February 13, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Walt is played by Ving Rhames.

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

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

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February 6, 2018

ER 1.3, Going Home: If You Say You’re Okay Enough Times, Eventually People Will Believe It

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

Probably not the help Carol needs, but still important

Summary: It’s Carol’s first day back at work since her suicide attempt, though her mother isn’t sure she’s ready for it. Carol claims she is and gathers her things. A woman wakes Benton, who’s sleeping at the hospital, and sings to him. The first person Carol sees when she gets to the hospital is Carter, who remembers meeting her on his first day. She jokes that she thought it was her last. So I guess that’s how she’s going to handle this. She quickly realizes that she’s not as ready to go back to work as she thought she was.

Benton asks Lydia if she knows which doctor his singing alarm clock belongs to. “No, but I can name that tune,” Lydia quips. Mark doesn’t know whose she is either. Doug asks him if he’s seen Carol; this is the third time he’s asked. Carol greets Susan and Jerry, saying she’s there to deliver barbiturates. Someone please get her a psych consult. Jerry tells her that Doug warned them all to be sensitive toward her. Benton brings in the singing woman, and Jerry says the cops found her on the El without an ID. Benton tries to pass her off to another babysitter, but everyone’s busy.

Carol peeks in at Doug, who’s examining a crying toddler, then moves on without speaking to him. Lydia gives her a hug and offers to talk if Carol ever wants to. Jerry tries to apologize for joking around with Carol earlier (even though she was the one joking), and she assures him that she’s not as fragile as Doug seems to think. Haleh is thrilled to see her so she can hand back some responsibilities. Mark already has a patient for Carol and tells her that everyone’s rooting for her to succeed. Carol admits that she may have jumped back in too quickly. Mark thinks, since it’s Monday, things will be slow.

Carter ends up with the singing woman, and we find out later that her name is Mary, so I’m just going to start calling her that now, because it’s faster. She’s stopped singing, but now she’s crying. Carter has no idea how to deal with her. Mark pulls Carol into a trauma as Jerry gets a call about a patient coming in with a heart attack. Mark tells him to give that case to Susan. Benton helps him with his trauma patient, who was shot, but Carol jumps over to Susan’s patient. Doug briefly sees her and says a quick hi.

Susan’s patient, Mr. Flannigan, is feeling better and tells her his cardiologist is Jack Kayson. Carol goes back to the trauma room to get something for the patient but is asked to stay with the trauma. Susan’s still waiting for Kayson to get in touch, and she’s uneasy about treating Mr. Flannigan without a complete medical history, but she has no choice. When Kayson arrives, he disagrees with Susan’s treatment and takes over the case. The other patient is sent to surgery, and Mark praises Carol for her good work. She may doubt that she’s ready to be back, but he assures her that no one else does.

Mark’s next patient, Mrs. Cheung, has facial injuries and doesn’t speak English, so Haleh isn’t sure how she was hurt. Mary’s singing again, and Carter’s still keeping an eye on her. Susan and Div chat about baseball on their way to meet them. Mrs. Cheung’s preteen son, Frank, says she fell down the stairs, which Mark finds interesting, since they live on the first floor of an apartment building. Clearly, there’s something Mrs. Cheung doesn’t want Frank to tell Mark. He sends Frank out of the room while he continues his treatment.

Mary talks to Div about her time singing at a club during the war. Carter’s impressed, saying he wouldn’t have thought to talk to her about music since he knows nothing about it. Susan whispers that Div doesn’t either. Div asks Mary questions to determine her mental status, but she thinks she’s in a jail, not a hospital. She also thinks it’s 1948 and Harry Truman is the president.

Morgenstern runs into Carol and welcomes her back. He makes it clear that her return to work is a big deal, and people should be concerned about whether she was ready, but they all agreed she was. Carter has a list of possible diagnoses for Mary, but Div tells him to think of horses, not zebras, when he hears hooves. The most logical explanation is probably right: Alzheimer’s. They need to find Mary’s family. Benton’s annoyed that Carter has spent so much time with Mary, because I guess he’s not supposed to care about people.

Mark tries to get Frank to tell him what really happened to his mother. If they know the truth, it might help them treat her. Frank won’t respond when Mark questions the story that Mrs. Cheung fell down the stairs. Doug asks Carol to have lunch with him, but she already has plans with her fiancé, Dr. John “Tag” Taglieri. Benton again criticizes Carter for spending too much time with a patient. He takes him up to the roof to meet a patient arriving via helicopter.

