July 9, 2019

ER 4.8, Freak Show: Reversal of Fortune

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

Cher’s dad got bitten by a snake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 2, 2019

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

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

Thanks for showing up for two scenes, Julianna

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 25, 2019

ER 4.6, Ground Zero: Guess Who’s Secretly Rich!

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

Ick

Summary: Despite still not having a job and just getting in a huge fight with his friend, Al’s in a good mood: He has a lead on a job in Atlanta. He thinks Jeanie would be willing to move there with him. Jeanie’s more realistic about their ability to just start their lives over. Al knows he has no options in Chicago, but in Atlanta, they could keep their HIV statuses quiet.

Carol’s finishing up her grant proposal in preparation for meeting with Carter’s grandmother that night. Mark comes in to work happy – the Kenny Law case has been settled, and he has just one more day of work before a short vacation. He and Carol discuss how many patients the ER sees in year, though she’s not sure they should include the turkeys who aren’t really in need of medical care. He suggests a bet about the ratio of turkeys to real patients over the next 12 hours. A real patient comes in right then, and Mark says Carol’s already winning.

Carter goes by Anna’s apartment, which is probably the smallest living space he’s ever been in. He spots a roach, which she squishes with her shoe. Carter encourages her to report her landlord to the Health Department. Anna comments that Carter seems so middle-class that she wouldn’t have expected him to know how to deal with slumlords. He says his family always had enough to get by and put food on the table. So he’s not lying lying to her about his family’s wealth, he’s just understating it.

Mark and Carol’s patient, Prole, explains that he injured his knee during a performance-art piece. He was doing a twist on William Tell, putting the apple between his legs instead of on his head. Doug notes that he’s lucky the person who shot him (with a bullet, not an arrow) didn’t aim higher. His assistant/photographer/toadie thinks the blood he left on the wall will make a great statement. Prole decides to turn himself into a piece of art and experience everything in his course of treatment without morphine. Mark thinks this makes him a turkey instead of a normal patient.

Benton arrives for an operation that was pushed up without his knowledge. Elizabeth tells him she thought she was doing him a favor by taking something off his plate. She offers to let him do one of her operations instead. Cynthia gives Jeanie a message from Al reminding her of the nice things they’ll get to experience in Atlanta. Anspaugh tells Weaver that an ER management group called Synergix is coming to help them with money issues. She complains to Mark that she’s expected to cut another $98,000 from the already bare-bones budget.

In the process of checking over an unconscious man injured at the gym, Jeanie sees that he has a KKK tattoo. A teen named Danny is brought in from juvenile detention after having a seizure in his cell. Doug pulls Carol out of the room and tells her he thinks Danny’s faking to get some time out of jail. Carol wonders if Doug isn’t just letting all Mark’s talk about turkeys get to him.

Jeanie tries to pass her patient off to Carter, but Mark intervenes and tells her to keep the guy, tattoo or no tattoo. If there’s a problem, Jeanie can call security, because we all know their history of prompt, appropriate responses to emergency. Danny keeps having seizures (allegedly), so Doug asks Carol to prepare an “H20 NA” treatment. Carol says it’s experimental and asks the guard who accompanied Danny if she knows his next of in. Doug says that Danny’s best chance is to stop seizing on his own. He immediately does, thanks to the “experimental” treatment of salt water.

Anna informs a patient named Vinnie that he has gonorrhea. Again. He’s in the “entertainment industry” and often gets tested for other STDs. Anna would rather be anywhere but there. Hey, maybe Jeanie will trade patients with her. Carol mentions to Carter that she’s meeting with his grandmother that night, which Carter forgot about. He cautions her not to mention politics, religion, or baseball.

Mark starts treating a man’s wrist injury, but it’s just a ruse for someone to serve him with papers. Mark thinks it’s for the Kenny Law case, which was settled, but it’s a new suit: Chris is bringing a civil suit against Mark, alleging that he violated Kenny’s civil rights. Weaver attends a Synergix seminar, led by Ellis West, who tries to avoid answering her questions about how, exactly, the company will help County cut costs. Romano enlists Elizabeth to operate on Prole, and it’s clear she doesn’t know him well, because she thinks he’s giving her the case out of the kindness of his heart.

Doug tells Mark that a golfing buddy who’s a judge has recommended a lawyer to help him with Chris’ lawsuit. Mark would rather Doug not talk about his legal issues with other people. Carol overhears and asks Doug what the statute of limitations is on PTSD. They’ve cut Mark plenty of slack – he needs help. Doug says he just needs supportive friends. Carol notes that, with his attitude, Mark soon won’t have anyone left he can call a friend.

Lydia tells Jeanie that her tattooed patient, Lindermulder, is awake and very polite. Yeah, well…Lydia’s white. Jeanie treats him politely but not warmly, and Lindermulder asks for someone else to treat him. No offense, of course. When Jeanie pulls down his gown to inject him in the shoulder, right where his tattoo is, he asks if she’s been saved. Jeanie asks what his tattoo has to do with God. Lindermulder is sorry she had to see it. He keeps it as a reminder of the intolerance he left behind when he was saved. He built a new life, whether or not Jeanie thinks that’s possible.

Weaver tries to talk to West more after the seminar, and he’d be more than happy to meet with her later to discuss whatever she wants. Clothing optional, I assume. Carol treats a patient for Mark’s turkey column, a woman wearing a gas mask and spraying aerosols around her to fight germs. She claims she’s allergic to her apartment building, but Mark thinks she has anxiety and just wants attention.

Benton and Anspaugh operate together, and Anspaugh notes that Benton and Elizabeth seem to be getting along well. Anspaugh has recommended Benton to join Romano’s team, but Benton isn’t interested in Romano’s procedures, which use more technology. Anspaugh points out that he needs to keep up with developments in his job. Out at a restaurant, Weaver tells West that she has to cut 10% of the budget by the next day. She’s reluctant to have to fire someone she considers a friend. West is like, “Yeah, that’s rough. Let’s get coffee and see what happens next.”

The gas mask lady left against medical advice, which Carol blames on Mark. He says it’s not his job to be the patients’ friend. Romano and Elizabeth earn a lot of attention by doing Prole’s surgery, the first of its kind at County. Anspaugh reminds Benton that this is the sort of thing he should be trying to get in on. Paramedics bring in an elderly man named Scarletti who fell in his bathtub. His wife is distressed, but Mark has no patience for her.

Benton and Elizabeth scrub in for more surgery at the same time, and he accuses her of giving him her operation with Anspaugh so she could take the better one with Romano. She tells him that Romano asked her to consult, but he doesn’t seem to believe her. She’s supposed to operate with Anspaugh, but he’s doing another procedure. Elizabeth doesn’t want her schedule to get backed up, so she wonders if Anspaugh would mind if she started without him. Benton basically says he hasn’t minded anything else Elizabeth has done so far.

Carter was supposed to go somewhere with Anna that night, but he tells her he remembered he had to have dinner with his grandmother. Of course, he doesn’t mention that this dinner is at the family’s mansion, where Carol will be asking for a lot of money for her clinic. Lydia calls them over to the ambulance bay, where the gas mask woman is saying she can’t breathe. She won’t let Anna take off her mask.

Mark and Carol discover that Scarletti has inoperable cancer; he found out previously but clearly hasn’t told his wife. A bunch of people try to ask Mark for things, but he brushes them all off to go to Mrs. Scarletti in the waiting area. He wants to take her somewhere quiet to tell her about her husband’s condition, but she’s so focused on going to see him that she doesn’t listen. She’s also hard of hearing, so when Mark says he has no chance of a meaningful recovery, she misunderstands and thinks he’ll be okay. Mark ends up yelling in the middle of the waiting area that Mrs. Scarletti’s husband is going to die.

Doug pulls Mark away for a chat, but Mark runs off with Cynthia on his tail. Anspaugh joins Elizabeth just as she’s finishing her appendectomy (she calls it an appendixectomy, which sounds really weird) and blasts her for operating without an attending. She says she thought there was leeway in a hospital like County. She adds that she was led to believe that it was okay to operate on her own, though she won’t say who led her to believe that.

Doug asks everyone to stop gossiping about Mark, since it’s not helpful. Carol says he’s rejected all the help they’ve tried to give him. She’s leaving but won’t have time to go home and change before her meeting with Carter’s grandmother, so Anna offers to loan her a jacket. She realizes that Carol’s meeting with Carter’s grandmother, and that they’re going to be discussing. Carol reveals that the family is super-rich. Anna asks to tag along for the meeting, since she has experience with grants.

Mark and Cynthia sit by the water, talking about his struggles after his attack. She’s sympathetic, noting that his attacker could have killed him. She thinks that he has trouble asking for help because he’s used to helping others. He agrees and thanks her with a kiss. Back at County, Weaver tells Jeanie that the budget deficit is going to require some aggressive changes. Two PAs need to be let go, and since Jeanie was the last one hired, she’s out. Weaver thinks she can get a job in another department, and the arrangement would only be temporary, but that doesn’t make Jeanie feel any better.

Carol and Anna go to the Carter mansion, which is overwhelmingly fancy. How fancy? The butler lets them into the music room, where there’s a harp. I guess I could have stopped at “butler,” huh? The women quickly get material to tease Carter with when they spot a portrait of him as a teen, riding a horse named Marigold. Carter is…not so happy to realize Anna’s there.

With Cynthia out of the ER and no other clerk around, Lydia’s left answering phones. She uses such gems as, “ER. What do you want?” Doug’s on his way out when she tells him he has a long-distance collect call. He has a short conversation with the caller, asks a couple of questions, and leaves. Carter tries to show his support for Carol, but his grandmother, Millicent, would rather just talk to her one-on-one. Carter and Anna go for a tour of the grounds instead.

Elizabeth confronts Benton for sending her into surgery alone, and he tells her it was payback for starting what was supposed to be his operation early, then sending him to another one so she could do the better procedure. Elizabeth is offended that he would accuse her of being manipulative. Besides, if that was what she wanted, he wouldn’t have been aware of it.

Benton tells her she’s not the only one who likes to operate. Elizabeth argues that she was there and he wasn’t, so she took her opportunity. He says he’ll just have to make sure that opportunity doesn’t come up again. He tells Romano he’ll join his team, and Elizabeth taunts lightly that he just wants to keep an eye on her. Benton smirks that someone needs to.

Carter tells Anna a totally relatable story from his childhood: He used to put the family’s Faberge eggs with his Weebles, “as pets.” He apologizes for not telling her he was rich, but he thought she would turn on him because she’s anti-rich people. Anna says she doesn’t like liars, either. Carter says he wanted her to get to know him apart from his money first. He insists that he doesn’t mind her lower-class life. Anna feels like he was patronizing and doesn’t get how important their wage gap is.

Doug goes to Mark’s place and is surprised to find Cynthia there, clearly having just gotten out of Mark’s bed to answer the door. Mark says he’s fine and doesn’t need a chat. Doug announces that he’s taking a few days off – his father died. He’s as fine about it as Mark is about all of his issues. Mark insists that he stay for some coffee.

Millicent and Carol are getting along well, and Millicent thinks the clinic could be successful. She gives Carol $75,000 without even reading her proposal. She just wants Carol to keep the amount from Carter so she can keep up her “stern” and “unapproachable” façade. Jeanie goes home to Al, who’s all but settled on moving to Atlanta. Jeanie still isn’t sure.

