September 10, 2019

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

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

Look at this cutie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 3, 2019

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

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

Angst face!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 27, 2019

ER 4.15, Exodus: Carter, Take the Wheel

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

The face of a (decontaminated) hero

Summary: Doug goes to see Carol before work, but she doesn’t come to the door. Elizabeth is preparing for a ride-along with Zadro, who doesn’t think she’s ready for what they could face. She’s there to observe and see what the paramedics experience every day. She promises to follow protocol and not go off on her own. They head to the scene of a building fire and learn that someone’s trapped in some rubble. Elizabeth offers to crawl under the building to tend to him. The building is just barely still standing, so Elizabeth is risking her life for the trapped man.

At County, Anna and Weaver chat in the cafeteria before running into Carter. He’s working in ophthalmology right now and offers to examine Weaver, who thinks she might need new reading glasses. Paramedics bring in a man named Chuck who fainted during a breakfast meeting. He thinks his assistant overreacted and his condition isn’t serious. He hopes Jeanie isn’t the only medical professional who will be treating him; he’d prefer a doctor. Jerry tells Weaver that a fire and explosion have led to a number of injuries, so they’re about to get an influx of patients.

Elizabeth and a firefighter do what they can for their patient, Leo, but Elizabeth can’t assess his arm, which is pinned under concrete. She’s worried that she won’t be able to save it and will have to amputate. She promises Leo that that will be the last resort. Elizabeth requests something she can use to oil Leo up so they can slide his arm out. The firefighter suggests motor oil.

Carter’s supervisor for the week kicks him out of the exam he’s performing and sends him to the ER for a glaucoma patient. The people from the fire and explosion start coming in, including a guy named Glenn. Jerry is pleased that Chuck has excellent insurance, which could help with the ER’s budget deficit. Weaver tells Chuck that he may have had a small heart attack, so he’ll need to stay there for a little while. He asks her to call his regular doctor, though Weaver promises that his standard of care at County will be terrific.

Elizabeth and the firefighter, Dewey, oil Leo up and try to yank him out of the spot where he’s stuck. It doesn’t work. The building shifts and debris falls on them, thanks to an explosion in the chemical area of the building. One of Dewey’s fellow firefighters radios that they need to evacuate immediately. Elizabeth refuses to leave Leo behind, ordering Dewey to go get whatever he needs to get Leo out. She knows no one will let the firefighters or paramedics leave her behind if she’s still down there. Leo isn’t as optimistic as Elizabeth that this one piece of equipment they need will solve all their problems.

Carol brings Doug a patient, an eight-year-old girl named Sophie who’s altered. She tells him she wasn’t at home when he came by because she had an early meeting. Doug is skeptical, so Carol asks if he’s monitoring her. He says he only stopped by the house to offer her a ride to work. Sophie’s babysitter, Donna, tells Doug and Carol that she’s been sick for a couple days, but not this sick. They send her to try to contact Sophie’s mother again.

Carter examines the glaucoma patient, Bikel, who mentions that he used to do a scientific TV program. Then “that son of a b&^$% Mr. Wizard” came along and Bikel’s 15 minutes of fame were over. Thanks to his science background, Bikel understands the cause of his problems and the mechanism of the equipment used to treat it. He offers to build Carter one out of household materials.

Sophie’s in kidney failure, possible from E. coli. They have to put her to sleep to intubate her and help her breathe. Sophie’s mother arrives, shocked that her condition has gotten so bad. She asks for a second opinion before allowing Doug to give her dialysis. Doug bluntly says that she’ll die without dialysis. Back at the building, Elizabeth ignores Dewey’s warnings and uses a jig to raise the building slightly and make it easier to get Leo out. It work, but more debris falls, and the group is barely able to make it out before the building collapses on them.

At County, some people from the chemical wing of the building bring in a co-worker. They’re all covered in solvent, which has made some of their other co-workers sick. Weaver tells Jeanie to bag up their clothes. As Carter is escorting Bikel out, they smell the solvent, which Bikel recognizes as benzene. Carter figures it’s just something being used to clean the floors. Bikel tells him to find out where the smell is coming from ASAP.

Carter heads to the ER, where the benzene smell is slowly affecting everyone. Weaver collapses, and Anna and Jeanie help her as she starts seizing. Carter announces that it might be benzene, so everyone needs to be sure not to touch it. At the building, the fire captain yells at Elizabeth for taking too many chances. She and Zadro are told that there’s an unknown solvent leaking from a holding tank, so everyone at the scene will need to be decontaminated.

With Weaver out of commission, Anspaugh away, and Mark still in California, no one is in charge of the ER. Carter starts handing out assignments so they can keep the contaminated patients away from the others. Glenn, being wheeled through by Benton on his way somewhere else, tells the staff to call a Hazmat unit. Jerry has the idea to start up a fan to get rid of the fumes, but Carter stops him, worried that a spark could ignite.

Carol makes the decision to close the ER to new traumas. Jerry runs around looking for something. Elizabeth and Zadro bring in Leo, but Carter won’t let them enter the ER. He sends them to a back hallway and assigns Malik to assist with prep for surgery Leo needs on his arm. Chuck gets moved out of the ER as Benton brings Glenn back through. Randi has passed out from the fumes, so the staff is down one more helper.

There’s a traffic jam in the hallway, as the surgeons don’t know where to take their patients. Another victim from the explosion is brought in, even though Carol put a stop to paramedics coming in. The paramedics are mad, but Jerry blames them, since they didn’t control the scene, allowing the first benzene-covered patient to be brought in by a co-worker. Everyone yells at each other to move until Carter decides it’s time to put on his superhero cape and take control.

