July 28, 2020

ER 6.17, Viable Options: Would Luka Consider You Worthy of a Kidney?

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

Maybe he stabbed the guy to see if his blood was green?

Summary: Romano has decided to get back in the “trenches” with the “little people,” so he’s working in the ER for the day. He immediately has something chaotic to deal with when two men crash through the ER doors, trying to beat each other up after an incident of road rage. Neither is badly injured, at least until one of them, Terry Waters, grabs a pen from Romano’s pocket and jams it in the other guy’s cheek. Romano is more worried about the state of his pen than he is about the guy’s face.

Mark accompanies David to an appointment, mostly to make sure he keeps using his oxygen tank. David is still resistant to having his cancer treated and is considering moving out of Mark’s apartment if he won’t stop pressing for treatment. Luka examines a patient who’s at County to get a kidney transplant he’s been waiting for a long time. He’s grateful for the kidney but not happy about much else. The words “cranky old man” come to mind.

Chen stitches up Waters as his daughter, Jo, learns what happened. Waters accidentally knocks over a cup of water and gets agitated about it. Outside the room, Jo tells Chen that this kind of aggression isn’t typical for Waters. In the week she’s been there to visit him, he’s been lashing out at people and losing his balance. Chen decides he needs some tests.

Cleo brings Benton to examine a man named Hal who may have a bowel obstruction. Luka’s patient is in the next bed, complaining about being hungry, since he’s not supposed to eat before his transplant. Benton determines that Hal doesn’t need surgery and writes a prescription for medication that will help relieve his symptoms. A woman named Mrs. Dwyer brings in a teen named Angie who has Sanfillipo disorder, a metabolic condition that affects the brain. Angie can’t do anything for herself, so Mrs. Dwyer is her full-time caregiver. She’s as familiar with her treatment as any doctor would be and clearly cares a lot about her.

Remember Eddie, the diabetic kid whose chart Carter falsified? Looks like his grandmother’s insulin hasn’t helped him, because he’s being brought in by ambulance. While rushing to get back to Eddie, Cleo quickly gives Hal his prescription and send him home. She doesn’t recognize him from his last visit and is shocked by how high his blood sugar is; he must have been sick for a while. She tells Yosh to page Carter so he can answer some questions about Eddie’s previous care.

Elizabeth returns to Chicago after flying to another state to get Luka’s patient’s kidney, but there’s a problem: The patient developed unstable angina and can’t have the transplant today. There’s another possible recipient on her way to the hospital. Cleo tells Carter that Eddie’s been admitted, but Carter doesn’t remember him, either. She accuses him of doctoring Eddie’s chart to hide his diabetes. She’s furious that Carter let him go without a treatment plan – he could have died.

Luka examines the second possible kidney recipient, Sonya, who’s also been waiting a long time for the surgery. She’s basically the opposite of a cranky old man. Mrs. Dwyer brings a bunch of dolls and stuffed animals to Angie’s room so she’ll be more comfortable. Weaver and Carol want to insert a central line so they can give Angie medications without having to insert IVs, since her veins are difficult to deal with. Mrs. Dwyer admits that she can’t approve the procedure. She’s Angie’s foster mother, not her legal guardian. She wants to adopt Angie, but her medical needs are too expensive. Her guardianship is through Social Services.

Carter asks Eddie’s father, Mr. Bernero, why he didn’t do more to make sure Eddie was healthy. Mr. B says the insurance has been worked out, but obviously his medical care hasn’t. Mr. B says Carter didn’t tell him how bad things could get. He insists Eddie’s been doing great, though Cleo said earlier that he’s been sick for a while. Carter can’t believe Mr. B is trying to pretend he doesn’t have any responsibility here.

Adele gets in touch with Angie’s guardian, who has no familiarity with her care or with medical issues in general. Since Angie’s condition isn’t life-threatening, he won’t approve the central line. Weaver asks if he’s ever even seen Angie. Of course not! Why would he do that? Even Weaver can’t get through to him, so no central line.

Luka discovers through Sonya’s pre-op exam that she’s eight weeks pregnant. She and her husband have been trying to conceive for almost two years. The drugs she’ll have to take after the transplant could cause a miscarriage, so she can either have the baby or the transplant, but not both. Sonya’s husband hasn’t arrived at the hospital yet, and she has to make a decision quickly, so she’ll have to choose on her own. Sonya opts for the baby.

David runs into Elizabeth after his appointment and she offers to go get something to eat with him. Mark is discussing Waters with Chen; both of them think he has a neurological issue. David confides in Elizabeth that he has a hard time discussing his condition with Mark. He knows Mark wishes he could have control over the situation. David doesn’t want to be a burden to Mark, but Elizabeth says he’ll want to take care of David no matter what. David is willing to go to a hospice in Chicago, which he thinks is a good compromise.