Morgenstern tells Mark and Susan that he’s changing the time of a morbidity and mortality (M&M) conference that afternoon so Kayson can attend. He wants Susan to present Flannigan’s case. She admits to Mark that she dreads having to revisit the argument she had with Kayson about treatment options. On the roof, Benton and Carter receive their patient, a 16-year-old girl injured in a jetski accident. No one loses any limbs.

Doug thinks his crying toddler might have meningitis, so he needs to perform a spinal tap. The patient’s father passes out at the thought. Carter tries to pass along information about his patient to some nurses, but he has the details wrong. Mark asks Doug if he’s talked to Carol yet. Doug says Tag interrupted, and Mark says he shouldn’t be surprised; they’ve been together for a while. Did Doug expect Carol to fall back in love with him while she was gone?

Susan has a patient who needs stitches on her arm, but didn’t mention that she has cancer. The patient, Mrs. Packer, resists being admitted for a blood transfusion to treat aplastic anemia. She knows she’s dying, and she doesn’t want to spend what little time she has left in the hospital. Doug performs an uneventful spinal tap, and Carter and Carol both take a moment to admire the sight of him holding a child. Carol is still acting like everything’s fine.

Carter stitches up Mrs. Packer while Mary sadly hums to herself nearby. He courts the wrath of Benton by checking on her and trying to comfort her. He tries Div’s method of connecting with her by talking about music; they agree that Ella Fitzgerald’s talent is unmatched today. Mary sings some Ella but it doesn’t cheer her up.

Mark and Carter’s flirtatious patient is back, this time complaining that her breasts hurt. She says her name is Proserpina. Mark wants to leave early to have dinner with Jen, but he promises Susan he’ll wait until after her M&M. Haleh tells Mark that Frank wants to talk to him. He seems scared.

The liquor store owner who was shot in the previous episode is back with another gunshot wound. Benton wants Carter to come help him, but Carter’s busy making out with “Proserpina.” An x-ray tech catches them but just goes about his business. Mrs. Packer starts to leave, pausing in the hallway when she hears Mary singing. Susan asks her again to stay for treatment, but Mrs. Packer resists again. However, she’s pleased that she got to have such a nice afternoon – she got to hear Mary Cavanaugh sing in person. As Mrs. Packer leaves, she collapses.

Frank confesses to Mark and Haleh that his father hit his mother. He’s on his way to pick them up right now. Mark assures him that he did the right thing, and they’re going to find people to help him and his mother. He tells Haleh to call Social Services and try to find a shelter. Haleh remarks that she’s never seen such an old-looking child.

Morgenstern runs the M&M, which Benton attends along with Susan, Kayson, Mark, and another doctor. Morgenstern determines that Susan’s treatment worked, so Kayson’s wasn’t necessary. Benton, Mark, and the other doctor, Langworthy, all admit that they would have treated the patient with angioplasty, as Kayson wanted.

After the meeting, Susan’s mad that Mark showed up late and then sided with Kayson. He tells her it wasn’t personal. Susan’s annoyed that everyone else in the room was a surgeon, so of course they wanted to operate. Her decision was valid, and Mark should have backed her up.

Carol asks Carter if “Proserpina” (real name: Liz) found him. The x-ray tech overhears and remarks that he used to know someone like her. Her middle name was Penicillin. Carter chuckles, then realizes it might not be that funny. Doug asks Carol to get coffee, and this time she accepts. First she checks on Mrs. Packer, who has finally agreed to a transfusion. She’s had a lot of time to think about dying, and it makes her realize that every day is a gift. She doesn’t know how and when she’ll die, but she knows it’s not today. She already has plans.

Mr. Cheung has arrived, and he isn’t interested in talking to Mark. The social worker tells Mark that Mrs. Cheung and Frank don’t want to go to a shelter, and she denies being abused, so there’s nothing they can do. Mark tries to get Frank to ask Mrs. Cheung again what really happened. He won’t talk, and when the social worker asks, Frank says his father hasn’t hit him or his mother. They have to let the family leave.

Carter and Mary chat some more about music as he takes her to meet up with her granddaughter to go home. The granddaughter apologizes for letting her wander off so far, but Carter isn’t too upset about it. Doug and Carol meet up in the ambulance bay, and he asks to go out with her again, even though he knows she’s with Tag. She guesses that he feels guilty for her suicide attempt. She tells him it had nothing to do with him, though she isn’t specific about it. Doug asks if she really wants to be with Tag. Isn’t he worth another chance? Carol points out that things didn’t work out for a reason.

