.

Abby checks on Tanner and finds him unconscious. Carter realizes he must have injured his lung and works to stabilize him. Mark tries to take over, but Carter’s far enough along in the procedure to argue that he can finish it. He remembers Mark banned him from working with patients and walks away, fishing for a “thank you.” Meanwhile, Luka’s impatient to get a court order for Gloria’s C-section and thinks he can get her to change her mind.

Mark, Weaver, Chen, and Benton gather in the lounge to plan an intervention for Carter. Chen worries that he’ll feel like they’re ganging up on him, but if the four of them don’t move now, they’ll need to pass things along to a committee. Weaver says they’ll leave Romano out of it. Benton warns that Carter will probably just walk out, but Weaver isn’t intimidated.

Anspaugh joins the group as Cleo and Luka determine that Gloria is out of options – if she doesn’t have the C-section now, the baby will die. Gloria asks for another doctor. Luka decides to move forward without legal rights, at the risk of losing his license. Cleo manages to convince him that he can’t violate Gloria’s rights, no matter what happens as a result.

Carter tells Weaver he’s done with the charts, so if he’s not allowed to see patients, he’s going home. She takes him to an exam room, where he immediately figures out that he’s facing an intervention. He tries to leave, but Anspaugh calmly tells him he needs to be quiet and listen. Mark tells Carter they’ve bought him a ticket to Atlanta and gotten him a spot in a rehab center in Atlanta that specializes in doctors with addictions. Carter insists again that he’s only taking what’s been prescribed for him and doesn’t have an addiction.

Mark continues that Carter can’t work at the hospital if he doesn’t get treatment. He can either go to rehab and receive support from the hospital when he’s finished it, or he’ll be fired. Anspaugh tells Carter that everyone in the room cares about him and no one is judging him. Carter doesn’t believe that. He’s gone through a few horrible months since his attack, and he’s never complained or missed a shift. He hasn’t endangered patients or done his job any worse than before the attack.

Chen reminds him that he gave Mrs. Watts the wrong medication and put her into anaphylactic shock. Carter replies that Chen almost killed a patient, too. If they’re talking about mistakes, no one in the room is immune. Weaver says Carter has exhibited drug-seeking behavior, then demands to see his wrists. Carter shows that they’re clear, so Weaver requests that he take off his watch. He leaves the room, announcing that he quits.

Anspaugh asks if they’re done. Benton says no and follows Carter to the lounge. Carter says he doesn’t need this job and never has. He storms out, but Benton follows him again, telling him he’s getting in Mark’s van and going to Atlanta. Carter refuses over and over.

Benton asks where it will end – right now it’s fentanyl, but Carter could end up like Chase, unable to care for himself and living in a facility. That hits a nerve, and Carter punches him. Benton tells Carter that it’s fine if he wants to fight, but Carter’s still going to rehab. Carter starts crying, finally realizing how much of a mess he’s gotten into. Benton hugs him and tries to reassure him.

Luka, Cleo, and Lily deliver Gloria’s stillborn baby naturally in the ER. She doesn’t want to see him. Mark and Elizabeth check in with Weaver, who doesn’t know if Carter has gotten on the plane, though he did let Benton take him to the airport. Romano makes a pointless appearance in the episode to tell Elizabeth she needs to do an operation with him instead of going home with Mark. Mark nicely invites Weaver to get something to eat, but she wants to stay at the hospital and wait for word from Benton. The legal department finally calls to approve Gloria’s C-section. They’re almost as bad as psych!

Luka mopes at an El station, possibly thinking about how Gloria could have saved her child while Luka couldn’t save his. Or maybe he’s thinking about how Carol ran off with another man and now he’s alone. Don’t worry, Luka! Your life is about to get better! Then worse. Then better again. And on and on for seven or eight more years. And at least you’re not Carter, on a plane to Atlanta to check into drug rehab. Though Carter, unlike Luka, isn’t alone: Benton’s with him. He couldn’t save the shooter that morning, but he’s going to save someone else.

Thoughts: Poor Abby. Mark shouldn’t have confronted Carter while she was present. I mean, Carter would have known she was the one who went to Mark and Weaver, but they put her in a really bad position.

I understand Benton’s argument that the patient in worse condition should have priority, but would he want to be the one to tell Nicholas’ family, “Sorry we couldn’t save your kid, but hey, at least we saved the guy who killed him”?