Mark and Chen tell Waters that they think he has Huntington’s, which not only causes mood changes and jerking movements, but also eventually leads to dementia. Oh, and there’s no cure. Have a great day, Mr. Waters! His father killed himself when Waters was a teenager, and Mark guesses that it’s because he also had Huntington’s. Waters realizes that he might have passed the disorder to his daughter.

Cleo goes over Eddie’s case with someone from his insurance company to verify the reason for his admission to the hospital. She glosses over the details of Eddie’s previous visit, not wanting to admit that she and Carter both knew Eddie had diabetes months ago but didn’t ensure that he would get treatment. Mark joins the conversation and tells the insurance rep that he’ll look into things. He guesses that Cleo’s hiding something, but she just tells him that Eddie is Carter’s patient.

Elizabeth tells Mark that a hospice center is going to be contacting him about David. Mark’s upset that the two of them discussed hospice behind his back. Elizabeth doesn’t think Mark will be able to handle the level of care David will need as his condition declines, even with nursing support while Mark is at work. He tells her not to interfere. Elizabeth asks if he’s doing what’s best for David or what’s best for himself.

Steve, the third potential transplant recipient, arrives to try his hand at getting the kidney. Chen gets Waters an appointment with a geneticist the same day he’ll need to appear in court for the road-rage incident. Chen points out that his anger is a symptom of Huntington’s, so the incident might not be his fault. Waters doesn’t think that’s a great excuse, though.

He hasn’t told Jo that she might have Huntington’s, since his father never told him and he’s glad not to have known. Chen says Jo has the right to know, but Waters disagrees, since she can’t do anything about it. Chen says that Jo might make different decisions about her life if she knew how she could end up – she might choose not to work or have children. Waters replies that she might not get married or have a life. Chen says she needs to know that she could pass Huntington’s to her own children. Waters wants Jo to stay happy for as long as possible.

Weaver makes arrangements for Mark to be able to override Angie’s guardian’s decision about the central line. Mark is reluctant but eventually approves it. When Weaver returns to Angie’s room, she finds Romano there. He confronts her for circumventing the system to try to improve the quality of life of a teen who’s never going to recover. Weaver argues that Angie’s condition could be life-threatening, and all she needs is a central line.

Romano accuses her of letting her sympathy for Mrs. Dwyer override the system. He overturns Mark’s approval of the central line and slams Weaver for being unprofessional. Weaver argues that she’s just supporting Mrs. Dwyer’s decision, which should be seen as the same as any other parent’s decision, since she’s Angie’s mother in every way but the legal one. Romano says Angie has no quality of life, so they shouldn’t waste their resources or money on her.

Hal is brought back to the ER after collapsing at home. He’s having heart difficulties, though he’s never had them before. Cleo, Carter, and Romano realize that he was given the wrong medication. Luka gets stunning news about Steve while Chen tells Mark that she wants to go against Waters’ wishes and let Jo know she could have Huntington’s. But since Jo isn’t Chen’s patient, she can’t tell her anything. Luka confronts Steve about his lab work, which shows that he used cocaine. Since that’s what destroyed his kidneys the first time, Luka won’t approve him to get a new one he’ll just destroy again.

Jo introduces Chen to her fiancé, Glen, who thinks Waters might be suffering from depression. He offered to pay for Jo and Glen’s wedding, and he might be feeling down about the expense. Chen just says that might be the case. She lets Waters go without revealing his secret to Jo. Carol catches Weaver inserting a central line in Angie and offers to help, but Weaver doesn’t want to get her involved. I wonder what Doug would say if he knew Weaver was going rogue just like him.

Romano gathers Carter, Cleo, and Benton to try to figure out what happened with Hal’s prescription. Benton thinks his handwriting is clear, but Carter says he can see where the pharmacist might have misread it. If it wasn’t clear, though, the pharmacist should have called to clarify. Romano pulls Abby in for an objective opinion, but she can’t read the writing, either.

Benton won’t admit that he might have done something wrong, and Cleo knows what he prescribed, so she won’t go against him. Romano gets her to admit that she didn’t read the label clearly when she gave Hal the medication. Carter tries to speak up but Romano tells him this has nothing to do with him. Then why is he there? Poor Abby asks if she can leave.

