May 11, 2021

ER 8.14, A Simple Twist of Fate: Did You Learn Your Lesson?

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

This looks like something out of “The X-Files”

Summary: Susan’s asleep – drink! Lydia wakes her up in the lounge, where she was just going to rest her eyes for a little while. That was hours ago, and now she just has a few more hours until she has to be back at work. Weaver wants her help now with an animal attack, since Mark is in the pediatric ICU with Ella. Susan is eager to get updates on Ella’s condition, though it doesn’t seem to have changed.

At the admit desk, Weaver and Frank are fighting about bagels. A pharmaceutical company has brought over a bunch of food and branded products to try to get the hospital to use their drugs. Weaver doesn’t like how the company will just add the marketing costs on to their drug prices, and elderly patients will be the ones paying the jacked-up amounts. Frank is willing to accept the consequences. Weaver gives Susan an update on Ella, then puts her to work. Susan goes for a bagel, but Weaver guilts her into giving it up.

Up in the pediatric ICU, a doctor is ready to extubate Ella and see if she’ll breathe on her own. Mark and Elizabeth lend a hand with what is obviously a doll. After a tense few moments, Ella wakes up and starts breathing. Joyce is still hiding out from Brian, waiting for him to head out for the day before she leaves Abby’s apartment. She’s going to visit him at his school later that day (hoping he won’t get angry while he’s with his study group) to tell him things need to change.

Abby is firm with her: If he won’t commit to changing, Joyce has to leave him. She tells Joyce she’s free to stay in the apartment while Abby’s at work. Joyce hopes the group therapy Abby has recommended will actually help, since Brian wouldn’t continue counseling sessions the last time they tried. She thinks that if Brian knows she’s serious about leaving, he’ll change. Abby leaves for work, passing Brian’s apartment and trying to avoid him. Brian asks if she’s seen Joyce, and Abby pretends she hasn’t.

Mark lets Susan know that Ella’s doing really well. In fact, if she doesn’t have any seizures in the next 48 hours, they’ll know she’s okay. Paramedics bring in the animal attack victim, who was bitten by a sloth. Wow, embarrassing. Dude, you got attacked by the laziest animal in the world. Maybe you should lie and tell people it was a tiger. Chen spots Mark heading back to the pediatric ICU and tells him she didn’t file the mandatory paperwork reporting Ella’s drug overdose. Mark says he’ll take care of it.

Eleanor is still by Mickey’s side as he gets ready to start chemo again. He doesn’t have a lot of options, other than medications he didn’t receive last time. Eleanor worries that he’s being experimented on. Carter tells her it’s more about luck. He advises Eleanor to leave and get some rest, but Eleanor doesn’t want to leave Mickey alone while he gets his treatments.

Susan tends to a woman named Ginger who accidentally swallowed a ring. Okay, let’s be more specific: She was sucking a guy’s fingers and swallowed the ring. Even more specifically: It’s the guy’s wedding ring, and Ginger isn’t his wife. Susan says Ginger will just pass the ring in the next few days, but the guy would like to get the ring back before his wife notices it’s missing. Susan suggests an endoscopy, but Ginger objects even before she knows that it involves having a tube shoved down her throat.

Yosh tells Susan he’s sick and heading home. Frank is also sick. Susan joins Abby to help with a patient, but Abby gets called away to take a call from Joyce. She accidentally locked herself out of Abby’s apartment and is worried that she won’t get back in without Brian finding out she’s there. Abby tells her to come to County and get her key.

Elizabeth gives Ella a bottle as Kit tells Mark that Rachel’s on the phone for him. Elizabeth asks if Rachel’s been charged with anything. When Mark says no, Elizabeth figures out that he didn’t tell the police about the drugs. Mark’s excuse is that he wasn’t the attending physician at the time, so it’s not his responsibility. Elizabeth doesn’t think Rachel deserves any special treatment – she was in possession of Ecstasy and a baby consumed it. It’s a crime. Mark doesn’t think that having Rachel arrested is a solution here. Elizabeth wants him to do something, anything, to deal with the problem he’s been avoiding for months. He hasn’t even contacted Jen yet.

Frank is too sick to keep working, which leaves Susan out one desk clerk and four nurses. Frank says he’s called in people to fill in for the sick employees who, coincidentally, all ate the food from the drug company. Chen realizes she’s next up for illness. Frank tells her he’ll add her name to a class-action suit. Abby goes home to get Joyce and discovers that Brian found her first and beat her up. Joyce doesn’t want to go to the hospital, but Abby can tell just by looking at her that her cheekbone is broken.

Susan treats a man who was impaled by a falling icicle. Weaver comes in to tell Susan she’s sick and has to go home. Oh, Weaver. You couldn’t resist the lure of the bagels, could you? I get it. Carter isn’t sure the person starting Mickey’s treatments is qualified, but Babcock reminds him that County is a teaching hospital. The person should probably be supervised, though. Mickey starts coughing up blood, but it’s not from anything the inexperienced doctor did. While Carter and Babcock discuss options, Eleanor runs out.

Carter follows her and reminds her that he’s only helping with Mickey’s case because she asked him to. Eleanor struggles to say she couldn’t handle seeing Mickey in so much pain. Carter asks what she expected. This is just what she did with Bobby – she bailed when she couldn’t handle watching him suffer, and now she’s leaving Mickey alone when he needs support the most.

Paramedics bring in a girl named Ariel who started wheezing while eating alone at a buffet. Mark has decided to continue avoiding his problems by working for a few hours. Ariel was eating shrimp and lobster, so it’s pretty obvious that she triggered an unknown allergy. As Mark gives drug orders, he suddenly finds himself unable to say the name of a medication. Susan is concerned.

Abby takes care of Joyce, who keeps making excuses for her and Brian’s explosive relationship. She claims that 95% of the time, he’s awesome. She didn’t get a chance to tell him he needs to get help, so Abby thinks she can assume that Brian isn’t going to change. While Elizabeth is on the phone, Rachel slips in to see her sister. Elizabeth manages to not blow up at her, but she tells Rachel that if she really wants to make things better, she can move out. Rachel doesn’t try to fight her.

The ER is started to fill up, and Susan’s the highest-ranking person on shift, so she has a lot to keep an eye on. The fill-in desk clerk is someone from accounting, which probably isn’t the best fit, but oh, well. Rachel tells Mark that Jen is going to buy her a ticket back to St. Louis, but she’ll need a ride to the airport. Mark tells her no one wants her to leave Chicago; she just needs to give Elizabeth some space. Rachel tells him that Elizabeth told her straight out to leave the house. Mark promises to talk to her, but Rachel is willing to go, since Elizabeth doesn’t want her there.

While trying to convince Rachel to be patient, Mark bites his tongue hard enough to make it bleed. He sends Rachel home so they can talk more that night. Meanwhile, Susan talks to Ariel’s mother and stepfather, who tell her that Ariel has put on some weight recently and is eating a lot. Susan offers to have her talk to a nutritionist.

