June 19, 2018

ER 1.22, Men Plan, God Laughs: Unfixable

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

Hi. I’m back for no reason

Summary: Maybe we should have a drinking game where we drink every time an episode starts with someone sleeping. This one does, so drink! Mark wakes up for work at 5:45, sharing his bed with medical journals instead of his wife. Benton complains to a doctor at Mae’s new facility about how she’s not mobile enough. The doctor doesn’t think Mae is ready for the mobility Benton wants her to have. She has to remind him that Mae broke her hip and won’t heal overnight.

Susan calls her mother to help with Chloe’s health insurance, now that she’s back in Chicago. Rolando the desk clerk isn’t organized enough for Swift’s liking, and he blames a cold, so Swift tells him to go home. Paramedic Doris Pickman brings in a man who was caught in a metal press, and Doug enlists Carter to help him with the trauma. Benton joins in as well, climbing on the patient’s gurney to put his dislocated hip back in place. This saves the man’s leg, and may be the only thing Benton has control over in his life right now.

When Mark makes it in to work, he tells Susan that he wound up not going to see Jen after Susan encouraged him to. She warns him to get on Swift’s good side, but Mark plans to leave early so he can go to Milwaukee. He confides that he’s not sure things are going to work out. Carter’s studying for the boards, even though they’re four months away. He hopes to get a surgical sub-internship, though Susan thinks Mark will recommend him for one in the ER. Carol and Doug scare Carter by telling him that the boards’ failure rate has gone up.

A teenager named Katie went to work with her mother at a naval base and pulled off her earmuffs at the firing range, temporarily deafening herself. Doug checks her over, asking the mother why there’s a naval base on Lake Michigan anyway – “who’s going to invade? Canadians?” Mark checks out a baby named Henry whose lips turn blue when he eats. His father, Leonard, blames himself, since heart problems run in his family. Mark detects a murmur in the baby.

A manic patient named Mrs. Dibble tries to engage Susan in conversation until Malik takes her back to her room. Susan tells Mark that she appreciates that her brain creates the right balance of chemicals. She complains about Chloe’s poor habits as a guest and says she won’t let Chloe derail things like she’s always done before. Swift asks Mark to meet with him at the end of his shift for a joint commission survey, but Mark says he has personal business. Swift asks when residents started having personal business.

A girl named Samantha fell off a wall at school and is unconscious. Benton can’t figure out why her condition is deteriorating when she gets to the ER. Diane wants to close Doug’s file over the incident where he attacked an abusive father, but that requires Doug to go to a therapy session, and he’s resistant. She wears him down, partly because she’s doing her job and partly because she likes Doug.

Susan’s next patient is a doctor named Strong who wants pain medication for a back problem. Susan wants to finish his workup first. Benton and Carter realize that Samantha’s coma wasn’t caused by a head injury but is a result of diabetic ketoacidosis. Haleh offers to pass the case along to Doug, but Benton wants to stay in charge. As Doug gets a phone message from Linda, who’s been out of the picture for a while, Carol tells Mark that she and Tag want Rachel to be their ring bearer. Mark says he’s not sure where they’ll be in May.

Chloe arrives for an appointment, and Susan works hard not to gripe at her sister for wearing her clothes and breaking her blender. Mark, Haleh, and Wendy treat a drunk, combative patient named Reicher and give him an endoscopy. Using a camera to look into his stomach, they see that he has an ulcer. As Mark leaves the trauma room, he runs into Mrs. Dibble, who’s more stable but is feeling low now. She says she doesn’t think anything good will ever happy again. Mark can relate.

Samantha’s stabilizing but hasn’t been taking her insulin. Haleh again offers to pass the case on to another doctor, since it’s not surgical, but Benton still wants it. Rolando calls for a replacement, now thinking he has the flu. Reicher’s wife arrives and reveals that her husband lives on the street. She’s brought him some clean clothes, but she doesn’t want to see him. She just wanted to know if he was alive.

Connie shows Susan some of Strong’s test results, and Susan sees that he signs his name Dr. Lyle Strong, M.D., a redundancy a real doctor wouldn’t make. She makes up a diagnosis, then busts him for providing urine with chicken blood in it in an attempt to score pain meds. Connie suspects that Strong got his self-diagnosis from a medical textbook. Before the interrogation can continue, he runs out in just his gown and shoes, passing Jerry as he arrives to replace Rolando.

Henry may have a hole in his heart, and his father, Mr. Offenbach, still blames his genetics. Mrs. Offenbach is pretty calm about the fact that her eight-week-old needs an operation. Mark assures Mr. Offenbach that his son’s condition isn’t his fault. Jake asks Doug to help out with coaching his Little League team, and Doug easily agrees. Linda shows up, inviting Doug to celebrate a deal she just closed, and Jake pays very close attention to her flirting. Doug declines the offer and assures Jake that just because Linda flirted doesn’t mean he returns her affections.

Jeanie comes by to chat with Benton, inviting him to grab dinner with her during a break. He hesitates, possibly because she’s married, and possibly because he’s Benton and doesn’t like to socialize. He examines a teenager named Charlie who’s been having a weird feeling in his arm and leg. He still feels a little sick from a recent flu, and fell a couple days ago. Benton passes him along to Doug, and as Benton leaves, Charlie remarks that he’s nice. That’s probably the first time someone’s said that about him, and it may be the last.

Susan’s annoyed that Chloe isn’t taking her pregnancy more seriously, but she can’t help laughing at the thought of their mother becoming a grandmother. Samantha’s awake now, and Benton reveals to her mother that she hasn’t been taking her insulin. Samantha’s angry that she’s sick and could be facing unfair complications like blindness. Benton says that pretending she doesn’t have a serious illness won’t get her anywhere. She needs to accept that things are the way they are. He tells her flat out that if she doesn’t take her insulin, she’ll die. I bet Samantha doesn’t agree with Charlie that Benton’s nice.

Doug examines Charlie and determines that he needs an MRI. Charlie doesn’t get why he needs to have his head scanned when his leg is the problem. Away from Charlie, Doug tells Malik to make him a priority and bring Benton back to the case for a consult. Coburn gives Chloe an ultrasound and confirms that she’s having a girl. Chloe still wants to name the baby after Susan. She’s thrilled, but Susan is much more reserved.

Benton gets Charlie’s MRI back as Doug goes to his therapy session with a doctor named Murphy. He pegs Doug as “a reasonably normal guy with sloppy impulse control.” The next time he wants to take out his anger on someone, it needs to be in a bar, not the hospital. Doug can’t believe that Murphy is telling him it’s okay to hit someone. After asking Doug to promise never to attack someone in the ER, Murphy says he’s free to go. Doug asks to talk about his other problems, so Murphy recommends therapy.

Carter asks Mark about the ER sub-internship, even though Mark isn’t sure his recommendation will do him much good right now. Charlie has an aneurysm pressing on his spine, and he needs immediate surgery. The requisite surgeon won’t perform it, but he knows a doctor at another hospital who will. Mark treats a woman’s dog bite and seems confused when she says she’s going to tell all her friends to come see him when they have medical emergencies.

Dyer, the doctor Charlie needs, is out for a run, so Benton makes Carter hand over his car keys so Benton can go hunt him down. Carter thinks that Benton’s going above and beyond for his patients because he can fix them while he can’t fix his mother. Doug thinks Carter’s been taking too many psych classes. Mark tells Doug that his dog-bite patient may have been hitting on him. Doug agrees, saying that Mark’s been moody, and “women like to save moody men.”

A man comes in with a gunshot wound, and his mother tells the trauma team to let him die. She calls him the devil as Carol removes her from the trauma room. Doug takes over for Mark so he can make his train to Milwaukee. The patient’s mother tells Mark that her son is a killer, so saving him is a bad idea. Mark’s like, “I guess my day could be going worse.”

Diane tells Doug that she’s fine if their relationship doesn’t work out, but she’d like to know what kind of future they have so she can be prepared for the possibility of Jake getting hurt. Doug just says he hopes they’ll be together for a long time. Mark passes his patients off to Susan, then nervously goes off to see his wife. Yeah, I wouldn’t be in any rush to go see her either.

Swift’s looking for Benton, who’s still out looking for Dyer. Carter tells him Benton’s in surgery and gathers up the charts Swift needs. Jerry thinks Carter’s trying to suck up so he’ll get the sub-internship. As Benton finds Dyer, Swift grabs Carter to come help out with a woman named Leslie who was struck by lightning. He lets Carter run the trauma, which he does confidently. He credits Benton, Mark, and Susan for being good teachers. When he won’t say which is the best, Swift praises his diplomacy.

Dyer accepts Charlie as a patient, and Benton sees him off to Dyer’s hospital. Charlie has guessed that something is really wrong with him, and Benton is honest with him about the seriousness of his condition. Charlie could die, but Benton promises that he won’t. (In later seasons of the show, that would mean he definitely would, but it’s season 1, so we just never find out what happens to him.)

Benton returns to County, where Swift compliments his work with Carter. Carter has finished Benton’s charts, letting Swift believe that Benton did the work himself. Benton thanks Carter, who asks him to repeat himself, just because he wants to hear the words twice. Chloe has gone on a shopping spree and brings all her new baby things to the hospital to show Susan. Susan’s upset about all the money Chloe spent using her credit card. Chloe points out that she’s going to be someone’s mother. If their mom could do it, she can, too.

Mark spends a little time with Rachel, then tries to talk to Jen, who doesn’t want to get into it. He tells her that he needs to have more time with his daughter. He offers to move to Milwaukee, even if he and Jen are really over. He doesn’t think he’ll get the attending job anyway. Jen is noncommittal and hesitates before letting Mark spend the night.

Benton and Jeanie have dinner together, talking about their parents’ embarrassing behavior at their graduations. Benton is trying to come to terms with the fact that Mae will never get better, and that there’s nothing he can do about it. He thanks Jeanie for helping him through everything. Jeanie tells him that he seems able to get through anything. Benton says he used to think so.

Thoughts: Mrs. Dibble is played by Debra Jo Rupp.

I am, ultimately, a Carol/Doug shipper, but I like Diane a lot. Her sass with Doug is exactly what he needs in a girlfriend.

I appreciate Malik’s attempt at humor when he’s moving Charlie and jokes that they drop a lot of people, but..probably not the right audience or time.

Rachel: “3 plus 3 is 6. And 4 plus 4 is 8. And 6…Daddy, I don’t have any more fingers.” Hee.

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June 12, 2018

ER 1.21, House of Cards: Handle With Care

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

“Google Earth. Always taking pics”

Summary: This show is seriously obsessed with people sleeping. Doug is in bed with Diane, and since he slept through his alarm, she wants him to get moving before Jake finds out he spent the night. But when Doug goes to use the bathroom, he runs into Jake, who knows he’s been there the past two nights. He also doesn’t care that his mother is in a relationship.

If you’ve missed seeing Benton be short with Carter and Chen, you’re in luck! Here he is, being short with Carter and Chen. The students are supposed to complete procedure books by the end of the day, and Chen’s isn’t done. She complains that Carter’s been there longer and has done more procedures, so he has an advantage. She’s especially mad that he’s already done a femoral cutdown.