Having Benton be the one to keep pushing Carter to admit his problems and get help is perfect. They haven’t interacted much in the past few seasons, but Benton is still the one person Carter never wants to cross.

Season 6 sped by. Next: Sally Field, bad times for Mark and Luka, and guess who’s gay?

December 3, 2019

ER 5.5, Masquerade: The Scariest Thing This Halloween Is the Stupidity of the Future Doctors of America

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:51 pm by Jenn

Peter Benton (can ya dig it?)

Summary: It’s Halloween, and Jerry’s plotting something. He stashes something behind a Dumpster in the ambulance bay, then tries to pretend he didn’t. Mark and Chuny meet an ambulance bringing in a woman named Coco who’s babbling. She claims to be pregnant, but the paramedics don’t think she is. Jerry calls someone to report that their plan is in motion.

Weaver tells Lydia that the night shift isn’t wearing costumes this year, since they might scare the patients. I don’t think Lydia’s French-maid costume will scare anyone, except maybe a patient who thinks he or she is being treated by an actual maid instead of a certified nurse. Weaver suggests festive pins instead. She thanks Randi for reading her memo about costumes, but Randi, who’s wearing a suit not unlike one Weaver might wear, has dressed up as “a total stiff.”

Yosh sends Doug to the new pediatric area of the ER, telling him there’s a child with puncture wounds. It’s just a prank organized by Carol, who wants to kiss her boyfriend with vampire fangs. He’s not amused, which is pretty interesting since, as Carol points out, he’s pulled plenty of pranks in the past. He wants to be more serious now that he’s an attending. He’s also asserting some power by insisting on signing off on all pediatric patients. That means he’ll be looking over Mark and Weaver’s shoulders.

Mark asks Carol to help him with Coco, who continues to claim to be nine months pregnant without any evidence. Mark asks for a tox screen and psych consult. Elizabeth has dressed up as a milkmaid, I guess, because she loves Halloween. Benton teases her for thinking that Halloween involves romantic hayrides. After all, they’re in Chicago. He says he has something against costumes. Elizabeth is sure that when he was a kid, there was someone he wanted to be. Benton claims there wasn’t. Dale ruins Elizabeth’s bad mood by giving her annoying work to do.

Weaver brushes off a man who comes to the ER looking for Mark; she’s busy trying to get a computer to work. Lily brings a wheelchair and some medical supplies into the ER, saying she found them in the ambulance bay. Jerry offers to take care of putting it away, then takes it right back outside. Carter arrives with Roxanne, who’s going to a teamster party that night, which gives her an excuse not to help Carter chaperone a dorm party. Lucy catches them as they’re about to make out, and she doesn’t get the hint that Carter wants her to go away. He gives her a fake arm so she can practice inserting IVs.

Weaver gives Carter a bunch of files so he can present a case at a conference the next day. She notes that it would be good experience for someone who eventually wants to be chief resident. Paramedics bring in a drunk man named Joe who claims he wants to quit drinking. Carter tells Lucy to set him up for detox.

Mark meets up with the man who was looking for him, Dan Litvak, a potential new chief for County. Weaver recognizes his name and beats herself up for not being more polite to him earlier. Doug gets a real patient, a kid named Jared who had an allergic reaction to his clown makeup. That means he’ll have to skip trick-or-treating. Jeanie promises to find him something fun around there instead. “Fun stuff around here sucks,” Jared declares, possibly making George Clooney break character and laugh.

Mark checks in on Coco, who would like to know where her baby is. He tells Carol to give her Haldol, an antipsychotic. Weaver finds an excuse to talk to Mark so she can wrangle an introduction to Litvak. She pretends not to know who he is or why he’s there. She learns that he’s there for his second interview, and the search committee plans to vote tonight on who to hire. Weaver didn’t think the vote was until next week. Litvak isn’t very impressed with his supposed competition for the job.

Lucy does well with the fake arm, so Carter agrees to let her try an IV on a real patient. She’s apologetic for not being truthful with him before, but he admits that he wasn’t supervising her closely enough. They head off to take care of Joe, but he’s fled the hospital. Lucy hopefully asks if anyone else needs an IV.