Weaver asks West to meet her at a bar, where she’s drinking to ease the pain of letting Jeanie go. West doesn’t think Jeanie will appreciate the hard work Weaver will have to put in to improve the budget and get Jeanie back to working at County. Doug packs to head off to get his father’s body, saying goodbye to Carol. He’s picking up Mark on his way to the airport so Mark can get out of town for a while. In what seems like it’s probably a rare instance, Doug tells Carol he loves her, without any lead-up or prompting, then drives off.

Thoughts: As if Mark hasn’t already treated Jeanie badly, with digging into her medical records and discovering her HIV status, now he’s made her treat a bigot.

Benton, you can’t refuse to try new things and then get mad when Elizabeth succeeds at them. What are you, seven?

Cynthia’s short-sleeved ribbed turtleneck and plaid skirt are deliciously ’90s.

June 18, 2019

ER 4.5, Good Touch, Bad Touch: Instead of Opening a Free Clinic, Carol Should Host Anger-Management Classes

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

Is this the good touch or the bad touch?

Summary: Carol’s in bed, but not asleep. She’s brainstorming ideas for ways County can reach out to the underserved, such as teen moms. Doug is half-listening while he sets up a video camera. He mentions that Carol once accused him of taping himself with other women. Now he’s focused on making her happy. Benton’s at Carla’s, trying to study for a procedure, but Reese hasn’t yet learned to be patient. Benton passive-aggressively tries to wake up Carla, who ignores him. Reese settles down when Benton reads aloud from his procedure book, which makes sense, because that would definitely put me to sleep.

Mark is up late, watching TV and ignoring a phone call that turns out to be a wrong number. The person calling leaves an angry message for the woman he thinks lives there. Mark picks up to tell him he misdialed, getting angry when the guy won’t back off. So yeah, his anger issues are still there. In the morning, he runs into Benton, who’s started drinking coffee. Benton clarifies that Rachel was born while Mark was in med school. Mark says that was a mistake, which doesn’t make Benton feel better.

Jeanie asks Mark to look at a patient who may need surgery. Carol greets a homeless man named Pablo who was hoping to get some TLC from Haleh. Carol tells him she’ll be at work tomorrow. Carter and Anna discuss Ivan, who’s still struggling with bloody traumas. Mark examines Jeanie’s patient, a woman who doesn’t want medical treatment so much as she wants Mark to grope her. He runs off as soon as he can.

Carter teaches Ivan how to insert a catheter in a patient’s penis, and I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want an inexperienced med student doing that to me if I had that anatomy. Another patient, Ernesto, wanders in and says he wishes he knew who’d done that procedure on him last time he was in the hospital. Mark runs into Cynthia and confides that he’s distracted because he has to give a deposition that afternoon in the Kenny Law case. Cynthia offers to help him relax with a back rub.

Mark heads into the bathroom, where Doug asks where things are going with Cynthia. Mark denies that he’s interested in her or anyone else, and if he were, he wouldn’t ask Doug for advice. Anna and James tend to a college student named Brett who had shortness of breath while out for a run. He’s a track star and is worried that he has a condition that will keep him from running.

Carol tells Weaver about her idea for patient follow-up after they’re seen in the ER. She’d like to open a women’s and children’s clinic staffed entirely by volunteers. Weaver thinks it’s an okay idea, but there’s no money in the budget. Though she can’t take on another project, she appreciates Carol’s input.

Doyle bickers with Ernesto, who wants to leave before his gunshot wound is examined for the last time. Carter volunteers to do it, but Ernesto’s out of patience and just pulls out his IV to leave. He licks the blood off his arm (ew) and tells Doyle, “Bye-bye, chica.” Charming. Doyle asks if Ivan’s going to be sick. I don’t know, but I might.

Benton does the procedure he was studying, but he can’t answer a question Anspaugh poses about another method. He’s falling behind in some of his tasks, so Anspaugh sends him to complete his charts while Elizabeth finishes the surgery. Anna looks at Brett’s x-rays and discovers that he may have testicular cancer. Doug offers to do the testicular exam, since Brett might feel more comfortable with a male doctor doing it, but Anna gets defensive. Because Anna’s feelings are more important than the patient’s comfort level.

Pablo comes back, so Carol sends Cynthia to tell him to come back tomorrow. Carter calls for a surgical consult and, unfortunately, gets Dale. It’s a simple procedure that Carter could have handled himself, except for the fact that he’s not allowed to, since he’s not in surgery anymore. Dale mentions that Robert “Rocket” Romano is back at County. I let out the loudest, most frustrated groan ever heard on the planet.

Carter leaves Dale with his patient to take care of a man named Tom who was in a car accident. He says he had a blinding headache before he crashed. Even though he has a head wound and a history of hypertension, Carter asks Connie to work him up for an abdominal issue. Anna tells Brett that he needs a testicular exam, and though he’s a little nervous, he submits. Things get awkward when he gets an erection during the exam. Anna tells him it’s common and he shouldn’t be embarrassed. Brett needs a minute to collect himself.

Weaver chastises Carter lightly for ordering abdominal scans for Tom, even though he presented with symptoms of a tumor that Carter thought needed to be checked out. She asks him to check with her in the future before he spends so much of the hospital’s money. Weaver tells Carol that an ER clinic is a great idea, and she can look into grants to fund it. Carol says she wasn’t planning to actually set it up, but Weaver thinks she should see her own idea through.

Jeanie tells Weaver that Mark walked out in the middle of an exam. She thinks he needs to leave his bad mood at home when he comes to work. Anna finishes with Brett and tells him he has a mass on one of his testicles. It may have spread and caused the spots on his lungs that left him short of breath. He starts taking notes while Anna goes over what will happen next. She tells him he’ll need to talk to an oncologist for more information, but Brett wants answers now. She tells him he may need surgery and chemo.

Mark takes a nap in an on-call room, getting woken up by his lawyer, Alan, who thinks he should be more prepared for his deposition. Mark thinks they should have settled already, but the Laws are insistent that they get at least eight figures for Kenny’s death. Mark says the other lawyer’s questions won’t rattle him – he did everything he could to save Kenny.

Benton finds it hard to concentrate on the giant stack of records he has to complete. He tries to talk to another doctor about balancing parenthood with work, but the other doctor lets his wife take care of all the family stuff, so he’s no help. Carter and Anna have lunch together, and he turns her down when she tries to pay for half. She still thinks he’s a poor resident like her. Weaver tells Carter that he was right about Tom’s condition, so the tests he ordered were necessary after all.

Mark and Cynthia have a conversation about snack cakes, which puts him in a good mood for the first time all day. Weaver pulls him aside to tell him that the groping patient, Miriam, is a Medicare patient, so the hospital won’t get reimbursed until a doctor completes a full exam. Mark wonders why they have physicians’ assistants if doctors have to examine all the Medicare patients.

Carol looks through grant applications, and Chuny mentions that a well-known clinic at another hospital was also started by a nurse. Carter and Weaver rush to Tom’s room, where he’s experiencing heart problems because of his tumor. Romano and Dale arrive to whisk him off to surgery, the world Carter gave up for the ER. Carter may regret leaving the glamour of surgery, but at least he gets praise from Weaver.

Benton falls asleep in the records room, but Elizabeth wakes him up with some tea. She offers to get him on a team for a high-tech surgery Romano will be performing the next day. Romano is her sponsor for her job in the States, and she thinks Benton should get in good with him. Benton already has enough to deal with and says he’s not interested.

Anna goes looking for Brett, who appears to have taken off. Ivan asks Carter for help with a blood draw, so Carter loudly complains that he’s about to put his years of medical training to the test by doing a simple procedure. Is it lonely up there on your high horse, Carter? Carol and Chuny try again to explain to Pablo that Haleh isn’t there, so he’ll need to come back tomorrow.

Carter and Ivan’s patient is a long-time IV drug user, which makes it hard for them to find a vein to draw blood from. The patient offers to find one himself, inserting a needle in his chest and drawing his own blood. Carter’s thrilled but still tells Ivan to never let a patient do that. Ivan responds by passing out. Maybe Ivan should look into a different profession.

Anna admits to Doug that she screwed up and lost Brett. If they can find him, she’d like Doug to take over his case and help him realize that losing a testicle won’t be the end of the world. They rush off to help Mark with a combative patient, McNamara, who needs to be restrained. He kicks Chuny while he’s thrashing around, so Mark grabs his injured leg and yells at him to settle down. Doug sends him out of the trauma room.

Carter gives Ivan some stitches for a wound he sustained when he passed out. Carter thinks that once he sees some more traumas, he’ll be able to handle them better. Ivan wonders that his life plans are a bad decision. Benton apologizes to Anspaugh for making errors that morning and for falling behind with his charts. Anspaugh says they all cut him some slack when Reese was in the NICU, but now that he’s home, Benton needs to get with the program. It’s not just for his own career – Elizabeth is so talented that she’s liable to surpass all the other surgeons.

Connie tells Carol that the nurse who started the other clinic got her grant because her father has connections. That’s not going to be an option for Carol. Brett returns to County, and Anna offers to let him talk to Doug instead, but Brett doesn’t care who gives him the possibly bad news about his prognosis. She encourages him to call his family so he’s not alone in whatever happens. Doug sees the two of them talking but leaves them alone.

Mark goes out by the water for a cigarette and chats with Cynthia again. She thinks the way he handled McNamara was great, since no one else could get him under control. She offers a back rub again, and this time he accepts. They head back to the hospital when he gets paged for his deposition. Carter suggests that Carol look for a grant from a private foundation. His grandmother has one, and she hears all sorts of crazy ideas, so a pitch for a clinic might get somewhere.

Mark gets deposed, and the lawyer brings up the Jodi O’Brien case, another instance in which Mark was blamed for a death. He felt regret but not guilt over Jodi’s death; people die at the hospital all the time. After Kenny’s death, Mark also felt regret. He insists that he gave the same care to both patients regardless of race. Chris scoffs at that, and Mark yells that he, of all people, can’t accuse Mark of anything.

He won’t answer the lawyer’s question about whether he holds a white life above a black life. He admits that he’s fallible, then gets even more upset when the lawyer mentions again that Kenny was black. Mark shouts that if she wants him to say he’s racist, then fine, he’s racist. Does that make Chris feel better about beating him up? Chris looks surprised about that accusation. He blasts Mark for never expressing any regret to his mother after she lost her son. “You belong in jail,” Mark spits as he leaves the deposition. Chris says he wishes he had been the one to beat Mark up.

Carter can’t get any answers about Tom’s surgery, so he goes to the OR himself. He arrives as Dale is getting thanked by Tom’s wife and son for saving his life. Carter introduces himself, but Tom’s wife doesn’t care about the work done by the guy who actually diagnosed her husband and led to his life being saved. Poor, unappreciated Carter. Pablo comes back yet again, and this time Carol says she’ll take care of him herself. Doug asks Mark how things went at the deposition, but Mark leaves without talking to him.

Elizabeth introduces Benton to Romano, and Romano immediately shows his true personality by asking if Benton thinks Chris Rock is funny. You see, because Benton is black, and Chris Rock is black, so why not ask one black man’s opinion about another black man? Romano complains that Rock uses the N-word too much – if Romano used it, Benton would want to smack him. Benton says he thinks Rock is hilarious. After he leaves, Romano tells Elizabeth that he likes Benton.