Mark wants his patient to have an ultrasound in case he has appendicitis. Susan doesn’t think it’s necessary, since he could just have gas. Swift joins them and makes his own diagnosis: the flu. The stomach pain is from gas, and the ultrasound is unnecessary. Mark doesn’t appreciate being second-guessed.

Mae is ready to be released from the hospital, but Benton and Jackie haven’t told her they’re sending her to a care facility. Benton wants to be the one to break the news, but Jackie comes along so the siblings can provide a united front. Mae doesn’t take the news well, but she doesn’t protest like she’s done in the past.

Susan thinks Swift was out of line the way he jumped into her and Mark’s case, but Mark thinks he was right to stop them from running unnecessary tests. He knows Swift’s opinion of him isn’t going to change. The two are pulled in to tend to a new patient, and Susan allows Carter to insert a central line. Chen is again jealous. Doug examines a girl named Janette who probably has the flu, though her heart rate is a little fast. Her mother, Mrs. Ryan, worries about the cost of the tests Doug needs to run, since she doesn’t have insurance. Doug promises that they’ll work something out.

Mark and Carter examine a woman named Anita who has a bad cough. Mark suspects tuberculosis, but Anita isn’t forthcoming with details that might help him come to a conclusion. She finally admits that her daughter has also been sick. Mark wants to make her stay at the hospital, since she could be highly contagious, but he can’t force her. All he can do is give her medicine and advise her to take it. Anita seems nervous about her immigration status, but Mark promises they won’t ask any questions. She agrees to stay a little longer.

Susan and Carol try to keep straight faces while welcoming two patients, elderly sisters who were involved in a slow-motion car crash. The paramedic who brings them in, Zadro, says the only danger they present is to each other. Janette gets worse quickly, and Doug has to shock her heart back into rhythm. Carol examines one of the elderly sisters and realizes that one of them, Sari, has horrible vision, even with her huge glasses. She blames her sister, Shirley, thinking Shirley blinded her in the car accident. Then Carol realizes that Sari’s wearing the wrong glasses. Womp womp?

Haleh invites Carter to perform a pelvic exam that he can include in his procedures book. Carter’s already done plenty of those, but Haleh doesn’t care. Doug tells Mrs. Ryan that Janette has a heart condition and needs to be admitted. She’ll be fine, and someone from Social Services will help Mrs. Ryan apply for Medicaid. Susan encourages Mark to talk to Swift about his behavior earlier, but Mark still doesn’t see a point. When a pregnant patient comes in, Mark tells Susan to take her.

Carter’s patient, Mrs. Blum, has requested him personally, though he’s never met her. She explains that he treated her friend Barbara, who got pregnant a week after Carter examined her. Barbara thinks Carter was the key, so she told her friend to see him in hopes that she’ll get pregnant as well. Swift asks Mark why Susan’s examining the pregnant patient Mark was supposed to see. Swift knows about Jodi and wants Mark to present her case at a conference that afternoon.

Mrs. Salazar does indeed have TB, so Mark tells her to bring her family in to get tested. Mrs. Salazar says she’ll bring them tomorrow; she feels okay and wants to leave. Mark tries to tell her how serious her illness could be, and how worried he is about her kids. He tells her straight out that her immigration status doesn’t matter. Mrs. Salazar ignores him when he angrily tells her that she’ll infect anyone she comes into contact with if she leaves. Susan pulls him out of the room and points out that yelling isn’t going to make Mrs. Salazar want to stick around.

Doug has a patient who needs a procedure Carter hasn’t performed yet, so Carter gets to do something else to put in his book. He gets peed on by a baby for his troubles, but at least Carol, Doug, and the baby’s mother get a good laugh. Susan talks to a woman named Mrs. Gainsley whose husband made her come in because he thinks she has paranoid delusions. Her answers to Susan’s questions don’t indicate that she does, but that doesn’t keep Susan and Lydia from becoming concerned over the arsenal of weapons she’s brought with her.

Jeanie’s waiting with Mae for the ambulance that will take her to her new home. Benton promises his mother that she’ll like the facility, but she doesn’t want to talk to him. Doug thinks Mark will do fine at his conference, but Mark knows the doctors attending will be out for his blood. He gets even more worried when he learns that the conference room where the “interrogation” was going to take place was too small to hold all the attendees, so it’s been moved to the auditorium.

Chen’s day starts looking up when she hears Benton chastising Carter for giving a patient water when she wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything. Carter’s mistake leads to Chen being rewarded with an invitation to scrub in with Benton. The auditorium is full, and it’s time for Mark’s interrogation. Despite the short amount of time he was given to prepare, Mark answers all the questions like a pro. Swift defends Mark’s skills, but Coburn won’t stop pressing him. Mark admits to his mistakes, saying he should have taken Jodi up to OB earlier.

After the interrogation, Swift tells Mark that eventually he’ll get over his feelings of guilt for what happened to Jodi. Mark wonders if he’s supposed to feel relieved once everything gets worked out. Then he tells Swift not to disagree with a diagnosis in front of a patient again. Doug gets Jake a bike, which seems inappropriate when Diane hasn’t even spoken to Jake about their relationship. But it’s Doug, so I probably shouldn’t expect better from him.

Mrs. Salazar has split, and though Lydia offers to reach her at home, Mark thinks she gave them a fake address. Susan enlists him to help take care of a patient named Mr. Smiley who crashed his car. Smiley is uncooperative and resists medical attention, but since he’s drunk, Mark gets to override him. Chen’s riding high on her great day and even offers to get Haleh coffee. In exchange, she asks Haleh to throw her some procedures.

Haleh sends Chen to insert an IV on a drug addict. Wendy determines that the patient needs a central line, a procedure Chen hasn’t performed yet. As Mark, Susan, Benton, and Carol finish up with Smiley, Wendy finds Chen finishing up her patient’s central line. She wasn’t supposed to do it, and definitely not on her own. Wendy’s worried that she’ll get fired (though she wasn’t in the room and didn’t know Chen was doing it, so she’ll probably be off the hook).

Chen thinks she’s done everything right, but she realizes that she left the guide wire in the patient’s chest. Swift and Benton have to get involved, and the patient will have to go to the cath lab. Carter finds out what happened and tries to talk to Chen, who runs off in distress. And that’s why you don’t compete with your colleagues in a profession where mistakes can lead to major complications and even death.

Carter later admits to Carol that he feels responsible, though she points out that he wasn’t the one who almost killed someone. Benton comes looking for Chen, telling Carter that Swift wants to talk to her. The patient is okay, but he could sue. Diane chastises Doug for getting Jake a bike when he already has one. He can’t just get Jake everything he wants. Diane thinks Doug is trying to go through Jake to win her over.

Mark and Susan go to Doc Magoo’s together, and he reveals for the first time that he and Jen are over. He’s worried about all the time he’ll lose with Rachel. Susan urges him to go to Milwaukee and try to smooth things over. Back in the ER, Doug, Carol, and Lydia work on a boy named Billy who was hit by a truck. It goes on forever, and I’m not sure of the point, other than to demonstrate that, while emotionally immature, Doug is a competent doctor. Afterward, Diane offers a peace offering in the form of pizza with Jake.

Mae is settling into her new home, looking at old pictures with Benton. She thinks he’s younger than he is and asks if he still wants to be a doctor. She tells him that his talent is God’s gift to him; what he does with it is his gift back to God. Mark calls Jen from the doctors’ lounge and tells her he wants to visit the next day. She puts him off until the weekend. Mark ends the call by telling Jen he loves her, but she doesn’t say it back. Susan goes home to a surprise outside her apartment: Chloe. She’s baaaaaaack.

Carter goes to see Chen at her house, which is actually her parents’ mansion. It’s full of people attending a catered party. She admits that she wanted the central-line procedure so badly that she didn’t care about the patient. She’s going to quit. Carter thinks she can get past this and become a great doctor. Chen doesn’t like being surrounded by sickness, though; she only likes the science part of medicine.

Carter tells her that when he was a kid, his brother was sick, and was in and out of the hospital. When Carter saw how the doctors treated him, he realized that’s what he wanted to be. Chen says that’s the difference between them – Carter cares about his patients, and takes the time to listen to them. She’s not looking forward to telling her parents what happened, and is wise enough to know she should wait until after the party, which is for their anniversary. She’s grateful that Carter came to see her.

Mark’s horrible day ends on a high note when Mrs. Salazar returns to the hospital with her children so they can be treated. At Susan’s, Chloe reveals that her boyfriend ditched her and sold her stuff. She still has Susan’s coat, though a kid in the car she hitched a ride in threw up on it. Susan wants her to see an OB (hopefully not Coburn), since she’s only seen a doctor once in her time away. Despite all the angst Chloe causes, Susan’s happy that her sister’s okay, and is ready to help her through whatever comes next.

Thoughts: ‘Bye, Chen! You served no purpose in these episodes, and you’re mostly just annoying when you come back in season 6. Congratulations on being a waste of Ming Na’s talents.

I thought the twist was going to be that Mrs. Gainsley’s husband was dead, so she really was delusional because she was talking to his ghost.

Coburn shouldn’t be asking any questions at Mark’s interrogation, since her department is to blame for not coming to the ER.

June 5, 2018

ER 1.20, Full Moon, Saturday Night: All Night Long

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

Yes, please take me to County for medical treatment. They really seem to know what they’re doing there

Summary: Mark is lost in thought in a trauma room, remembering how he was unable to save Jodi O’Brien. Susan convinces him to take the night off; she’ll page him if he’s needed. Benton’s mother is still in the hospital, and Jeanie offers to sit with her while Benton finishes up some work. They agree to get dinner afterward, and Carter tries to invite himself along. Susan warns Carter that since there’s a full moon, things are about to get crazy. Right on cue, a patient high on PCP and strapped to a gurney breaks a window and trashes a trauma room.

Carter catches Chen sneaking a peak at his paperwork to see how his procedures measure up against hers. With Mark gone, Susan needs another doctor on shift with her, but no one’s available. Carol suggests Doug, pretending not to be bothered when she learns that he has a date with Diane. Susan and Carter tend to a patient named David who was in a car accident. Susan lets Carter take charge, and he does everything right. Chen volunteers to help out, not wanting to let Carter take on any cases without her.

Mark has dinner across the street at Doc Magoo’s, annoyed when another patron tries to chat with him. Mr. Travis, the driver who hit David, is uninjured and wants to apologize for the accident. Carter and Chen are still working on him, deciding that whoever completes more of his stitches gets to claim him as their patient. In the hallway, Mr. Travis collapses with chest pain. Chen and Carter see the commotion as Susan and Carol tend to him, and Chen ditches Carter to jump on the new, more interesting case.

The man chatting with Mark at Doc Magoo’s arrives and reveals that he’s a doctor, Willy Swift. Carol thinks he’s the moonlighter Susan called in. Susan is pretty casual and condescending with him; she thinks he’ll have trouble keeping up with the chaos of a night in the ER. They disagree about Travis’ diagnosis, but Swift doesn’t make a big deal out of it. And he could, because he’s not a moonlighter – he’s Morgenstern’s replacement, the new ER chief.