Romano criticizes the level of incompetence in the ER, but he’s in charge, so what does that say about him? Abby runs away before he can stop her. Romano tells Benton and Cleo they’re forbidden from writing prescriptions for the foreseeable future. Carter can write any they need. Carter smirks a little, because what’s a little potentially fatal error when it means Carter gets to exercise some superiority? Benton seems to be chalking this up to another Romano tantrum that will eventually pass, but Cleo’s upset.

After Benton dismisses Carter, he asks Cleo if she really handed over the medication without reading the label. She tells him his writing wasn’t legible, but Benton argues that he shouldn’t be writing prescriptions for her patients anyway. Yeah, buddy, she didn’t ask you to – you just did it. He reminds her that one of the first lessons of med school is double-checking labels. Yeah, thanks, Benton.

Luka has contacted UNOS, the national transplant-coordination organization, since there are no qualified recipients in the area. The next one is coming in 40 minutes, which will put them past the mark for the kidney’s viability. Elizabeth is upset that Luka called UNOS without consulting her. She thinks Steve should get the kidney. Their choices are putting a healthy kidney in a questionable person or giving it to no one. Luka would rather let it go to waste than let Steve ruin it. Elizabeth tells him she’ll wait 30 minutes for the next recipient. If she’s not there in time, Steve gets the kidney.

Romano checks up on Angie, actually listening when Mrs. Dwyer talks to him about Angie’s condition and how much Mrs. Dwyer loves her. Is that…a glimmer of sympathy? From Robert Romano? No, I must be imagining things. He confronts Weaver for inserting the central line against his orders, then suspends her and sends her home. Weaver thinks it’s ridiculous but she doesn’t fight him. She probably thinks it was worth it.

As Carter and Mark get ready to leave for the day, Carter mentions that he’s moved in with his grandparents. Mark asks about a hypothetical patient fitting Eddie’s description, wondering what Carter would do to find out what’s wrong with him. Carter pretends that he forgot to order a test back when Eddie was first seen. Mark is totally on to him, but since Carter won’t admit to the deception, there’s nothing Mark can do.

The fourth potential transplant recipient doesn’t make it to County within Elizabeth’s window, so Steve is the lucky winner of the kidney. Benton goes to Cleo’s place to try to make up with her without actually apologizing. He just tells her he doesn’t blame her for the error. Oh, isn’t that nice? He doesn’t hold her responsible for a mistake they both made! How sweet! Cleo calls him out for his weak apology, which in no way expressed any regret, but obviously it’s not a big deal to her, since she wants to get naked with him.

At home, Mark tells David that he checked out the hospice center David wants to go to, but there are no spots available. David will just have to keep living with Mark. Luka wants to have a cookout in Carol’s backyard, even though it’s cold out. It seems like they’ve been spending a lot of time together, since he knows about the girls’ personalities. Carol teases that if Luka can’t successfully grill his steaks, she has a steak and kidney pie in the freezer. She tells him the nurses thought Luka would have to take the kidney home with him. She thinks Luka scared Steve into rehab. The cookout ends abruptly when it starts snowing, even though it’s April.

Thoughts: Waters is played by Walter Skinner himself, Mitch Pileggi.

Remember Carol’s clinic, which treated uninsured patients? Why didn’t Cleo and Carter send Eddie there originally?

I’m surprised Romano approved when Lucy fought to get Valerie a heart – a much riskier situation than Angie’s – but fights Weaver over a simple central line.

Cleo, do you really want to be with someone who can’t admit when he might have made a mistake?

July 21, 2020

ER 6.16, Under Control: Fatal Mistakes and Other Life-or-Death Decisions

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:59 pm by Jenn

Get it, Chen

Summary: Mark and David are repairing a slide projector before Mark has to go to work. He tells David that he set up an appointment for him with an oncologist. David doesn’t want to see any doctors, since he was told back in San Diego that his cancer is untreatable. Over at Elizabeth’s, Isabelle is packing to go back to England. Elizabeth finds one of David’s socks, making her wonder if he only wore one home. Isabelle says she’s enjoyed being single all these years, and she’d like to know what would make Elizabeth happy in her own life.

Carter is back at work for the first time since he was stabbed. He’s on crutches for another week or so, which means he won’t be very fast on trauma cases. Also, I’m sure he’s mentally fine returning to the place where he almost died, and where his co-worker DID die. But it’s not like anyone from psych will be able to help him anyway, since they’re incompetent. Anyway, Mark is the highest-ranking doctor in the ER, which is swamped since it’s Saturday and clinics are closed. Dave still has time to flirt with Chen, though.