As Elizabeth tries to guess who Benton wanted to be as a kid, they meet up with Reese, who’s come by for a visit. He’s adorably dressed as a bee. Carla says they just came from a party at Jackie and Walt’s, and she was unable to convince Walt to put on one of his ’70s “supa-dupa-fly” costumes and come with them. Elizabeth makes sure to get a picture of Reese with his parents.

Thanks to the Haldol, Coco is now coherent, but she still says she’s pregnant. Carol tells her she’s not, but Mark realizes they didn’t get a pregnancy test, so it’s possible she is. Coco tells them she has schizophrenia and stopped taking her medication when she found out she was pregnant. The Haldol could leave the baby with malformed limbs.

Benton and Weaver work on a trauma patient together, debating whether a sternal saw should be used in the ER or just the OR. She thinks his preferred way of doing things is too slow. Mark confirms that Coco’s pregnant, but they don’t know if the Haldol affected the fetus. Coco wonders if she’s really up for carrying the pregnancy to term, since it means staying off her meds. Mark thinks she should wait a little while before she makes a decision.

Later, Mark tells Carol that he thinks Coco might terminate the pregnancy. Carol notes that that would get him off the hook for possibly harming the baby. She invites him to get a drink after work, but he has plans to meet up with Jen for some kind of talk. Carter tells Lucy that she can leave early, since everything in the ER is under control. She heads off to get ready for the party he’s chaperoning.

Joe is brought back in, repentant over leaving earlier. He says again that he wants to quit drinking and make a fresh start. The drink he left the hospital to have will be his last. Mark says he’ll get Joe a detox bed if he promises not to run off again. He’s decided to believe Joe when he says he’ll stay; he was a cynic with Coco, and look how that turned out. Carol decides to get some extra insurance by taking Joe’s clothes.

Weaver tries to examine a little girl named Amanda who won’t stop screaming. Doug steps in to come up with a way to test her without using needles. Benton, Elizabeth, and Jeanie tend to a preteen named Barbie Klingman who was in a car accident. She has an abdominal bruise from her seatbelt, which may mean she has a bowel injury that will require exploratory surgery.

Litvak observes as Doug and Weaver keep tending to Amanda, using a pad that gives her a painkiller without an injection. Weaver, never Doug’s biggest fan, is very pleased with the method. Litvak is familiar with it, as his hospital participated in some trials. Lucy’s one of only a few people at the dorm party, so Carter feels comfortable going off to do some work for his presentation. Lucy offers to be in charge while he’s gone, as if the three med students there need a chaperone.

Benton, Romano, and Dale operate on Barbie, who still has glitter on her face from her princess costume. Romano makes some Benton-seriously-report-him-to-HR comments about how Benton and Elizabeth should check into a jungle-themed hotel room for the night. The surgeons find a couple of masses in Barbie’s abdomen that appear to be abnormal lymph nodes. Instead of letting Elizabeth scrub in, Dale sends her to pathology to get the masses tested.

Jeanie tries to get Doug to realize that he can’t see every pediatric patient on his own, so he needs to send some to the regular ER. Rachel comes by to hang out in the lounge while Mark and Jen talk. She mentions that she and Jen are moving to St. Louis, which is news to her father. Elizabeth returns to the OR with results from the biopsy of the masses. They’re testicles.

Carter returns to the dorm, where the party has really gotten going. Maybe a little too much. For example, the med students have set some furniture on fire and are in the process of throwing it out a window. These people are studying to be doctors. Pray you never get sick. Lucy’s been drinking, so she’s not much of a chaperone. Carter gives the fire-starters a fire extinguisher, then declares the party over. A tipsy Lucy doesn’t get why and asks if they were too loud. “No, the furniture was too on fire,” Carter replies.

Mark complains to Carol that once again, Jen has made a major life decision and he’s the last to know. Carol laments that it’s right on the heels of Mark getting to spend extra time with Rachel. Mark was able to convince the necessary people to give Joe a detox bed, but he’s taken off again. Mark is having a really bad night.

Elizabeth sits with Dale as he tells the Klingmans (Klingmen?) that Barbie is biologically male, but her anatomy didn’t develop properly, making her appear female. She’ll need estrogen to continue life as a girl. They had to remove the testicles because other people with her condition have developed malignancies. Elizabeth tells the Klingmans that Barbie’s genetics don’t matter; she was raised as a girl, so she’s a girl. However, her male anatomy means she’ll never have children.