Carol, Malik, and Haleh draw straws to determine who has to treat a patient with lice. Carol loses, and Haleh says she’ll soon be able to put away her nursing scrubs. She figures that Carol will quit her job after she and Tag get married. Tag arrives just then, and he and Carol discuss some wedding details they haven’t solidified yet. Benton joins them, complaining that Tag didn’t tell him that Mae is being discharged. Her Medicare won’t pay for any more time in the hospital, so the family needs to discuss options. Benton is determined to take her back home.

As midnight approaches, rooms are filling up, but Susan knows the patients won’t stop coming. Tag brings Carol some music to listen to so they can pick a band. He recognizes Swift, telling Carol they played football together in college. Some frat guys come in with frostbite after being left in Lincoln Park without their clothes; Susan dubs them “popsicle pledges.”

Benton finds Mae restrained in her bed and promises that it won’t happen again. He’s mad that Jeanie let the doctors restrain her for trying to leave her bed. Jeanie admits that she’s the one who requested it. Benton tells her not to come back. Carter’s next patient, Arlena, thinks her abdominal pain is due to the moon, which has putting something inside her. Carter agrees that there might be something inside her, but he suspects it’s a baby. She wants to do his astrological chart. (For the record, Carter’s birthday is June 4th, 1970.)

Susan has a patient named Jimmy who can’t stop hiccuping. His fiancée thinks it’s related to their upcoming wedding. Carol and Tag discuss honeymoon destinations and china patterns, like, have they done ANY planning yet? The patient whose leg they’re casting is amused. Swift asks where Mark is, since he’s scheduled to work, and Susan lies that he went home sick.

Carter confirms Arlena’s pregnancy, but she thinks their “journey” together isn’t over yet. She senses that he’s conflicted and trying to find his way. He should follow his inner voice and fight against people who want to destroy him. Carol welcomes back a patient who went on the run so he could have a drink. Just as Susan’s starting to enjoy most of the male doctors being gone, a cherry bomb goes off in a trash can. She and Carol decide it’s courtesy of the popsicle pledges.

County gets a call to implement disaster protocol – there was a fire at a nightclub, and they’ll need to tend to patients with third-degree burns. Doug gets called in and has to leave Diane behind in bed. She offers him a spare key in case he gets the chance to come back, though he’ll have to leave before Jake gets up. Benton is also paged to the ER (he has a short trip to make, since he’s in his mother’s hospital room), but Mark doesn’t hear his beeper over the noise in the busy arcade where he’s playing a video game.

Things are quiet when Doug arrives in the ER almost 30 minutes after he was paged. Swift reveals that there was no disaster; he just wanted to see how long it would take everyone to respond. Now he has a captive audience to go over some policies. Chen asks Carter to help her with her patient, who’s been groping her. The patient, Mr. Denardo, doesn’t appreciate being tended to by such young doctors, but it’s that or risk infection in his injured finger. Chen almost sets him on fire by combining a cauterizing tool with ethyl chloride.

Swift quizzes his staff on illnesses and procedures, stumping Doug with a question. Bob answers it correctly when she comes in to tell Susan that Mark’s on the phone for her. He’s finally answered his page and makes it to the ER and hour and 47 minutes after being summoned, as Swift is wrapping up. He recognizes Mark from Doc Magoo’s and mentions the lie Susan told about him having the flu.

Benton returns to his mother’s room and finds her on the floor next to her bed. Susan and Carter determine that Arlena is pregnant with twins, which Arlena says makes sense, as Carter’s a Gemini. One embryo is healthy but the other is ectopic and has to be removed before it ruptures. Arlena takes the news well, happy to be able to continue the other pregnancy.

Carol cleans up a patient named Talbot who claims to be a werewolf who needs to be placed in restraints until sunrise. He spooks her by growling at her. Carter hears him howling, and Carol advises him to lock the door when he goes to take a nap. Jimmy’s hiccups are gone, but they were caused by abscesses on his liver, so Susan needs to run some tests. She asks some questions that make Jimmy realize that she suspects that he has HIV. He claims that he hasn’t had unprotected sex with any men or prostitutes who could have given him the virus.

Doug and Mark discuss Swift, wondering if he’ll take Morgenstern’s recommendation to make Mark an attending. Doug can tell that Mark is distracted by the O’Brien case and encourages him to let it go. Mark can’t stop thinking about how Jodi won’t be around to see her son take his first steps in a year. Doug invites Mark to come home with him so they can talk, but Mark wants to be alone.

After taking care of a bunch of drunks and psych patients, the doctors get a trauma. Carter is pulled out of bed to help Susan and Carol give a patient chest compressions. Haleh tells Susan that a baby was found in a trash bag and is being brought in with hypothermia. (Hey, whoever’s responsible for this: Enjoy Hell.) Susan hands the baby off to Swift so she can go back to the other patient. Tag also joins the group, helping to restart the patient’s heart. Susan teaches Carter how to massage it so it fills. Once the patient is stable, Susan returns to Swift and the baby, who’s improving. Swift tells her to take a break now that things are under control.

Chen’s still taking care of minor patients, so Carter brags that he got to do an internal cardiac massage. The sun is already up when Doug makes it back to Diane, so he doesn’t have much time before he has to leave again. Jen finds Mark sitting on an El platform, the same place Doug left him hours earlier. Doug called her and sent her to talk to her soon-to-be-ex-husband. Jen reminds Mark that he’s human, so he can’t save all of his patients. She seems to think that having breakfast will solve everything.

Jimmy’s fiancée asks Susan if there’s a chance she could be sick, too. She confides that she thinks Jimmy’s keeping something from her. Benton goes to Jeanie’s house and meets her husband, Al. Benton admits that he can’t take care of his mother on his own, like he thought he could. He asks her to help him find a facility where she can get the care she needs. Susan and Carol congratulate each other on how well they rocked the full-moon shift. Carol asks Susan to be a bridesmaid, warning that she might not be as excited about the honor when she sees her dress.

Susan then finds Swift trying to fix a sink in a bathroom, since maintenance hasn’t shown up. He suggests that she apply to be chief resident and is surprised to learn that she’s only a second-year resident. He wants to make some changes to the chain of command in the ER. Carter claims he had a great night, and he calls in a radio request for Susan. The two of them and Carol end their shift by dancing to “Twist and Shout.”

Thoughts: David is played by a practically unrecognizable Adam Scott. Al is played by a different actor here than in later episodes, and this guy is handsome, but he’s no Michael Beach.

This episode is a good example of why I could never be a doctor: Any job that requires me to be awake at 2:30 in the morning isn’t a job I want.

Early episodes really had a lot of storylines that never got resolved, and too many patients to keep track of. Think of all the first-season patients whose fates are never known. There’s so much left open.

May 29, 2018

ER 1.19, Love’s Labor Lost: To Live and Die in Chicago

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

Go ahead and start crying now, it’s okay

Summary: Mark and Doug are tossing around a football outside the hospital when a car speeds up and a man is tossed out. As Mark tends to him, Benton is overseeing treatment of his mother. Mark quizzes Carter and Chen on what to do with his patient, but they’re too slow to answer, and the nurses are smarter than they are anyway. Haleh realizes that Mae doesn’t want to be undressed in front of her son, so she kicks Benton out of her trauma room.

Mark’s patient has a gunshot wound, and they send him to surgery once he’s stable. A doctor named Wilson is annoyed that Benton paged him to the ER, and even more annoyed when Benton tries to invite himself into the OR to observe his mother’s operation. Mark and Carter examine a man who tried to sand off one of his tattoos. He’ll need a skin graft to repair the damage, but that means replacing the tattoo with part of another. Carter congratulates Mark on becoming an attending, and Mark compares working in the ER to joining the circus.

As Benton waits impatiently for news about his mother’s condition, Mark meets Sean and Jodi O’Brien, a couple about to welcome their first child. Jodi appears to have a bladder infection but no other medical problems. Carter examines a man’s face, asking him to do things like track Carter’s finger with his eyes and press his face against Carter’s hand. He misunderstands when Carter says to show him his teeth, and ends up offering Carter his dentures.

Jackie and her kids come to the hospital to wait with Benton, who knows his sister’s angry with him for not taking better care of Mae. A man brings in his son, who he thinks is under the influence of something. His son was visiting him at the greenhouse where he works. Mark shares Jodi’s case with Carter and Chen, who confirm that she has a bladder infection. She just needs antibiotics. A woman asks Mark, Carter, and Doug to sign a get-well card for her, which I guess is supposed to be funny.

The boy from the greenhouse gets worse, and Mark realizes that his condition is related to the nursery where his father works – he has insecticide poisoning. Let’s hope his father apologizes for thinking he was drunk or high. Chen complains to Carter that everyone they see is sick and old, so I guess when she applied to medical school, she thought she would end up working at Cute and Fuzzy Bunny General Hospital. As they’re hoping that the rest of their shift will be calm, Sean runs in calling for help – Jodi passed out in the car.

Benton goes to Mae’s OR and tries to talk his way into scrubbing in. Wilson angrily kicks him out. Mark determines that Jodi has eclampsia, so she’ll need to be admitted. She starts seizing, and Sean watches helplessly as Mark and other doctors and nurses stabilize her. Fortunately, the baby seems fine. Mark tells Sean that eclampsia causes blood vessels to spasm, which leads to a lack of oxygen to the brain. They need to deliver the baby soon. Mark’s shift is supposed to be over, so Susan offers to take over Jodi’s case, but Mark feels bad about letting her go earlier and wants to see things through.

An ultrasound shows that the baby’s okay, and Sean and a now-conscious Jodi start discussing names. Mark talks Carter through how they evaluate unborn babies and determine how healthy they are. The baby’s heart rate is 140, exactly in the middle of the healthy range of 120 to 160. Mark calls Janet Coburn, the head of obstetrics, to fill her in; she’s at another hospital and won’t be at County for another hour. Mark tells her he’s comfortable delivering Jodi’s baby.

He then tells the O’Briens that everything is good, and he thinks they should do a trial of labor. Jodi agrees, wanting to deliver naturally rather than undergo a C-section. The OB resident, Drake, has to go back to his floor, but Mark still feels good about delivering the baby. A few hours later, Jodi’s dilated five centimeters and is in good spirits. Jodi and Sean have made lists of potential names, and when Mark sees that Jared is on both lists, he suggests that they agree to it.

Just as Mark is about to call OB to find out when Jodi can go up, Sean comes to tell him that the baby’s heart rate is down to 90. Mae is out of surgery, and the staff continues to treat Benton as her family member instead of a doctor. Jackie thinks that something like this was going to happen sooner or later. Jodi has reached the part of labor where she’s annoyed with her husband and just wants drugs. She feels much better after getting an epidural. She’s now eight centimeters dilated and getting much closer to delivering.

45 minutes later, OB still hasn’t come to take Jodi upstairs. Mark decides they’ll have to deliver the baby in the ER. The epidural is wearing off, so Jodi’s yelling at Sean again. She labors for a while and doesn’t make any progress, so Mark sends Carter to OB to drag someone down to the ER. Everyone in the department is busy, so it’s on Mark again, with help from Susan, Carter, Carol, Chen, and Lydia.

The baby’s shoulders won’t come out, and Sean, frustrated by how long the delivery is taking, snaps at Mark. Eventually, Mark announces that they’ll have to push the baby back in and perform a C-section. Sean isn’t convinced that Mark knows what he’s doing, but Mark tells him they don’t have time to wait for another doctor. They move Jodi to a trauma room, making Sean stay outside.