Carol cleans Pablo up, learning the kind of personal care Haleh gives him, like listening to his chest because he’s had pneumonia before. He enthusiastically tells her that he would come to a free clinic if one opened at the hospital. Carter tells Benton that he made a great diagnosis today, but Dale got all the glory. Benton tells him Dale is a weasel, and Carter’s twice the surgeon Dale will ever be. Carter asks if Benton’s enjoying fatherhood, and Benton happily says he is.

Jeanie and Al go to a bar, and she’s annoyed when he ponies up for a pool, even though they said they were going to be more careful with their money. Al’s friend Bill comes in and glares, mad that Al exposed him to HIV. Jeanie encourages Al to say hi, but Al knows he wouldn’t be well-received. Bill yells across the bar that he wants to know how Al contracted HIV. When Jeanie tries to intervene, Bill calls her a nasty word, so Al gets aggressive. Jeanie tries to make Al leave, but Bill isn’t satisfied. He calls Al a gay slur and throws a beer bottle, which leads to a brutal fight between the friends. Even Jeanie can’t get Al to just walk away.

Thoughts: I’m pretty sure the Doug/Anna rivalry ends fairly quickly, which is good because it’s dumb.

If you want to know how bored Benton is in the records room, he’s making small talk with people he does’t know. He’s voluntarily talking to strangers. Normally, he doesn’t even voluntarily talk to people he knows!

How many times can a med student get sick or pass out before he gets kicked out of the program? What hospital or med school wants to spend the money to train a guy who can’t even stay upright during a routine procedure, let alone an emergency? Imagine applying to med school and losing your spot to that guy.

June 11, 2019

ER 4.4, When the Bough Breaks: Surprise! Benton Is Human After All!

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

Cue mass casualty in 3…2…

Summary: Benton drops some things off at Carla’s apartment in preparation for Reese’s homecoming. She thinks he’s being overly cautious, but Benton doesn’t want her to have to wait for paramedics if something happens. For a first-time mom, Carla is very confident that everything will go fine. Meanwhile, Doug and Carla go rollerblading; she’s good and he’s inexperienced.

Jen surprises Mark at his apartment to complain that Rachel fell asleep at school. Rachel claimed that Mark let her stay up late the last time she visited. Jen thinks Mark’s assault is messing with him psychologically. No kidding, Jen! Until Mark is more like his normal self, Jen will be keeping Rachel away from him.

Carter’s gotten into motivational self-help stuff, in an attempt to turn around his year, since it hasn’t been going that great yet. He and Anna meet their new med students, James and Ivan, and Carter eagerly takes on the job of getting them acclimated. Thanks to his refusal to wear a helmet while rollerblading, Doug banged his head and gets an ice pack in the ER. Carol pretends not to know what happened.

Connie alerts everyone at the admit desk to a televised police chase involving a motorcycle. Weaver has finally gotten her hands on Doug’s research study, which lets children control their own pain medication, and encourages him to use data from another study to finish it. Doug isn’t interested in her help in getting a grant, but Weaver thinks he’ll have to leave for private practice by the end of the year if he doesn’t get one.

Since Carter had a bad experience with his last med student, Anna tells him he can choose between Ivan and James this time. Both guys seem competent, though, so Carter will probably be okay no matter who he gets. Paramedics bring in a guy named Jeremy who was hit by a car when he walked into traffic. He claims he’s an angel, and he can sense pain in Mark.

Benton meets up with Carla, whose friend Daphina has come to drive her and Reese home (Benton’s on duty). Benton doesn’t like her. Elizabeth sees him with his son and notes that he’s pretty secretive, since she had no idea he had a child. Benton gets paged back inside, so Carla impatiently sends him back to work.

Anna examines a boy with asthma whose mother, Mrs. Landeta, would prefer to have him treated by Doug. The police chase is still underway, though Doug and the nurses think the police are about to finish it off. Mrs. Landeta asks Doug to take over her son’s case, so Anna reluctantly steps aside. Speaking of being pushed aside from a job, Al has lost his at a construction site. He figures he’ll end up getting shut out of every site in the city. Jeanie tries to give him encouragement, but Al knows the kind of people he’s dealing with.

Carter calls Benton to the ER to consult on a patient he’s sure will end up needing surgery. Benton reminds him that he has to get an ultrasound first, but Carter’s sure of the outcome and thinks it makes sense to warn Benton early. Anna complains to Carol that Doug is patronizing; she can’t believe that Carol ever dated him. Carol says that Mrs. Landeta is just used to Doug. Weaver says that Doug has trouble dealing with strong women. He doesn’t know how to handle women he can’t charm or vilify.

Doris is back for treatment and unhappy to have to wait. The police chase has ended with a crash into a school bus, and the victims will be coming to County. Doris is going to have to wait a lot longer now. Weaver sends someone to find Mark, who’s smoking on the steps of an El platform when he sees ambulances speed by on their way to County.

Cynthia’s thrust into the middle of her first trauma, trying to coordinate communicating with the victims’ families. They’re mostly middle-schoolers on a field trip. Elizabeth’s patient isn’t happy to hear that her nearly amputated arm will have to be fully amputated so it can be reattached. Benton displays some actual good bedside manner with her.

In the middle of the chaos, Jeanie goes off to tend to a man who fell off a roof while installing a satellite dish. Mark thinks his young patient is a goner, but Doug wants to keep working on him, since he’s a child. Ivan can’t handle all the trauma and gets sick, so Benton makes Carter take him out. Jeremy looks on while Carter assists Weaver with an intubation.

Carol sees a trail of blood in the hallway and follows it to a bathroom, where Doris is bleeding. Jeanie’s patient goes south and needs a chest tube, a procedure Jeanie’s not supposed to perform. Connie tries to get Mark to help her, but Mark’s busy with his patient. Carol realizes that Doris is in labor despite her insistence that she’s not pregnant. Mark hears her yelling and rushes to help the baby Carol just delivered. He’s not breathing, and Doris accuses Carol of dropping him. Benton comes by and is shaken by the sight of the preemie.

With all the doctors still busy, Jeanie and Chuny are left to insert a chest tube on their own. Doris thinks she’s in labor again (it’s just the placenta), and she yells at Carol, “Don’t drop this one!” (It’s not funny, but…it’s also a little funny.) Jeanie’s patient’s son finds Weaver and tells her to come help Jeanie, who doesn’t seem to know what she’s doing. Well, dude, you were the one urging her to do the procedure, so…hush.

While Mark, Benton, and Carol work hard to save Doris’ baby, Jeanie successfully inserts the chest tube just as Weaver comes in. She has to admit that she used her finger instead of a clamp, which is beyond the restrictions of her job. Weaver sends her away. Mark decides that the baby can’t be saved and has to tell Benton to stop doing chest compressions. Mark doesn’t notice how difficult this is for Benton, but Carol does. Benton goes straight for the phone and calls Carla to check on Reese.

Weaver compliments Carter on the method he used to help her with the intubation. He credits Benton, and Weaver says Carter was lucky to have him as a mentor. Too bad Carter doesn’t have the same relationship with Ivan, who’s still recovering from his bad reaction to the trauma. Doug apologizes to Anna for stealing her patient from her, but Anna’s willing to let that go. James comes in from his lunch break, unaware that there was a mass casualty in the ER while he was gone.

Weaver tends to Officer Mulvahill, the cop who crashed into the bus while he was chasing the motorcyclist. He’s not hurt too badly, but he’s upset with himself for causing the crash that injured so many others. Benton operates with Elizabeth, who mentions again that she was surprised to learn he has a child. She thought he was too ambitious and driven to have a family. He surprises her again by telling her that Carla isn’t his wife.

Jeremy complains about negative energy in the hospital, then spies on Mark and Cynthia while they talk. Jeremy tells Mark that Cynthia likes him. Doug tells Carol that he worked things out with Anna, but Carol thinks Anna isn’t as cool with the situation with the patient as she’s let on. Weaver tells Carol to fill out an incident report about Doris’ baby in case she wants to make a statement. Carol doesn’t think she has to worry about the ramblings of a crack addict, but Weaver reminds her that she was suspended last year, so she needs to be extra-careful.

The motorcyclist is brought in, having finally been captured, and Weaver passes him off to Carter so she doesn’t accidentally-on-purpose hurt him. Jeanie tries to defend her actions with her patient, but Weaver tells her that when they agreed to let her keep working at County, she agreed to not do certain things. Apparently Jeanie should have just let the patient die if she had to.

Carter spots a welt on the motorcyclist’s body, which a police officer says is the result of the guy sliding into a fence. Yeah, it definitely doesn’t look baton-shaped. Carol asks Mark to back her up in her insistence that she didn’t drop the baby. Mark agrees with Carol that Doris’ statement won’t hold water, but since he didn’t see the delivery and whether or not Carol dropped the baby, he can’t give an eyewitness statement. Carol interprets this as him indicating he doesn’t believe her.

Doug gets back to Mrs. Landeta and her son (Jaime), whose breathing is better but who now has diarrhea. Doug suggests getting a stool sample, which Anna also wanted earlier but didn’t mention to him. Doris has asked for a lawyer, so Carol probably shouldn’t be her nurse anymore, but whatever. Doris says again that she didn’t know she was pregnant; if she had, she would have stopped using crack. No one’s told her yet that the baby didn’t survive. She figures she would have messed up the child anyway. But she still asks Carol if she’s physically able to have another one.

Carter sends Ivan off for the night, hoping he’ll have a stronger stomach tomorrow. Benton’s making one last call to Carla before he leaves work on time for once. When Chuny gets Carter to tend to the worsening motorcyclist, Benton tags along to help out. He chastises Carter for not getting a surgical consult even though the patient seemed stable. So, to sum up, no matter what Carter does, Benton disapproves.

Cynthia tells Mark that Jeremy’s family has been found; he’s supposed to be on medication but may have stopped taking it when he came to Chicago for college. Anna urges Carter to talk to Benton about how he treats Carter, as if he hasn’t been this way for three years now.

Doug tells Anna that he’s determined that Jaime doesn’t have asthma after all – he has strongyloides, a parasite, and the prednisone Doug was going to give him would have made him worse. He thinks Anna suspected this but didn’t say anything. The two of them bicker about how their personal issues shouldn’t get in the way of patient care. Cynthia interrupts so Doug can tell the mother of his and Mark’s patient that he died. Now Anna feels bad about her petty squabbles with Doug.

Benton wants to stay late to operate on the motorcyclist, but Elizabeth offers to do the surgery instead so he can go home to Reese. She warns that she probably won’t be this generous again, so he should take advantage. Mark prepares to give Jeremy some Haldol, but Jeremy says he doesn’t want to feel normal. Mark shouldn’t run away from fear. He needs to make friends with it and embrace the light; it’ll save him.

Carter follows Benton as he leaves, complaining that there’s no point to his mistreatment anymore. Benton tries to brush him off, but Carter refuses to let him walk away. Benton finally tosses him to the ground. That leads to more complaining from Carter, who thinks he’s earned Benton’s respect after three years. Benton says he threw that respect away when he left surgery for emergency medicine. Benton took time to mentor him, but when Carter decided to leave, he went to Anspaugh instead. Carter apologizes, but he doesn’t sound that sorry. Benton tells him to stop seeking approval.