Chuny brings an ICU nurse named Frank to the ER after he passed out while working. Haleh tells Mark that patients keep leaving without being seen, since the wait time is so long. Mark goes back to his old trick from “A Shift in the Night,” grabbing a cart and a couple of helpers to do “power rounds.” He goes through the exam rooms to catch up on cases and make fast decisions about treatments.

A man named Adam is brought in after trying to kill himself with a Benadryl overdose. Carol has to take a call from her new nanny, who seems less competent at childcare than psych does at seeing patients. Abby examines a man named Kim who has colon cancer that has probably spread. She offers him some morphine to keep him comfortable while they wait for his lab work to come back.

Chen wants Frank to stay on a heart monitor for a while, though he insists he’s fine. Chen gets momentarily distracted by his bare chest. Frank says he passed out because he ran 12 miles before work; it’s not a big deal. Dave watches, amused, as Chen strikes up a conversation with Frank. I’m surprised Dave isn’t jealous that the woman he keeps flirting with is attracted to someone else. Mark complains to Elizabeth that David’s driving him crazy about repairing the projector and not discussing treatment options. He doesn’t tell her that David was diagnosed with cancer.

Patients keep coming in, and the ER is running out of beds, but Mark won’t take Elizabeth’s suggestion to close to critical cases. Adam is having seizures, and Carter struggles to intubate him without causing himself pain. He determines that Adam will need dialysis. Mark and Elizabeth prepare to work together on a patient who was shot, but Mark quickly realizes that he can’t be saved. They talk Abby through a procedure that will keep him eligible to donate his organs. Abby struggles with it, and Mark wants to let her keep trying, but Elizabeth steps in to take over.

A nephrologist disagrees with Carter’s assessment that Adam needs dialysis, even though Carter has read about a patient in this exact situation who was saved with dialysis. The other doctor refuses to put the patient at risk for complications. After he leaves, Carter decides he knows enough to do what’s needed himself – he can write the orders. Carol agrees to get a nephrology nurse she knows to go along with the plan. Seems like Carol misses going rogue with Doug.

Mark and Abby join Chen to work on a patient who soon needs more care than just having his heart shocked – the defibrillation causes him to catch on fire. Frank comes to help out. Mark knows him and calls him Rambo, his nickname from Desert Storm. Chen is absolutely mentally undressing him right now. Carter tells Mark how he’s treating Adam, skipping over the part where he’s ignoring the nephrologist’s instructions. Mark checks on Robert, the possible organ donor (I think that’s his name. It’s what I’m going with, anyway), but the police haven’t been able to find his family to get their consent. Mark thinks Elizabeth is being unrealistic about keeping him alive.

Carol deals with her nanny again, then goes back to Carter. Dori (the nurse who’s played by a Real Housewife) has a question about the patient’s care, and when she says she’ll have to clarify the instructions with the nephrologist, Carol comes clean about going behind his back. Dori refuses to participate, even when Carter offers to take full responsibility. Mark comes in, overhearing part of the conversation, and pulls Carter out of the room to berate him. If Carter wants to bend the rules, he needs to tell Mark so Mark can be the bad guy.

A woman named Pilar brings in her baby, Estrella, who’s been having seizures. Mark tends to her, asking Chuny to remove the mother from the trauma room. Chen checks in on Frank, then helps Abby with a procedure Mark was supposed to walk her through on Kim. It seems to go fine, but then Kim complains of pain. Frank, who’s in the next bed over, suggests that Abby get a chest x-ray.

Mark tries to save Estrella while giving Carter orders for Adam’s treatment. Frank looks at his own test results at the front desk, determining that he doesn’t have any serious medical problems. Chen sends him back to bed, and Frank jokes that she just wants to keep him around. Dave complains to Randi about him, and Randi mocks him for eating cereal out of an emesis basin. Carol figures out (but doesn’t tell him) that the milk he stole from the lounge fridge for his cereal is her breast milk.

Mark hasn’t been able to revive Estrella, but he steps away while Chuny keeps working so he can deal with Robert’s case. Elizabeth still wants to keep him alive until his family can be found. Benton tells Kim that Abby accidentally perforated his colon. If he has surgery to repair the damage, it’ll take him a couple of months to recover – months Kim doesn’t have. Without the surgery, Kim will probably develop an infection he wouldn’t recover from.

Estrella is still unstable, and her lab work doesn’t give Mark any information about what’s wrong with her. They’ve been working on her so long with no change that Mark decides there’s nothing else they can do. Kim tells Benton he doesn’t want surgery, which means his only treatment option is antibiotics. Abby thinks there should be a better fix for her mistake, but Benton reminds her that she has to respect her patient’s wishes. She argues that Kim is going to die because she screwed up. Benton reminds her that, with end-stage cancer, Kim is going to die either way.