Elizabeth says they’ll get the Klingmans in touch with a genetic counselor to figure out how and when to give Barbie the news. As they leave, Dale compliments Elizabeth on her skills at speaking with patients’ family members. Just when it looks like he might not be a 100% horrible person, he cracks that the Klingmans will have to change Barbie’s name to Ken. IT’S CALLED INTERSEX, DOCTOR. Look it up.

Lucy and some fellow med students keep drinking in their lounge, complaining about the horrible assignments they’ve been given by their residents. Lucy uses the fake arm to hold a shot for her. At County, Weaver tells Romano how important it is for the ER staff to be able to use a sternal saw in traumas. Romano doesn’t think it would get enough use or would fit within the standard of care. Weaver says the current standard of care is poor anyway. Romano advises her to do a study and enlists Benton to work on it with her. Benton doesn’t support the idea, but Romano thinks Weaver’s proposal will fail anyway, so it doesn’t matter.

Elizabeth’s good mood from earlier is faltering, and she’s not sure she’ll be up to a date with Benton after they’re off work. He calls Walt to ask for help in turning things around. Mark goes to Doc Magoo’s with Jen and Rachel so they can talk about how Jen is moving to another state and hasn’t said anything yet. Mark surprises her by not fighting her decision to move. They can’t both spend every day with Rachel, and he accepts that. Spending extra time with her over the summer helped him see that he and Jen need to think about her more than themselves.

Barbie wakes up after surgery and laments not being able to go trick-or-treating. She at least had fun making her costume with her mother. Elizabeth finds her tiara and puts it on her. Lucy, Bernard, and a third student are now pretty drunk, and think their fourth friend, Willie, has passed out from overindulging. They pull the prank on him where you put shaving cream on someone’s hand and then tickle his nose with a feather. Willie doesn’t regain consciousness, making Lucy realize that something’s really wrong. She sends the guys to call 911 while she gets Carter.

Carter determines that Willie’s not breathing, so he gives Willie CPR. His reward is vomit in his mouth. As an ambulance arrives, Lucy realizes that Willie took liquid ecstasy. Another student says a classmate, Branch, also took some, so Lucy rushes off to check on him. Mark settles a sports bet with Officer Al, then learns that Joe has turned up at a liquor store. Mark offers to call off the bet if Al will get Joe and bring him back to the ER.

Lucy and Carter find Branch passed out in a bathroom and give him CPR together. Benton checks on Elizabeth, who’s working late with Dale (though he calls her a “great little intern”). Benton pulls rank and tells Dale to let her leave already. Elizabeth is back to being excited about Halloween and wants to put her costume back on before she and Benton go out. She’s also still trying to guess his childhood dream job.

Al brings in Joe…only he’s not Joe. He’s Lloyd, Jerry’s cousin, and has used the hospital supplies Jerry took for him to enter a costume contest. He’s proud to have won an honorable mention. Weaver compliments Doug on all his work over the day, then gives him charts for all the patients the other doctors saw, since he said he wanted to sign off on all of them. Suddenly Weaver likes this new process. Carter and Lucy accompany Branch and Willie to the hospital, but since Lucy’s been drinking, Carter won’t let her assist.

Elizabeth exits the hospital to find Benton in one of Walt’s “supa-dupa-fly” suits, leaning against a vintage card. He’s filled the backseat with hay and gotten his nephew, Peanut, to take them for a hayride. Music comes on, and Benton notes that Elizabeth never figured out who he wanted to be as a kid. She recognizes the song as the theme from Shaft.

Weaver gives Jerry a bill for all the supplies he borrowed for Lloyd. He doesn’t have the money, so he’ll get some of it taken out of his paycheck for the next ten weeks. Mark tells Weaver that the search committee voted to hire Litvak as the new chief. He has a huge ego, so he wasn’t Mark’s first choice. He admits that he voted for Weaver. Jerry has a question about his paycheck garnishments, but now that Weaver won’t be in charge anymore, she decides to tear up the bill. She puts on some devil horns as she leaves for the night.