Mrs. Packer has a christening to go to, so she’s leaving for the night and will return the next day to complete her transfusion. She doesn’t want to miss a minute of her time with her family. She’s not going to give up on life while she still has some time left. Susan summons Carol to help her with Mark, saying he’s hurt, but it’s just a ruse to get her to a surprise welcome-back party. The staff gives her a neck brace she can put on the next time she needs to alert them to a problem. Carol thanks them all for saving her – by doing so, they gave her a gift, and she’s going to remember it every day. But they can’t help remembering what they went through.

Thoughts: Kayson is played by Sam Anderson. Mary is played by the late Rosemary Clooney, who was, of course, George’s aunt.

Drink every time Benton tells Carter to stop spending so much time with his patients. You’ll end the series with liver damage.

Who the heck asks an engaged woman on a date? I mean, I know you’re cute, Doug, but really.

January 30, 2018

ER 1.2, Day One: Sleep, Eat, Sex, Repeat

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:43 am by Jenn

“Look at us up here on the roof, not losing limbs”

Summary: Susan is trying to sleep when Wendy wakes her to take care of a baby in respiratory arrest. After a few tense moments, Susan removes an earring from the baby’s throat and gets her breathing again. Everyone’s happy, and Susan gets to start her day with a win. Well, everyone’s happy except Carter, since Lydia let him sleep instead of waking him up for the trauma. Instead, he gets to take care of some German tourists with food poisoning. Rectal exams for everyone!

Haleh goes over some patients with Connie as Mark comes in for the day. Timmy sends Susan to see a patient with chest pain; Carter’s thrilled to get to help her and put off the rectal exams. The patient is less thrilled that he’s being seen by a “beginner.” Carter and his ridiculous hair give the patient a thumbs-up.

Mark and Susan chat with Doug, who hasn’t been to visit Carol in the eight weeks since her suicide attempt. They tell him things won’t get any easier, so he should just go. The three accept two car-accident victims via helicopter, and Benton meets them back downstairs to help out. Doug and Mark try to tend to a little girl, but she keeps yelling for her mother, the other patient. The drunk driver who hit them is also in the hospital, with seemingly minor injuries. The husband and father of the two victims also has minor injuries.

Carter has three more rectal exams to perform, but he takes a break to check on the man with chest pain, Mr. Zambano. As Carter’s with him, the man’s alarms start blaring. Carter can’t get any help, since the nurses are taking care of some commotion down the hall. He charges a defibrillator and drags it to Zambano, shocking him back into a stable rhythm. Carter’s both relieved and proud of himself.

Doug and Mark send their patient to surgery, assuring her that her father will be with her when she wakes up. Susan tells Mark that the father is okay, and the driver is doing great. Unfortunately, the mother only gets a “maybe” from Benton.

As they catch a quick lunch together, Mark tells Doug again that he needs to go see Carol, since they used to be close. He offers to tag along, but Doug hasn’t even committed to going yet. Mark thinks Doug blames himself for Carol’s depression, and he needs to forgive himself.

Carter and Benton tend to a store owner who was shot by a preteen trying to rob him. His injuries are minor, but he still needs surgery. Benton tells Carter to babysit him. The patient so grateful that he offers Benton cognac and cigars as a thank-you gift. Susan’s patient, Victor, is confused and agitated, so Susan tells Malik and Wendy to call for a psychiatric consult.

Carter presents a patient to Benton, reciting all the facts like he’s spent an hour studying it. Benton teases him by asking for the patient’s mother’s maiden name. Carter’s confused, and Haleh has to tell him that Benton’s kidding. Carter rattles off the tests and treatment he suggests for the patient, but Benton says those would lead to a malpractice suit; the patient may have thrombosis.

The drunk driver has a blood-alcohol level of .435, and Malik complains to the cop on the case that there’s no justice. The psychiatrist Susan summoned, Div Cvetic, doesn’t agree that Victor needs to be admitted to his service. His problems are medical, not psychiatric. Besides, there’s no bed for him in the psych wing. Susan disapproves, but Div won’t budge.

Mark and Malik’s next patient has a horrible sunburn, but only on the front of his body. He’s in too much pain to sit or lie down, so Malik suggests just propping him against a gurney. Jen suddenly arrives and announces that she passed the bar. Mark ditches his patient so he and Jen can make out in a bathroom. Jen wants to take advantage of their privacy to take things beyond making out.

Benton gives the drunk-driving victim, Mr. Ring, that his daughter will probably be okay, but his wife is going to die. He asks if they ever discussed organ donation. Mr. Ring is too distraught to answer the question, so Benton just comforts him while he cries.