Chuny tries to explain to Pilar that Estrella is dead, but Pilar insists that there’s more Mark can do for her. Mark gently talks her out of her denial. Things start to pick up in the ER again, so Frank jumps in to help out. Abby tells Mark about Kim, though Mark’s already heard the details from Benton. Abby says that Chen supervised her, but Mark points out that she didn’t give Chen a full history; if she had, Chen would have told her to place her needle in a different spot. Kim now has a fever, and Abby thinks he’s septic. She wants to sit with him, since he doesn’t have a family, but the ER’s too busy for that.

Dave brings a patient to Mark for help getting a Gila monster off his hand. Malik declines to help if it means he has to get near the lizard. Mark and Dave get the lizard to detach its teeth from the patient’s hand without hurting the reptile. Mark then goes back to Elizabeth, where she’s trying to stabilize Robert. Mark tells her to declare him dead already; there’s no point in using up time and resources to save him. Elizabeth stabilizes Robert and doesn’t agree to Mark’s orders.

Carol tells Mark that Estrella tested positive for amphetamines. They ask Pilar if someone might have given the baby drugs. Pilar admits that she sometimes takes drugs to stay awake, since she works two jobs, but she never brings them home. Carol realizes that Pilar passed the drugs to Estrella through her breast milk. Pilar is devastated that her actions accidentally killed her child.

Elizabeth tries to get in touch with Isabelle, since they were supposed to meet for coffee before Isabelle left. Yosh gives her a message Isabelle left earlier – she took an earlier flight and is already on her way home. Frank helps run the board, proving to be more helpful than some of the staff members who usually work in the ER, Dave. David comes in with shortness of breath that he thinks is just from a cold. Mark examines him and determines that he has fluid in his lungs. When Elizabeth joins them, David asks her to be his doctor instead of Mark.

The guy who was formerly attached to the Gila monster is now crashing from the lizard’s venom. Super Frank is there to help save the day. He smells smoke, which Lily guesses is from her patient’s stupidity at thinking you can smoke in a hospital. Haleh pulls Mark away to deal with another patient as Randi tells him that there’s a psych patient threatening to jump from a window on the third floor. Mark just tells her to clear a trauma room. Things get more and more hectic, with people coming to Mark while he’s trying to deal with traumas. Maybe the ER needs more doctors?

David tells Elizabeth about his cancer and his decision not to receive any treatments. He doesn’t want to spend the last few weeks or months of his life sick and hooked up to machines. Frank lets Abby know that Kim died; for some reason, no one bothered to tell her. Finally, the ER gets another doctor when Weaver arrives for the night shift. But then they also get another patient when Frank passes out again.

Carter tries to help Mark and Weaver as they tend to the psych patient who jumped out the window. Carol’s nanny calls yet again, unable to take care of crying babies, so Carol steps away from the trauma to sing “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” to Kate. Mark questions her choice of lullaby, but Carol says it works. Mark spots Elizabeth chatting with David through the window, then goes back to trying to save his patient.

By the time Luka comes in for the night shift, things in the ER are calm. The incompetent nanny brings in Carol’s twins, who are also calm now. Chen has Frank admitted for treatment for Addison’s disease, a hormonal disorder. Chen tells Dave she may go visit him later. (Spoiler: She’ll be doing a lot more than visiting him.) Elizabeth finally declares Robert dead, regretting that his organs will go to waste. She asks Mark why he didn’t tell her about David’s cancer. She respects his decision not to seek treatment, no matter whose father he is. She tells Mark to just be there for him, but Mark wants to do more.

Abby goes to the morgue to practice inserting central lines and is saddened to see that the body she’ll be practicing on is Kim’s. She struggles to do the procedure, but she asks the pathologist for help and keeps going. Weaver asks Carter if he’s still experiencing a lot of pain, since he seemed to be having a hard time getting around in the trauma room. She can tell he’s not doing as well physically or emotionally as he’s letting on, but Carter makes it clear that he doesn’t want to talk about it.

On their way out of the hospital, Mark notices that David’s shoelace is untied. David can’t bend over after a procedure Elizabeth did on him, so Mark kneels to tie it himself, reversing their roles as father and son. Benton and Cleo play pool together and make out, I guess to show us that their relationship is progressing, because there’s really no other point to this scene.

Carter is now back on good terms with Millicent and has stopped by the family mansion after work. He tells her he’s back at work and confides that he wasn’t sure he would make it through the day. He was scared that he couldn’t handle it. Millicent’s proud that he got through it and now respects him for pursuing a career in medicine. They used to have chats all the time when he was in high school, and now it seems they’re getting back to that.