She notices Mark bleeding and tells him to stick his tongue out for her to examine. His tongue goes to the side, even though he thinks he’s sticking it out straight. He and Susan both realize that that may be a problem. Mark goes to the bathroom and studies his face in the mirror, trying to determine if there’s anything else he should worry about. After splashing some water on his face, he bangs his head against the paper-towel dispenser a couple of times. Yeah, that’ll help.

Luka’s annoyed that he just got off an airplane, he’s in to work on his day off, and Susan doesn’t have anything in the ER under control. Susan is very Weaver-ish toward him. Abby welcomes Luka back from his work with Doctors Without Borders and says she was expecting a postcard while he was gone. He tells her she should get email. Aww, 2002, you cutie. Anyway, the two of them are back to being friendly, like they never had a horrible breakup.

Susan gives Mark a quick neuro exam and thinks he’s fine. Mark disagrees, guessing that his tumor is back. She tells him he should get an MRI if he’s really worried, but this could be from stress over Ella, or just inflammation from his treatments. Mark blows her off and goes to treat a new patient, a little boy who got burns from an airbag after a car accident. Mark’s immediately angry that his father let him sit in the front seat.

The writers bring back that early-series plot about substitute nurses who don’t have the same work ethic as the regular ER nurses, this time with Abby filling Carol’s role. Brian shows up and demands to see Joyce; he knows she spent the night at Abby’s and came here with her. He claims that Joyce tried to hit him with a baseball bat. Abby tells him that Joyce is speaking to the police, so if he really wants to see her, they can go right now. That scares him off.

Elizabeth comes down to the ER to tell Mark that Ella’s neurological scans are all fine. She’s annoyed that he’s working instead of staying with their daughter. She announces that she’s going to go home to shower and change her clothes. Mark replies that the “evil daughter” is there, so she should beware. He’s upset that Elizabeth told Rachel to leave. Elizabeth asks what it will take for Mark to finally realize that this is an impossible living situation.

Mark says he won’t choose between his daughters, but Elizabeth tells him she’s choosing for him. He asks what message it sends to Rachel if he lets Elizabeth send her away. Elizabeth thinks she’ll realize that she has to grow up and take responsibility, that her actions have consequences. Mark thinks Rachel has learned that already – she’ll never do anything to harm Ella again. Elizabeth hopes he’s right, because as long as Rachel is living in their house, Elizabeth and Ella won’t be.

Joyce won’t talk to the cops and takes back her story that Brian hurt her. They can’t find him, so Abby gives them a couple of places to look. She tells Joyce that Brian came back the hospital looking for her. Abby and Luka want to find Joyce a safe place to stay, but Joyce wants to go home. Abby asks what will happen in the future of Joyce and Brian have kids. Does Joyce want him to hurt children, too? She needs to wake up and see that this is her chance to get away. If she goes back to Brian, she’s sending the message that what he does to her is okay.

Carter catches up with his mother at the family’s mansion. Eleanor has made arrangements to go to Cape Cod for a little while. Carter tells her that kids get over stuff, and if she goes back to the hospital right now, Mickey will forget that she abandoned him. Eleanor thinks Carter was right about her getting too involved, but he thinks he was wrong about that.

Eleanor points out a tree in the yard where Carter and Bobby would built a fort and play Tarzan and Cheetah. Bobby pushed Carter out once, but Carter didn’t rat out his brother. Eleanor never really thought about how Bobby’s death affected Carter. In fact, she never spent much time as Carter’s mother at all. Carter asks if she has time now.

She tells him she doesn’t want to betray another little boy. Bobby believed her when she told him he would get better, but he didn’t. Carter says Bobby was just pretending. He didn’t want Eleanor to be sad. He made Carter promise to make their mother happy. They hug, and Eleanor tells Carter she loves him, something I doubt he heard much, if at all, when he was growing up.

Abby’s back at home, talking to Joyce on the phone from wherever Joyce is spending the night. She buzzes up a pizza delivery guy, but the person who comes to her door is Brian. He acts apologetic and admits he needs help. He just wants to talk to Joyce, even if she won’t forgive him. Abby refuses to tell him where Joyce is. Brian starts getting aggressive, saying he won’t let Abby take his wife away from him. She tells him to leave or she’ll call the police. As soon as he’s gone, she locks the door. When he knocks again, Abby calls 911, then, for some reason, opens the door (with the chain on). Brian kicks it in.

Sometime later, Abby wakes up alone in her apartment, her face bloody. She locks the door again, then locks herself in the bathroom. Back at County, Susan talks to Ariel about how she needs to eat better. Ariel is fine being overweight, and though Susan says it’s important for her to be comfortable with her body, gaining a lot of weight in a short amount of time could lead to health problems. Plus, she’ll be in high school soon, and she’ll want to attract boys. Susan, come on. Ariel says she hates boys and doesn’t ever want them to touch her.

Susan starts to figure out that Ariel’s stepfather is doing something horrible to her, but then we abandon that plot so Susan can help Luka take care of Abby. Luka doesn’t like that Brian knows where Abby lives. He nicely looks away while Susan and Connie help Abby put on a gown. He wants to give her morphine, since she may have a broken nose, but Abby doesn’t want any narcotics. Susan notices a bruise on Abby’s thigh and wonders if Brian raped her. Luka, unlike Brian, is able to hide his rage.

Elizabeth returns to County, where Mark is sitting with Ella. He wants to talk about Rachel, but Elizabeth has had enough of thinking about her for the day. Susan gives Abby a rape exam but doesn’t find any signs that she was assaulted. Other than her nose, she’s fine, at least physically. She doesn’t seem to regret stepping in to help Joyce. Susan offers to let Abby stay with her until Brian’s in police custody, and it takes Abby a while to accept her help.

Susan tells Luka that Abby’s okay, then lets him go home. Things are quiet again and the admit desk isn’t a disaster area. That’s thanks to Jerry, who apparently retired but now wants to come back to work. Unfortunately, he snagged a bagel and some cream cheese, so he’s probably not going to want to be at work much longer.

Luka tracks Brian down at a bar Abby said he frequents and gives him a taste of his own medicine. Brian still blames Abby for taking away Joyce, but Luka says Brian did that himself. Brian promises to move out of the building and never come near Abby again. Luka makes it clear that if he ever touches Abby again, Luka will finish him off.

Back at County, Carter and Eleanor both sit with Mickey while he undergoes whatever it was he was supposed to undergo when he started coughing up blood. It’s tough for Eleanor, but Carter looks proud of her. Meanwhile, Mark gets an MRI.

Thoughts: I think at this point it was pretty common knowledge that this was Anthony Edwards’ last season, so no one was too surprised when Mark’s tumor came back. It’s hard to write out a character married to another character without either sending them both away or killing one off.

I like that Rachel basically accepts that there will be consequences for her actions and seems willing to face them. When Elizabeth tells her to move out, all Rachel says is that she’ll have to call Jen. She doesn’t make excuses or beg to stay. I think she genuinely doesn’t want to make things harder for Elizabeth.