As Doug goes back to his research, Mark tells Carol that he learned Doris’ baby died in utero two days ago. Carol’s still upset, but Mark says it’s not about whether or not he believed her story – he would have been on her side no matter what. Carol says he should have been on Doris’ side. She’s been in the ER multiple times, and Mark never gave her a pregnancy test. Mark doesn’t think he did anything wrong, and though Carol can’t really disagree, she thinks more can be done for their less fortunate patients.

Weaver’s cooled off about the Jeanie situation, but she tells Jeanie that she had the right to be mad. After all, Weaver fought for Jeanie to keep her job, and Jeanie repaid her by doing something she wasn’t supposed to. Jeanie needs to remember that her decisions affect others. Jeanie admits that if she had to make that decision again, she might do the same thing.

Mark and Cynthia leave at the same time, and she asks him to walk her to the El platform, since it’s nighttime. He offers her a ride home instead. Benton goes to Carla’s and takes in the heartwarming scene of mother and son cuddling together. Despite his difficult day, he gets to end it on a good note.

Thoughts: Daphina is played by Merrin Dungey. Jeremy is played by David Denman.

Shout-out to the girl playing Elizabeth and Benton’s patient, who truly howls like someone whose arm is falling off.

One of the other patients was drawing on his hand with a pen, and when the bus crashed, the pen got lodged in his hand. Why did I decide to watch this show again?

June 4, 2019

ER 4.3, Friendly Fire: Weaver’s in Charge and Everything Is…Fine

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

Same, Cynthia

Summary: Doug drives Carol to an El platform so they can keep pretending they’re not practically living together. At County, Tabash tells Benton and Carla that Reese is doing well enough to probably be able to go home the next week. Time for the next Benton/Carla disagreement: Should Reese be circumcised? Carla is pro; Benton is against. He considers his opinion the final decision.

Instead of working, Mark passes work off to Anna and watches Jerry Springer in the lounge. Weaver, meanwhile, takes on more work, accepting the position of acting chief of emergency services. Anspaugh confides that not everyone is a fan of Morgenstern’s management practices. Weaver already has a plan to get things back under budget, even if it means making enemies. She’s fine with that – just like many reality-show participants, she’s not here to make friends.

Cynthia arrives for her first day of work, confusing Carol, who didn’t realize Mark had given her the job. Weaver quickly starts changing policies and practices while Carter hunts for Henry. Carol complains to Mark that he hired a dud, but Mark, like Benton, thinks his decision is the final word.

Carla asks Anna if she thinks Reese should be circumcised. Anna says it’s something she recommends for patients, and Carla shouldn’t have any second thoughts. Carla asks her to do it. Since Anna and Chasity are getting all the cases Carter’s missing, Carter’s available to take a trauma patient after a motorcycle accident. No one can insert an IV, so Carter opts for a central line. Maggie comes in and pulls rank, taking over the case and sending Carter to do sutures.

Al comes in after an incident with a crane at a construction site. He’s scraped up but mostly fine. Weaver questions why Doug’s salary is being paid by the emergency services department, which means they’re underwriting his fellowship. She’d like to read his research proposal.

Carter continues hunting for Henry, then complains to Mark that Doyle pulled him from a trauma and gave it to Anna. She’s been doing that a lot lately. Mark tells Carter that he’ll have to keep doing sutures unless he can get Henry to do them for him. Carter gets a call on his hilarious mid-’90s cell phone, but reception in the hallway isn’t great. Anna warns about how big a bill he could be racking up.

Jeanie fixes up Al while a paramedic tends to his friend Bill. He mentions that Al fell on him, so all the blood on him is Al’s. Jeanie and Al both freeze. Carol takes care of Casey, a guy from the same construction site who grabbed a live cable to try to save everyone else. Casey’s boss doesn’t want him to report his hand injuries to workers’ comp so the boss doesn’t get in trouble. Carol notes that that will keep Casey from receiving disability while he’s out of work.

Anna hands a case off to Carter, a woman named Kirsten whose husband was unable to wake her this morning. He doesn’t know of any illness or injuries she had that would leave her unconscious. Carter does a test to determine if there’s something wrong with Kirsten’s brain stem, and he clearly doesn’t like the results, but he doesn’t want to tell Kirsten’s husband, Josh, that anything bad has happened.

Benton goes to visit Reese and catches Anna in the middle of circumcising him. Benton argues that Carla had no right to ask Anna to do the procedure. Carter shows Mark Kirsten’s scans and shares his diagnosis of an infarction. Mark agrees and says she’ll probably start declining quickly. Carter feels horrible that he has to tell Josh that his 27-year-old wife is about to die. Mark casually reminds him to ask about organ donation.

As Carol’s gathering Casey’s things, she finds a joint and realizes that he was high at work. He thinks his status as a hero cancels out the fact that he may have caused the situation that led to his heroics in the first place. Carol heads off to fill in Casey’s boss. Cynthia’s first day is going well, but there seems to be some skepticism (at least from Jerry and Haleh) that she should have been hired.

Heather pops in again, trying to get Mark to go out with her. Mark begs off, claiming it’s not because he doesn’t want to spend time with her. A man named Ed comes in with a gunshot wound to the leg, accidentally sustained when he was cleaning a gun. His wife, Glenda, wants to take some of their other weapons into the hospital since they’re expensive and can’t be left in their car. Malik tells Jerry to stash it behind the admit desk.

Carla and Benton bicker about the circumcision, and I’m just going to say that they’re both in the wrong here. He was a jerk for putting his foot down without discussion, and she was a jerk for going behind his back. She thinks he was just against the circumcision because he isn’t circumcised. Benton doesn’t think that’s a big deal. Carla says the real problem is that he shut her down.

Carter has given the bad news to Josh that Kirsten had a stroke and is going to die soon. Josh is in denial, thinking she could still get better, and doesn’t want to just do nothing until she dies. Carter pauses a respectable amount of time before mentioning organ donation. Fortunately, Josh responds well, saying that Kirsten would want to help people. But suddenly, that conversation is out the window: Kirsten’s awake.

Mark, Weaver, and Doyle are working on Ed when Carter pulls Mark out to see Kirsten. Mark’s shocked, since people with her kind of stroke don’t ever wake up. He sees for himself that Kirsten is awake, then reexamines her scans. Rather than a stroke, Kirsten has an aneurysm that caused swelling in her brain stem, which led to her loss of consciousness. She’ll need an MRI right away before the aneurysm bursts.

Jeanie asks Al if Bill knows his HIV status. Al says no, and he doesn’t see the point in telling him, since Bill didn’t have any cuts, so he couldn’t have been infected. Jeanie disagrees about keeping quiet, but Al’s afraid that word will spread and he’ll end up without a job. Jeanie thinks the responsible thing is to tell Bill so he can get tested just in case.

Glenda shows Jerry her collection of guns while Ed is getting x-rays. The couple has some connection to a guy who trains “patriots” on using weapons. Cynthia asks if she means a guy like David Koresh. Glenda’s face indicates that that was the wrong thing to say.

She offers to sell Jerry a grenade launcher, which I’m sure he’d have a lot of use for in Chicago. She promises Cynthia that it’s unusable; it’s illegal to sell usable ordnance. But there’s a kit he can get that will change that. Jerry jokes about shooting his neighbor’s loud dog. Not funny, Jerry. Also not funny: The weapon is actually loaded after all, and Jerry accidentally fires a grenade through the lobby, out the door in the ambulance bay. He hits Ed and Glenda’s truck, setting off all the ammo inside.

Firefighters put out the resulting fire, and Glenda is arrested as she protests that the weapons are her personal property. Cynthia has ringing in her ears, so Mark checks her over. She tells him that, even after this, she feels safe at County, thanks to all the doctors. Somehow they start talking about Death of a Salesman, and how sad it is when Willy Loman looks back over his life and realizes there was nothing there.

Benton, Elizabeth, and Anspaugh operate on Ed, the latter two hitting it off well. Paramedics bring in Laura, Carol’s bulimic patient from the previous week; her eating disorder has led to her vomiting blood. Doyle’s mad that Laura wasn’t admitted to psych when she was last at County. When she learns that Mark didn’t authorize it, Doyle complains that they’re picking up his slack.

While undergoing an MRI, Kirsten starts declining again. Carter tells Josh that she needs immediate surgery, but Josh no longer trusts the doctors’ decisions. First they said she was going to die; then she woke up and seemed fine. He doesn’t think Kirsten really needs surgery. Mark steps in and tells Josh that she’ll die without it. Josh backs down and consents to the operation.

After Ed’s surgery is over, Elizabeth tells Benton that she thinks Anspaugh is a gasbag. She’s not used to “old tossers” coming to the OR; in the U.K., they’re too lazy. Benton is amused and tells her she can feel free to keep speaking her mind. At the admit desk, Haleh, Malik, and Connie giggle over how there was an actual explosion on Weaver’s first day in charge. Weaver overhears and says she’s just glad no one was hurt.

She reminds Doug that she wants to read his research, then goes to help Doyle with a patient. She tries to gain Doyle as an ally, warning that the county would love to close the ER. All her policy changes are an attempt to save it. She really hopes some people will understand and come on board. Doyle’s like, “…Yes, I am so on board, scary lady.”

Mark bursts into an OR to try to pull a surgeon named Corelli out of a procedure to operate on Kirsten. Doug and Elizabeth tend to a boy with a hernia, and she praises his bedside manner with kids. Carol’s in and out of the room as Elizabeth asks Doug to go out on the town with her. Carol dismisses herself before Doug can tell Elizabeth he’s seeing someone. That’s not a problem for Elizabeth, who really just wants people to spend time with.

Al and Jeanie tell Bill that he may have been exposed to Al’s HIV. Bill’s upset that Al never told him or their co-workers. He agrees to get tested, but since Jeanie also has HIV, Bill doesn’t want her touching him. Doug chases down Carol to tell her that he has no interest in Elizabeth and certainly didn’t flirt with her. He told her he was seeing someone but didn’t mention Carol’s name. If Carol wants to keep dating, she’ll have to trust him.

Carter gives Mark the good news that Kirsten got to surgery in time and has a great chance at a full recovery. He wants to take Mark to see Josh so Josh can thank him, but Mark gives Carter all the credit. Carol tells Mark that Laura’s now going to be admitted to psych. Mark admits that he screwed up by not having her admitted before. Carol lets him off easy, but Mark says he didn’t go the extra mile in patient care. Carol doesn’t think it should just be the doctor’s responsibility. There needs to be a safety net.

Haleh tells Carol that Weaver is punching everyone out, like she threatened. Interns will take over the nurses’ tasks. Weaver tells Carol that nurses spend the ends of their shifts slacking off anyway. They don’t generate income, so their extra hours shouldn’t be compensated. Carol’s like, “Yeah, saving money is definitely more important than the patient care we provide.”

Mark decides to go out with Heather after all, I guess because he doesn’t want to be Willy Loman looking back on his pointless life. Weaver tells Jerry that he has almost a month’s worth of unused vacation time, so she suggests that he take it now. Doyle reminds Carter that he was supposed to be doing sutures today, but he kept doing other things. Carter accuses her of giving Anna special treatment because of a personal interest. Doyle laughs that off, then compliments Anna’s hair when she comes in.