Jodi starts seizing again, so they intubate her. Things get hectic, but Mark calms the room by telling everyone to take a deep breath. He calmly gives instructions and orders a nurse to get someone from OB. Then he performs the C-section, trying to remember how to do it. Jodi begins bleeding as the baby is delivered, unbreathing. Sean watches from outside the room, both his wife and his son’s lives at risk.

Mark puts Carter in charge of stabilizing Jodi’s aorta as he helps Susan, Carol, and Lydia resuscitate the baby. The whole room is tense, but finally the baby starts to improve. Coburn finally arrives, and Mark tells her all the steps he took to help Jodi and the baby. She’s upset that his surgical methods were so sloppy. She complains that he didn’t tell her he was in over his head, as if he didn’t call OB 15 times and send two people to get help.

Poor Sean is still outside the trauma room, waiting for news, when the baby is taken to the neonatal ICU. Coburn takes charge of Jodi’s care, sending Mark to talk to Sean once her bleeding is under control. Mark tells Sean that the baby will probably be okay, and that Jodi is stable. He sends Sean off with the baby, since there’s nothing he can do for Jodi.

Coburn continues to blast Mark for his mistakes, including but not limited to missing Jodi’s preeclampsia, underestimating the baby’s weight, and missing a blood clot and placental abruption. Mark points out that the situation was a mess, so he had a lot to take care of. If it wasn’t for him, Jodi would be dead and the baby would have suffered brain damage. Susan tries to calm Mark, saying that Coburn’s just trying to cover for her own missteps. But Mark blames himself for everything that went wrong.

Still more is going wrong, as Jodi is deteriorating. Mark wears himself out trying to save her, but Coburn decides there’s nothing they can do, and she declares Jodi dead. Mark continues chest compressions, determined to save Jodi, until Susan silently convinces him that Coburn’s right. Mark goes straight to the nursery, and we see but don’t hear him giving Sean the bad news.

Mark goes back to the ER and stands over Jodi’s body before it’s taken away. Carter tells him that he thinks what he did was heroic. It’s morning when Susan and Mark leave the hospital; she tries to convince him to go get breakfast, but he tells her he has a bunch of things to do. He gets on an El train alone and lets himself cry.

Thoughts: Sean is played by Bradley Whitford. Jodi is played by Colleen Flynn, who also played Colleen in “All Things.”

Whitford and Flynn do a great job of making you believe they’re a couple who’ve been together for years. It must be difficult for actors to fake that with someone they’ve just met. Here, their performances make Jodi’s death even more devastating.

Chen does nothing in this episode. I don’t even know why she’s in it.

May 22, 2018

ER 1.18, Sleepless in Chicago: While You Weren’t Sleeping

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

Someone finally found an angle that makes Clooney look unattractive

Summary: Even though he’s carrying a jar full of someone’s bowel, Carter seems to be having a good day…or at least he is until he runs into Benton. Carter explains to Susan that Benton traded some shifts to spend time with his mother, and now he’s repaying all his favors. He’s been on call for the past 48 hours. Carol goes to see Tatiana and learns that her application to become a foster mother is being moved forward. She appears to have picked up more Russian, too. She asks if Tatiana wants to come live with her, and when she says she has a VCR, Tatiana is pleased.

Doug tells Mark he’s learned that Mark is going to be the next ER attending. Mark shares that Jen is spending another year in Milwaukee. He declares that if he can successfully throw his paper towel into a trash can, there’s still hope for his marriage. He makes the shot and gets to stay in his little world of denial a little longer. Susan treats a man with a rash he thinks he got from medication. Unfortunately, he’s taking a bunch of medications for experimental studies, so it’ll take some time to figure out which is the culprit.

Benton asks Hicks why he wasn’t given the bowel-removal surgery that morning, since he was the resident on call. Hicks isn’t about to let him operate when he’s been awake for 48 hours. Benton argues that he should have gotten the procedure anyway, since he’s never done one, while the surgeon who performed it has already done one. Hicks says it’s not a competition, which makes Benton ask why they keep track of all their procedures. She says it’s a record, not to keep score. He accuses her of keeping score anyway. Hicks tells him he can’t see any patients until he gets at least two hours of sleep.

Susan tries to enlist Mark to help her sort through her patient’s medications. He tells her to pass the case on to another doctor. Jerry relays a message to Doug from Diane, joking that she wants to go out with him. Benton blatantly ignores Hicks’ orders and goes to see a patient, brushing off Carter when he says there’s a free exam room for him to nap in. Mark shows off his interpersonal skills and gets a doctor to agree to take Susan’s patient.

Doug treats a girl named Bonnie whose mother says she burned herself on a radiator knob. Bonnie keeps saying that it was her fault. As they leave the exam room, Doug remarks to Carol that he’s never seen a radiator knob shaped like a star, the shape of Bonnie’s burn. Carol offers to call around to other hospitals to see if Bonnie’s been treated for burns anywhere else.

A restaurant manager drags in (literally) a man who had a seizure while eating breakfast. The manager leaves behind a card, wanting to make sure the patient pays for his meal when he’s able, since it was expensive. Mark, Benton, and Carter treat a trauma patient named Joseph Klein who fell down some stairs. He can’t speak because of previous surgery to remove his voice box. Carter does a good job of trying to comfort him.

Susan’s supposedly unconscious seizure patient isn’t showing any signs of having had a seizure. He opens an eye while she’s examining him, which makes her realize that he’s not as sick as he leads on. She doesn’t want to bother him, since he’s “busy having a coma,” but she’d like to know his name. Lydia finds a number of IDs in the man’s wallet, so they don’t know his real name. Susan gets him to “wake up” by telling him they’ll have to operate. She thinks he faked a seizure to get out of paying his bill.

Hicks comes in to help with Klein and repeat her orders for Benton to sleep or go home. Carter looks through Klein’s chart and learns that he has terminal cancer. He signed a DNR, which means the procedures they just finished performing to keep him alive were actually against his wishes.

Doug and Mark reprise their conversation about Mark and Jen’s long-distance marriage. They’re interrupted by a man named John Koch, who’s supposed to observe the goings-on in the ER as part of a project that hopes to build an ideal hospital. He also has a solution for Mark and Jen: They should move to Kenosha, Wisconsin, which is halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee.

Carter brings Klein a pen and paper in case he wants to communicate. Klein seems angry about his care, and at first he doesn’t respond when Carter offers to contact his family, but he changes his mind and asks Carter to call his son, Roger. Carol asks Lydia if she’d like to become charge nurse, since she’s cutting back on her hours to look after Tatiana. Lydia tries to withhold her judgment on Carol and Tag starting out their married life as foster parents.

Benton’s still not sleeping, and he wants Carter to sneak him any cases he can. Doug and Carol confront Bonnie’s mother, Sarah, for previous burns that Bonnie has been treated for. Doug’s angry, so Carol pulls Sarah aside to talk to her alone. Sarah admits that Bonnie touches herself “down there,” even though Sarah tells her not to. She gets three chances, and then she gets burned with a heated paperweight. Sarah didn’t mean to hurt her daughter, and she doesn’t think it’s a big deal, since her mother did the same thing to her.

The seizure faker discharges himself, gets dressed, and cons Jerry out of some petty cash while asking for change for the vending machine. Carter snags a patient for Benton, but Mark stops him before he can take the man to surgery, since Mark hasn’t examined him yet. Benton gives him the chance to confirm that the man needs surgery for a kidney stone, but Mark gets the last word by warning him not to pull that kind of crap again.

Koch sees the argument and tells Susan that that kind of territorialism is unnecessary and outdated. It’s rooted in patriarchy and the loudest person being declared the winner. Susan agrees, and we know she has a lot of experience trying to work within the patriarchy. Koch thinks the better idea is to see the patient as belonging to everyone.

Carol tries to keep Sarah from leaving by telling her that Bonnie needs to see a plastic surgeon. Sarah objects, so Doug finds an excuse for Carol to took Bonnie off by herself. This just leads to tears, and Sarah attacking Doug and having to be restrained by security while Bonnie cries for her mother. Benton loses out on another operation when his patient passes the stone just before he can be put under anesthesia, rendering the procedure unnecessary.

Carter chats with Klein, who he’s learned used to teach literature. He hasn’t been able to reach Roger, and Klein admits that they haven’t talked in 20 years. Mark runs into the seizure faker, who steals his wallet and is disappointed to only find six dollars inside. Susan, Mark, Jerry, and some nurses tease Benton by placing his patient’s tiny kidney stone next to the jar o’ bowel at the front desk. He’s not amused. Carol tends to Doug’s wound and tells him that she hopes Sarah can get straightened out with therapy so she can get Bonnie back. Doug has heard that Carol wants to be a foster mother, and he tells her he thinks she would be great at it.

Klein’s health is failing, and Connie tells Carter that he might not live through the night. Carter brings him some books, thinking the former literature professor would be interested in some classics. Benton slams him for “wasting time” sitting with a man who’s going to die instead of taking care of people who could live. Carter hates being told that surgery isn’t about caring for patients. Koch overhears the conversation and comments to Carter that modern medicine “dismantles the rituals of death.” We can do better. Carter makes a hilarious “who the heck is that guy?” face.

Mark tells Doug about Koch’s Kenosha suggestion, which Mark loves. He asks Doug about his potential relationship with Diane. Doug admits that he’s afraid to ask her out because he dated a friend of herself and things didn’t end well. The two of them receive two patients: a 16-year-old shot by a cop while robbing a store, and the cop who shot him. Benton has finally dozed off, though it was while he was stitching up a drunk man who’s also asleep. They both wake up when Benton is paged to help with the two traumas.

Doug, Benton, and Carol work on the robber, and as soon as he’s solved the most pressing problems, Benton goes next door to tend to the cop with Mark and Susan. He wonders why Carter isn’t there to observe. Benton stabilizes the cop, and Hicks comes in just in time to congratulate him on his good work. She thinks he got some sleep. Diane chastises Doug for getting into another altercation with a patient, though at least this time, he wasn’t the attacker. He takes the opportunity to invite her on a date. She says it’s not a good idea.

Morgenstern tells Mark that he’s moving to Boston and has recommended Mark for the attending position he wants. He’ll have to be approved by whoever takes over for Morgenstern, but his chances are good. Carter reads to Klein from Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” which Benton will definitely not be happy to hear about. He has to stay late to finish his patient notes, and Benton has no sympathy. Carter tells him that Klein died a few minutes ago. Benton asks why he wants the surgical sub-internship – he doesn’t think like a surgeon. Carter asks if he believes that just because the two of them don’t think alike.

Carol visits Tatiana again, helping her with her English. A social worker has learned of Carol’s suicide attempt, and tells her that because it was so recent, it disqualifies her from being a foster mother. Diane changes her mind about Doug’s invitation (three hours later) and asks him out herself. Benton goes home to take over Mae’s care while Walt heads out to a vacation with the rest of his family.

Distressed about the news she’s gotten, Carol goes to Doug for comfort. She confides that she feels defective, even after all the work she’s done to heal herself. He assures her that it’s not her fault. Carol feels horrible that she has to break the promise she made to Tatiana to take her in. Doug says she was exactly what Tatiana needed. Carol tells him he’s the only person who feels that way. She asks if she can spend the night. Doug asks about Tag, and Carol says he never wanted Tatiana. Doug decides it’s better to take her home than let her stay.