David was able to repair the projector, so he and Mark look at some slides at home. Little Mark had very blond hair. He wanted to grow a watermelon tree, so he would sneak watermelon seeds into his mother’s flower garden. David stops on a picture of Mark and David together and wonders why Ruth took it. Mark says she must have liked what she saw.

Thoughts: Frank is played by Morris Chestnut. He would have made a great regular character.

This is another one of those episodes designed to show us that one of the doctors is really good at his job but can’t do anything to help a family member. Dear show: We get it.

If you’re going to call for help every time the baby you’re looking after won’t stop crying, nannying isn’t for you. Carol should put the girls in the hospital’s daycare.

July 14, 2020

ER 6.15, Be Patient: This Is the Episode They Should Have Called “All in the Family”

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

How dare Abby challenge Weaver and be right?

Summary: Mark and Elizabeth are walking to work, discussing an ice-fishing trip David’s on. Seeing Dave somehow reminds Elizabeth that she left something at her apartment (she spent the night at Mark’s), so she heads off to get it. Mark warns Dave to lock up his bike better, advice Dave doesn’t appreciate. He asks if Mark is also going to chastise him for not wearing a helmet. “I’d never want to get between you and your personal path to brain death,” Mark replies. Meow!

Luka wraps up a night shift and leaves as Andrew the clerk arrives for the day shift. Abby gets a call from someone she’s been trying to reach about payments. He’s not cooperative. Abby explains to Carol that her soon-to-be-ex-husband invested her student-loan money, but it backfired. Good thing she’s divorcing him. Isabelle is surprised to see Elizabeth back at her apartment…where she’s not alone. David’s there, pretending he just came over for breakfast. He definitely did not.

Elizabeth waits impatiently while Isabelle says goodbye to David, then tells her mother that getting into a relationship with him is a bad idea. After all, Ruth died just a few months ago. Elizabeth asks if they used protection, so Isabelle asks if she really wants to get into details. She tells Elizabeth to stop caring so much what other people think; she did that as a kid, too. Elizabeth asks if the nanny told her that. Isabelle thinks she always expects relationships to go badly. Elizabeth points out that their relationship hasn’t exactly gone well.

Back at County, Dave bugs Chen, who’s come in on her time off to do chart reviews for Carter and Lucy’s patients. Abby calls Luka, who’s driving home, to give him test results for one of his patients. A girl named Laura runs into the street to retrieve a ball and Luka has to brake quickly to avoid hitting her. The driver next to him doesn’t have the same reflexes and slams into Laura. Luka locks eyes with the guy, who reverses and drives off as Luka rushes to help Laura.

Abby examines a patient named Ron who has some bleeding after hemorrhoid surgery the week before. He’s supposed to fly to Denver that afternoon for his girlfriend’s birthday, so he hopes he can get treated quickly and easily. Abby apologetically tells him to cancel his plans for dancing. As Laura’s sister goes to get their mother, Luka examines Laura, determining that her leg is broken, as well as possibly a rib. He wants to splint her leg and do a closer examination.

Carol chats with two teen girls, Terri and Andrea, who have some questions about STDs. Syphilis is making its way around their school, and they suspect they have it. Luka thinks Laura might be bleeding internally, and her mother doesn’t want to wait for an ambulance to arrive. Luka spots a plumber down the street and asks to turn his van into a makeshift ambulance. Elizabeth tells Mark about their parents’ hook-up, which Mark finds amusing. They’re both adults; it’s fine. He promises to talk to David, who’s coming in for an appointment that afternoon.

Laura passes out on the way to the hospital, and Luka realizes her lung has collapsed. He uses a syringe to try to fix it, but the van goes over a bump, causing the syringe to nick an artery in Laura’s chest. Laura’s poor mom has to try to help Luka stop the bleeding. Luka calls ahead to make sure there’s a trauma room ready when they get to County. Benton, Mark, and Cleo take over her care, wondering why Luka didn’t wait for an ambulance. One arrived just a couple minutes after they left the scene.

Weaver gives Andrea a pelvic exam and tells her to stick around for test results. Terri’s exam was fine, but Weaver detects something potentially bad on Andrea’s exam. Abby tells Ron his blood loss isn’t dangerous, but she’s not comfortable letting him get on a plane just yet, so she wants to do a scan that detects further bleeding. Ron asks her advice on what to get his girlfriend for her birthday. Abby tells him that her best birthday gift from her husband was a surprise picnic. Yeah, but they’re getting divorced, so…

Weaver comes to check on Abby’s work and questions her decision to do the scan to detect more bleeding. She pulls Abby out of the room and tells her there’s no need for an expensive test when Ron isn’t showing any symptoms of further bleeding. Abby says he just doesn’t seem well. Weaver urges her to discharge him without the scan, but after she leaves, Abby continues with what she was doing.