Carter appreciates that Anna gave Kirsten’s case to him, so he offers to return the favor with dinner. Instead, Anna asks for help figuring out tax deductions. He invites her to chat about it over dinner, because he can’t take a hint. She tells him she has to do laundry tonight, so he invites himself along.

Doug and Carol meet up on an El platform, and she’s past her jealousy over Elizabeth. Mark and Heather go to dinner, and he tells her he’s missed her. Carter slums it in a Laundromat, which leads to physical comedy with a shaking dryer. The sandwiches Anna gets them for dinner end up in a machine with the clothes. Mark and Heather try to have sex, but he either can’t perform or is just left unsatisfied. He wants to smoke, but she asks him to do it outside, since she’s allergic. He decides to just leave instead.

Thoughts: Fun with out-of-context quotes: “What happened to that boy’s penis should have been left up to me.”

Today’s lesson: You can keep any weapons you want at the front desk as long as you say they’re not usable. Security won’t even notice.

I believe the situation was that Abraham Benrubi needed time off to do another show, so they had to find a way to temporarily write him out. They couldn’t have gone with something less ridiculous?

May 28, 2019

ER 4.2, Something New: Time to Stop Letting Mark Be in Charge of Things

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

“Hi! I’m a doctor now! Please don’t mention my more-famous brother or the time my wife didn’t thank me in her Oscars speech!”

Summary: Mark’s stuck in traffic on his way to work when he spots an open parking spot on the street. As he swerves over to grab it before anyone else can, he almost hits Carter. Carter yells and swears until he realizes he’s yelling and swearing at his boss. Mark says he doesn’t park in the garage anymore, since it gives him the creeps. (I thought he usually took the El anyway?) Carter’s looking forward to meeting his new med student, who he plans to treat…basically the same way Benton treated him: like a servant.

Weaver goes to see Morgenstern and is greeted by William H. Macy’s bare butt. Thanks, show! He’s doing well after his heart attack but is still on morphine, which is making him loopy. This is probably a bad time for Weaver to ask him to work on some paperwork for the hospital. He asks her to take care of them, and in fact would be very appreciative if she took over some of his other responsibilities. He admits that he feels “like a sheriff with no posse.” Weaver gets it and agrees to help out with administrative tasks.

In case it was still ambiguous, Doug and Carol are definitely back together. He brings her breakfast in bed, teasing that when she woke up alone, she probably thought he’d left her. He asks if he can have a drawer so he can keep some of his things at her house. Carol’s surprised, since Doug never wanted a drawer when they dated before. This will make it harder for him to just leave when he gets worried about commitment.

Weaver tells Mark that Morgenstern has made her acting chief of the ER while he recovers. Mark is just happy he doesn’t have to take on the admin stuff. Doug and Carol come in separately and pretend they didn’t spend the night together. Weaver asks Carol and Mark to interview candidates for a desk-clerk position. Jerry’s confused about why there’s someone coming to do his job. Just then, Mark gets served with some kind of papers.

Jeanie and Al have breakfast at Doc Magoo’s, still enjoying their reunion. He hasn’t told his boss about his HIV status, so he needs an excuse for a doctor’s appointment that afternoon. He can’t exactly kill off his grandmother again. Benton and Carla’s son is doing much better and is ready to be taken off his ventilator. Benton’s skeptical that it’s time, but Tabash plans to extubate him that afternoon. Carla chastises Benton for being so pessimistic about everything – he hasn’t even wanted to name the baby. She wants to get on with their son’s life.

Anna treats a boy who broke his arm when he fell out of his bunk bed. Doug pulls her out of the room, calling her Anna, and she asks him to call her Dr. Del Amico in front of patients. Doug didn’t even notice his informality; he calls his friends by their first names at work. He advises her to take on more adult patients, since she’s already done her pediatric residency and is now in an emergency program. Anna wants to control her own caseload, and she reminds Doug that he’s not her superior. He’s in charge of pediatrics, though.

Mark steps in and tells Anna that she’ll need to run adult patients by Doyle, then Mark or Weaver. Oh, and Carter will need to do the same. This is news to Carter, who seems to keep forgetting that he’s back to being a first-year intern and has no say in anything anymore. Carter argues that he’s done more ER procedures than Maggie, and he spent a lot of his surgical internship teaching Doyle. She objects, but Mark says it’s a moot point. His rule stands. Doug soon laments his instructions to Anna, since it means he has to take her younger patients, including the ones who barf.

Hicks reintroduces Benton to Elizabeth, who will be shadowing him on trauma cases today. Meanwhile, Carter and Anna meet their med students, George Henry and Chasity Lee. Chasity is very eager and knows she won’t be doing anything glamorous for a while. Henry states right out that he’s not interested in patient care; he’s a researcher. Because of his combination M.D./Ph.D. program, he hasn’t worked with patients for four years. Carter isn’t sure how to handle this information.

Benton takes Elizabeth to the ER to help Doyle with a gunshot victim named Ernesto. For Elizabeth’s benefit, Benton has everyone go over their steps methodically. Elizabeth and Doyle start talking about kinds of bullets, which almost makes Benton roll his eyes. Carter wants to join them, even though he hasn’t been paged, since he wants to get involved in an interesting case. Benton and Doyle tell him they have more than enough doctors, so Carter isn’t needed.

Mark and Connie take care of a woman named Ethel who appears to be extremely drunk but claims she isn’t. Instead of helping with a cool gunshot case, Carter now has to take care of a drunk who needs rectal medication. Well, really, Henry will be taking care of her while Carter lies back and relaxes. Mark and Carol are working through the list of desk-clerk applicants, with only a few left to go. Jerry learns that when he was up for the job, the nurses took bets on who would get it.

Mark and Carol’s current interviewee is a humorless woman who’s worked in nine other hospitals. She’s obsessed with precision and is already annoyed with the late start of her interview. Jeanie treats an elderly woman named Estelle who fell down her stairs. She claims her sister pushed her. Benton and Elizabeth scrub in for surgery with Dr. Breedlove, and he cautions her to pay more attention than she did in the ER. She quickly goes against the stereotype of polite Brits by commenting on how short Breedlove is. Benton’s like, “Who is this woman who speaks her mind and will clearly be my next love interest?”

Henry bores Carter with talk of some of his research while Anna basks in her med student’s efficiency and cheery attitude. Jeanie asks Carter to tend to Estelle, so Carter hands her off to Henry. Mark and Carol interview Cynthia Hooper, who’s unprepared and has no experience in clerking. She thinks she’d be doing billing, which she wouldn’t. She does like working with people, though. Cynthia’s nerves get the better of her and she starts crying, making Carol give Mark a look that says, “Are we done here?”

Doug treats Jesús, a seven-year-old with a cough that might mean he has pneumonia. Doug has some trouble communicating with the boy’s parents, who don’t speak much English. Doug’s Spanish isn’t great, and though he’s able to ask questions of the parents, the Trajillos, he can’t understand their answers very well. Mark and Carol have no good prospects, and though Mark is willing to hire one of them, Carol says he wouldn’t fit in. They run into Heather, one of Mark’s exes, on their way to see a patient, an 18-year-old named Laura who passed out.

Carter brings Ethel’s case to Mark, wondering why she’s slurring when her blood alcohol level isn’t that high. Mark tells him to just move her along so he can see more patients. Benton and Carla go back to the NICU for the baby’s extubation, which goes well. They’re able to hold him for the first time without any wires or monitors. Carter loses track of Henry, who took an overly detailed history of a patient. Jeanie and Carter tell him to edit himself and stop ordering so many tests.

Jeanie tells Estelle that a social worker is coming to find her a new place to live so she doesn’t have to go home with her sister. As Jeanie adjusts the woman’s pillow, Estelle asks if she’s going to be smothered. Her sister tried that, too. So either Estelle is delusional or people just really hate her. Carol tells Laura that she passed out because she was dehydrated. She thinks Laura’s hiding something she hasn’t mentioned. She looks in Laura’s mouth and asks if her dentist has talked to her about her enamel.

Anna brings Carter and Henry to see her patient, a man named Oliver who was found wandering and may have schizophrenia. Malik, who’s passing by, says Oliver thinks he’s Sidney Poitier in Lilies of the Field. Malik should be flattered. Oliver is difficult to have a conversation with because he has short-term memory loss and keeps veering off on stream-of-consciousness tangents. Carter and Anna want to do a CT scan before they call psych, and Henry guesses that Oliver has a brain lesion.

Doug enlists Chuny as a translator to tell the Trajillos that Jesús will be okay after some antibiotics. A social worker named Thomas comes to meet Estelle, who begs Jeanie not to let her be sent back to her sister’s house. Weaver tells Mark that Carol wants to interview more candidates, but Mark thinks they’ve found one who will do the job fine. Weaver’s okay with that. Mark chastises Carter for scheduling Ethel for an MRI, but Carter says that Doyle approved.

Carol tells Mark that she suspected and got Laura to admit that has bulimia. They can’t get her an appointment at an eating-disorders clinic for weeks, so Carol wants Mark to talk to her. Mark says he deals with acute patients, not chronic ones, so he’s not the right person for the job. (I don’t know that an 18-year-old woman would listen to a guy like Mark anyway.) Also, if Carol has any other concerns about the desk-clerk candidates, she should talk to him, not go behind his back to Weaver.

Henry was right, and Oliver has a big lesion on his brain. Anna has to tell him that it could be serious, which makes him cry, which makes me feel horrible because he seems so sweet. Carter finds Henry in a lab, working on his research. Because he’s ten years old, Carter starts touching stuff without knowing what it is. Henry manages to stop him from mutating his genes.

Benton rushes to the NICU in hopes of being there the first time Carla tries to feed the baby. It’s been pushed until that night, so Benton asks Carla to page him when it’s time. She wants to pick a name, but they haven’t decided whether to give the baby the last name Reese or Benton. She figures she’ll be doing all the work, so her son should have her last name. Carla asks if Benton would see the two of them as a family without a baby. He wouldn’t, but she admits that she wouldn’t, either.

Paramedics bring in another gunshot victim as a guy scans the hallway for radioactivity. “I love this job,” Haleh murmurs. Elizabeth comes to assist, surprised to have another gunshot victim, because she doesn’t understand America yet. Elizabeth runs the trauma, at one point asking everyone to take a breath and slow down a little so they don’t rush anything. She does everything calmly and just as methodically as Benton would want.

As Carol goes out to get some medication, Jesús’ mother starts yelling for help – her son is coughing up blood. Anna runs in to help. Elizabeth stabilizes the gunshot victim, so when Benton finally comes in, there’s nothing left for him to do. Benton comments that Elizabeth must have been paying attention earlier after all. “Always,” she replies.

Thomas tells Jeanie that Estelle’s sister couldn’t have pushed her down the stairs since Estelle’s sister has been dead for years. Jeanie considers killing Estelle herself. She’s mainly annoyed that she spent all day taking care of one patient and is still waiting on tests for her. On top of that, Estelle told Thomas that Jeanie tried to smother her with a pillow. Jeanie assigns Henry to babysit Estelle until her tests results come back.

Chuny clears up the translation error that led Doug to miss Jesús’ diagnosis – they didn’t realize that by “shots,” he meant vaccines. Jesús may have whooping cough. Anna says she’s missed it herself, and Doug thanks her for stepping in. Anna runs into Oliver as he’s taken for scans, but he’s now forgotten why he’s in the hospital.