Koch tells Susan about his project and invites her to join the staff of his hospital. She tells him she’s interested. Just then, two doctors from the psychiatric ward come to retrieve Koch (real name: Marty). He’s not building an ideal hospital that will revolutionize the world of medicine – he’s just a patient who likes to pretend to be doctors.

Jen surprises Mark at home and announces that she can’t keep living the way they’ve been living. He tells her they can compromise and all be together again if they move to Kenosha. Jen objects to both of them having to commute two hours. Mark will have to lose even more time with Rachel. She complains again about how Mark won’t make sacrifices when Jen spent years making them for him. He expects everything to happen on his time. Jen finally cuts to the chase: They’re not going to make it, and she’s done with their marriage.

Benton spends the night on the couch, not even waking when Mae calls out for him. When he’s finally conscious, he finds his mother at the bottom of the stairs, having fallen. He rushes her to the hospital with a possibly fractured hip. Benton finally got some sleep, and something horrible happened.

Thoughts: Bonnie is played by Alexa PenaVega.

Only Benton would say no to a boss telling him to take a nap.

I totally fell for Koch’s story. And now I’m uncomfortable that it took psych the entire day to track him down. But as we’ll see in the future, this isn’t psych’s biggest failing.

Listen to me, Mark: You’re better off.

May 15, 2018

ER 1.17, The Birthday Party: And Benton’ll Cry If He Wants To

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

Still not in the top 10 of weirdest things to happen in the ER

Summary: It’s the middle of the night, but Doug’s awake, and not in bed with the woman he hooked up with the night before. He doesn’t even know her name (though she doesn’t know his either, so they’re equally pathetic). He leaves, saying he has to go to work, even though it’s 4 a.m. Things are slow and Doug’s not actually on duty for a while, so he goes to the lounge to do paperwork. Carol’s still around, since she didn’t want to leave Tatiana. Doug tells her he’ll keep an eye on her while Carol gets some sleep before her morning shift.

Benton’s asleep on Jackie’s couch but wakes up when his nephew, Jesse, comes into the living room. Jackie reminds him that it’s their mother’s birthday, and there will be a party that night. He tells her he’ll have to rearrange his schedule but promises to be there. This is easier said than done, as he can’t find someone to change shifts with him.

Carter faces off with a patient who has poured gasoline all over himself and is threatening to light a lighter. Carter thinks he’s bluffing and warns that he’ll just set off the sprinklers, soak himself, and be embarrassed. The guy calls Carter’s bluff right back, saying there’s no sprinklers in the hallway. Carter starts to take the situation seriously and attempt to approach the guy and get his lighter. Benton ends the stand-off by spraying a fire extinguisher while Lily grabs the lighter.

Doug’s patient is a little boy who stuck his head in his father’s taxidermied tiger. His father blames his multiple viewings of The Lion King. Doug will have to remove the tiger’s jaw with a bone saw to free the child. His father objects, since the tiger’s been in his family for decades. Susan and Mark’s patient is more critical; she’s a frequent visit named Rene who often comes in looking for Demerol. They have to pump her stomach, and it’s not the first time.

Carol talks to a social worker named Mrs. Brown about Tatiana’s options, which aren’t great. There’s a children’s home/hospice that will take her, but that doesn’t sound appealing. Carol sadly watches her leave. Benton treats a man who lost a finger while boning a fish. His co-workers brought in a big crate of fish, which Chen and Carter will have to look through to find the missing finger. At least it’s on ice, which will give it a better chance of being reattachable.

Mark tells Rene’s father that she’s stable after overdosing on a mixture of drugs. He suggests that the family send her to in-patient treatment, which her father says didn’t work last time. Chen and Carter search the fish while discussing which sub-internships they might pursue for next year. Carter’s contemplating staying in the ER, though Chen warns that there’s only one spot. Benton unofficially gets to make the final decision. Chen has already applied. She also finds the missing finger.

Doug and Benton work on a little boy who might have a spinal injury. Another boy comes into the trauma room, covered in blood, and says, “I killed him. I killed Drew.” Doug determines that he isn’t injured, just in shock, but the boy, Kyle, says he shot his brother. Carol and Lydia tend to a man named Mr. Thornberg who’s in the late stages of lung cancer and is altered mentally. Susan and Mark play rock, paper, scissors to determine who takes the case. (Susan loses.)

On the phone with Walt, Benton promises again that he’ll be at the party. Carter overhears and thinks it’s Benton’s birthday. He asks about his chances for getting the trauma sub-internship; since 12 others have already applied, Benton puts his chances at 1 in 13. Mark’s like, “You’re aware that that was a really dumb question, right?” After Benton leaves, Carter tells Mark that it’s his birthday. Mark mentions that it’s also Rachel’s birthday. Carter thinks they should throw together a party. Mark advises him to work with Lydia on that.

Drew and Kyle’s father, a police officer named Thomas, has arrived, and Doug has to tell him that Drew needs surgery and might not live. Thomas keeps telling a crying Kyle to be quiet, but he eventually sits down and hugs him. He guesses that the gun Kyle shot Drew with was his service weapon. Carol and Lydia chat with Mr. Thornberg’s friend, who met him at church and started taking care of him since he doesn’t have a family. She says it felt like the right thing to do.

Rene’s boyfriend, T.J., is now with his girlfriend, and is trying to argue that she didn’t mean to hurt herself. Rene wants to go home with him instead of checking into a treatment center. Rene’s father knows there’s no use in arguing. Hicks learns that Benton wants to change shifts and calls him on rearranging his schedule a number of times recently. It’s not forbidden, but it upsets a balance Hicks and Morgenstern want their residents to experience. Benton starts to tell her that his mother’s sick, and she suggests that he take a break from the program and rejoin next year if necessary. Benton isn’t about to do that.

Lydia summons Benton to an exam room where two sisters are writhing in their beds. Carter and Malik are there for the big reveal: Carter has hired belly dancers for what he thinks is Benton’s birthday. Other staff members gather for the entertainment while Doug and Carol tend to a little girl who fell off a balcony onto her driveway. Doug remarks that it’s a “tough day to be a kid.”

Later in the day, Carol and Tag look at a church for their wedding; she declares that she hates it. She’s obviously just in a bad mood because she’s worried about Tatiana. She wants to do more to help the girl…like adopt her. Tag asks how much time Tatiana has left; he doesn’t want to adopt a child and then spend years watching her die. Carol is able to look past that, just wanting to help. But she assures Tag that he’s not a bad person for not feeling the same way.

Carter’s convinced that Benton is lying about today not being his birthday. Mark tells Susan that he has a patient who’s celebrating his 60th anniversary. She says her longest relationship was 60 weeks, and she doesn’t think she’ll ever get married. As Diane comes to the ER looking for Doug, Jeanie shows up and asks Benton if he can give her a ride to Mae’s party. Her husband can pick her up afterwards. Benton didn’t realize Jeanie was married, since she takes off her ring when she works with her physical therapy patients. He tells her he may not make it to the party after all.

Doug checks out a boy named Billy who may be anemic. He blames Billy’s diet, which has left him malnourished. Billy’s mother, Mrs. Larson, has four kids and has to rely on food stamps. In the winter, some of her money has to go to heat, so there’s little left for food. Doug has Lydia give her the names of some food banks and shelters, though Mrs. Larson doesn’t want to go to one. He tells her sternly that Billy’s teeth are rotting, so she needs to get him food wherever she can.

Malik tells Doug that the girl who fell off the balcony is stable, but Malik found a footprint on her back. Doug speeds off to the waiting area to confront the girl’s father, Wilson, who Doug thinks is abusive. Malik and Jerry have to restrain him before Wilson becomes the ER’s next patient. Doug has to cool off outside, but Mark doubts that Wilson will press charges; he has bigger things to worry about, now that he’s being investigated for child abuse. Doug refuses to apologize, and Mark says he doesn’t need to, but he’ll probably have to go to therapy. He adds that Diane’s still waiting around for Doug.

Carol stops Mr. Thornberg from smoking, but he figures one more cigarette won’t do any additional harm. I mean, he might ignite his oxygen tank, but okay. Police accompany a white supremacist into a trauma room after he was stabbed. Benton, Malik, and Connie are all there to tend to the man who has a death threat against people of their color tattooed on his arm. Lily wonders how he feels about Asians.

Doug finally makes it over to see Diane, who, let’s be honest, is totally turned on by his attack on Wilson. Carol and Jerry leave for the night, giving instructions to Rolando, the next desk clerk on duty. Jerry remarks that he doesn’t think they lost anyone today, though the verdict is out on the white supremacist. Benton and Hicks are about to operate on him, which means Benton has an excuse to keep avoiding the multiple phone calls Jackie has made.

As Carol goes to see Tatiana in her new group home, Mark goes home for Rachel’s birthday party, which is full of screaming girls. Jen’s ticked, but she got help from a co-worker. Then Mark gets ticked when he learns that Jen bought Rachel a Super Nintendo after he thought they agreed not to get her one. He has another present for Rachel, though it’s one Susan asked him to pass along. Jen announces that she’s accepted the offer to extend her job in Milwaukee. Since Mark made a decision on his own about his job, she feels like she could do the same.

Benton makes it home too late for the party; Mae’s already in bed. Poor Jeanie has to sit there and watch Benton and Jackie be passive-aggressive with each other. Benton laments that he missed the party to save the life of a man who would love to see him dead. Back at the hospital, Malik wakes Susan and tells her that Rene’s back, having overdosed again. Susan wants to keep the zero-deaths streak alive, so she works hard to save Rene while her father waits outside the trauma room, a place he’s become familiar with.

Thoughts: Mrs. Larson is played by Janel Moloney.

Jesse must get aged later on, because he’s only four here, but in season 7, he’s closer to 14 or 15.

Ving Rhames looks so much like Mos Def in this episode that I did a double take.

May 8, 2018

ER 1.16, Make of Two Hearts: Be My Valentine, Woman I Yelled at Two Weeks Ago

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

Malik and Jerry’s faces are great here

Summary: Jerry plays She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not while Wendy decorates the front desk for Valentine’s Day. A woman named Mrs. Hall comes in with her daughter, Tatiana, wanting Doug to check her over. Tatiana doesn’t speak much English; Mrs. Hall adopted her from Russia just ten days earlier. Doug assures her that they’ll take good care of the girl. Susan teases Carter, who’s received lot of cards for Valentine’s Day.

Officer Al brings in a patient in a blanket, begging for help. Meanwhile, Carol sees Mrs. Hall leaving. Mark, Susan, and Carter lead a team taking care of Al’s patient, but the work stops when Benton arrives and learns that the patient is a dog. Al asks him to keep trying to save the pooch, but Benton only takes care of humans. Susan looks up animal anatomy while Carter gives the dog CPR. Mark intubates, and a chest x-ray shows that the dog has a collapsed lung. I wonder how much that x-ray cost the taxpayers of Chicago. Once the dog has been stabilized, Al kisses Lydia in celebration.