I vaguely remember reading about a woman who diagnosed her own brain tumor after watching this episode and realizing she had the same tongue problem as Mark. Who says TV isn’t educational?

Abby cracking the door open for Brian makes no sense. She knew how dangerous he was. It seems out of character for her.

This episode should have been a springboard for Abby and Luka to get back together. Unfortunately, it’s not, and we end up having to endure a bunch of crap instead.

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 27, 2021

ER 8.12, A River in Egypt: Private Lives

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

Insert your own joke here about Christina Hendricks having experience with mad men

Summary: Abby’s asleep – drink! Once again, she’s woken up by Brian and Joyce’s fighting. This time it’s worse, as Brian hits Joyce and she screams for help. Over at the Greene/Corday house, Rachel’s up in the middle of the night, eating a snack and watching one of the Killer Tomatoes movies (maybe a jab at George Clooney, who was in one of them). Mark joins her, remembering how they used to watch The Smurfs together early in the morning when she was a toddler.

He sees that her boots are wet and busts her for going out. She tells him she went for a walk; the middle of the night is the only time she can go out, since she’s basically on house arrest. It’s like living in a prison. When Elizabeth calls down, wondering what’s going on, Rachel calls her the warden. She regrets coming to live in Chicago and announces that she’ll go back to St. Louis. Then she leaves, slamming the door, which wakes Ella.

Abby called the police on Brian, but Joyce won’t file a report, so they can’t do anything other than keep Abby’s complaint on record. Brian is acting like nothing happened. He comments that Abby must be a light sleeper. Eleanor is still at Millicent’s house, also acting like everything’s normal. She even offers to make breakfast for Carter. She asks about Jack, who’s back in the city but hasn’t been in touch with his estranged wife. Carter tells her to leave him alone for a while, but she wants Carter to act as a go-between for them. She thinks she can fix her broken marriage.

On her way out of the building, Abby runs into Joyce, who apologizes for being so loud. She downplays how serious the situation was – they just have a lot of history and passion. Abby notices that Joyce is limping and offers to take a look at her injured ankle. Joyce declines. At County, Carter and Susan talk about Eleanor’s weirdness and how hard the divorce must be on her.

Weaver’s impressed that Gallant was able to get a patient approved for surgery despite the surgeons’ reluctance to operate. Susan teases that he’s a teacher’s pet. Mark and Carter are both amused. Hey, it’s better than being on Weaver’s bad side. Paramedics bring in a rapper who calls himself Diamond Z, who was stabbed in a brawl at a club. He was also kicked in the junk. His girlfriend, Aisha, has some minor injuries, too.

Frank lets Weaver know that Sandy left a message for her. Chuny and Malik gossip about how Sandy’s gay; Chuny’s cousin used to flirt with her in high school but she never paid attention to him. Oh, yeah, then she must be a lesbian. Chuny asks Weaver if she and Sandy are friends, but Weaver says Sandy probably just wants to check in on a guy from her unit who Weaver treated.

Susan grabs Abby to help her with a patient, an inmate named Mike Kinney who was stabbed in prison. He declines pain meds, saying he wants to feel the pain because it reminds him he’s still alive. Next door, Mark, Carter, and Yosh tend to Diamond Z, who refuses to let Yosh put a catheter in his penis. No men get near Diamond Z’s penis! None! Chuny delivers a message to Carter from Jack, who’s already on his way out of town for another business trip.

Weaver calls Sandy to tell her not to stop by, since Weaver’s waaaaaay too busy to chat, and for absolutely no other reason. She spots Chen down the hall with Romano. Well, that can’t be good. Diamond Z has been joined by his “bro,” C.C., and is fine with him sticking around while Carter talks about his test results. Diamond Z has chlamydia, which he knows comes from “nasty booty.” He and Aisha aren’t using protection, but he’s sure Aisha didn’t give it to him. Carter wants him to be tested for HIV just in case.

He notices that Abby’s tired, and she tells him she was up all night, but not for fun. He teases that Frank looks tired, too. Abby then puts a horrible image in all of our heads by joking that she and Frank were up all night having sex. Not cool, Abby. Carter tells her to test Aisha for chlamydia. After learning that Romano has summoned her for a meeting, Weaver casually asks Carter if he knows why Chen is there. He doesn’t. C.C. asks Carter to give him a chlamydia test. Carter tells him he can only contract it through sex, which C.C. already knows.

Mark got in touch with Jen about Rachel, but Jen isn’t sure they should let Rachel move back to St. Louis just because she wants to. Elizabeth thinks Mark should consider sending her to boarding school. She’ll learn responsibility and form a sense of community. It worked for Elizabeth. Mark thinks it worked because she’s British. Elizabeth guesses that Mark is just waiting for this fight to blow over so he doesn’t have to make any tough decisions.

Paramedics bring in a man named Mr. Echevarria, who passed out while waiting for a cab outside a hotel. Meanwhile, Susan stitches up Kinney, whose stab wounds are all too shallow to be life-threatening. She wonders if he stabbed himself so he could get a day pass out of prison. Kinney says Susan is the first woman he’s talked to in 14 months. She replies that in high school, she was voted Most Likely to Marry a Convict.

She learns that Kinney is on death row, scheduled to be executed in June of 2002. He appreciates knowing exactly when he’ll die, unlike people who go about their lives with no idea of when they’ll breathe their last breath. Some of them will never have the chance to apologize for things they’ve done. Susan gets uncomfortable with the conversation. Kinney asks if she can find a reason to keep him in the hospital for a little longer, just so he doesn’t have to go back to his cell. She agrees to keep him for observation. A guard promises to straighten Kinney out.

Mr. E. shows signs of heart damage, and Mark thinks he started having a heart attack last night but ignored the symptoms. Mr. E. insists on getting to the church where his daughter’s getting married, but he also doesn’t want anyone to call and tell her he’ll miss the wedding. Elizabeth notes that she’ll wonder where he is when he doesn’t show up to walk her down the aisle. Mr. E. says she won’t.

C.C. has chlamydia, and apparently didn’t feel the need to tell Carter until now that he also has HIV. Carter asks if Aisha knows this. Carter is slower than the members of the audience who have already figured out what’s really going on here. He tells Diamond Z that he tested positive for HIV, though Diamond Z claims not to know how he contracted it, since he doesn’t use needles and he isn’t gay.

Carter says Aisha should be tested. Diamond Z doesn’t want to tell her she’s been exposed, and he definitely doesn’t want word getting out that he has HIV. He decides to just leave. Carter tries to get Aisha to stick around for more tests, but Diamond Z rushes her out. C.C. stops them, urging Diamond Z to come clean. Diamond Z punches him and leaves.