Benton stabilizes Laura in the trauma room, but as Cleo’s taking Luka out to give Laura’s mother an update, alarms start going off. There’s something wrong with her internally, so the doctors rush her to surgery. Luka asks to stay with Laura, but Benton tells him she’s not his patient anymore. Cleo suggests that Luka go home and get some sleep, as if he’ll be able to sleep after all this.

Carol tells Andrea that they found some abnormal cells that could indicate cervical cancer. Thanks, HPV! Andrea refuses to tell her parents, reminding Carol that this was all supposed to be confidential. Carol warns that if she doesn’t get treated, she could get really sick. They also need to tell the guy she slept with. Andrea admits that there have been multiple guys. She goes to parties where everyone sleeps with each other.

Luka follows Benton to the surgical wing, asking to be kept on Laura’s case. Dude, you’re not a surgeon. You can’t do anything right now. Go sit down. Chen visits Carter to update him on some of his patients. He asks how Lucy’s memorial service was, since he wasn’t able to go. She tells him it was weird. Carter claims he’s doing okay; his grandmother has even reached out to him again. He thinks he’ll be back to work soon. As Chen leaves, she notices that he’s in pain but trying to hide it.

David arrives for his appointment, and Mark pretends he still thinks David was off ice fishing. David knows he knows the truth and comments that Elizabeth definitely wasn’t as amused as Mark is. He says they’ll spend the night in a hotel so Elizabeth can have her apartment to herself. Mark is surprised that David expects the relationship with Isabelle to keep going. David says she makes him happy. It’s only for a couple more weeks anyway, before Isabelle goes back to England.

Carol fills Weaver in on Andrea and Terri’s activities, hoping she can talk Andrea into telling her parents. Weaver can’t force Carol to break confidentiality, but this is a matter of public health now. All the girls who attend the sex parties need to get examined. Carol will have to contact the girls’ school. Unfortunately, Andrea and Terri have already left.

A woman comes to the ER and introduces herself to an uninterested Dave as Barbara Knight. She’s looking for Mark and Weaver, but Dave doesn’t know where they are and couldn’t care less. If Dave would pay attention, he would recognize Barbara’s last name and realize that she’s Lucy’s mother. She’s there to get Lucy’s things from her locker. Dave takes her to the lounge and manages to be respectful while Barbara gathers her dead daughter’s belongings.

Isabelle comes to the hospital to tell Elizabeth she’ll be staying in a hotel the rest of her time in Chicago (the Ritz – ooh la la). She’s annoyed by how “insufferable” Elizabeth is being over the David situation and their own cool relationship. She notes that Elizabeth doesn’t hold anything against her father for working when she was a child. Mothers always get slammed when they choose to work. If Elizabeth ever gets married and has a child, will she give up her own job? Elizabeth says she doesn’t know if she’ll ever get married or have a child. (Spoiler: She will do both, and no, she won’t give up her job.)

Weaver finds out that Abby did Ron’s scan against her advice. Abby wanted to follow her instincts that something’s wrong, but Weaver tells her that med students can’t make decisions like that. As Luka heads out to get something to eat at Doc Magoo’s, wanting to stay close for news about Laura, he spots a guy getting some stitches in the hallway and recognizes him as Laura’s hit-and-run driver. He tells Abby to call the police. The guy tries to run, but Luka stops him and confronts him for the hit-and-run. The guy says he just panicked because he’s had a couple of DUIs. Okay, well, enjoy jail, guy!

Carol goes to Andrea and Terri’s school as Abby discharges Ron. She tells him he was right to come in, and he’d be right to come back. Like, for example, in 15 or 20 minutes, if he’s feeling sick or feverish. If he came back in, he might be seen by someone other than Abby who could give him a more thorough examination. Ron asks if she’s saying he’s not okay. Abby tells him she’s just saying that this has been a bad flu season.

Carter does some physical therapy, working on walking up and down a hallway in the surgical wing. He’s determined to get back to normal as soon as possible. Barbara comes by to see him, and Carter realizes who she is much faster than Dave did. Carol finds Terri and Andrea, who are upset that she wants to break their confidentiality. Andrea doesn’t want anyone to find out she’s sick. The girls refuse to talk to Carol.