Carter announces that they need to evacuate the ER. Anyone contaminated by benzene will be sent to the ambulance bay. Randi, now conscious again, objects to going outside without her coat. Carter tells Anna that they need to send non-urgent patients home. People who need x-rays or stitches can wait in the lobby. Carter starts taking record of all critical patients, then sends them to the cafeteria, since it’s big enough to hold them all.

Doug needs to move Sophie during her treatment, which the dialysis nurse, Dori, says is a horrible idea. They have to unplug the machine and use a hand crank to continue keeping Sophie breathing. Jerry searches the lounge for the hospital’s disaster manual, but Carter doesn’t see the point. Right now, they need to move. Anna finds information on benzene, and she and Carter determine that they just need to keep treating those affected with oxygen.

Benton takes the lead in the cafeteria, ignoring the complaints of a cafeteria worker who doesn’t want her tables moved. Outside, Jeanie tells the fire captain that they need to set up shelters for the patients in the ambulance bay. Carter sends a bunch of supplies to the cafeteria, then prepares to stock the other triage areas. The captain tells him he needs to evacuate along with everyone else. Carter asks for five more minutes to make sure the supplies are taken care of. The captain gives him two.

Doug, Carol, and Dori are about to move Sophie up to the pediatric ward. Lily calls Carter in to help her transport an elderly woman, Inga, who needs manual oxygen bagging. Carter sends Lily off with supplies, thinking he can move and bag Inga at the same time. There isn’t enough room for Sophie’s bed, her dialysis machine, Doug, Carol, and Dori in the elevator, but Doug doesn’t want to take Sophie to the cafeteria with the other critical patients. He tells Dori to take the elevator with the machine and meet the rest of them upstairs.

Poor Inga has to bag herself as Carter wheels her through the hall. The fire alarm starts going off, and moments later, the elevator Doug, Carol, and Sophie are in stops. Sophie, who’s awake and aware of what’s going on, only has 20 minutes of oxygen left. Doug presses the alarm and hopes someone hears it.

The Hazmat team has arrived and is decontaminating peoplein the ambulance bay. Sophie’s mother is outside, and not happy that she won’t be let in to find her daughter. The fire captain assures Carter that there’s no fire; someone must have panicked and pull the alarm. Weaver’s conscious but confused, which Carter tells Jeanie is probably from her seizures, not the benzene.

The captain tells Carter that they’ve divided the ambulance into cold and warm zones. No one goes in the warm zone without a Hazmat suit. The ER is a hot zone. The hospital’s VP of operations, Harriet Spooner, arrives to take on the role of incident commander. She chastises Carter for evacuating the ER to the cafeteria; he should have sent the patients to the physical therapy wing. Carter’s like, “We were a little too busy trying to save people’s lives to look up things like that.”

The firefighters are alerted to the alarm from the elevator, but the phone is dead, so they can’t contact Doug and Carol. They’re currently trying to keep Sophie calm and alive. Doug’s annoyed that they don’t have a medication they need, and Carol reminds him that it wasn’t her idea to move Sophie like this. They pick something else, though if they don’t get out in the next ten minutes, before Sophie’s oxygen runs out, it won’t matter.

Leo’s ready for surgery, so Elizabeth takes him out of the cafeteria. A decontaminated Weaver is brought in and placed next to Chuck, whom she doesn’t remember treating. Chuck is probably mentally making a list of reasons this hospital sucks. Chuny gets another ventilation machine for the critical patients, and Inga declines to be the first one to use it. She insists she’s fine continuing to manually bag herself.

Carter takes Harriet to Weaver, who probably doesn’t appreciate her superior seeing her in this position. Weaver doesn’t even remember what happened to her. Harriet has an action packet and walkie-talkie for the chief medical officer, which she guesses is Carter. She heads to the elevator to oversee Doug, Carol, and Sophie’s rescue.

Doug is done waiting and manages to pry open the doors a few feet short of the next floor. Carol’s worried that he’ll hurt himself climbing around; he jokes that, in that case, she won’t have to worry about commitment. As Sophie’s oxygen levels fall to dangerous lows, the rescue team makes contact with Doug. Carol doesn’t think Doug can get the doors all the way open, but with help from the rescue team, he proves her wrong. Scrub nurse Kit is waiting with oxygen for Sophie.

Romano meets Elizabeth in the OR for Leo’s surgery, though he doesn’t think they’ll be able to save his arm. (Ooh, foreshadowing.) Benton tries to take care of Glenn in the cafeteria, with limited resources. Weaver asks Chuck to tell her what happened while she was unconscious. She’s not happy to hear that he was present when her clothes were removed.

One of the contaminated people is having trouble breathing, but the fire captain doesn’t want Carter to go into the warm zone to help him. It’ll take Carter a long time to suit up, and by the time he’s done, the patient will be out of the warm zone. Carter’s not willing to wait, so he grabs some equipment and tries to make a break for the warm zone. The fire captain stops him, but Carter breaks away and makes it in. As soon as he’s intubated the patient, Carter’s forced into a decontamination shower.

Glenn needs surgery on his leg, but it’s Inga who’s in serious need of help. In the ambulance bay, Carter hears that she’s coding and runs back to the cafeteria to help. Benton, Anna, and Chuny are trying their best to save her, but they have to declare her death after 18 minutes. Benton takes Glenn off to surgery, leaving Inga’s body behind. Carter’s mad that he didn’t take her to the ICU. Anna points out that he turned the cafeteria into an ICU. Carter corrects that it’s just someplace they threw together. Anna knows from reading Inga’s chart that she wasn’t going to live much longer anyway.

Chuck feels dizzy again, thanks to another heart episode. Carter sends Jerry to the pharmacy to get some medication. He and Anna need to shock Chuck’s heart, but the battery on the remaining crash cart is dead. Chuny and Lily move it to a wall to plug it in. Carter looks around the room, weighing his options, then fills a bin with ice water. He dunks Chuck’s head in, triggering a reflex that slows his heart and revives him. Jerry returns with the medication, thinking he’s just saved the day.