Weaver goes to Romano’s office, where he, Chen, and a lawyer have been waiting impatiently. Long story short, Chen wants her job back. She and Weaver bicker about whose fault it was that Paul died, and whether Weaver acted professionally when she put the burden on Chen. Romano tells them to end the catfight, so Weaver says that, while she respects Chen’s skills as a doctor, there’s no job opening.

Chen’s lawyer finally puts all the cards on the table: They’ll file suit unless Chen gets her job back, has her record expunged, and gets a statement of correction placed in her file to clear her reputation. Weaver tells Chen to grow up; she can’t screw up and then whine about being mistreated. I’m surprised Chen doesn’t bust out her knowledge of Weaver’s missing pager right here.

C.C. asks Carter and Abby if Diamond Z has HIV (which, of course, they can’t tell him). Carter has finally figured out that C.C. has been hooking up with Diamond Z, not Aisha. C.C.’s viral load has been undetectable, and Diamond Z only “gives,” so he figured they were safe. Besides, Diamond Z doesn’t consider what they do sex. He says he’s on the DL, the down low. Apparently a number of men who consider themselves straight do some sexual acts with men for reasons they claim have nothing to do with attraction to men. Diamond Z only does it with men because women stress him out.

Aisha doesn’t know anything about this, and C.C. says he was just waiting for the day when Diamond Z would be honest with her. He never thought about the possibility that he would pass something to Diamond Z that would then be passed to Aisha. Carter asks C.C. to try to get in touch with Aisha so they can bring her back to the hospital and give her an HIV test. Abby has questions about the DL, and whether it means Diamond Z is bisexual. Carter is fine with the DL designation, but Abby’s like, “A man who has sex with another man, no matter what kind of sex, is not a straight man.” DL just means denial.

Joyce has come to County to get her ankle examined; she tells Weaver that she fell while rolling around in Heelies. Abby keeps her mouth shut about the possible real cause of Joyce’s injury. When they’re alone, Joyce says that she’s as abusive to Brian as he is to her, which I guess makes it okay. Abby notes that Brian isn’t the one getting treated at the hospital. Joyce says he’s the only guy she’s ever loved. Abby asks her to talk to a social worker and at least get some suggestions of how to deal with things. She thinks Joyce came to County for a reason.

Romano comes to the ER to talk to Weaver, taunting that he would have had her paged but he couldn’t be sure she was wearing her pager. OOOH. That was a good one, actually. Weaver brushes off Chen’s accusations, but Romano tells her that a waitress at Doc Magoo’s went on record with a statement that she saw Weaver looking for her pager at the end of the night.

He’s willing to give in to Chen’s demands of being reinstated and getting an apology from Weaver. Weaver notes that she would no longer have any authority over Chen. Romano tells her that they settled with Paul’s family, and he’s not going to risk reopening the case because Weaver screwed up. Chen doesn’t really want to sue the hospital; she just wants her job back.

As Mr. E.’s daughter, Maria, arrives at County in her wedding dress, Weaver is called in to treat a declining Kinney. She notices bruising on his side, and she and Susan realize that he has a broken rib that collapsed his lung. Kinney tries to decline treatment, saying he’s ready to die. Weaver ignores him and works to save him. Kinney tells her that they’ll just keep beating him.

Carter goes to the airport to talk to Jack before he leaves town. This is boring! No one cares about this storyline! Jack tells Carter that Eleanor wants to negotiate with him instead of ending the marriage. Carter thinks that’s fair – Jack needs to take some time to decide if he really wants to end his marriage. Jack already has, thanks to Carter. He got lost in his marriage and can’t find his way back to his wife. He warns Carter that Eleanor is “an emotional vampire.”

Maria had no idea her father was coming to the wedding, since they’ve been out of contact for six years. He regrets not letting her come home. Mark eavesdrops on the conversation, so we can really grasp the parallel that sending Rachel back to St. Louis might ruin his relationship with her. Maria tells her father that she’s happy, and she doesn’t need Mr. E. anymore.

She leaves to return to her big, fancy wedding with all its nonrefundable deposits. Her father didn’t care when she called him from Kansas, begging to come home, so she doesn’t care now. Mark tries to play peacemaker, reminding Maria that Mr. E. wanted to be at her wedding. Maria calls him cold and heartless for turning his back on her. She won’t let Mark make her cry, since her makeup took so long to do. Ugh, Mr. E., you’re probably better off without her.

Susan asks Kinney’s guard how he managed to break ribs while lying on a gurney. The guard says he was flailing against the guardrails, so the guards had to restrain him. Apparently they needed a nightstick to do that. The guard asks why Susan cares, since Kinney is a murderer. She rushes back into the trauma room when she hears the clatter of Kinney’s gurney hitting the floor. Weaver says he flipped it. Now he has a head injury on top of everything else, and Susan doesn’t see the point in trying to save him, since he’s going to be executed anyway. Weaver says a suicidal death-row inmate can’t consent to a DNR, so they have to treat him.

Sandy arrives, and though she doesn’t really want to talk to Weaver, she allows Weaver to say what she wants to say. Weaver pretends she just wanted to see if Sandy was okay after a big fire. Abby interrupts to ask Weaver to approve a request for Joyce to speak to someone from Social Services. Weaver sends her away so she and Sandy can be alone (as alone as they can be in the busy hallway right outside the waiting area), but she doesn’t know what to say.

Sandy thinks Weaver’s playing games and avoiding her. Weaver’s fighting back tears by now. Chen interrupts next, demanding to talk to Weaver. Sandy decides to leave, but Weaver begs her to stick around. Sandy finally grabs her and kisses her in full view of the admit desk. Abby and Malik just stare, but Chen looks amused. Yeah, people being outed without their consent is hilarious, isn’t it, Chen?

Abby gives Joyce a bag that the staff calls an escape kit – money, phone numbers, and other resources that she could use to leave Brian. Joyce denies that she doesn’t feel safe with Brian. Abby brings Adele in to talk to her anyway, but Joyce knows that Brian will get upset if he finds Adele talking to her. I guess this has happened before. Mark pulls Abby into the hallway so she can hold up a phone for Mr. E. One of the choir boys at the church where Maria is getting married is going to hold up another phone so Mr. E. can listen to the wedding. Aww, that’s sweet.

Connie asks Abby if she saw “it” (obviously meaning Weaver and Sandy’s kiss). She heard it was steamy. Weaver has given in and agreed to reinstate Chen, though she’ll have to start back by working overnights. Chen doesn’t agree to that, and she also won’t report to Weaver while she’s working. Chen says they both know what Weaver did. Weaver replies that they also know what Chen did, and of the two of them, Weaver isn’t the one who killed a patient. If Chen were more thorough, she wouldn’t have needed Weaver there in the first place.

The nurses are gossiping about the Big Kiss, of course. Kinney is in a post-op coma, so he’ll either die like that or be executed. Weaver doesn’t care. Susan notes that his care will cost thousands of dollars a day, only for him to end up dead by execution. Weaver still doesn’t care. As Aisha returns, Weaver tells Malik to find something to do other than stand around awkwardly and think about how he saw her kissing Sandy.