Carol stays late with Doug as he unloads some supplies in his new workspace. He gets her back for her earlier prank by pretending to cut himself with a box cutter. Carter meets up with Lucy back at the dorm after determining that Branch and Willie will be fine. Lucy says she didn’t know they were doing drugs, but Carter blasts her for not being better at being in charge. Lucy notes that she wasn’t responsible for policing everyone – he was supposed to be in charge. Carter chastises her for not being more mature. You were supposed to be in charge, Carter! Gaaaah!

And now, my favorite Benton/Elizabeth moment ever: As Peanut drives them around Chicago, Benton leans back coolly, channeling Richard Roundtree. Elizabeth sings along with the song and he teases her about not having rhythm. She cracks herself up by playing air tambourine badly enough that Benton has to ask what she’s doing.

Thoughts: You still can’t convince me that Benton was ever actually a child. He’s like Chidi from The Good Place – a 40-year-old in a child’s body.

Parents, don’t name your kid Barbie. She’ll never be able to escape “where’s Ken?” jokes. Also, don’t name your child Branch. That’s just mean.

Bravo to Kellie Martin for doing all the party scenes on skates, since Lucy was dressed as a roller-skating ’50s waitress.

November 2, 2019

My So-Called Life 10, Other People’s Mothers: Prisoners of Happiness

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:16 pm by Jenn

Yikes

Summary: Rickie and Rayanne are at the Chases’ house, where Rayanne is waxing poetic about refrigerators. She says that the Chases’ fridge tells her all she needs to know about the family. She also thinks mustard is somehow related to sex. Rayanne snags a beer from the fridge and the conversation continues as the kids head up to Angela’s room. Rickie says there’s an empty mayo jar in his fridge, but no one will admit it’s empty. Angela says her mother won’t throw anything away.

Patty and Danielle come home, and Danielle sees Rickie holding Rayanne’s beer. Patty sends her outside, so Danielle complains that her life is “totally edited.” Rickie hands the beer over to Patty and promises this won’t happen again. Patty tries to give the kids an anti-alcohol speech but can’t get the words out. She pulls Angela into the kitchen for a lecture. Rickie’s upset that now Patty hates him. Rayanne says she never liked him that much to begin with, so it’s okay. Patty would never give anyone a break. It’s obvious by her vegetable bin.

Patty tells Angela that Chuck is in the hospital for some tests, but he’ll be out in time for anniversary party that weekend. Then she tells Angela to never let Patty catch her drinking in the house again. Angela argues that she wasn’t drinking, but the message stands. Rayanne decides they’ll hang out at her house the next day.

Angela makes her first visit to Rayanne and Amber’s place, which she compares to entering another country (though she’s never been out of the U.S.). There are beads and crystals everywhere, which says more to me about the family than Angela’s fridge could ever say. Rayanne is thrilled to get a birthday card from her father, along with some money. Amber is even more thrilled to finally meet Angela. Angela immediately loves her.

Amber, an x-ray tech, is constantly happy and always trying to live life to the fullest. She brings out some tarot cards and gives some insights into Patty’s attitude. Angela thinks that Patty has abandonment issues, since she was adopted. Rickie says he has them, too. Amber says Angela is covered by the moon, which is a deadly mother, like a wicked witch. It may mean that one door opens and another closes.

Angela calls home just as Patty and her mother, Vivian, are arriving. Patty wants Angela home for dinner, but Vivian tells her to let Angela stay at Rayanne’s. Clearly, Patty and Vivian don’t get along any better than Angela and Patty do. Vivian worries that Chuck won’t be well enough for the party. Plus, he’s diabetic, and the fondue restaurant they’re going to could prepare something badly. Patty says they can call off the party if she wants, but Vivian knows Chuck will be disappointed if they do. She suggests moving the party somewhere else, like the Chases’ house. But she could never do that to Patty, of course.

Patty goes up to her bedroom and begs Graham to help her with her mother. Graham tells her to stand up to Vivian. Patty tells him he’s naïve. There are papers all over the bed, and Patty tries to figure out what Graham’s up to. He says he’s looking into some jobs and thinking about his goals. He doesn’t want Patty to get enthusiastic just yet. She asks him to go downstairs to entertain Vivian; she would do the same for him. Graham says he enjoyed his mother’s company before her death, so Patty would never have to entertain her. He finally goes downstairs when Vivian yells up that she’s just going to look around the kitchen.