Leo’s out of surgery (minus one arm), and when Elizabeth gets a minute to breathe, Benton examines a bruise she sustained under the building. She asks for a “debriefing” once he’s done with surgery for the day. So…that’s where their relationship has progressed. Up in pediatrics, Sophie is doing much better, and she gets Doug and Carol to admit that they were scared on the elevator. Since she was on a ventilator, she wasn’t in any danger from the benzene, so her mom’s upset that Doug and Carol reacted the way they did. Sophie says they took good care of her.

On their way to the ER, Doug asks Carol if she’s still mad about that morning, and what she perceived as him spying on her. She says she was just annoyed, and he doesn’t need to check up on her. He says he wanted to see her last night, and they shouldn’t spend so much time apart anymore. She agrees. They get in another elevator together, hoping this one will do what it’s supposed to.

The ER is quiet and empty when Carter leads the critical patients back in. Weaver thinks she’s well enough to take charge. She appreciates Carter’s help during the emergency and asks him to speak to the press. Carter’s barely listening as she tells him how important the PR response is. He’s still overseeing the operations in the ER.

Jerry tells Weaver that the admins who work the day shift are to blame for the poor emergency response – they haven’t been keeping their work area organized. Things would have gone more smoothly if Jerry had been able to find the manual he needed. Now that he’s back working days, he promises more efficiency.

Carter runs into the fire captain as he leaves for the night. Carter things the staff handled things pretty well, but the fire captain disagrees. The staff was unprepared, though Carter himself did all right. In fact, the captain wants to work with him to schedule disaster drills. Carter says he doesn’t have the authority to head up something like that; he’s just an intern. The fire captain is surprised to hear that. Mark arrives, fresh off the plane from California, and Carter goes back inside the hospital to tell him everything he missed.

Thoughts: Four recognizable guest stars here:

This is one of my favorite episodes. This is how to do an episode about a big disaster. The show, unfortunately, won’t always remember this later.

Look how mature Benton is, letting Carter take charge. He could have postured and tried to take over, just because he felt like it, but instead, he let Carter keep running things. I think he knew Carter could handle it.

August 13, 2019

ER 4.13, Carter’s Choice: There Will (Possibly) Be Blood

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

Not seen: Doug trying to back out of the lounge

Summary: Carter’s driving to work behind a snowplow, which doesn’t help when he has to walk through snow to the ER. He’s working a night shift, which is where Jerry’s been stuck since the grenade incident. Things in the ER are quiet, so Lydia’s amusing herself by looking at possible new haircuts. Jerry wants to talk to Weaver about being moved back to day shifts, but he’s not sure how to approach her. Carter thinks Weaver has a sense of fairness and will agree that Jerry’s excellent work history is in his favor. Malik disagrees – Jerry should beg.

Anna’s napping in an exam room, so Carter doesn’t wake her to give her a donut. She wakes up anyway, and Carter offers to buy her breakfast at Doc Magoo’s while she gets a little more sleep. She asks after Chase, who’s doing better. Carter thanks her for her help with him, and she says she was happy to give it. Before he can go across the street to get breakfast, a trauma comes in.

The patient is a gunshot victim, but because of a lack of recent donations and the snow outside, the hospital is running low on blood. A paramedic tells the doctors that the patient, who was shot multiple times, is a security guard who interrupted a rape – and yes, the would-be victim was an elderly woman. Fortunately, the patient stopped the assault. He also may have shot the rapist.

The doctors start to take the guard to the OR, but they lose his pulse and have to take him back to the trauma room. Mark has arrived and joins the group to help. He soon realizes that the guard’s too injured to save, and though Carter wants to keep working, since the man is a hero, there’s nothing he can do. Once time of death has been called, Carter storms out of the trauma room.

Weaver runs into Anspaugh in the parking garage and asks how the board voted on the Synergix agreement. They voted to let Synergix run the ER, which disappoints Weaver. Anspaugh says she put him in an awkward position – she pushed him for the deal, then changed her mind. The hospital can’t back out now without looking foolish. Anspaugh invites Weaver to tell the board she was mistaken about her support for Synergix, which might help smooth things over.

Cynthia tells Mark that she either has to sign a six-month lease on her apartment or move. Mark either senses where this is heading or doesn’t want to talk, because he lets himself get distracted by other people. Cynthia notes that she spends most nights at Mark’s; why should she pay rent on her own place? He offers to help her pay her own rent instead of letting her move in. Cynthia finds a reason to run away.

Jerry approaches Weaver to employ Carter’s method of reasoning with her to get back on day shifts. Weaver doesn’t care – if he can work Randi’s shift, since she’s snowed in, he can move back to days. Carter finally gets breakfast from Doc Magoo’s, but he slips on the wet floor right by the doors and drops everything. Anna’s like, “Are you okay? And more importantly, is my toast okay?”

Paramedics bring in the elderly would-be rape victim, who was strangled, then pushed down a flight of stairs. Mark, Anna, and Carter are solemn as they work on her. Carter finds “WHORE” on her stomach, this time carved with a knife instead of written with marker. Anna has trouble moving on with the case. Also trouble: Greg is one of the paramedics who brought in the woman, and Carol is now at work, which could get awkward.

Benton has a hangover from his night out with Elizabeth, and she offers him a handshake to make sure there are no hard feelings. It’s really just a ploy, since she’s wearing a joy buzzer. She’s excited by the joke shop down the street from her apartment. Benton tells her that Carla wants to put Reese in daycare, but Benton thinks he’s too young. Elizabeth can’t relate – her mother went on a three-week vacation after her birth, then let her be raised by nannies and go to boarding school. She invites Benton to have lunch with her.