Susan tries to go over Div’s head to an administrator, but the administrator agrees that Victor can be treated medically. An emergency alarm sounds by the admin desk, so Susan, Haleh, Malik, and Timmy rush to the bathroom to see who’s in distress. They soon learn that Mark and Jen accidentally hit the alarm while she was…um…giving him a physical, we’ll say. Everyone keeps it casual until they close the door, and Susan, Haleh, Timmy, and Malik all crack up.

Doug hears the story later and laughs at Mark’s embarrassment while they’re in the bathroom together. Mark knows he’ll never live it down, and though he’s able to laugh it off a little, he’s worried that he’ll get in trouble. The two realize Carter has fallen asleep in a stall and try to wake him. Mark succeeds by yelling, “Clear!”

The patient who flirted with Mark in the pilot returns with a rash and requests Carter as her doctor as soon as she sees him. Doug and Mark’s next patient, Mrs. Franks, is elderly and approaching respiratory failure. Her husband begs them to do everything they can for her. Susan finds Carter checking out the poison ivy on his patient’s butt, and decides she should stay and keep an eye on things. Carter’s completely professional, though, and doesn’t get that the patient is flirting with him.

Mark tells Mr. Franks that they don’t have a lot of options for his wife. She’s terminal, and if they put her on machines to help her breathe, she’ll probably never come off of them. The better option is to make her comfortable and let nature take its course. Mr. Franks tells him to put her on the respirator. Mark decides to do some more tests before they make a final decision. Mr. Franks wants the doctors to know that they have 13 grandchildren.

The drunk driver finally wakes up, but he doesn’t remember the crash. Malik tells him he killed a woman and put her daughter in the ICU. Benton and Carter’s thrombosis patient’s regular doctor comes to see him, disagreeing with Benton’s diagnosis. He accuses Benton of running unnecessary tests and showing off for Carter.

A bride started throwing up during her wedding reception, which was held at the same place where the German tourists ate. Wendy realizes that they should be expected a couple hundred more patients from the reception. Mrs. Franks is awake now, so her husband thinks she’s improving. Mark tells him it’s just because they rehydrated her. She guesses that she’s dying, and when Mark goes over her options, she grasps them better than her husband did.

The food poisoning has been traced to the potato salad, which not everyone at the reception ate, so only about 60 people have been brought in. The musicians from the reception have come in to play for the patients while they wait, which would probably be okay if they weren’t accordionists. Victor is brought in, having been found wandering down a street, still wearing his hospital bracelet. Susan tells Lydia to call Div again; if he doesn’t admit Victor, Susan will sign him in herself.

In the cafeteria, Susan asks Mark if Doug is finally going to see Carol. Then she teases him about his little rendezvous with Jen in the bathroom. Div arrives and yells at Susan for trying to admit a patient to his service after he said no. She admits that she went over his head, which just makes him madder.

Carter tells Benton that he thinks he was right about their thrombosis patient. Benton sarcastically says that he’ll be sure to tell the New England Journal of Medicine that Carter agreed. Benton, this is why no one likes you. The hospital turns into a reception hall, with patients and staff members dancing to the accordion music. Mark’s enjoying himself until Connie tells him that Mrs. Franks has died. Her husband sings “That Old Black Magic” to say goodbye. Doug has to fight back tears.

Home for a few hours, Mark congratulates Jen again on her success. She suggests picking up where they left off in the bathroom, even though they’re in their very visible backyard. He has to go back to work in a couple hours, so he says no. Jen realizes he’s never going to leave County. She says she needs him, and he assures her that he loves her.

Carter gets in his Jeep to leave for the night and is surprised to find his flirtatious patient in his backseat. She wants to go home with him. Carter immediately calls the police and has her arrested for stalking. Ha ha ha ha, no, he doesn’t. He takes her home with him. At her own home, Susan complains about being unable to get help for her patients. The person she’s complaining to is Div, and they’re definitely not just work colleagues. He warns that not everyone she deals with at the hospital will be as understanding as he was. Wait, he considers that “understanding”?

Doug finally goes to see Carol, but her mother, Helen (who isn’t played by the same actress who plays her later), tries to make him leave. Carol says he can stay and accepts the flowers he’s brought her. They only chat for a minute, since he’s too emotionally closed off to talk any longer than that. Back at County, Lydia wakes Benton, whose thrombosis patient is back in the ER. This time, Benton will get to do everything he wanted to before.

Thoughts: The administrator Susan tries to get to overrule Div is played by Tobin Bell, AKA Saw from the Saw movies.

Jen is the wooooooooorst. She’s not so bad in these early episodes, but later…gah.

Remember my game Spot the Doll? You can play it with this show, too. If there’s a kid in a scene and it’s not moving, it’s really a doll.

January 23, 2018

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

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

This show is brought to you by the color sea green

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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