Angela is impressed with Amber’s tarot reading and asks how she learned to do it. Amber offers to loan her the book she used to teach herself. Patty arrives to get Angela and puts on a happy face. Rayanne considers sending back the money her father gave her. Amber learns that Patty is hosting her parents’ party and says it’ll be a great way for her to work through her issues about being adopted. “I think I might’ve given up a baby in a past life,” she says. She loans Angela the book and some cards.

The next morning, Angela practices by using the cards on Danielle. Patty asks her to help decorate and clean for the party. Angela scoffs at the idea of being asked to move furniture. Danielle anticipates that Vivian will drive everyone crazy like she did at Thanksgiving. Patty has found a recipe for no-fat chicken, but Graham tells her she can’t cook chicken without the skin. Patty’s trying to stay optimistic, but she’ll need her family’s help to pull off the party. Angela tells her that life is for living, obviously something she heard from Amber.

At school, Rickie’s back to hanging out in the girls’ bathroom. Sharon’s having a bad hair day, so Rayanne gives her some mousse. Her dad’s money falls out of her bag, but Rayanne doesn’t care. Rickie guesses that she’s been drinking. She tries to give Rickie the money, saying she doesn’t deserve it. Rickie tells her to think about something she really needs, like new makeup or CDs, and spend the money on it. Rayanne decides to throw an endless party instead. There’ll be so much going on that they’ll be prisoners of happiness.

Vivian brings some things by the Chases’ house, delaying Patty as she’s leaving for a meeting. Vivian says Patty can go about her day and let Vivian do whatever she needs in the house. Patty warns her that Graham gets “emotional” about food when he’s cooking, so Vivian should let him handle all that. Vivian says she’s just providing a turkey.

Rayanne and Rickie spread word about her party, and she uses some of her money to get booze and drugs. Sharon watches her running around drunkenly, clearly headed for disaster. At the Chases’, Graham is sad about the turkey and can’t stop staring at it. Rayanne’s party has become such a big deal that some girl at school tells Rayanne she thinks she can get her in. Rayanne tells Angela that she was just invited to her own house.

Angela realizes that the party is set for the next night, when her grandparents’ party is taking place. She offers to help Rayanne get ready anyway, maybe by moving furniture. Rayanne drinks more alcohol as she, Angela, and Rickie decorate. Amber’s rules for the party: no eating on her bed, don’t let things get out of control, and don’t make too much noise. Drinking is okay. Angela is totally in love.

Danielle uses Amber’s tarot cards as Patty regrets agreeing to host the party. Vivian calls, and just as Patty is about to try to cancel the party, Vivian tells her that Chuck is out of the hospital and healthy. Now Patty can’t come up with a reason to cancel. It’s almost time for Angela to leave, but Amber suggests that she find a way to attend both parties. She needs to go where her karma takes her. Angela doesn’t think Patty will agree to that.

She goes home, where Patty’s decorating so she can tend to other things in the morning. Angela brings up Rayanne’s party, which she says is for Rayanne’s birthday. She asks if she can attend her grandparents’ party for a while, then go to Rayanne’s. Patty’s upset that Angela told Amber about her life. She tells Angela that she needs to be at the family party. Angela says the karma in the house is ridiculous. I don’t think she knows what karma is. Anyway, Patty says she won’t be going to Rayanne’s.

The next night, both parties begin, and one is going to be much more lively than the other. Also, Chuck didn’t want to come to his own anniversary party, so Vivian arrives alone. She thinks it’s for the best; she can never enjoy herself fully while he’s arrive. Graham is annoyed that he cooked a special non-fat, sugar-free meal to accommodate someone who isn’t even coming. Danielle whines about hating her dress and wishing she was dead. When Patty calls her on that, Danielle asks if Angela is the only person in the house who’s allowed to have feelings.

Angela watches from upstairs as guests start arriving. She voices over that Patty might be better at being happy for real if she didn’t fake it so well. Over at Rayanne’s, everyone’s having a good time except Rickie, who’s concerned about some of the guests they don’t know. Danielle changes clothes and braids her hair, making Vivian say she looks like Pippi Longstocking. Danielle decides to change again.

Angela still hasn’t made an appearance, so Patty goes to get her from her room. She’s wearing a Rayanne-like outfit and tells Patty she thinks she’s going to the other party. Somehow, Patty doesn’t say, “Oh, you THINK you are, do you?” Instead, she just goes back downstairs and puts her happy face back on. Yeah, I guess it’s best not to murder your daughter when there are so many people in the house.