Doug comes in, though there are no pediatric patients yet. Jerry tells him that the cops have cornered the suspected rapist in a warehouse. Doug finds Cynthia crying in the lounge, and as much as he doesn’t want to talk to her about her personal problems, he asks her if she’s okay. She opens up about Mark’s dimness about her hints at moving in together, even though their relationship seems to be going great. Does he not think Cynthia’s good enough for him? Or is he scared because he cares so much? Doug’s face: “Can Jerry fire another grenade in here and give me an excuse to leave?”

The rape victim is taken for tests, and Greg asks Carol how she’s doing. Benton asks Connie where her children go while she’s at work. Connie tried a babysitter, but the sitter was a disaster and cost $8 an hour. Finally, Connie sent the kids upstairs to the hospital’s daycare; they love it. The only drawback is that being around other kids gets everyone sick, but Lydia says it builds up their immune systems. Benton notes that his mother raised him and his sister at home. Doug says he needs to join the modern world.

On his way down the hall, Doug spots Carol and Greg chatting and freezes. He’s happy to get an excuse to go up to OB. Carol corners him there and tries to talk, but when Doug guesses that Greg is the guy she kissed, he’s not interested in a conversation. He accuses her of humiliating him in front of his friends. Carol lists all the women Doug slept with at the hospital, which humiliated her. She would have to sleep with the entire Bulls line-up to match his number of conquests.

Carol says that this is about Doug not being happy that things aren’t going exactly as he’d hoped. It’s always been that way – Carol has spent years working around his schedule and insecurities and inability to commit. (Hmmm, is that where Mark got it from?) She cries as she says this isn’t about Doug. A relationship is supposed to be about two people being equals. She needs something, and Doug can either grow up and accept it, or he can continue being as self-centered as always.

Weaver tells Mark that because of the blood shortage, she’s going to ask the staff to donate. She adds that the board wants to let Synergix come onboard. Mark dryly congratulates her, knowing that was her pet project. Weaver admits that she has reservations now, and it would be great if all the ER attendings opposed the decision. Then no one looks like the bad guy. Mark asks to see the statistics before he makes any moves.

Jeanie reports that the cops have caught the rapist and he’s being brought to County for treatment. Everyone objects, but Mark tells them to do their jobs like they normally do. Anna confirms that the would-be rape victim wasn’t raped, which is one small piece of good news. She and Carter are disgusted that someone would do this.

Doug tells Mark that Cynthia’s upset, and Mark proves to know exactly what’s going on. He asks about Carol, making Doug wonder if she talked to Mark about their problems. Cynthia pops in to tell Mark in a subdued manner that the rapist has arrived and there was a big accident on the parkway. Doug notes that he and Mark should talk later.

The rapist, Jack, has a gunshot wound, a broken leg, and bites from the cops’ K-9s. He’s only 19. No one particularly wants to save him, especially Carter, but Mark isn’t about to deny medical treatment to someone in need. Anna’s the only person helping out without being prompted. Mark goes next door to take care of a victim of the car accident, leaving Carter and Anna to tend to Jack.

Carol and Jeanie examine a pregnant woman named Mary who isn’t feeling well. She and the baby’s father, Robert, both have developmental disabilities. Mary hilariously objects when Robert reveals that she ate a whole pint of Cherry Garcia the night before. Carol and Jeanie quickly determine that Mary’s in labor; they’re excited to get to help her out.

As Yosh pulls the police officers in the room away to talk to the victim, Carter and Anna start to insert a central line in Jack. Carter accidentally cuts him badly enough that Lydia says Jack needs a blood transfusion. He doesn’t want to use the hospital’s dwindling supply on Jack, so he decides they should auto-transfuse him with his own blood. Anna’s not happy with this, but Carter figures he’s still giving Jack the blood he needs.

Mark comes back over after Jack has stabilized. Anna excuses herself from the case as he’s taken to surgery. West addresses Weaver’s sudden insurrection against Synergix, telling her she should have brought any concerns she had to him. She shoots back that he should have been more honest about the organization’s strategies. He notes that the company is public, so Weaver could have looked all the info up herself. She says it was buried behind all the happy, flowery stuff. She’s willing to make hard choices, but not endanger patients.

Carol tries to interrupt and talk to Weaver, but Weaver brushes her off to emotionally yell at West. She accuses him of using her to get the deal. He underestimated her once, and was right to, but he’d better not do it again. Weaver then turns her attention to Mary, who’s refusing to go to OB because she’s afraid her baby will be taken away. Carol’s been treating her at the clinic and thinks she’ll stick around if they keep her where she is.

Weaver gently tells Mary that if she leaves, it could be bad for the baby, and she knows Mary doesn’t want that. Mary agrees to stay. Weaver gets Mary and Robert to admit that Mary’s sister Judy warned them that the baby would be taken away from them. Weaver tells them that babies aren’t taken away from nice parents like them, so they shouldn’t worry.

Benton never agreed to have lunch with Elizabeth, but she buys them sandwiches from a vending machine and joins him in a lounge. She starts in with some double entendres, then manages to be seductive while peeling and eating a hard-boiled egg. She thinks they should date, since they have few other ties in town, enjoy each other’s company, and work so hard that they wouldn’t be able to find anyone else. She promises not to disappoint. Benton’s amused but says he wouldn’t be comfortable with that. Elizabeth isn’t too disappointed.

Judy arrives while Mary’s in active labor. Weaver, Carol, and Jeanie are doing the delivery, and everything is fairly calm. Anna comes in at the tail end, and everyone’s happy as Madison is born and Robert cuts the cord. Later, Carol tells Judy that it’s too soon to know if Madison has her parents’ disabilities, but there’s no reason to think she won’t be neurotypical. Judy asks when the social workers will come. Carol tells her there’s no need – the parents are loving and capable. They live on their own, and Robert works. Judy asks if Carol’s qualified to make that assessment.