Mark takes Rachel for a walk by the river and tells her that he and Jen agreed that she should stay in Chicago. He’s worried that their relationship will be harmed if she goes back to St. Louis. He’s already missed too much of her life and isn’t going to let her leave mad. They both need to try harder and listen to each other. Rachel says she doesn’t want to be treated like a kid. Mark says that’s fair, but he also doesn’t want to be treated like an old man.

Brian arrives at County and Abby tries to keep him out of Joyce’s room so he doesn’t see Adele. He acts like their domestic problems aren’t that big, just the sort of stuff every couple faces. Adele leaves just as they reach Joyce’s room, so Brian doesn’t realize that his wife was talking to a social worker. He and Joyce leave, acting like things are great. She doesn’t take the escape kit with her.

Weaver goes to the fire station to confront Sandy for outing her to her co-workers. Sandy shouldn’t be allowed to make choices for other people. Sandy notes that she didn’t choose to be lied to or spend time with someone who pretends she’s someone she isn’t. Weaver is understandably upset that she got outed in her workplace, where she chooses to keep her private life private. Sandy criticizes her for hiding who she is because she doesn’t want to face how other people will react. She thinks she did Weaver a favor.

Eleanor is still trying to do domestic stuff at Millicent’s house, and Carter finds her changing a lightbulb when he gets home. She’s drunk. She tells Carter she spent the afternoon at a children’s cancer center, the place she agreed to support charitably after Millicent blew them off. It seems like seeing children with cancer reminded her of the son she lost to the disease years ago. She’s also upset because Millicent wants her to leave.

Carter checks Eleanor’s pulse and asks if she’s on something. She admits that she’s been taking Xanax. That plus the alcohol makes her sick later, and Carter tends to her as she throws up. Eleanor asks him if he wants her to leave like Millicent does. He says no. Eleanor says he was right – she failed him. But she failed his brother first. She didn’t take him to a doctor when he started getting sick, which delayed his diagnosis. Carter says it only delayed it by a month or so, not enough to make a big difference, but Eleanor is mad at herself for not doing more for him.

Thoughts: Diamond Z, Aisha, and C.C.’s dialogue was clearly written by white people with no business pretending they know how Black people talk.

Telling a colleague to grow up isn’t quite the mature, professional behavior you think it is, Weaver.

Between the DL thing and Joyce’s Heelies, this is a very late ’90s/early ’00s episode.

I wonder why they had Carter involved in the DL storyline instead of Weaver, for that extra punch about hiding and being in denial.

April 20, 2021

ER 8.11, Beyond Repair: Worst Birthday Ever

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

Two people who had very bad days

Summary: Abby’s asleep – drink! She wakes up to the sound of her neighbors yelling at each other. She ignores her ringing phone but rushes to pick it up when she realizes Maggie is calling to wish her a happy birthday. Weaver and Sandy’s relationship has moved along quickly, and they’ve spent the night together. Sandy teases Weaver about her snoring. This is easily the happiest we’ve ever seen Weaver in six seasons.

Carter brings Millicent home from her rehab center, and they’re surprised to find Eleanor at the mansion. Millicent clearly hates Eleanor and doesn’t bother trying to hide it. Leaving for work, Abby passes her warring neighbors, Joyce and Brian. Brian is terse but Joyce is friendly and invites Abby over for coffee sometime. She also offers Abby a ride, though the car isn’t working, so she couldn’t follow through on that even if Abby had said yes.

Eleanor has agreed to go to a luncheon for a pediatric cancer charity, since Millicent doesn’t want to attend. Carter tells Eleanor she doesn’t have to go; Millicent always accepts their offers to look good, but never actually goes. With Jack out of town, Eleanor has decided to stay a while, knowing she won’t have to run into him. Carter tells her he knows they’re getting divorced. She doesn’t seem too broken up about it.

Paramedics bring in a homeless man named Andy who was found in a Dumpster. Abby recognizes him as a frequent patient nicknamed Icicle Andy. The ER is cold, and Frank blames the holes in the ozone layer. Abby passes Andy off to Susan as Frank remarks that he thought Andy died last year. “The iceman cometh back,” Abby replies. Heh. When Susan, Abby, Gallant, and Malik try to warm Andy up, Abby accidentally snaps off one of his frostbitten fingers. “Ah, he gave you the finger, huh, Abby?” Malik quips. Heh again.

A boy named Douglas wanders in and Abby tries to get him to leave. He’s looking for his mom, who he says was treated in that trauma room. Abby takes him out and passes him off to Frank to look for his mother. Frank might not typically be a good choice for someone to look after a child, but he just asks Douglas if he wants a donut.

Abby then joins Luka to treat a woman named Meryl who fainted after feeling sick for a few days. She’s been taking fertility drugs and might be having a bad reaction to them. She tells Abby she got tired of waiting for the perfect man and decided to have a baby on her own. Abby notes that she hasn’t seen Luka lately, and he tells her he’s been working nights. His new year’s resolution is to help out more, so he’s going to spend some time working with Doctors Without Borders.

Mark complains to Frank about the temperature, and Frank tells him to get used to the cold since we’re moving toward another Ice Age. Mark tells Elizabeth that he found a lighter in Rachel’s clothes, and since Andrew was smoking pot, now they have reason to believe that Rachel is, too. Mark considers searching her room, but Elizabeth thinks that’s too big a violation of her privacy.

Carter and Chen do some window shopping at the mall, pausing at a toy store so she can look at a kids’ doctor’s set. She laments that she’s not allowed to send any presents to her son. But his parents are still in touch with her and sent her a video of him walking. Chen worries that all of the decisions she’s made recently have been bad. She reveals that she asked a waitress at Doc Magoo’s if she remembers Weaver getting any pages the night Paul died. The waitress didn’t remember pages, but she saw Weaver come back later and find her pager in the bathroom. Now Chen is armed with some very damning information about her former boss.

Andy didn’t make it, so Abby and Malik do whatever nurses do after a patient dies. Abby finds Blackhawks tickets in Andy’s pocket, and Malik tries to call dibs. She tells him that’s grave-robbing. Malik argues that no one’s going to claim the body of a homeless man, so the tickets will just go to waste. Abby ignores him and keeps the tickets.

After giving Gallant some guidance on a patient (demonstrating that she still has her med-school knowledge), Abby sees that Frank still hasn’t returned Douglas to his mother. Frank can’t find any records of a woman with her name checking in that morning, and he thinks someone just dumped Douglas there. Abby disagrees, since Douglas said his mother was treated in a trauma room.

Richard shows up and takes Abby across the street for coffee so he can tell her he’s getting remarried. Dude, on her birthday? I’m glad Abby left him. His fiancée is a teacher and has a six-year-old son, so Richard will finally get to have the kid he’s always wanted. Abby didn’t realize he wanted to be a father. She, like me, can’t believe he told her this today of all days. He doesn’t know what she means, since he obviously forgot that it’s her birthday. Abby graciously tells him that she hopes this marriage works out better than theirs did.