Carol has discovered that the now-missing Mrs. Hall gave them a fake phone number. It looks like she’s abandoned her new daughter in the hospital. Since Carol’s mother is Russian (I thought she was Ukrainian?), Carol speaks a little of the language and is able to have a brief conversation with Tatiana. Tatiana’s English seems to begin and end with “okay,” but they’re still able to communicate.

Mark’s cranky because of a crick in his neck, which he got from sleeping on the couch last night, because he and Jen aren’t getting along. He tells Susan that he’d be in an even worse mood if the dog had died. Doug tells Mark he’s working that night, as he always does on Valentine’s Day, so he doesn’t have to worry about “dating conflicts.” This means he’s available to tend to a 17-year-old whose legs were crushed in a train accident.

Carol doesn’t want Tatiana to have to stay in a room by herself, so she’s moved to a bed next to the dog, which has been dubbed Bill. Susan then pulls Carol away to help her with some cheerleaders who took acid. Their buddy Kirk thinks it’s funny. He put LSD in a box of chocolates but made sure the three girls only ate two each. Susan will be reporting this to the police and Kirk’s parents.

Doug asks Benton about some flowers and chocolates in the lounge that belong to him. Benton says they’re for a pediatrician he’s been dating. The train victim, Michael, comes in and has a seizure while the doctors are working on him. Wendy’s holding his hand at the time and winds up in pain. Chen checks in on the cheerleaders, who are mesmerized by a heart monitor. Kirk is napping, so he isn’t able to stop Chen from taking a couple of chocolates from his box.

Kayson comes by with flowers and a request for Susan to be his valentine. She doesn’t know how to respond. Mark complains that Bill will be sticking around until Al is off duty and can take him home. Tatiana sure isn’t complaining, though. The effects of the LSD make Chen find something fascinating about a blank wall. She tells Carter she’s “very okay.”

Doug and Carol tell a social worker that Tatiana appears to have been abandoned. The social worker tells them that they’ll have to send her to a foster home. Kayson is about to be released after his heart attack, which has changed his outlook on life. He thinks every cardiologist should have to have one. He also thinks Susan should go into the field; he’d love to mentor her. Susan would rather be anywhere but there, so I don’t think she’s going to accept Kayson’s dinner invitation.

Mark examines Wendy, who’s about as high on Demerol as Chen is on acid. Sadly, her injury was for nothing, as Michael died in the OR. Carol is upset about Tatiana’s abandonment, so Mark tries to distract her with a trauma. A man named Lorenzo has a meat hook embedded in his arm, courtesy of his son, Paulie. They had a fight after Paulie said something insulting about his mother. To his credit, Lorenzo’s worried about Paulie, who’s in worse shape than he is. His meat hook is in his chest.

Tatiana watches through a window as Mark and Carol try to shock Paulie’s heart back into rhythm. Carol finally realizes that Tatiana’s being exposed to something traumatic, and runs over to comfort her. Paulie doesn’t make it, so happy Valentine’s Day to Lorenzo and his wife. But Mark cheers up a little when he sees Doug wrangling a bunch of kids who are dressed up like candy hearts.

Doug asks Benton about his flowers and candy again; this time Benton says they’re for his mother. Chen wanders in, asking where exam 1 is, which makes Benton suspicious of her behavior. Carol checks on Tatiana, who’s been hanging out with Carter and Bill. She thinks the girl and the dog are good companions for each other since neither knows what’s going on. Carter tries to stay optimistic that Tatiana’s mother will come back for her.

Chen goes to the wrong exam room, having a moment of confusion when she sees Doug’s little heart girls dancing around. Then she goes to exam 1 to put a cast on Wendy’s hand. Wendy doesn’t think that’s a good idea. An elderly man named Ed is brought in after passing out and almost drowning in a hot tub. His two girlfriends are concerned about him. Tatiana has a high fever, and Carol wishes she knew more Russian so she could talk to her.

Jerry sends Benton to tend to a senile 85-year-old woman. Jake comes in with a stomachache, and Doug quickly starts examining him. Mark teases Susan a little about Kayson’s sudden affection for her. She tells him she turned down his dinner invitation, claiming she had plans with Mark. Then comes the kicker: Kayson is married.

Carol chats with Jake while Doug talks to Diane nearby. Diane’s sure that her son is faking his illness; he wants an excuse to be around Doug so Diane will have to spend time with him, too. Carol confirms that Jake is faking. Unfortunately, Tatiana really is sick – she has both pneumonia and AIDS. Benton’s senile patient, Mrs. Hayden, thinks she’s supposed to be cleaning her husband’s military uniform, though she can’t find any starch. Benton, who of course has experience with this sort of situation because of his mother, is very patient with her and even accepts when she offers to iron his uniform.

Carol’s furious that Tatiana’s mother abandoned her when she’s sick; no foster family is going to want to take her in. Doug says that the situation is what it is, so they just have to deal with it. Carol laments that they barely get to know their patients before treating them and sending them home. In this instance, Tatiana doesn’t have a home to go to. Carol goes to see the girl, who’s asleep, and says she’s sorry that Tatiana is going through so much upheaval. She’s glad Tatiana doesn’t understand what’s going on.

Mark’s next patient, Mrs. Goodwin, had an allergic reaction to shellfish that somehow made its way into her Valentine’s dinner. He and Susan stabilize her, but as they’re leaving her with the nurses, she starts bleeding. Susan thinks she perforated Mrs. Goodwin’s esophagus, but Mark says the complication wasn’t her fault. They determine that the woman has varices, which Susan guesses are from alcoholism. Once the patient is stable for real, Mark compliments Susan for making the diagnosis.

Now off-duty, Mark tries to convince Susan to go do something with him so her story to Kayson about her plans won’t be a lie. Carol spots Mrs. Hall in the hall (…heh) and coolly tells her that Tatiana can’t go home tonight. In fact, Carol doesn’t think Mrs. Hall will ever be able to take her home. Mrs. Hall admits that she doesn’t want to. Benton finds Mrs. Hayden ironing something with a tissue box and comments that she must have found the starch after all.

Mrs. Hall tells Carol that Tatiana was just diagnosed with AIDS last week. Mr. Hall died a few years ago, and Mrs. Hall never allowed herself to feel the loss until Tatiana’s diagnosis. She doesn’t want to let herself get close to someone else she’s just going to lose. She’s making the abandonment final by bringing Tatiana’s things to her. Carol reminds her how to say goodbye in Russian, but Mrs. Hall doesn’t bother to say it to her so-called daughter.

Benton goes home, where his mother has fallen asleep in front of an old movie. Mark and Susan go ice skating and discuss Morgenstern’s offer of an attending position for Mark. Jen still isn’t supportive, and Mark doesn’t want to think about having to make a decision right now. Back at the hospital, Jerry and Malik stare at Chen while she licks icing off a cupcake. Carter sees the cast Chen gave Wendy and cracks up. Tatiana has to say dosvedanya to Bill, who gets to go home with Al. But it looks like Carol is prepared to spend the night sitting with her.

Thoughts: I wouldn’t worry too much about Tatiana. She grows up to be Lily from those AT&T commercials.

One of my least favorite things about this series is when they take care of animals. Romano, I’m looking at you and your dog.

Enjoy Hell, Mrs. Hall. I’ll take the girl and the dog.

May 1, 2018

ER 1.15, Feb. 5, ’95: There Are Two Snakes in This Episode, and Mark Is Married to One of Them

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

Heh

Summary: Mark and Carter are in a speeding ambulance, on their way to an accident scene. A small plane missed its runway and hit a car, injuring the driver. Mark knows the patient is in critical condition, but he still takes the time to tell Carter everything he’s doing. Carter just whines that gas is leaking on his new coat. Once the patient has been rescued from her car, Mark and Carter start chatting about Carter’s eventual specialty. He hasn’t picked one yet, but his parents want him to go into cardiology.

There isn’t much room in the helicopter taking the patient to the hospital, so Mark goes with her, leaving Carter behind. There’s a dumb scene where one of the guys in the chopper can’t hear Mark over the engine, so Mark says he wants to have sex with the guy’s wife. (Ocean’s 11 uses almost the exact same joke, so I’m going to pretend Clooney stole it from here.)

Carter finally makes it back to the hospital, where Chen’s stressing out over a presentation she’s supposed to be working on. She complains that Benton works them too hard, so there’s no time for her to do anything else. Benton overhears and tells her she can switch to dermatology if surgery is too difficult for her. He then punishes her by assigning her to insert a Foley catheter in a patient.

Paramedics bring in a man named Jonathan who collapsed while playing handball. He thinks he’s having a heart attack, but Mark suspects a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in his lung. Even though his EKG shows heart trouble, Mark still thinks something else is wrong. However, when Susan wants to run tests on Jonathan’s heart, he goes along with her plan.

Carol’s patient, Mr. Conally, has been having bad headaches. Also, he thinks he’s dead. Susan and Mark realize that he was right about Jonathan’s condition, and Mark needs to remove the embolism in the ER. Carter asks to observe, and Benton’s only too happy to have an excuse to get rid of him and Chen for a while. He then criticizes Haleh for not following his exact orders on a case. She tells him if he’s having a bad day, he shouldn’t take it out on her.

Morgenstern walks Mark through Jonathan’s procedure, which goes perfectly. Doug and Carol tend to a teen named Harold who was bitten by his pet pit viper. He’s not sure if the snake is venomous, but he’s brought it with him in case anyone wants to take a look. Unfortunately, the snake is now missing from Harold’s bag. Doug and Carol try not to run screaming from the room. Susan chastises Mark for disagreeing with her while they were working on Jonathan. She thinks he’s disrespecting her.

A woman named Grace is brought in from her hospice center, where she’s been living after ending treatment for breast cancer. She asks Mark to let her die. Carol gathers some staff members to reveal the new crash carts she’s been trying to snag for a long time. Doug wanders through the area with a golf club, looking for Harold’s snake.

Chen asks Benton for a break so she can work on her presentation. Benton’s unimpressed, but not any more impressed when Carter says he’s already finished with his. They meet up with Haleh, who has a new patient for them but won’t write down anything Benton says. She tells him she’s not comfortable taking his orders, so he should write them himself.

Grace is in a lot of pain, and Mark isn’t sure he can stop it. Morgenstern tells him that oncology discovered that Jonathan has a polyp. If he hadn’t had the embolism, it would have gone undetected and caused a lot of trouble. Morgenstern is impressed with Mark’s work and wants him to become an attending at County when his residency is over.

A 12-year-old named Yummy (…I don’t know) is brought in with multiple gunshot wounds. Carter is shocked to learn from paramedic Doris Pickman that he was caught in a gang battle, and was armed with his own weapons. Grace asks if she can go back to her hospice center, since there isn’t much more the ER can do for her. However, she’d have to come back later for more pain medication, so she’s not sure if she wants to leave.

A boy wanders through the ER, pulling a gun on Bob when she tries to get him to leave. He finds Yummy’s room, where they’ve just pronounced him dead. Benton tells the boy he’s too late. The boy points his gun at everyone, then runs off. Carter’s the only person who seems to think this is an unusual experience.

Carter, Chen, and Benton attend the seminar where the students will be making their presentations. Carter’s well prepared, talking about how to treat a certain type of fracture, but Benton’s clearly bored. Chen’s even better prepared, using a projector and passing out booklets full of handouts. Suddenly Carter feels like he didn’t do enough.