She tells Carol that Robert does maintenance at his uncle’s shop. Neither adult can drive because they don’t read well enough to take the test, and Judy has to do their bills. They’re both sweet and loving, but that doesn’t mean they can take care of a child. Carol coolly hits her back with the question about whether she’s qualified to make that assessment. Judy wishes she weren’t.

Mark agrees with Weaver that Synergix shouldn’t take over, or at least he’s going to let her make the decision because he doesn’t care enough to get involved. The phones are going crazy because Cynthia left work hours ago and Jerry’s taking a nap. Chuny takes a call he should have and announces that the blood bank has finally been restocked.

Carla shows up and asks for the forms Benton was supposed to sign to put Reese in daycare. He’s annoyed that she left Carla in her car with a “friend.” She gets equally annoyed when he doesn’t back her up on the decision to put Reese in daycare. He reminds her that he gets a vote, too. He heads out to the car to see Reese, ignoring Carla when she tries to stop him. The “friend” in the car with Reese is Roger McGrath, Carla’s new boyfriend.

Chase comes to the ER, doing much better now that he’s done with detox. He wants to take Carter and Anna to dinner, but Anna doesn’t want to spend time with Carter. Chase tells Carter that if he doesn’t go after Anna, Chase will. Mark tells Doug that he’s going to find Cynthia and talk to her about their issues. He promises he knows what he’s doing. He adds that they saved the rapist.

Carter chases Anna to an El station, where they fight about his decision to auto-transfuse Jack. He was willing to use extra blood on the guard; why didn’t Jack get the same treatment? Carter says he felt that auto-transfusion was the best option. She knows that’s not true. Carter notes that Jack lived, so it doesn’t matter. Anna calls it dumb luck. Carter’s usually aggressive; why wasn’t he today? She knows he didn’t care if Jack lived or died.

Carter says that since he was in charge of the case, it was his call. Anna asks if he would have made a different call if Jack hadn’t been a rapist. Carter says that every case is different. Anna asks if he withheld treatment. He says no, but she asks again. He repeats his answer, but it looks like he’s thinking about whether or not he’s being honest.

Elizabeth finds Benton moping in a hallway, and he invites her to play darts again. Just darts. Elizabeth jokes that she’ll play as long as she’s not being unappreciated. West tells Weaver that he’s going to tell Anspaugh that Synergix no longer wants to work with County. He only wanted the contract so he could work with Weaver anyway. He doesn’t want her to feel like he used her or underestimated her. She underestimates herself.

Doug spies on Carol as she teaches Mary and Robert how to swaddle their daughter. He tells her he didn’t mean to push; she should take as much time as she needs to figure out if she wants to commit. He’ll wait for her. And thus ends the big Doug/Carol blow-up of 1998.

A drunk Carter surprises Anna at her apartment and admits that he wanted Jack to die. The blood should have been saved for another patient. What if another patient had died because they’d wasted blood on Jack? Carter takes full responsibility for his decision, but he doesn’t necessarily regret it, and he still might not regret it if Jack had died. Carter asks if Anna’s sure that he made the wrong choice. She takes his hand and says she’s not.

Thoughts: ’90s music alert: Smash Mouth’s “Walking on the Sun,” which is now stuck in my head for the rest of the month.

Who came up with, “And then Elizabeth flirts while peeling a hard-boiled egg”?

Sigh. Another “newborn” who’s clearly four months old. It’s especially funny when they say she’s only six pounds. She’s almost as big as Reese!

August 6, 2019

ER 4.12, Sharp Relief: MISTAAAAAAAAAAKE!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 30, 2019

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

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

Illness is no excuse for that hat, Scott

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Carlene is played by Telma Hopkins.

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

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

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

July 23, 2019

ER 4.10, Do You See What I See?: The Miracle Worker

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

Couldn’t be cuter

Summary: Carol wakes Doug up at the end of a night shift, and they lament that they won’t be able to spend Christmas together the next day. Herb gets his picture taken pretending to shock a patient as he finishes up his stint as Mark’s lawyer. He’s made the whole lawsuit disappear, and even got Mark out of having to apologize to the Laws. Weaver’s spent the night with West in his hotel room, so…that happened.

On his way to work with a bunch of presents, Benton runs into Anna, who warns that Reese might spend his first Christmas playing with the boxes his presents came in. An ambulance arrives at the same time they reach County, and they pause to tend to the patient being brought in, a homeless man named Bart. He’s blind, but when Benton touches his forehead, Bart opens his eyes and starts exclaiming that he can see.

As the doctors move Bart into a trauma room and start treating him, he describes everything he sees, proving he really can see. Benton isn’t sure he was really blind before. Carol tries to get a nurse to swift shifts with her so she can spend Christmas with Doug, but she has no luck. She asks Carter if she should provide Millicent with anything special when she comes to see the clinic that afternoon. Carter warns that she’ll be under intense scrutiny.

Henry’s still working on completing his clerkship, and he thinks the only thing he has left to do is a major emergency procedure. Carter’s not sure that’s all he’s lacking, but he’s probably going to let that slide, since he’s eager to get rid of Henry. Cynthia learns that her credit card limit has been frozen, so she can’t pay for the present she picked out for Mark. He hasn’t gotten her present yet, either, so he offers to pay off her debt.

Paramedics bring in a seven-year-old who got stuck in the chimney while trying to find out if Santa could really fit. Carol tells an EMT named Greg that he can get cleaned up in the hospital, since he’s covered in soot. Henry asks to do the kid’s intubation, but Mark doesn’t want him to treat this as a teaching case. Jeanie wants to give some of County’s needles to a clinic patient so he doesn’t spread his Hepatitis B to people he’s been sharing with. Jeanie says the patient won’t report her – will Kerry?