Carter tells Mark that Ethel isn’t drunk, she has multiple sclerosis. Mark doesn’t bother to praise Carter for catching that she was sick instead of just drunk. In the restroom where he was attacked, Mark tells Doug that the papers he got that morning were for a malpractice suit filed by Kenny Law’s family. Mark kind of thinks Chris attacked him, and is now adding insult to (literal) injury.

Anna tells Carter that she had to tell Oliver he was dying five times. Her reward for all her hard work is a tiny paycheck. Carter pretends that he’s also hurting financially. He wasn’t supposed to get paid at all, so he’s pleased to have a check. Except then Weaver asks him to endorse it back to the hospital (the check is just for malpractice purposes and other administrative stuff). As a cap to his long day, Carter’s shoes are radioactive, thanks to his trip to Henry’s lab, so he has to get rid of them.

Benton sits with Carla as she nurses the baby for the first time. He’s ready to give in and let her give the baby her last name. But Carla is also ready to give in and accept Benton as the name. In fact, she has an idea that will satisfy both of them: call the baby Reese Benton.

On his way out for the night, Mark lights a cigarette (because he’s in a bad place emotionally! Don’t you get it??) and runs into Cynthia. She apologizes for her awkwardness in the interview. He lights a cigarette for her and they chat about her recent move to Chicago. Mark spontaneously announces that Cynthia got the clerk job, so Carol’s going to be thrilled about that. Right now, though, Carol’s happy because she’s at home with Doug, giving him a drawer.

Thoughts: Cynthia is played by Mariska Hargitay. Henry is played by Chad Lowe.

TV characters on morphine will always be funny to me. My favorite is Ben from Parks and Rec.

Chuny can’t be the only ER employee who speaks Spanish, can she?

I love the compromise of the name Reese Benton. I think it’s the last compromise Carla and Benton ever make.

May 21, 2019

ER 4.1, Ambush: Live from Chicago, It’s Thursday Night!

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

Ha…ha?

Summary: We kick off this live-for-no-reason season premiere in darkness, with a film crew setting up to shoot a documentary. They’ll be following Mark as he works a shift in the ER. A P.A. tells Carol they’re also setting up cameras around the ER for extra footage; there’s now one in the lounge. It makes Carol awkward. Aggie, one of the directors, leads her cameraman to a trauma room, where Mark and Doug are tending to a guy with a broken leg. Carter and Benton arrive, and Benton is exactly as excited about being on camera as you would expect. Mark guesses that he’s also annoyed that Carter has left surgery.

The P.A. interrupts to tell Aggie that another doctor is saying she didn’t know about the shoot. The cameraman, Stuart, tells Carter he can speak at a normal volume, since there are enough microphones around to record him. “OKAY,” Carter says loudly. Mark teases that he’s just like that. At the admit desk, Weaver tries to convince Anna that the documentary is a good thing – the doctors will be shown in a positive light. A second cameraman, Luis, catches Jeanie taking a pill on camera.

Anna complains about her image being used “in perpetuity.” Doug wants to take the conversation off-camera, but Anna’s perfectly fine addressing Luis on the record. She’s not trying to say this is an ambush, but the release form the doctors are supposed to sign doesn’t outline where the footage will be used. Doug makes “she’s crazy” and “she’s drunk” gestures behind her. Aggie introduces herself to Anna to try to work things out, though she’s decided it’s not worth the trouble and they can just shoot around Anna. Malik is excited at the possibility of being on TV, but the documentary will only be on PBS.

In the lounge, Doug and Anna talk about whether Mark is up to the documentary. (It’s been a few weeks since his attack, judging by the fact that he has a brace on his arm now instead of a cast.) Anna thinks Mark is still shaky, but Doug insists that everything is fine. It’s a good sign that he wanted to do the documentary. When Mark comes in, he admits that he’s enjoying all the attention. But when he’s left in there alone, he has to take a moment to collect himself.

Jeanie presents a patient to him named Mr. Schoenberger, who had shortness of breath. Jeanie’s a little nervous on camera and trips over her words. Mr. S. spent the day smoking cigars and taking part in all-you-can-eat burrito night at his favorite Mexican restaurant. Jeanie wants to order a lot of tests, but Mark thinks that’s an overreaction. He blames the cigars, which are too cheap not to affect one’s health.

After a camera-shy Morgenstern comes by to encourage Mark a little, Anna turns in her release to be on camera. Aggie makes sure to record some of the nurses talking about one of Mark’s cases. She asks if any of the doctors and nurses date. Carol says they socialize as a group, and Mark hasn’t come much recently. Malik blurts out that he’s been keeping to himself since his attack.

As Doug passes by behind her, Carol says that it’s a myth that doctors and nurses hook up a lot. He stops to listen, then pulls her away to do nurse stuff. They end up behind a window, so it’s hard for the cameraman to film them, but their microphones are still on, and he catches them talking about meeting up later for sex. They think the cameraman can’t hear them, but soon remember that they’re wearing microphones.

Carter tells the camera that working in the ER requires staying on your toes. When he was in surgery, someone was always looking over his shoulder. In the ER, the residents get to be in charge of themselves. Well, until they have nurses yelling at them to take care of patients. Carter gets brought down a notch when a patient pukes on him.

Aggie does an interview with Mark, telling everyone else at the admit desk to keep working as usual. But the interview ends quickly when an ambulance arrives with a cancer patient in respiratory distress. Then Jeanie brings Mark some of Mr. S.’s tests, which may indicate a problem. Mark asks him to stick around while they run another test. Mark explains to Aggie that Mr. S. may have had a heart attack. He wants to give Mr. S. some time before he hears the news, and since Mark missed it, he needs to buy some time for himself.

The cancer patient, Boz, comes in accompanied by a friend named Rog. Rog is extremely unhelpful; he knows nothing about Boz’s end-of-life wishes, and he thinks he can smoke in the trauma room. Mark tries to ask Boz if he wants help breathing, since Mark isn’t sure if he has a DNR. Boz can’t speak or write an answer, so Mark decides to cut a hole in his neck.

Luis interviews a janitor named Nat as he cleans up Carter’s patient’s puke. He says this is no big deal; he’s seen much worse. The job can be gross, but you get used to it. The blood and gore, however, never get easier to see. Nat’s religious, and he believes people were created in God’s image, “so whatever I’m cleaning up must be just fine.” He doesn’t think you could be a janitor if you didn’t believe in God. Aggie pulls Luis away to come back and record Boz, who’s stopped breathing. Luis says he’ll come back to finish the conversation, but Nat doesn’t think he will.

Mark tells Aggie that one of his early patients was the sister of one of his med-school classmates. It hit him that traumas don’t just happen to strangers. Aggie asks if it changes things when doctors go through traumas. Mark gets defensive, not wanting to talk about his own experiences. He asks if he was chosen for the documentary because of his attack. Aggie and Luis promise that he doesn’t have to talk about anything he doesn’t want to.

Weaver and Carter discuss Boz, whose wife Petra has arrived. She’s much younger than Boz, and Weaver thinks Haleh might be the person to talk to her about Boz’s options. Carter volunteers to try, and Weaver explains to the camera that this isn’t usually an intern’s job, but Carter’s been there a while. Carter says he’s a second-year anyway, but Weaver corrects him. By moving to a new specialty, he has to start his internship over.

Carter goes over options with Petra, but she knows from experience what will and won’t work. She presents a DNR, which Rog was too panicked to remember. Petra’s been taking care of Boz for a long time and is both upset that things are going this way and jaded about everything they’ve been through. Carter asks if there’s anything else he can do for her. She asks him to refill one of her prescriptions, since she’s already at the hospital.

Doug and Anna examine a baby (who cries throughout the scene, as well as other scenes, but it’s live, so what can you do?) whose parents think she was bitten by their dog. For some reason, she’s been put in the curtained exam area with an angry woman named Doris, who’s unhappy to be near a crier. Doug quickly determines that the bite isn’t from a dog – it’s from the girl’s preschool-age brother.

Mark examines Doris, who has burns on her face that she claims are from hot popcorn. Mark advises her to stop doing crack. His bedside manner here is about a 2 on a scale from 1 to 10. Aggie asks Doug how Mark is able to handle these kinds of difficult situations every day. Doug tells her to talk to Mark about that.

After a shot of the crowded waiting area, Weaver wakes Benton from a nap in a hallway to alert him to a trauma. A teenager was being beaten by a gang, and he and a man who tried to break up the fight are being brought in. In the lounge, Doug wonders how the film crew found out about Mark’s attack. He warns Mark not to get mad at the crew on camera. He also thinks Aggie is into Mark. Mark tells him Aggie’s married to one of the other crew members. Carol lets them know that their conversation has been on camera.

The two trauma victims come in as a bored patient in the waiting area provides a soundtrack with a makeshift drum. Mark, Benton, and Anna take the innocent bystander, Theo Williams, who may have a spinal injury. Mark yells for someone to shut up the drummer. He determines that Theo isn’t in any immediate danger, but he seems to be paralyzed.

Some gang members have followed the ambulance to the ER, and Chuny has trouble keeping them calm and out of the trauma area. She tells Benton, Weaver, and Jeanie not to take the beating victim, Chico, to CT yet, since his “homies” are there. Chico’s sister (who only gets credited as Ms. Cruz) goes to the waiting area to tell the gang members to stay away from him. She’s angry both because they hurt her brother and because they injured an innocent man. A fight starts, and the camera gets shoved to the ground.

Weaver explains to Stuart that Theo’s condition is currently stable, but it’s possibly that, as swelling increases, he could lose the ability to breathe on his own. Stuart starts ignoring Weaver, choosing instead to spy on a hot woman in the hallway. He snaps back to attention, only to focus on Weaver’s limp. She laments that Theo tried to help a teen he didn’t even know, and was rewarded with paralysis.

Morgenstern wanders in, looking ill, and Weaver realizes he’s having a heart attack. She kicks Stuart out of the room, but he films through the window as Weaver and Linda try to save their boss. Mark tells Theo that he may need to go on a ventilator. Connie tries to get in touch with Mrs. Williams, who’s at a night class. Malik steals some sort of monitor from Jeanie, who’s annoyed until she learns that it’s for Morgenstern.

Benton kicks Carter out of the elevator as he takes Chico to surgery – switching to emergency medicine means Carter stays in the ER. Doug and Carter meet Elizabeth Corday, a British doctor looking for “casualty,” by which she means trauma. Carter wants to talk to Weaver about his intern status, but she’s kind of busy. Carter approaches Mark next, but he’s even busier. He gets the Williamses’ babysitter on the phone and tells her to run to Mrs. Williams’ school to get her. Theo will need intubation soon, and Mark wants his wife to be able to talk to him while he can still speak.

Elizabeth goes looking for Chico, not realizing he’s already been taken to surgery. She mentions to Carol that in England, surgeons aren’t addressed as Doctor; they’re called Mr. and Ms. Theo’s disappointed to hear that Chico isn’t doing well. Weaver, Jeanie, and Lydia send Morgenstern up to surgery, and Stuart invites himself along in the elevator. He asks why Morgenstern is being taken straight up while other patients have to wait. Weaver angrily schools him on priority patients.