Carter and Susan have lunch in the lounge, and Abby catches them kissing. Carter apologizes for not telling her sooner that they’re dating. He tries to downplay the relationship as a friendship, but Abby notes that Carter’s never kissed Frank like that. She tells Carter not to worry about it. Douglas is still hanging around the ER, so Abby offers to bring him some food. She bugs Frank to work harder to find his mother. Frank asks if he can have the Blackhawks tickets if he succeeds.

Gallant can’t find Luka, and Meryl’s having trouble breathing, so Abby tries to help. As Luka joins them, Frank tells Abby that he thinks he found Douglas’ mother; she came in last night with a headache that was actually a brain bleed. Douglas spent all night in the waiting room with no idea what was going on. To make things worse, his mother died. Abby tells Frank to find Douglas’ father and bring him some food.

After Abby has successfully figured out what’s wrong with Meryl and helped stabilize her, she bugs Frank some more about his lack of people-finding skills. She tells him to act like the cop he used to be. Weaver was the mother’s doctor, and she’s not in yet, so Frank offers to page her and make her come in and tell Douglas his mother died. Too late – Douglas overhears the conversation, so Abby has to give him the news herself. He refuses to believe that she’s dead and runs around the ER, looking for her.

While Douglas was running around and crying himself to sleep, Frank found his father, who’s on a business trip in Australia. He can’t get a flight out until the next night, so they’ll have to turn Douglas over to Social Services. Could this kid’s day get any worse? Gallant asks Abby if they do psych transfers to other hospitals – he has a patient with minor injuries from a slip-and-fall who wants to be taken somewhere else. Abby goes to see the patient herself and is stunned to see that it’s Paul Sobriki.

Abby has security restrain Paul, who asks Susan to call his caseworker. Abby pulls Susan out of the room to tell her who Paul is. She wants to have him transferred before Carter can see him, but since Paul might have a head injury, Susan doesn’t want him moved yet. Abby tells her to at least move Paul to another room, since he’s in the same trauma room where he stabbed Carter and Lucy. She adds that they need to erase his name from the board so Carter doesn’t find out he’s there.

Abby takes Douglas to the morgue so he can be completely and utterly traumatized by the sight of his mother’s dead body. Abby’s like, “Maybe my day isn’t so bad after all.” When they return to the ER, Weaver chastises Abby for taking him, but Abby needed a way to get to him believe that his mother was dead. She hasn’t called Social Services yet, since she’d rather find a family member who can take Douglas until his father gets to Chicago. Weaver reminds her that that’s not her job.

Randi’s entertaining herself by reading people their horoscopes. Frank’s is pretty accurate – he’s cranky and no one likes him. Carter is open to new ideas and is compassionate. Randi asks Abby for her sign, but Abby isn’t interested in hearing her horoscope. Carter notices that his patient was moved from the suture room, and Abby distracts him from going to see the patient who was put in there instead (Paul).

Paul’s caseworker tells Susan that Paul was found not guilty of his attacks on Carter and Lucy because of his schizophrenia. He spent some time in a psych facility, but he’s now out on conditional release. The caseworker thinks Paul is justified in being agitated right now, since he’s been out on release for just a few days and was brought to the scene of his crimes. Apparently a professor from Paul’s law school got some colleagues to help arrange for his early release.

Abby’s annoyed, but the caseworker doesn’t think Paul will become violent again. He wants Paul’s restraints to be removed. Abby objects, but the caseworker notes that Paul is lucid and coherent, and has been stable for more than a year. He needs to be treated with respect right now. Abby laughs at that, but Susan seems to agree with the caseworker.

Gallant needs Abby’s help with something again, and she’s not happy about it. Meryl is upset that the drugs that were supposed to be helping her get pregnant have led to serious medical problems instead. She hates that women grow up praying they won’t get pregnant when they don’t want to; then, when they do want to, they can’t. She hopes she didn’t miss her chance. A few years ago, she had an abortion. She wanted to wait until she was ready to have kids, but maybe she waited too long.

Chuny reminds Abby to call Social Services for Douglas, and as Abby goes to the phone, she spots Samantha Sobriki with the little girl she was pregnant with when Paul attacked Carter and Lucy. Malik bugs Abby about the hockey tickets, and she’s apparently gotten tired of the whole thing, so she hands them over, telling him that Susan wants one of them. Carter approaches Abby just as Paul is wheeled down the hall. Abby tries to keep Carter from seeing Paul, but the second Carter hears Paul’s voice, he recognizes it.

Carter slowly approaches Paul, who apologizes. Samantha tells Carter that Paul’s out on conditional release and even has a job. Paul says the person who attacked Carter and Lucy wasn’t him. He’s in treatment and is okay now. Carter blankly says he’s glad Paul is okay, then goes down the hall to the bathroom. As “Battleflag” comes up on the soundtrack, Carter splashes water on his face, looking over his shoulder to make sure no one’s behind him. He seems okay, then leans over and throws up in the sink.

Weaver and Sandy go to the Blackhawks game together, but Weaver panics when she spots Susan and Malik there. Sandy easily figures out that Weaver’s not out at work. She’s upset that Weaver came on to her but is now trying to hide their relationship. Sandy says she doesn’t have time to be with a woman who doesn’t want anyone to know they’re together.

Douglas talks to his dad on the phone, getting the promise that he’ll be in Chicago the next day. His dad lives in L.A., so Douglas will have to move, but Abby thinks he’ll like California, where it’s warm and sunny and he can go to Disneyland. Samantha approaches Abby with a note for Carter and tries to convince Abby that Paul isn’t a threat to anyone. He has a disease, but he’s being treated – the goal of any hospital. She won’t give up on her husband or their family. Abby wishes her good luck.

She finds Carter in the lounge and gives him the note, which he won’t take. She invites him to get dessert across the street, but Carter says he has to get home. He pretends everything’s fine. A social worker tries to take Douglas somewhere for the night, but Douglas begs to stay with Abby instead. She tells him she’s not at the hospital all the time, but he can come visit her whenever he wants. She has to watch as the social worker carries him away, crying.

Gallant has more questions for Abby, who’s fed up with him treating her like she’s his attending. If he wants to be a doctor, he needs to start acting like one. Aww, Gallant. It’s not you. Mark goes to Rachel’s bedroom to talk to her, but she’s not there, so he starts snooping through her things. In her backpack he finds a cigarette pack that holds both cigarettes and condoms.

Rachel catches him and says she bought the cigarettes on a dare and got the condoms in health class. Mark accuses her of lying, but Rachel says it doesn’t matter what she says, since he never believes her. Mark confirms that he can’t trust her. Rachel dramatically yells that she’s smoking, taking drugs, and having sex. Okay, but can you do all that quietly?