Word of Benton’s supposed miracle has spread, and Carter teases him about it. Benton blows it off, then corrects Lydia when she says Bart is blind. He’s taken off, and Benton figures he just wanted some attention. Anna thinks he’s being too humble. West has arranged to work a shift with Weaver, so either he’s really into her or he’s playing some weird long con. Carol asks for a taxi voucher for Pablo, who’s misplaced his shoes. Weaver tells him he can wait in chairs instead of outside in the cold, so she’s in a good mood. West suggests that they make arrangements with a cab company for comped vouchers.

Carol officially meets Greg, who’s now squeaky clean. Carter gets a new patient, Vinnie, who has chest pain and isn’t doing well. West joins him and Henry for the trauma, and Henry asks to do any necessary intubations. Instead, he’s assigned to bag Vinnie, who keeps murmuring something about a woman named Maria. Elizabeth comes in to do some paperwork before heading to England for Christmas. Romano invites her to join him for Allison Beaumont’s next operation, which, if successful, will save her leg.

Carter, West, and Henry are unable to save Vinnie, but Carter figures Henry can still use his body to practice intubations. Vinnie’s brother, Joey, arrives just then and thinks that Vinnie’s still alive. Carter plays along as he rushes Joey out. Mark and Anna tend to a 67-year-old woman named Mrs. Larkin who was bound and gagged, then raped in her apartment. Chuny finds “whore” written on her stomach in black marker.

Jeanie goes to the lounge to take her medication but realizes she didn’t bring it to work with her. As Elizabeth and Romano operate on Allison, Jeanie asks Weaver to get her a dose of the medication she left at home. Weaver easily agrees. Carter and Henry tell Vinnie’s family that he didn’t make it, leaving out the part where he was already dead when Joey showed up. Henry tries to be helpful by telling Vinnie’s wife that his last thoughts were of her. Except – oops! – she’s not Maria. Maria is Joey’s wife. Stop helping, Henry.

Mark and Carol continue taking care of Mrs. Larkin, having to ask her questions about her assault. Hearing about it makes Mark think of his own attack, and he has to excuse himself from the room. Anna tells Benton that she looked up Bart’s records, and when he was in the year before, he was definitely blind. Benton wonders what Bart’s angle is. “The Lord words in mysterious ways,” Anna teases. Another homeless man comes in, having heard from Bart that Benton works miracles, and asks Benton to make him walk again. Benton says he can’t help.

Mark tells two detectives about Mrs. Larkin’s assault, getting annoyed when they question whether her memories are accurate. Elizabeth is about to leave for the airport when she learns that Allison, who’s been in a coma for the ten days since her car accident, is waking up. She’s still intubated, so she can’t speak, but she’s fine mentally and wants to know where her mother is. Elizabeth breaks the news that her mother died.

Mark finds a toy Cynthia bought, which she claims is for a friend’s child. Moments later, she comes clean: It’s for her own five-year-old son. She hasn’t seen him for three years and never mentioned to Mark that she had a child. He lives with his father and grandparents, and though Cynthia misses him, she knows that’s what’s best for him. Thanks to Mark’s money, she’s able to give him a nice Christmas present.

Carol tries to swap shifts with Chuny but again has no success. Millicent arrives for a tour of the clinic, dragging along Chase, who’s dressed as Santa. They realize a little Christmas tree near the admit desk is on fire, and Carol quickly puts it out with a fire extinguisher. The smoke sets off the sprinkler system. Womp womp. Weaver decides that the lights at the desk need to be taken down because they’re old and could be dangerous. She’ll let Cynthia’s brand-new light-up Rudolph stay, though.

After a quick change of clothes, Carol shows Millicent around the clinic. Carter runs into them and sees that Chase is filling in for their grandfather as Santa. Benton comes across Nat, who’s struggling with a broken floor buffer, and they chat about Reese’s first Christmas. When Benton pats Nat on the shoulder, the buffer starts working. Carol searches the lounge cabinets for decaf coffee, which doctors would never drink, because what’s the point? He tells her about Cynthia’s secret child, wondering if the fact that she didn’t mention him is a bad sign. Doug may have been right about her being a bad fit.

Elizabeth admits to Benton that she kind of wants to confess to Allison that her eagerness to do a special procedure led to Allison’s coma. She knows that it’ll make her feel better to let go of the guilt, but it won’t help Allison. Benton reminds her that she did her job, and everything has turned out fine, so there’s no point in bringing it up.

Mark talks to the detectives again, wanting more information on Mrs. Larkin’s case. He can tell they’re not that concerned with helping her. Carter helps Chase get some presents from the car to pass out to hospitalized kids. Carter’s relieved that their grandfather skipped the visit because now he doesn’t have to defend his decision to go into medicine. Chase notes that he still thinks Carter’s a surgeon, not back to being a lowly intern.

Henry wants to perform a spinal tap on a patient, but Carter tells him he misdiagnosed the flu. Maybe Carter should just let him finish his clerkship right now so he can go back to the lab and be far, far away from people. Carol introduces Millicent to Jeanie, who agrees to let Millicent shadow her for a while. Elizabeth extubates Allison, then decides she needs a head and neck surgeon.

Millicent observes as Jeanie chats with a teenager named Gina who’s pregnant and denies that she could have been exposed to HIV. She figures since she doesn’t sleep with drug users or gay guys, she’s not at risk. Jeanie reveals her own HIV status by saying she never slept with a gay man or drug user, either. Gina agrees to get tested.

Bart’s back, and he’s blind again. He asks Benton to touch him again and redo his miracle. Benton touches him, but nothing happens. Mark finishes up with Mrs. Larkin, who regrets having to miss Christmas Mass. She usually plays the organ, and she doesn’t think the church will be able to find a substitute in time. Mark tells her she shouldn’t worry about that. Mrs. Larkin admits that she hates her rapist, but she doesn’t want to be like that – as a Christian, she’s supposed to forgive. Mark says she doesn’t have to, but Mrs. Larkin knows hatred won’t undo what happened to her.