Mark runs to a trauma room where Carter’s trying to revive an 82-year-old man. Stuart’s battery starts dying, and his picture gets fuzzy as he loses power. Carter saves the patient, but before he can tell Aggie how great it feels, the battery dies. Elizabeth introduces herself to Benton, who’s been on call for 36 hours and can finally leave now that she’s there. Benton tells Ms. Cruz that Chico is still in surgery, and they don’t know yet how bad his condition is.

Carter’s patient is pleased that he’ll be able to return to his retirement home and continue being a stud. The patient wants to make sure the camera crew keeps this in the documentary. Anna and Jeanie try to treat a man who appears to have fallen through a glass window. He’s covered in blood, and when Anna and Jeanie try to help him, he warns them to stay away because he has HIV. Jeanie comforts him and promises to help him.

Aggie interviews Elizabeth, who tries to explain the hierarchy of surgeons in England. She pulls Benton into the conversation, but he dodges the camera while looking for Ms. Cruz. Mrs. Williams arrives and Weaver tells Carol and Doug that she wouldn’t want to be in either Mrs. Williams or Mark’s shoes. The three of them talk about how difficult it is to give bad news to families.

Theo’s in good spirits, and his wife is trying to be optimistic about his condition. Mark can’t wait any longer and has to intubate him. Benton stops by to tell Theo that Chico’s going to be okay, and Ms. Cruz thanks Theo for saving her brother’s life. As Mark finishes Theo’s intubation, Malik sends him to help Carter, whose heart patient has flatlined again. Mark’s annoyed that Carter didn’t call him, though Malik did try to pull him away earlier, and Mark ignored him. He slams Carter for trying to run his own code; it was allowed in surgery, but not in the ER. Carter’s upset about the loss.

Mark tells Aggie that he’ll give an interview about his attack as long as she agrees not to use the footage of Carter’s failed code in the film. He says that the best part of his job is repairing some of the violence that happens to people. While they can’t fix Theo, they at least saved Chico, so Theo’s actions weren’t in vain.

Mark admits that he was attacked, and the culprit hasn’t been found. The worst part is that some of the violence in the world has leaked into the ER. The hospital is supposed to be safe, and now it’s vulnerable. It’s hard to accept. Aggie asks if Mark is scared. He says he fears losing control, both of what’s outside and of what’s inside him. Once Mark is sure that Aggie’s gotten what she needs, he tells the cameraman to stop filming.

Thoughts: There are five before-they-were-famous guest stars in this episode:

I love that they include Nat in the documentary. It’s a little bit of recognition for someone with a very thankless job, who I’m sure gets ignored all the time.

If I went all the way through med school, became a surgeon, and was still called Ms., I’d be ticked. Get it together, U.K.

Since it mainly happens in the background, it doesn’t get addressed, but Benton is very Carter-like in this episode. He wants to keep Ms. Cruz updated on her brother’s condition, and he stays even after his shift is over so he can keep her informed. I hope Carter teased him later about softening up.

May 14, 2019

ER 3.22, One More for the Road: In Which Somehow, Miraculously, Carter Is Still Gainfully Employed

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

I guess the bandana is supposed to make him more intimidating?

Summary: It’s 4:12 a.m., but Mark’s defying our drinking game by not being asleep. He’s also not dressed, so thanks for that. He’s just sitting in a chair, watching the rain outside. Doug’s just arriving at work, and Anna’s there because she couldn’t sleep. She’s been staying in a hotel and needs a place to live. Doug recommends that she talk to Carol, who grew up on the side of town where Anna wants to live. Benton is still by the baby’s side, but he has to go get ready for a shift. Jeanie and Al are in bed together; he’s watching her sleep, and somehow, it isn’t creepy.

Carter’s waiting for Anspaugh when he arrives for the day, wanting to set up a time to talk later. Anspaugh has time now, and he gets annoyed when Carter tries to delay their conversation. Carter finally announces that he’s thinking about leaving the surgical program. Now Anspaugh’s more than annoyed. He reminds Carter that he entered into a contract – in exchange for training, he’s supposed to give his best effort. He can’t just run home to Mommy. If Carter says anything more about being in the wrong program, he’ll be out of the hospital altogether.

Mark goes into the bathroom where he was attacked; for some reason, the broken mirror hasn’t been replaced. Anna chats with Carol about living arrangements, saying she’s looking forward to living alone. She’s the oldest of eight kids, and the only girl. Their father was a mailman, so Anna’s used to not having money. The two examine a boy named Chuck who has pain in his hip.

Carter tells Mark that, despite the response he got from Anspaugh, he’d still like to leave surgery for emergency medicine. He’s missed the match for the year, but he hopes Mark can help him get a spot anyway. Mark suggests that Carter get Weaver’s help instead. Benton operates with Hicks, spacing out because of lack of sleep and his distraction over the baby. He gets paged and steps out.

Mark and Doyle take care of a man named Mr. Munder who felt chest pain while working out. He’s afraid he’s having a heart attack like his father did at his age. Doyle orders a bunch of tests, but Mark, who appears to be back to his normal self, at least professionally, tells her to start with prescribing aspirin. Weaver and Jeanie tend to an elderly man, Bert, who’s on a ton of medication.

Doug tells Carol that he’s applied to a Big Brother program and put her down as a character reference. He invites her to get dinner that night, but she already has a date. Chuny and Connie aren’t that impressed with the guy. Doug learns that Anna ordered some sort of test for Chuck and tells Carol to hold off on it until Doug can check him out.

Carla and Benton meet with Dr. Tabash, who tells them the baby’s brain appears to be fine. They still have to look out for possible negative effects from low oxygen. Chances are that the baby will be fine, but there’s still a small chance that he’ll have learning disabilities or other complications. Mark tells Doyle that he’s decided to buy a gun after all. Jerry gives him a message that a detective is coming by later with photos of possible suspects. Mark asks Doug for a prescription for painkillers (and we’re probably supposed to think that will lead to an addiction, but it doesn’t, so just ignore that).

Munder has more chest pain, this time definitely from a heart attack. Mark stays calm while taking care of him. Weaver calls Carter for a surgical consult on Bert, but further examination shows that the care his wife is giving him at home isn’t very good. Carter asks Weaver to talk to Anspaugh on his behalf, but Weaver doesn’t think there’s money in the budget to pay him. Carter laughs as he says he’ll work for free. Oh, Carter. OH, CARTER.

Anna goes looking for Chuck, but Doug has already released him. She confronts him for taking over her case, but he pulls rank. She tells him he can take risks with his own patients, not hers. Mark and Doyle continue tending to Munder as Carter determines that Bert doesn’t need surgery. He and Jeanie gently question Bert’s wife about his nutrition and exercise. Carter tells her that it might be time for her husband to go to a care facility. She’s not interested.

Paramedics bring in a teen girl who appears to have overdosed on drugs in the park. Carol recognizes her and tells someone to get Doug. Anna thinks Carol’s calling him in to take over another one of her cases, but Carol tells her that Doug knows the patient – it’s Charlie.

Mark looks through some mug shots to try to ID a guy the police suspect as his attacker. He doesn’t recognize anyone, but he picks one who might have been the guy. The detectives don’t confirm his identity, but it’s clear that it’s the wrong guy. One of the detectives offers to refer Mark to a victims’ group so he can keep working through his trauma. Mark would rather trash the doctors’ lounge.

Doug checks in on Charlie, then goes off to call her mother. Benton chats with Kit, a NICU nurse, while Carla holds the baby. Benton admits that they haven’t chosen a name yet, and Kit says she thinks it’s “safe” to pick one (in other words, the baby will live). Doug and Carol discuss Mark’s lounge tantrum, and how he left to run an errand when he was done.

A guy comes in looking for Charlie, saying he’s her friend, though Doug notes that someone who doesn’t know her last name probably isn’t that close of a friend. Doug says the guy, Tommy, can ask Charlie’s mom if he can see her. Tommy says Charlie’s mom won’t be coming to see her, since she’s in jail. In that case, Charlie will be turned over to the Department of Children and Family Services, her worst nightmare.

Weaver confronts Carter for not warning her that Anspaugh doesn’t support his move from surgery to emergency medicine. He won’t budge. Weaver would love to have Carter in the ER, but she’s not going to mediate his issues with Anspaugh. Charlie’s taken a bunch of drugs, and it looks like she has hepatitis. Anna has restrained her, but Doug asks to have them removed, since he knows Charlie won’t talk to him otherwise. Charlie refuses to go back to foster care; she wants to go stay with friends. Doug offers to get her into rehab so she can straighten out her life.

Al stops by to see Jeanie, letting her know he wants to cook her dinner that night. Weaver’s surprised to learn that they’re back together. In case it wasn’t clear that Mark is having some issues, he’s smoking now. Doug tells him he won’t write him a painkiller prescription. He needs to get help. Mark thinks Doug has no place to talk, since he’s never been through a trauma like this. Doug offers to listen if Mark ever wants to talk.

Weaver pages Anspaugh to the ER for a consult, since she couldn’t find Carter. This frees Carter up to meet with a social worker, dietitian, and physical therapist about Bert’s care. Jackie finds Benton in the hospital chapel and remembers how he used to run to church as a kid in hopes of looking like he was repenting after he’d caused trouble. Benton shares his fears that something will turn out to be wrong with the baby. Jackie knows he’ll love his son no matter what. Life doesn’t always go the way we want, but we deal with it.

Carter hopes to find a care facility where Bert and his wife can both live, even though she doesn’t need as much care as he does. Anspaugh calls Carter away for rounds, but the people Carter’s been consulting with object. He’s the one who’s been dealing with the couple, so he needs to stay on. Anspaugh gets more and more impatient, and though it’s rude of him to demand that Carter leave in the middle of the conversation, it’s nowhere near as rude as Carter yelling at him in the middle of the hallway that he’ll come when and if he can.

The nurses’ shift ends, and Carol gets prettied up for her date. Doug and Anna meet with Adele, who isn’t sure that Charlie’s telling the truth about the poor conditions of her foster home. It’s kind of a moot point, though, since Charlie has fled the hospital. As Mark is leaving, Doyle tells him that Munder is doing better and will be getting a pacemaker implanted. His wife thanks Mark for saving him. E-Ray comments that it must be great to save people’s lives.

Doug and Anna drive around looking for Charlie, whom Anna says reminds her of herself. Weaver doesn’t bother to hide her disapproval over Jeanie and Al’s reunion. (Maybe she’s a Greg fan, like me.) Jeanie says she’s happier than she’s ever been, but not because of Al – because of herself. She’s no longer afraid of living her life. She’s been in love with Al since she first saw him at the age of 16, and she knows he feels the same about her. Weaver just tells her to have a good night.

Mark falls asleep on an El train on his way home, waking up when some loud punks get on. They start hassling him for money, so he gets off at the next stop. They follow him, so he pulls a gun on them and chases them off. Doug and Anna have no luck finding Charlie; it sounds like she and Tommy have scored some good drugs and are holed up somewhere. Doug invites Anna to get something to eat, and she questions what, exactly, he has in mind. She asks how long ago he and Carol broke up. He says it was a long time, but Anna still doesn’t want to get in the middle of that.

Carter approaches Anspaugh as he’s leaving, trying to clarify that he has nothing against surgery or surgeons. He knows he could be competent at surgery, but not great. In emergency medicine, he could excel. He wants to spend time with his patients, and he knows he’s good at it. This is how he wants to make a difference in people’s lives. He asks Anspaugh not to make him give that up or waste his talents.