Carter hired a private-duty nurse for Millicent, but Eleanor sent her home, planning to take care of Millicent herself overnight. Carter asks why Eleanor is suddenly in town, making big decisions. She should stop trying to be helpful, since she doesn’t actually help. Carter’s made all of Millicent’s medical decisions, so Eleanor needs to consult with him. Eleanor says she’ll call the nurse back, but she’s not leaving – she won’t let Jack break up their family.

Carter scoffs that they’re barely a family, since Eleanor hasn’t been much of a part of it for 20 years. Eleanor tries to leave the conversation, but Carter refuses to let her make herself out to be the wronged party. He reminds her that he was stabbed, and Eleanor and Jack didn’t come see him for three weeks. They’ve kept their distance for Carter’s whole life.

Eleanor asks if Carter blames her for his addiction. He yells that he blames her for not being his mother. His brother died as a child, and Eleanor checked out of the rest of her maternal duties. Eleanor doesn’t know how to respond, so she just goes to bed. Carter notes to himself that she’s running away like she always does.

Abby runs into Joyce again when she gets home; Joyce is hanging out in their brownstone’s lobby until Brian falls asleep, so they don’t have another fight. She offers Abby a beer and invites her to sit with her and unwind. Abby takes a drink, setting her sobriety back to zero. She tells Joyce it’s her birthday, and Joyce wishes her a happy birthday, unlike everyone else in her life who couldn’t be bothered to all day (except Maggie).

Thoughts: Joyce is played by Christina Hendricks.

Hey, Carter, maybe be more available to your med students so Gallant doesn’t have to keep turning to Abby for help. Why fight so hard to become chief resident if you’re not going to do the job?

I’m surprised they didn’t do more to connect Abby to Meryl’s storyline, since it’s so heavy-handed. I’m also surprised that there’s really no follow-on on Carter and Paul’s encounter. We should have at least seen Carter considering/talking about taking painkillers or talking about going to a 12-step meeting or even making an appointment with Deraad. Instead, he yells at Eleanor and then doesn’t talk about it again.

February 9, 2021

ER 8.1, Four Corners: What You Think Is Right

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

You can play Where’s Waldo? with this picture, but instead of Waldo, look for someone who isn’t a WASP

Summary: A young woman named Alice gets out of an ER bed and starts wandering the halls. Abby and Carter are at the admit desk, talking about someone’s death. Mark and Elizabeth are bickering over a patient he doesn’t think is well enough for surgery. Randi tells Mark that Romano wants to talk to him about Derek. As he heads to that no-doubt pleasant meeting, Benton asks Mark if Cleo’s doing okay on the triple cocktail, the medicine she’s taking to try to prevent her from developing HIV.

Carter is annoyed with a doctor who won’t agree to admit one of Carter’s patients. He’s on his way out and tells Abby to call him if the patient, Holly, hasn’t been admitted in half an hour. As Weaver arrives for a shift, Luka tells Abby that he’s found an apartment with two bedrooms in an area she likes. Ooh, they’re ready to live together! (Don’t get too excited.) Abby is hesitant to take that next step. Their conversation in the ambulance bay is interrupted when there’s a crash on the overhang above them. Alice rolls off it and falls to the ground.

The episode is split into the overlapping perspectives of four characters. First is Weaver. She buys a Kenyan bracelet from a vendor on the street, then heads to County, listening to a talk-radio argument about gay people. Weaver is back at work after three weeks off, and no one knows how to talk to her, either because they now know she’s a lesbian or because she’s Weaver and they never know how to talk to her. While Carter, Abby, and Luka interact in the background, in the scenes we just saw, Randi admires Weaver’s bracelet. Weaver lies that she got it in Kenya, the place she spent the last three weeks.

From the lounge, she hears the crash of Alice falling on the ground and goes to a trauma room to wait for Luka and Abby to bring her in. Chuny fills in some details: Alice was waiting for a psych consult, and she’s also pregnant…with her brother’s baby. Yiiiiikes. Things in psych are slow now that Legaspi’s gone. Yeah, things in psych were slow before that. Just ask Lucy. Oh, wait, you can’t, because she’s dead. Anyway, Abby asks if Weaver has heard from Legaspi, but Weaver doesn’t respond. She inserts a chest tube into Alice and gets sprayed with blood.

Benton joins the group, so Luka tells Weaver to go get cleaned up. After she does, Chen thanks her for giving her a second chance at becoming chief resident – Chen got the position. As Luka gives some bad news to a woman named Mrs. Jenkins, the guy Chen is treating says they should sue some Scottish guy. Chen explains to Weaver that her patient, Carl, started a brawl on a talk show. Turns out his girlfriend is transgender and decided to tell him on TV. Weaver gets in the middle of the fight between the homophobic Carl and his now-ex-girlfriend, whom he calls a freak.

Luka settles Carl down, then asks Weaver if she’s going to the M&M for Derek. She asks if anyone talked about her while she was gone. Before he can answer, Anspaugh joins them. They all head to the M&M, where Mark is questioned about his treatment (or, more accurately, his lack of treatment) of Derek. Weaver spaces out, remembering her last conversations with Legaspi and Romano. She imagines that everyone in the room is staring at her. Then they really are staring at her, but it’s because Anspaugh wants her to weigh in on whether Derek’s treatment was compromised. She doesn’t think they were too busy to give him the appropriate treatment.

After the M&M, Romano makes small talk with Weaver, suspicious of how she disappeared for three weeks without any warning. She plays it cool, then scrambles to make sure he hasn’t spread her big news. Romano says that he backed off of Legaspi after Weaver threatened to take the situation to the press, the county, and the ACLU. Legaspi decided to leave on her own. When Weaver asks if Romano has told anyone about her, he pretends not to know what she’s talking about. She spells it out for him and he says he assumed that her sexuality is confidential and shouldn’t be discussed at work.

Benton: While at Walt’s garage to get something repaired on his car, Benton learns from his niece Joanie that Jackie was fired. She took too long of a leave of absence after Jesse’s death. Joanie invites Benton and Cleo over for dinner sometime, and he tells her they’re taking a break. Joanie perfectly channels her mother when she asks what he did wrong. Benton says Cleo is going through something difficult and just needs some space.

At County, Benton treats the Scottish talk-show host Carl mentioned he wanted to sue. The host says he’s been hosting the show for a while, and while brawls sometimes break out, no one has ever gotten hurt before. Benton gets distracted when he sees Cleo talking to Mark. He leaves the host to try to talk to Cleo about how she’s doing. She sends him to examine Alice, who sustained some injuries in the brawl. She’s also trying to deal with the news that her boyfriend is also her half brother.

This means we’re back in time, and Benton is examining Alice in the room where we first saw her. Mrs. Jenkins comes in, wanting to explain things to Alice, who turns out to be her daughter. Alice is understandably furious that Mrs. Jenkins took her on TV to tell her that she’s dating her brother. After Mrs. Jenkins is escorted out of the room, Alice admits to Benton that she thinks she’s pregnant. He confirms this, making Alice’s day even worse. Benton is gentle with her but clearly has no idea how to handle this situation.