Mark leaves work a little early, telling Weaver and Cynthia that he has something to take care of. He also wants to hold off on making any plans with Cynthia. Carol finishes up Millicent’s tour and invites her to stay for a staff potluck. Millicent declines, probably because she’s never attended a potluck before. Carter finds Chase in Millicent’s limo, shooting up heroin. Chase says he’s not an addict; he just does it when he’s bored. Carter realizes that the spider bite he treated Chase for wasn’t really a spider bite. Carter isn’t interested in his medical opinion. They both clam up when Millicent joins them.

A neurologist finds a mass in Bart’s brain that explains his blindness. She can’t explain his brief return of sight, since the mass means he shouldn’t have been able to see anything for years. Elizabeth has missed her flight, so she’ll be spending Christmas in Chicago. Romano invites her to a party, but Elizabeth wants to wait for news on Allison, who may have paralyzed vocal chords.

Connie has Gladys Knight tickets on New Year’s and is desperate to change shifts with someone so she can go. Finally, Carol has someone to trade for her on Christmas. In more good news, Millicent has sent over a huge Christmas tree for the staff to enjoy, plus a check for $150,000 for the clinic.

Mark goes to the Laws’ house and tries to apologize to Kenny’s mother for not saving her son, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Chris comes out to confront him, and Mark says he knows now that Chris wasn’t the person who attacked him. Chris admits that he was happy when he heard someone hurt Mark. But even if the family had successfully sued Mark for medical malpractice, Kenny would still be dead. Chris can’t find any meaning in his brother’s death. Mark just says he’s sorry.

Benton tells Bart that he has a tumor, and though it’s operable, he probably won’t regain his sight once it’s out. Bart is still hopeful, since seeing anything today was also unlikely. He spent the day in the park with his guide dog, watching him in the snow. He’s pleased that he got to see something so beautiful. Carol tells Doug that she got the next day off, but she’ll have to work New Year’s. In a twist worthy of O. Henry, Doug switched shifts with Anna so he and Carol could work together on Christmas. Okay, not really; he’s just kidding.

Carol decides it’s time to tell their co-workers that they’re back together. She takes Doug to the potluck and announces that they’re seeing each other. No one gets the big deal. Turns out they all knew (except Weaver and Anna), and they’ve been taking bets on when the couple would finally come clean. Doug adds a surprise: He wants to marry Carol. He tells everyone to talk her into it. Carol doesn’t accept or reject the proposal, just teasing that Doug always has to outdo her.

Everyone goes outside to enjoy the tree and the snow. West invites Weaver to join him somewhere warmer for the holidays. She and Jeanie wish each other a Merry Christmas. Carter wants to skip his family’s party, so he tries to make plans with Anna. Henry has finished his last procedure, so Carter gives him his Christmas present – an evaluation that says he passed emergency medicine. It’s really a present for Carter, who no longer has to deal with him. As Elizabeth sits with Allison as she undergoes an exam, Cynthia and Mark spend the evening together. Benton leaves to spend Christmas with Reese, taking a moment to admire the tree.

Thoughts: Greg is played by George Eads, later Jorja Fox’s (Doyle) co-star on CSI.

Oh, good, we’re starting the old-ladies-keep-getting-raped arc. Merry Christmas, everyone!

“I made it so you don’t have to say you’re sorry” isn’t something you want your lawyer to say. If it’s between saying you’re sorry and possibly paying thousands of dollars, just apologize.

July 16, 2019

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

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

These two really should have ended up together

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Jackson is played by Hill Harper.

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

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

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

July 9, 2019

ER 4.8, Freak Show: Reversal of Fortune

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

Cher’s dad got bitten by a snake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 2, 2019

ER 4.7, Fathers and Sons: Each Unhappy Family Is Unhappy in Its Own Way

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

Thanks for showing up for two scenes, Julianna

Summary: Doug and Mark are driving somewhere in California, and Mark is demonstrating that he’s not a good companion for a road trip. They’re basically in the middle of nowhere, at the place where Doug’s father died. Doug is ready to meet with the authorities and get everything squared away so they can go home. They meet with someone from Highway Patrol and learn that Ray had a woman in the car when he crashed. He was also extremely drunk, and he killed another driver.

They go to the scene of the crash, where someone has set up a roadside cross as a memorial for the other driver. Doug says that his father never planned to hurt anyone, but then again, he never planned to do anything. If Doug had killed his father himself, he would have saved others a lot of trouble. Next the guys go to the motel room where Ray was staying with a woman the manager thinks was his wife. She says they were a nice couple. Doug doubts they were married, though.

Mark finds some photos of Doug and his mom, which makes him think Ray still cared about them. He also finds a box containing pawn tickets and some home movies. Doug laments that everything in the room is his inheritance. The manager tells them that Ray’s car is still parked at the motel; he must have been driving his girlfriend’s car at the time of the crash. To Doug’s surprise, Ray’s is a convertible he’s had since the ’70s. He gets behind the wheel and turns on some jazz.

The guys swap out their rental car for the convertible, which Doug tells Mark he learned to drive in. Ray would show up after months away and take Doug on long road trips. He’d wake Doug up in the middle of the night and let him drive on empty roads. Doug admits that his father had some good moments. Then the car breaks down, which is a fitting metaphor for Doug and Ray’s relationship. The guys check the trunk for a gas can and find a ton of baby stuff.