Anspaugh says he’s sometimes wondered if he made the right decision in becoming a surgeon. Carter’s 25 but feels certain about what he wants to do. He was able to get Bert and his wife into a nursing home together. Anspaugh tells Carter to find him in the morning so they can work out some arrangements. So Carter has won yet another round with Anspaugh. Meanwhile, Mark runs to a bridge and tosses his gun into the river. Money well spent!

Doug’s lurking in the shadows outside Carol’s house when she gets home from her date. He teases her about not letting the guy come in. She says it was only the third date. Doug does that cute smirk he always does – the smirk that made half of America fall in love with George Clooney – and then kisses her. She’s surprised, but when he leans in again, she welcomes him. Back at County, Benton holds his son for the first time.

Thoughts: Who calls a kid Chuck? Like, when he was born, did his parents say, “Let’s call the baby Chuck”?

If I ever even THOUGHT about raising my voice to my boss the way Carter does to Anspaugh, I’d either be fired or I’d be so ashamed that I would never be able to face her again. Carter is too gutsy for his own good.

Mark seeing the teens on the train and immediately panicking made me think of this.

Season 3 is done! Next up: Elizabeth, Romano, and actual character development for Benton.

May 7, 2019

ER 3.21, Make a Wish: I Hope Carol Wished for a Less-Creepy Fake Baby

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

Yeah, this looks like a guy who’s ready to go back to his stressful job

Summary: Carter finds Benton before an ER shift to discuss their transplant case from the previous week. He’s starting to think he’s in the wrong place. He loves surgery, but he’s not completely satisfied. Benton doesn’t know what that means. Carter doesn’t like that surgeons don’t get to know their patients better.

Anna’s getting acclimated to working at County, and has undergone an extensive security check. Weaver says they’re beefing things up in the wake of Mark’s attack. He’s coming back to work today, and Weaver wants everyone to work together to give him a light load. Doug mentions that it’s Carol’s birthday, which annoys her, since he promised he wouldn’t. But he also told everyone last year, so it can’t be a secret anymore, right?

Jeanie and Al are fully back together and making out in her kitchen. He gets distracted by her microwave, complaining that she never let him have one. Back at County, Carla’s in labor, and Coburn can no longer do anything to stop it, even though it’s two months early. Time for Benton to become a father!

Mark arrives for his first shift post-beating. He has a cast on his hand and a huge, ugly bruise around his eye, which should put his patients right at ease. He meets Anna, who mentions that she’s kind of already met him, though he was unconscious at the time. Mark jumps in to help Doug and Carol with a trauma, but Doug urges him to take it easy.

Benton is a great birthing coach, if what you want in a birthing coach is a guy who ignores you to ask your doctor questions about your treatment. Coburn eventually tells him to shut up and be helpful. Security is adding cameras, bulletproof glass, and armed guards, which we know from future seasons will do absolutely nothing.

Mark thinks everyone’s overreacting. The better plan is to change how they deal with patients and families. Weaver isn’t convinced that a patient or family member was responsible for Mark’s attack. Mark points out that the ER is slow, and some patients have been sitting around for hours. Anyone would get mad enough to attack someone. Chuny hands him some charts, which he drops, and when he bends down to pick them up, he can’t hide that he’s still in pain.

Anna joins Coburn for Carla’s delivery, and Benton rolls his eyes over the fact that she’s just a resident. Despite that, Anna definitely knows what she’s doing, and doesn’t have any trouble taking charge when she needs do. In the lounge, Doyle offers Mark the opportunity to choose from a variety of weapons like pepper spray and stun guns. She admits that she keeps a gun in her car. She once used it to scare off a guy who tried to rob her at a drive-through. Mark decides to “pass on the armaments,” but Carter takes a look, and promptly gets pepper spray in his eyes.

Coburn and Anna deliver the baby, who’s not doing well (and also, the fake baby they use for this scene is really disturbing). Benton finds himself in the rare position of being helpless. Carol laughs as she washes out Carter’s eyes, and he complains about how lousy his life is going right now. He asks about her willingness to start her whole career over in med school. Mark comes in for a few moments, and Carter’s like, “I know I just maced myself, but Mark looks worse than I do.”

Carla’s distressed not to have any news on the baby, and it doesn’t help that her gurney is briefly parked outside a room where happy mothers are holding their healthy babies. Mark and Carter tend to a trauma patient named Harry who crashed his car in a suspected DWI. Carter doesn’t smell alcohol on the guy’s breath. Harry seizes, and Mark accidentally gets his broken hand caught under him.

Benton goes to the NICU to find out the baby’s treatment plan. The neonatologist, Tabash, fills him in, then tells him what he should pass along to Carla. Right now, they have to wait and see how he responds to his current treatment. Tabash asks the baby’s name, but Benton and Carla haven’t decided on that yet.

Doug tells Carol that their co-workers are throwing her a surprise birthday party. She thinks he’s joking, since he mentioned it earlier, but now he’s gotten an invitation and knows it’s real. Fortunately, since Doug knows Carol doesn’t like celebrating her birthday, he can get her out of it. The excuse they’re using: Carol’s having dinner with Doug. Carol calls it a trap, but Doug calls it a rescue.

Jeanie learns from Anna that Carla had the baby, who’s struggling. Anna says she’s worked on lots of preemies but never gets used to it. Randi mentions that Mark’s obsessed with treating patients quickly now, and Weaver says he just needs a few days to settle back in. Doug checks in with Mark, who thinks a week off work was enough time away. He gave the police a list of people who might have attacked him. He feels like he got a wake-up call and will now remember to use better bedside manner.

Jeanie goes to the NICU, where Benton tells her how bad off the baby is. Carla’s sitting with him but has asked Benton to stay in the hallway. Jeanie guesses that Benton hasn’t told his family or co-workers about the baby yet. She encourages him to reach out to his support system. She also tells him to stop standing in the hallway.

Carter and Connie treat a man named Lensky who has bad stomach pain. Weaver pulls Carter aside to report that Mark thinks Lensky’s waiting too long for a surgical consult. Carter and Weaver agree that he probably has a perforated ulcer, so Anspaugh will need to examine him. Doug and Carol need to treat a boy named Russell who broke his wrist, and Doug is willing to try to fix it without painkillers. Russell yells as soon as they approach him, so Doug changes his mind.

Benton tells Tabash that Carla will want to know all the possible outcomes for the baby. Tabash says all parents want that, but they can’t see the future. Benton is concerned with the baby’s eyesight, even knowing that’s not the biggest problem he could face. Carter tells Mark that he talked to Harry’s mother, who mentioned that he was going to a pre-employment screening for his new job. She also said she was relieved that the police didn’t find any marijuana on Harry. Harry appears to have drunk so much water to dilute his urine and clear out the pot that he gave himself water intoxication.

Thanks to the painkillers, Russell is much happier. He’d like his dad to be with him, but his dad can’t handle medical stuff and is staying out of the room. Russell says his father usually sings to him, so Carol volunteers Doug to take his place. Doug invites her to do a duet. For some reason, Doug opts for “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.” You know, every kid’s favorite song in 1997.

Anspaugh’s annoyed that Carter made him come to the ER for a consult he didn’t really need. Any senior resident should know this was a surgical case. Carter tells Lensky he needs surgery, but Lensky panics and tries to leave. Carter asks if something happened to him or someone else that has made him so opposed to surgery. Lensky confides that his father died during a gallbladder operation, a procedure the surgeon said over and over was simple. Now Lensky’s wary about trusting another surgeon.

Later, Carter tells Weaver that he tried his best but couldn’t change Lensky’s mind. He’s dreading Anspaugh’s disapproval. Weaver gives Carter some ideas of what he can do next. Before Carter can get too down about the situation, Haleh brightens his day with Harry’s labs. Carter was right about the water intoxication.

Mark meets with a detective who tells him all the leads he gave the police have been cleared. The detective is surprised that Mark isn’t happier about the news. Carter tells Mark that he was right about Harry, but Mark doesn’t really care. Tabash wants to give the baby nitrogen oxide, since it’s helped some full-term babies. There’s a risk of development problems, but sticking with the current treatment has its own risks. Benton and Carla need to discuss their options.

Weaver follows Mark outside, and he tells her he was wrong about all his possible attackers. He thought he was starting to piece things together, but now the police say it was just a random attack. For the first time in his life, Mark is the victim, not the person treating the victim. Weaver reminds him that they see those victims every day, and they can’t let themselves get overwhelmed with the thought that they could be in the same position. He says it makes them different from their patients, but Weaver thinks it makes them the same.

Carter tells Anspaugh that Lensky declined surgery, but Carter has discovered that he doesn’t need it after all. The ulcer has spontaneously sealed itself off. Anspaugh insists that Lensky needs surgery, but Carter found an article that says he can be treated medically. “You think this is about what he wants?” Anspaugh asks. Carter says yes, of course, but Anspaugh reminds him that surgeons cut.

Carter disagrees – if he can find a medically acceptable treatment that his patient agrees with, he should do it. Anspaugh is bothered by the fact that Lensky is refusing a necessary procedure, but it bothers him even more that Carter is helping him go against a surgeon’s recommendations.

Mark snaps at Lily, so yeah, Weaver, he’s getting better. As Carol and Doug head out for their dinner together, she learns that a temp clerk will be working at the admit desk that night. E-Ray won’t tell Carol why, like it’s a government secret. Mark runs into Nina, who wants him to meet with a counselor who specializes in PTSD. He denies that he needs that kind of treatment. He claims things are getting back to normal, and he doesn’t appreciate Nina being a shrink with him. So that near-relationship is definitely over.

Benton apologizes to Coburn for being so intense during the birth, but it’s not like this is the first time she’s had to deal with a father who wasn’t being calm. Carla’s doing fine, at least physically, and Benton thinks it’s time to let her know what’s going on with the baby’s treatment. Doug takes Carol home so she can change for their dinner, but it’s a trap after all – the surprise party is at her house.

Al surprises Jeanie at home with a garage door opener. He always thought they were dumb, but I guess since Jeanie got him a microwave, he felt the need to repay her kindness. Carol’s guests brought booze but no food, so that party’s going to be fun. Doug teases her about drinking milk straight out of the carton. He tells her he wanted to make up for all the lousy birthdays she’s had in the past.

Carter asks Weaver what he would have to do to switch from surgery to emergency medicine. Would he have to redo his residency? Weaver asks if he’s talked to Mark, but Carter knows better than to bring that up when Mark’s being so grouchy. On his way out of work, Mark gets nervous in the parking garage, thinking a guy walking by is going to attack him. He only feels safe when he gets in his car.

Carol gets a nice birthday cake with a ton of candles. The women at the party put rings around the candles, saying that’ll make Carol’s wish come true. If she’s wishing for what I think she is, it will. As she blows out the candles, Benton stands in the hallway outside the NICU, watching his son.

Thoughts: Yeah, a guy with a broken hand and busted ribs is exactly who you want taking care of you in an emergency.

I know it’s not as respected or whatever as being a doctor, and his family would flip out, but Carter should just be a nurse.

Maybe I need shorthand fro the phrase “Anspaugh is annoyed.”

’90s music alert: Better Than Ezra’s “Desperately Wanting.”

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