He leaves Alice in Chuny’s care as Malik runs into the ER, warning everyone that Weaver’s there. Benton moves on to treating another participant in the talk-show brawl, but he ditches her to talk to Mark about Cleo. Next he goes up to the OR, where Joanie’s waiting for him. She’s upset because she thinks Jackie and Walt are going to break up. Benton tells her they’re acting like any parents who lost their son. Joanie thinks Jackie is getting too upset about things Walt is doing, and she shouldn’t still be grieving this much after almost a year.

Benton gets paged to the ER to tend to Alice after her jump. Someone asks what Benton said to her, and he has to admit that he didn’t say anything. He, Luka, and Abby work hard, but Luka determines that they won’t be able to save Alice. He goes to give Mrs. Jenkins the news before Benton declares Alice dead, knowing it’s only a matter of time.

After his shift, Benton goes to Jackie’s house to see how she’s doing after losing her job. She’s cleaning out the garage, trying to stay busy. She and Walt were making plans to change some things around the house, and when Jackie went to pick up some pictures of their backyard, she found some photos of Jesse on the roll. She realized she would never see any other pictures of Jesse. He’ll never grow older than 15. Every day, Jackie thinks things are getting better, but then something like this knocks her back to the beginning. Benton comforts his sister as she laments not being able to take care of her baby anymore.

Carter: The death Carter and Abby were discussing at County was Carter’s grandfather’s. He, Millicent, and Carter’s parents, Jack and Eleanor, attend the funeral together. Carter’s phone rings during the service and he quickly turns it off. (It’s kind of random, but my assumption is that that was Abby calling to talk about Holly.) Afterward, in a limo, Carter tries to make small talk with Eleanor, who’s, like, the dictionary definition of WASP. Abby calls to tell him that Holly still hasn’t been admitted. This is before the conversation we saw earlier, so Carter asks the limo driver to take him to County.

Holly’s upset that Carter left her in the ER without saying goodbye. He promises that he’ll get her moved to her own room and out of the noisy ER. He tells her to get Abby to call him if she wants to talk. Now Carter goes to the admit desk to light a fire under the doctor who was supposed to admit Holly, as we saw at the beginning of the episode. Abby compliments his suit and jokingly asks who died. Carter replies that his grandfather did. Oh, Abby. She offers to go to the reception with him in case he wants to talk.

Carter and Eleanor finally make it to Millicent’s house to do their WASP-y duty of pretending everything’s fine even though they just lost their family’s patriarch. Jack tells Carter to mingle and be a good host, like this is a garden party and not a funeral reception. Eleanor and Jack barely interact with each other, and no one seems particularly sad that their loved one has died.

Abby shows up and tells Carter that his harsh words on the phone worked, and Holly has been admitted. She notices that the birdbath in the backyard is broken and asks if John I drove his power lawn mower into it. Carter says he did, but not on purpose – he was having the heart attack that killed him. Abby’s embarrassed but Carter’s amused. She apologizes for crashing the funeral, but she felt bad that Carter didn’t feel like he could tell her his grandfather died.

Eleanor joins them and tells Carter to go find Millicent so she can “make an appearance.” Carter tells Abby that his parents don’t handle loss well. They haven’t had to deal with death in a long time, since Carter’s brother died as a child. He goes to look for Millicent but instead finds Jack listening to financial news. He just couldn’t wait until after the reception to check on his stocks.

Carter encourages him to spend the night at the house to be there for his mother. He tells Jack not to run away again. Jack snaps at Carter to drop the subject, but Carter doesn’t want to. He reminds Jack that his brother Bobby isn’t coming back. If Eleanor wants to spend the rest of her life in a bubble, she can, but Jack shouldn’t let her hold him inside it, too. Jack ignores him and goes back to the financial news.

Carter finally finds Millicent in the garage, trying to start some fancy old car. She wanted to drink a bottle of champagne she and John I were saving for their 60th anniversary next year. Carter urges her to save it, but she wants to toast her late husband. Carter opens the bottle, spraying the windshield in the process (I don’t think that was supposed to happen; Noah Wyle and Frances Sternhagen look genuinely amused). After they toast, they go for a drive.

Mark: After undergoing a routine scan to make sure his tumor is still gone, Mark goes to the ER, where the talk-show brawlers are just being brought in. Luka is a little nervous about speaking at the M&M, but Mark is totally calm, or at least pretending to be. Cleo is struggling with nausea from her medication, which is also affecting her liver. She only has a week left on it, and Mark thinks she should stop taking it; she should have had enough to prevent HIV.

Adele has recovered from her gunshot wound, but she’s still dealing with paralysis. She doesn’t think she’ll make a full recovery. Romano wants her to go to the M&M as a bit of show and tell. Mark joins Elizabeth in a trauma room; she’s back at work for the first time since her six-week-long maternity leave. They work on the patient they were bickering about at the beginning of the episode. They take the conversation from the trauma room to the admit desk, where Randi tells Mark to go see Romano.

Romano warns Mark that the legal department has flagged something in the nurses’ notes about Derek: 17 minutes passed between when Mark left the trauma room and when he delivered Derek to the surgical floor. Before Mark can explain that the elevator stopped, someone comes in to tell Romano that Alice jumped from the fourth floor into the ambulance bay. Mark quickly tells Romano his version of events: The elevator stopped, the battery in the defibrillator ran down after Mark used it a few times, and it took a long time to get help. Romano thinks that’s a reasonable story.

Mark presents the case at the M&M, where Elizabeth realizes that Derek was conscious in the elevator. The look she gives Mark says that she knows exactly what he did. Back in the ER, Abby tells Luka that she wants to go to John I’s funeral reception. Mark passes by them on his way to Alice’s trauma room, where Mrs. Jenkins is sitting with her daughter’s body. She tells Mark that the show set up the drama, and none of it was real. Alice and her boyfriend aren’t related. Mrs. Jenkins lied to get them on the show.

At home that night, Mark and Elizabeth discuss their shared patient, whom she operated on after all. He admits that it was a matter of a judgment call. “You do what you think is right,” she replies pointedly. He starts to tell her what really happened in the elevator, but Elizabeth thinks they’ve discussed Derek enough for one day. It’s clear that she knows what he did, but she also knows why, so she’s going to let it go.

Thoughts: Jack is played by Michael Gross. Eleanor is played by Mary McDonnell. Mrs. Jenkins is played by the late Conchata Ferrell.

I don’t usually like gimmicky episodes, and the gimmick here doesn’t do anything for me, but it could be worse. It could be a musical episode or a backwards episode (stay tuned for that in season 9).

Color me shocked that the one time someone wants Romano to be discreet, he actually is.

Of course Jack and Eleanor named their children Robert and John. They would love the Kennedys, wouldn’t they?

Carter’s section of this episode (and, by extension, the season) is SO BORING. I don’t know why the writers thought we would care about his family beyond Millicent. I would much rather learn about Weaver’s family and her upbringing.