The guys spend the night in the car and get some help from a passing driver in the morning. They go to a rundown neighborhood to try to find the family of Pedro Lopez, the man Ray killed in the crash. A kid tells them everyone’s at Lopez’s funeral. The guys go to the church where the funeral is taking place and sit in the back. Lopez’s young son sees them and innocently waves to Doug. Afterward, Mark tries to remind Doug that the accident wasn’t his fault. The priest comes to chat with them, and Doug blurts that his father killed Lopez. The priest thinks that coming to the funeral shows that he loved his father.

The guys take Ray’s pawn tickets to the shop they came from to find out what he pawned. Mark talks about how he’s always wanted a pocketwatch to hand down to a child. Instead, he buys a necklace for Cynthia. The shop owner gives them the things Ray pawned – a video projector, a Rolex, and a ring Ray made his girlfriend pawned. Or maybe she was his wife after all, because the shop owner says she and Ray kept their wedding rings.

Doug calls Carol from the motel to tell her he wishes she were with him. Mark overhears the end of the conversation, and Doug tells him he called someone he’s been seeing for a few months. He won’t tell Mark who it is. Mark asks if it’s Jen, then Cynthia, then Chuny, then Anna. Finally, Doug tells him it’s Carol. Mark is stunned but happy for the couple. He asks if Carol makes Doug take a lie-detector test every week. Doug gets revenge by spraying him with beer.

Mark sets up the movie projector while Doug looks through Ray and his girlfriend’s things, trying to find out more about their movements. There are a bunch of pictures of her holding a baby, which means Doug could have a little brother or sister out there somewhere. He tells Mark that Ray had so much power over him – he would tell himself not to get excited over his father’s visits, but when Ray showed up, Doug would be happy. He could pretend that he had a normal family. Ray had so much control, he even ended their relationship without Doug’s consent.

Mark confides that he doesn’t have a good relationship with his father, either. His father put in 30 years in the Navy and was never promoted or given the recognition he deserved. They start up the projector and watch home movies from Doug’s childhood. Doug gets one last look at what started out as a normal childhood.

The next day, the guys visit Lopez’s grave, where Doug announces that he loves Carol. He’s never felt like this about anyone. They complain about the heat in California, even though it’s November, and Mark mentions that he lived there for a while as a kid. His parents are in San Diego, just four hours away. Doug decides that they’ll skip their meeting with a guy from the funeral home and go see Mark’s parents.

Mark’s mother, Ruth, is thrilled to see him. Doug listens to Mark’s advice about admiring Ruth’s Hummels, but ignores his warning not to drink her iced tea. She invites the guys to spend the night. Mark notices an oxygen tank in the living room, which Ruth says belongs to Mark’s father, David. She tries to downplay his condition, but Mark guesses that he has emphysema.

Doug quickly decides to bail and run some errands so Mark can be alone with his parents. Mark goes to the garage to see his father, who’s doing some woodworking. He’s neither overly surprised nor excited to see his only child. Their stilted conversation soon turns to a small argument when Mark chastises David for smoking (even though Mark has recently taken it up himself). David doesn’t want his advice, or really, any conversation whatsoever.

Mark sneaks a peek in the bathroom medicine cabinet, finding stacks of unopened nicotine gum. He talks to Ruth about David’s failure to take good care of himself, revealing that he saw David’s blood-pressure medication. Ruth says it’s hers, and she has her blood pressure checked regularly at the base commissary. Mark nags her about her and David’s health until she tells him to stop.

Doug isn’t back in time for dinner, so the Greenes have an awkward meal together. David smokes and coughs through it. Mark suggests that they get ice cream together, but David wants to keep his weekly club night with his friends. Ruth tries to make him change the night, then tells Mark to go to the club with him. Doug doesn’t realize that he’s missing an extremely uncomfortable family dinner. After his parents leave the room, Mark takes a drag off his father’s cigarette, because he’s a hypocrite.

David falls asleep in front of the TV, using his oxygen tank. Ruth finds Mark smoking outside, and he lies that he’s quitting soon. She reminds him that he used to flush her cigarettes down the toilet when he was a kid. Mark mentions that David’s going to miss his club meeting, but Ruth admits that he only makes it to them half the time. When he does go, he doesn’t stay long, since most of his friends don’t go. But they still like their life near the base.

Ruth tells Mark that David really does miss having him close by, no matter how he acts. Mark doesn’t believe that, noting that David has never shown his love. Why should Mark have to work harder on their relationship when David doesn’t? Ruth tells him he always assumes he knows more about people than he actually does.

Doug finally returns, having confirmed that the baby wasn’t Ray’s. Mark tells him what he missed and turns down Doug’s suggestion that he stay a little longer while Doug finishes up the stuff with his father. Mark says that Doug didn’t miss much by not having his father around as a kid. Doug doesn’t get how Mark can’t see how good he has it. David was always around, and he’s still with Ruth. Whether or not it’s what Mark would have wanted, it was love. Compared to Doug’s life, Mark grew up in a ’50s sitcom.

Doug’s next stop is Flagstaff, to talk to Ray’s wife’s family. He gives Mark a note to give to Carol when he gets back to Chicago. Doug apologizes for their fight, but Mark says he was right. He’s tired of pitying himself and acting like a victim. He’s spent his whole life fearing that something would spin out of control. Becoming a doctor helped him get some power over the chaos. When he was attacked, the chaos won out. Now Mark doesn’t know who he is: “The person I was died in that bathroom, and I don’t know what’s going to take his place.”

When the guys return to their motel in the morning, they’re surprised to see Carol there. The three of them go out to the desert and find a spot to spread Ray’s ashes. Doug doesn’t know what to say to mark the occasion, so he just says he both hated and loved his father. The three of them drink a toast to Ray and enjoy the view together.

Thoughts: This show is so much easier to recap without all the medical stuff. I mean…imagine that.

How YOU doin’, black-T-shirted George Clooney?

Isn’t it a little in poor taste to use alcohol for a toast to a guy who died (and killed two others) driving drunk?

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