Grace dozes, asking for her daughter. A caregiver tells Mark that Grace gave up custody to her ex-husband when she entered the hospice to die. Grace wakes up and again asks Mark to kill her; she can’t take the pain anymore. Susan’s next patient is a hockey coach who, unlike Jonathan, definitely has something wrong with his heart. Carol’s annoyed that the new cart she put in the trauma room earlier isn’t there anymore.

Doug visits Diane in her office, sensing that she doesn’t like him. He goes off with Jake to play basketball. Benton has learned his lesson and writes all his orders down for Haleh. She nitpicks his abbreviations, then tells him he should insert the patient’s IV and nasogastric tube himself. Benton plays along.

After Susan stabilizes her patient, Mark makes a peace offering by asking what he should do for Grace. He knows that if he gives her a little more morphine, she’ll stop breathing. Susan won’t tell him what she would do in his position – why should she help him when he wasn’t there for her? Mark argues that this is a professional situation, not a personal one. He admits that he misses their friendship.

Carter complains to Chen that she showed him up with her presentation. He desperately needs a good recommendation from Benton so he can get a surgical internship. Chen is surprised – she’s seen plenty of residents and knows he’s not up to it. She admits that her mother is the chief of surgery at another hospital, which makes Carter think she has a leg up. Chen says her mother won’t help her, and didn’t even want her to go into medicine. Carter stops listening to the conversation when he finds Harold’s snake in a supply cabinet.

Grace is now asking for someone named Billy in her sleep. Mark has a hard time leaving her alone to go work on another patient. Carol, Doug, Carter, Connie, Bob, and Lydia sneak up to cardiology in search for their missing crash carts. There’s a lot of running and hiding, including in the women’s bathroom. A woman hears them giggling and checks under the door of the stall most of them have piled into, but somehow, only Carol’s feet are visible under the door.

Connie and Bob snag the carts, but on their way to the elevator, Carol spots a doctor named Dunphy who’s in their path. Doug knows her and uses his charm to distract her. Lydia comments that he’s remarkable. Carol tells her that’s why they slept together on the first date. He rang her doorbell, and the next thing she knew, they were rolling around on her kitchen floor. “I gotta start dating again,” Lydia says.

Susan tells Mark that the hockey coach is going to be fine. Grace, however, has died. Susan guesses that Mark helped her along. He’s a little bit in shock over his actions, but she doesn’t judge him. She also seems to be back on good terms with him. Benton complains to Carol about Haleh’s behavior, asking her to change their schedules. Carol refuses, since Benton’s on all the time, and rescheduling Haleh would mean she never works. She reminds Benton that Haleh’s been a nurse for 20 years, so she knows what she’s doing. Nurses, not doctors, make the ER run smoothly.

Mark goes home and tells Jen that Morgenstern offered him an attending position. She’s upset that he accepted without discussing it with him first. Oh, like she discussed her job decisions with him ahead of time? Jen may spend another year in Milwaukee, which means they’d be in a long-term marriage longer than expected. She’s upset that she put her plans on hold for six years while Mark finished med school and went through his internship and residency. Now she wants things to be about her.

Carol checks on Mr. Conally again, asking if he’s still dead. He is, but his head feels better. Benton finally makes it home, where Jeanie is finishing up her first day taking care of Mae. She thinks she can help Mae with her mobility. Though the work wasn’t easy, Jeanie likes Mae and wishes she’d known her before her health started to decline. For some reason, we end the episode with Benton doing dishes.

Thoughts: Mr. Conally is played by Bobcat Goldthwait.

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least five episodes that will need this new “hospital security is a joke” tag.

I really, really need to know the background for Yummy’s name.

Benton’s dumb enough for ticking off a nurse, but he’s incredibly clueless for ticking off Haleh.

It’s weird when we see parts of the hospital other than the ER. They’re so quiet and empty.

April 24, 2018

ER 1.14, Long Day’s Journey: Susan vs. Kayson, the Knock-Out Round

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:50 pm by Jenn

Soooooo awkward

Summary: Doug and Benton are taking care of a patient named Kathleen who supposedly fell off a ladder. Her children are in the hallway, and Carol takes the daughter, Mandy, off to look at her hand, which she says she hurt when her mother fell. Carter gets to work and learns that Chen has already taken care of a lot of his tasks. She admits that she’s trying to make a good impression.

Carol tells Doug that Kathleen has been treated for a number of injuries at County. Doug realizes they’re dealing with a case of abuse and straight out asks Mandy and her brother David who’s been beating their mother. The kids stay quiet, but Doug doesn’t press them to talk. As he’s leaving, David points the finger at Mandy. Mandy denies the accusation, but her rage tells a different story.

Susan checks with Mark before discharging a patient, since he’s apparently still double-checking all her cases. She’s appearing before Morgenstern’s committee that afternoon. Chen tells Benton that one of his patients wants her surgery explained to her again. He’s already done it twice, so he’s fine letting Chen take a stab at it when she volunteers, as long as it doesn’t interfere with her other tasks.

Doug’s next patient, a preteen named Zack, was accidentally injured by his gym teacher during class. Mark examines Mrs. Chang, a pregnant woman with nausea and an anxious husband. Mr. Chang thinks they should just induce labor, since the baby’s due in two weeks. Haleh tells Benton that there’s a physical therapist named Jeanie Boulet who would be a good fit to help take care of his mother.

Mark jumps on a case with Carol, taking care of a woman named Fran who appears to have overdosed on antidepressants in a suicide attempt. Tag finds out that Doug tried to get a surgical consult from someone under him and invites himself to join Zack’s case. He insists that they keep things professional.

Fran’s friend Sally is more interested in calling Fran’s boyfriend than she is in telling Carol if Fran might have taken any other drugs. Doug holds Fran’s baby so the audience can swoon for a few moments. Carol determines that Fran’s brain stem is no longer functioning, so they stop working on her. Zack may have a tumor, so breaking his leg in gym class could have actually been a blessing in disguise, since it gave Tag a reason to see an x-ray.

Mr. Chang insists that Mark induce labor so their baby will be born in the Year of the Dog instead of the Year of the Pig. He’s worried that their mothers will think their baby will be lazy if it’s born in the Year of the Pig. In fact, Mrs. Chang’s nausea came from herbs she consumed in an attempt to induce labor. Mark tells him this isn’t a garage, and the doctors don’t do procedures just because people want them done. The Changs’ OB, Dr. Noble, arrives and approves of their desire to induce ten days early. They do it all the time, so he doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Mark dryly wishes everyone a happy Year of the Dog.

Benton meets Jeanie, who doesn’t think she’s the right person to take care of Mae. She’s also unsure that Benton, as a resident, can afford to pay her. He promises he’ll make it work, so she agrees to give it a try. Carol and Tag are supposed to go away for a romantic weekend, but he has a staff meeting that might delay their departure. A couple of burn victims come in, and Mark and Doug tend to them.

Jerry tells Carter there’s someone outside who needs help, so he and Chen head off. A family has brought in their Uncle Ed, who they weren’t able to wake from his nap. That’s because he’s not sleeping – he’s dead. In fact, rigor mortis has already set in. The doctors bring him inside, though the family wants to keep going on their road trip and take care of this inconvenience later.

One of the burn victims, Willy, was injured when he tried to save a girl from a fire. His lungs are damaged from chemicals in the building, and he tells Mark and Doug that his cystic fibrosis won’t help matters. Haleh comments to Carol that working on a patient who overdosed must have been difficult for her. Carol replies that she tries not to think about her own suicide attempt too much. Haleh asks if she left a note. Carol says no – she couldn’t figure out what to say.

Susan tries to calm her nerves with a cigarette before her meeting with Morgenstern. Kayson joins her, which probably makes it worse. Carter oversees as Chen takes a patient’s history and quickly comes up with an idea. Susan is questioned by Morgenstern’s committee, and though Kayson tries to make her out to be a bad doctor, the other doctors don’t appear to believe that she did anything negligent. In fact, they think Kayson made more mistakes on the case.

Doug learns that Zack’s mother and uncle didn’t tell him that he might have a tumor. Doug refuses to do his biopsy until they tell Zack exactly what’s going on. His mother tries to do it, then decides to let Doug finish. He answers Zack’s questions and tells him he thinks he’ll be okay. Thanks to Doug’s bedside manner, Zack shows very little fear and says he’s ready to go ahead and do the biopsy.

Carter presents his and Chen’s patient to Benton as a surgical candidate. Benton slams Carter for doing the presentation when Chen made the diagnosis, then basically hands the patient over to her. Doug accompanies Zack to his biopsy and explains everything Tag does so he’s not blindsided by anything.

Benton tells Jackie that he wants Jeanie to take care of Mae, but Jackie still thinks she needs to go to a nursing home. Benton promises to be on Mae duty a couple days a week so Jeanie only has to work three days. Jackie scoffs that Benton’s never taken care of Mae before, so she doesn’t believe he’ll start now. He shoots back that she’s just going to spend their mother’s money on her care, leaving him with less. Jackie tells him he can have the house he keeps complaining about; he’ll just have to do everything for Mae himself. Benton pauses to answer a page, so Jackie ditches him.

Tag promises Carol that they’ll be able to leave by 8. She threatens to interrupt his meeting naked and drag him out if he’s not done in time. Mark tries to ask Susan how her meeting went, but she’s short with him. Doug tends to a guy named Terry who was beaten up but also has a fever. Doug asks Terry’s friend to call his family, but they’re both homeless runaways, and Terry isn’t in touch with his parents. Though he said he was 18, his friend admits that he’s really 15.

Susan tells Doug that the committee went after Kayson, not her, and she’s not proud of it, but she enjoyed herself. Doug advises her to give the news to Mark and cut him a break. A man interrupts to ask if he can see a doctor; he’s been waiting for 40 minutes. They send him back to the waiting room, but when he turns around, they see that he has an arrow sticking out of his head. (His neighbors were playing cowboys and Indians.) They decide to bump him up to a priority. Willy isn’t doing well, but he seems to regain consciousness long enough to hear Nancy, the girl he saved, thank him.

Benton has missed grand rounds and isn’t sure what to tell Morgenstern. He tells Doug that as a pediatrician, he has it made – eventually he’ll just go into private practice. Surgeons all want to be chief, and Benton knows that having to leave work in the middle of his shift is going to hurt his odds. Doug says there are more important things in life. For example, Fran is dead at her daughter’s hand, Zack is probably going to lose his leg, and Willy is in bad shape. Also, he’s still mad that Linda said he’s not the marrying type.

Doug goes outside to play basketball by himself but runs into a kid named Jake who’s waiting for his mom, Diane, to get off work. The two play together and talk about the Bulls. Doug introduces himself to Diane when she comes outside, and she stops him before he can do any flirting, warning that he broke her friend’s heart.

Thanks to the staff meeting, Susan’s the only doctor available when a man is brought in with a heart attack. It’s Kayson. She gives him a say in his treatment, but he thinks he’s going to do. She promises him he won’t, then works hard to keep her word. Doug tells Terry that he may have PCP, a kind of pneumonia that is usually indicative of AIDS. Terry isn’t shocked by the news. He’s been working as a prostitute, and he knows his family won’t take him back now. Doug gives him some condoms, medication, and information for a shelter and AIDS treatment center.