Rickie catches Rayanne taking some pills, but she ignores his disapproval. Vivian tries to season the chicken, but Graham stops her. He tells her to do whatever she wants to her turkey as long as she leaves his chicken alone. Angela finally comes down, and Vivian tells Patty to stop worrying about her outfit and let her wear what she wants. Angela complains that she has to stay at the party when Chuck didn’t even come. Vivian tells her she can go do her own thing if she wants.

Patty argues that staying there would be doing what’s right. Vivian backs up Angela’s decision to go to her best friend’s party (though Patty denies that Rayanne is Angela’s best friend). Patty complains that Angela wants to go to Amber’s house, where there are no rules and Rickie can drink beer. Angela says he doesn’t drink and accuses Patty of hating Rayanne on sight. Patty admits that she doesn’t think Rayanne is the right friend for Angela.

Angela goes to Rayanne’s and tries to have fun. Rickie’s trying, too, but is still keeping an eye on Rayanne, who’s really drunk now. Rayanne is thrilled to see Angela and hugs her tightly. They fall over and some tarot cards get spilled. Rickie comes over as Rayanne starts babbling about getting a tattoo. Rickie assures Angela that Rayanne will be fine eventually; this happens all the time.

Amber decides that things have gotten out of control and kicks everyone out. Rayanne’s in her bedroom with a guy who’s ready to give her a tattoo. Amber yells at Rayanne for throwing a bigger party than she’d let on. She’s displeased that Rayanne drank too much; Amber talked to her before about moderation. She heads off for a date, telling Rayanne to have everything cleaned up by the time she gets home.

Rayanne drunkenly tells Rickie she loves him, then says she’s cold. He cries and rocks her, saying everything’s okay. He and Angela take Rayanne to the bathroom to get some water and try to keep her awake. Distressed, Rickie says he’s never seen her like this and doesn’t know what to do. Angela does – she calls her mother. Vivian answers the phone, but Patty seems to sense who’s calling. Angela calls her Mommy and says she needs her. Vivian tells Patty to go tend to her.

Patty calls an ambulance on her way to Rayanne’s, then immediately takes charge. Rickie says she took ecstasy but still has a pill left. Patty asks him to find the remaining pill. She gives it to the paramedics who come to take Rayanne to the hospital. In the waiting room, Rickie brings Patty some chips and thanks her for her help. He asks if she’s ever tried to protect someone so much that it hurt. Patty realizes that the beer she saw him holding the other day wasn’t his.

Rayanne is stabilized, and she’s asleep when Amber arrives, distraught that her daughter is in such bad shape. The police have some questions, which concerns Angela. Patty says they’re just filling out reports. She invites Rickie to come to the Chases’ “very dull party.” When they get home, Patty sends Rickie inside and stays in the car with Angela, who expresses regret at screwing things up for Patty. But Patty’s happy that Angela called her when she needed help.

Patty says that her college roommate was a lot like Rayanne. The same thing happened the roommate that happened to Rayanne, which is how Patty knew what to do. Unfortunately, the roommate died. Patty liked her roommate, and she’s worried that Angela is seeing the good things in Rayanne without thinking about reality. She guesses that forbidding Angela from seeing Rayanne wouldn’t work. Angela asks Patty to trust her. Patty says she does.

Angela heads inside to rescue Rickie from having to spend time with their family. But Rickie’s having a great time being doted on by Vivian. Patty cries in the car, then puts herself together and returns to the house. Her mother gives her a nice hug, as if everything’s okay between them.

Angela voices over about tarot cards and what they depict. They represent tests, challenges, and twists of fate. Cards can be good or bad depending on where they fall; none is all good or all bad. When you do a reading, someone thinks of a question. Each card moves to the next, from terror to loss to good fortune: “Out of darkness, hope is born.”

Thoughts: I can’t believe I would pick Patty over anyone in this category, but I would rather have her as a mother than Vivian.

Who knew Patty was so good in an emergency?

If you played a drinking game where you drank every time Patty put on her fake smile, you’d end up in the hospital with Rayanne.

’90s music alert: “Fall Down” by Toad the Wet Sprocket

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!

Next page