A cardiologist named Steinman thinks Kayson needs angioplasty, but Kayson wants TPA, a clot-busting medication, rather than surgery. Susan advocates for Kayson, threatening to take Steinman before a review committee if he doesn’t follow his patient’s wishes. She’s finally being as assertive as Morgenstern wanted her to be, and Kayson is grateful.

Carol and Tag kick off their romantic weekend with…well, exactly what you would do in a hotel on a romantic weekend. He realizes he left his overnight bag under the front desk at the hospital. He’s worried that someone will find it and he’ll end up embarrassed, so I guess it had sex toys or something in it. Mark finds Doug moping outside, wondering how many more horrible cases he’ll have to see. Mark tells him there’s a baby with croup who needs his attention. Doug says at least that’s one patient he can help.

Thoughts: Continuity error: Jeanie says she’s taking nursing classes, but she later becomes a physician’s assistant.

Apparently you could smoke in a hospital office in 1995, or at least no one stops Susan and Kayson from doing so.

Chen says she has a photographic memory. I’m pretty sure we never hear about it again, so we’ll put it with Mulder’s red-green color-blindness in the Yeah, I Don’t Think So File.

April 17, 2018

ER 1.13, Luck of the Draw: Susan vs. Kayson, Round 2

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

Maybe med students shouldn’t be allowed to touch potentially dangerous equipment

Summary: Mark arrives at work at the same time as Susan, who’s nervous because Morgenstern wants to see her about Mr. Vennerbeck’s death. They run into Kayson, who greets Mark and completely ignores Susan. Benton, who’s looking for Carter, is being followed around by a new med student, Jing-Mei Chen (AKA Deb). Benton passes her off to him and runs off to perform surgery without his own clingy student.

Doug’s taking care of a girl named Lucy who was bitten by a hamster. Her aunt, Leslie, has brought her in, and, because she’s a woman with a pulse, she can’t help flirting with Doug. Mark is amazed when Doug doesn’t return her affections. Carol tells Lydia about her weekend ice-fishing (and doing other things) with Tag. Lydia asks if they’ve set a wedding date, which makes Carol tense. She feels like she’s just getting her life back together. She admits that she may have some hesitance about making a life-long commitment. Then she accidentally sticks herself with a needle.

Mark wants to know why Doug didn’t accept what was clearly an invitation to a date with Leslie. Doug says that if it’s only about guaranteed sex, he’d rather play tennis. Mark is very disappointed. Lydia and Wendy try to reassure Carol that her chances of catching HIV from the patient the needle came from are very small. However, she should avoid having unprotected sex for the next six months. Well, at least Carol has an excuse not to get married for the next six months.

A customs agent wants Mark to deal with a detainee named Jorge who swallowed condoms full of cocaine. Mark can’t give Jorge any medication without his consent, but he warns that he could get really sick if any of the condoms break. The customs agent isn’t impressed with Mark’s rudimentary Spanish, which he picked up working in the ER. Doug tends to a boy named Ben who’s in respiratory distress. Ben’s father, Mr. Gaither, says this happened before, when Ben had pneumonia.

Morgenstern tells Susan that he tried to talk Kayson down, but he’s bringing charges against her. She’ll have to appear before a committee next week and defend her actions. Susan argues that she tried to present Mr. Vennerbeck’s history to Kayson, but he wouldn’t listen to her. Morgenstern is concerned that Susan didn’t assert herself. She has a history of deferring to other doctors rather than advocating for her patients. She may not be a good match for the ER. Ben isn’t stabilizing, so Doug takes a chance with some medication. Mr. Gaither isn’t as happy as he should be to hear that his son is going to live.

Mark talks to Carol about her needle stick, joking that he should empty a container of used needles so he can catch up with her (she’s been stuck five times now). He asks if she and Tag have set a date; unlike with Lydia, Carol keeps calm and just says no. Susan, however, is agitated because of her meeting with Morgenstern. Carol talks to a patient named Alan who has organized his medical records so thoroughly that they’re all color-coded. He’s wearing all blue because it’s Monday, and he’d really prefer not to be put in a green exam room.

Ben needs to be admitted to the hospital, so Mr. Gaither sets up some of his things in his room. He’s annoyed that Doug doesn’t have a good idea of what treatments he’ll need. Mr. Gaither starts a metronome, telling Doug that Ben likes rhythm. He was in an accident that left him with a brain injury, and Mr. Gaither likes to surround him with familiar things. He asks if Doug has children, and Doug makes one of his rare references to his son. Mr. Gaither leaves for a job interview.

Mark has passed Jorge along to Carter and Chen, so Carter makes Chen perform the patient’s rectal exam. It’s unpleasant for both of them. As Susan and Carol examine Alan (in a yellow room), Morgenstern invites Benton to cover for a surgeon who will be going out of town. Benton happily accepts, knowing it’ll be good practice for when he’s chief resident. Morgenstern admires his “naked ambition tempered by arrogance.” Benton’s scrubbing in for an operation, but he gets a call from Walt about his mother being missing and has to step out.

Susan looks at one of her patients’ charts and sees that Mark signed it. She checks some others and sees the same thing on them. She goes to find Mark, who’s not seeing any progress with Jorge, probably because the 100+ condoms he swallowed have made his body unable to move anything anywhere. Susan confronts him for signing all her charts, and he reveals that Morgenstern told him to double-check all her work. She asks why he didn’t stand up for her. Mark reminds her that she lost a patient; as chief resident, it’s Mark’s problem, and he has to listen to his boss.

Susan realizes that Mark knew ahead of time what Morgenstern was going to say to her in their meeting. He told Morgenstern that Kayson is hard on her, and he’s not surprised that the result was a lack of communication that led to someone’s death. Mark also agreed with Morgenstern that Susan backs down when she goes up against hard-headed men like Benton and Kayson.

Ben wakes up, so Doug turns on the metronome for him. Wendy shows him that Mr. Gaither signed a do-not-resuscitate order for his son. Susan tells Wendy to give her patient some medication, but she says milligrams when she means micrograms. Wendy timidly corrects her as Mark looks on. A man named Mr. Desmond comes in after having been beaten up for saying derogatory things about people. He explains to Mark that he’s a sociologist studying violence. He says inappropriate things to antagonize his subjects and provoke violence. His insurance premiums are the same as those of NASCAR drivers.

Mr. Gaither returns to the hospital, and Doug tells him that Ben will die – possibly in the next few hours – if he’s not put on a ventilator. If Mr. Gaither allows Doug to treat Ben, he could live for a long time. By signing a DNR, he’s giving up. Mr. Gaither responds by walking out of the room without saying anything.

Benton’s mother has wandered off from her equally elderly caregiver, so he and Walt go looking for her around the city. Walt still thinks Mae should be put in a facility, and Benton still disagrees. They argue about how Walt takes care of all the bills at the house and tends to Mae, but Benton won’t let him make any decisions. Benton reminds Walt that he’s a high school dropout and runs a business the Bentons provided for him. Walt spits out that he takes care of his family and Mae, while Benton only has to take care of himself.

Mr. Desmond picks Carol as his next subject, asking her about her fiancé and wedding plans after noticing her engagement ring. He thinks she can’t commit, possibly because she believes she’s too good for him. Carol gets revenge by pouring peroxide on his cuts. Mr. Desmond tells her she’s high up on his index detailing the time between provocation and assault.

Jorge has popped a condom, so Mark, Carter, and Chen take a crash cart to his room in case he needs it. Chen accidentally shocks Carter with the paddles as she’s handing them over. Hilariously, Mark and Haleh aren’t concerned, since the amount of charge was so low, and they just keep doing their jobs while Carter lies on the floor. Once Jorge is taken care of, Haleh determines that Carter’s injuries are more from bumping his head when he fell than from being shocked.

Carol gets back Alan’s chest x-ray, which doesn’t look good. He has cancer, and he didn’t bother to tell Carol or Susan about it when he came in. He ignores their encouragement to get treatment and asks to be alone. Benton finds Mae at an outdoor ice rink and finally brings up the idea of putting her in a facility. She reminisces about the time they spent at the rink and nearby baseball field when her children were young. In a moment of clarity, she recalls that her husband is dead, then tells Benton she doesn’t want to move into a nursing home.

Susan, Haleh, and Malek tend to a little girl who was shot in a drive-by. Mark comes in to help but lets Susan take the lead. Kayson arrives and criticizes Susan’s technique in a procedure. Susan stands up for herself as Kayson says she can’t do it. She keeps trying but has to admit defeat and get Mark to finish.

Benton goes back to work and rushes to join the operation he was supposed to assist with. While moving Ben to the ICU, Wendy tries to make small talk with Doug, saying that she didn’t know he has a son. Doug admits that he’s never seen the boy and doesn’t even know his name. Carol hears Susan crying in the bathroom, but Susan just wipes her face and walks out like nothing happened. Benton’s too late for surgery with Morgenstern, who chats with his replacement about that piano showroom he mentioned before.

Mr. Gaither tells Doug that he just got offered a job in Detroit and will have to move. He admits that he started thinking about how much easier his life would be if Ben were dead. He wonders what kind of person he is for thinking like that. But for the past two years, Mr. Gaither has taken care of his son on his own, all day every day. He hasn’t been able to work or have a life outside of his son. He loves Ben, but he needs this to end. Doug doesn’t say anything, possibly because he has no place to, considering he doesn’t even know his own child’s name.

Carter’s just now regaining consciousness from his trauma during Jorge’s trauma. Chen and Haleh tell him that Chen used him as a practice patient so she could hone her skills at giving rectal exams. Haleh corrects her recordkeeping – she should write that Carter has normal male genitalia, not average male genitalia. Carter grabs the paperwork and realizes they’re just kidding.

Carol’s next patient is a boxer, and she sticks him in Mr. Desmond’s room for her own amusement. Mark apologizes to Susan for not giving her a heads-up about Morgenstern’s meeting or his orders to co-sign her charts. He thinks it’s understandable that she was unable to do the procedure on the girl with Kayson staring at her. Susan thinks he’s just apologizing to try to make himself feel better. He extends an olive branch by inviting her to Doc Magoo’s, the ER staff’s favorite hangout, after work.

Carol finds Alan in the dreaded green room, thinking about taking more chances. As Mark and Doug are getting ready to leave for the night, Carol’s boxer punches Mr. Desmond, making him fly into the hallway. A bunch of the staff goes to Doc Magoo’s, and Carol announces that she and Tag will be getting married on May 18th. She also won 10 bucks in the lottery, a 1 in 250 chance – the same chance she has of contracting HIV from her needle stick. Doug leads a toast to his ex, and the co-workers start goofing off together. Susan watches from her car, moping instead of joining in the fun.

Thoughts: Leslie is played by Kristin Davis.

Chen complains later in the series about being called Deb, so I want it on the record that that’s how she introduces herself to Carter and Benton.

Speaking of Chen, she’s like a completely different character between season 1 and season 6. Though, really, the same can be said for Carter.

Jorge swallowed 185 condoms full of cocaine. 185. How is he not throwing up everything he’s ever eaten?

I kind of love Morgenstern’s obsession with the piano showroom. I wonder if he’ll ever go in.

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