David visits Elizabeth in the surgical wing and tries to smooth things over with her. He jokes that it would be a lot easier if children didn’t grow up to be adults who feel the need to express their own opinions. He wants to arrange another double date and try to work things out with everyone. Elizabeth seems to really like David, so she doesn’t resist. Ron does come back to County, but not the way Abby had hoped – he’s brought in with heavy bleeding. Chen takes over his care, telling Weaver it’s a good thing he came back.

Barbara talks to Carter about Lucy, sensing that he’s uncomfortable with the conversation. She tells him that Lucy talked about him a lot and really respected him. Carter downplays how closely they worked together. Barbara says Lucy loved her work, and Carter says she was better at it than he gave her credit for. Barbara asks what went through Carter’s head when he was stabbed – what did it feel like? He can tell that Barbara wants to know if Lucy suffered, so he lies that he didn’t feel any pain.

Mark goes looking for test results for a patient, then asks a tech if he did David’s CT scan to find out how his emphysema is. Mark takes a look at the films himself and is stunned by what he sees. He tries to keep his mind on the conversation when Elizabeth tells him David’s organizing a double date to a surprise location.

Weaver tells Carol that she’s done the right things with Andrea and Terri, then lets Abby know that Ron came back and is now in the OR. Pretty lucky that he came back, right? Weaver admits that Abby was right about him being sicker than he presented. Abby says it’s good that he felt “flu-ish.” Weaver remarks that that’s the exact term he used. Weaver, stop being passive-aggressive. Abby just saved a guy’s life after you told her to turn him loose. She probably saved you from a lawsuit.

Benton tells Laura’s mother (and Luka, who’s waiting with her) that Laura’s done with surgery and doing okay. Laura’s mother is grateful to both of them. Luka apologizes to Benton for trying to demand to stay on the case, but Benton gets his concern and doesn’t have any hard feelings. He thinks Luka saved Laura’s life. (Heh. Luka and Laura. Soap fans share a chuckle.) Luka points out that they had to open Laura’s chest in the trauma room because Luka injured her. Benton says they would have had to do that anyway. If Luka had waited for the ambulance, Laura might have died. He should be proud of himself for making a gutsy call.

Paramedics bring Andrea in after a suspected suicide attempt. Weaver and Carol take over her care from Dave, who’s not happy to have Carol making decisions, since he’s a big, brainy resident and she’s a lowly nurse. Benton visits Carter to talk about anything other than Lucy or Carter’s treatment. Benton has stepped things up with Cleo, and Carter knows all the steps he usually takes with girlfriends, so he knows exactly what they’ll be doing tonight. He admits to Benton that he lied to Barbara about Lucy not suffering when she was stabbed.

Carol asks Terri what Andrea might have taken, and Terri says it could be Diazepam, a medication used for muscle spasms. Dave is trying to approach the trauma calmly while Carol wants to get out in front of any potential problems. Andrea stabilizes but seems confused, possibly not remembering that she overdosed.

Elizabeth, David, and Isabelle go bowling together (Mark’s running late), and Isabelle tells Elizabeth she skipped a meeting that afternoon to sit by the lake. She wanted to think about the conversation she and Elizabeth had earlier. She acknowledges that she wasn’t a great mother when Elizabeth was younger, and she hopes Elizabeth can forgive her. Elizabeth reminds her that she never wanted forgiveness. She adds that David thinks children shouldn’t express their opinions. Isabelle jokes that he’s right.

Carol checks on Andrea, promising that she only told the school about the HPV so other girls could get tested; she hasn’t told Andrea or Terri’s parents. If something happened to one of Andrea’s parents, wouldn’t she want to know? Mark arrives at the bowling alley and watches as David acts like everything’s normal.

Benton takes Cleo to a jazz club (just as Carter expected), telling her about his relationship with Carter and Carter’s past as a surgical intern. When they get to the club, Cleo suggests that they go somewhere quiet, so they can talk. Benton jokes that she’s going to disappoint Carter by taking him out of his normal routine.

At home after the double date, Mark tells David he saw his scans. He has lung cancer that’s spread to his liver. David has known since before he came to Chicago. One of his colleagues in the Navy had cancer, and every time David saw him, it was all he could think about. David doesn’t want his illness to define him. He admits that he’s scared.

Thoughts: Syphilis and hemorrhoids are hard to spell. From no on, only one hard-to-spell medical condition per episode, please.

Imagine hiring a plumber who shows up late because he drove a girl to the hospital and helped save her life. I don’t think I would believe that story.

And that’s why you don’t look at your relatives’ medical records without their permission, Mark.

Cleo may have been useful in the previous episode, but really, nothing she does during her time in the series justifies creating her character. It’s just a bone they threw Eriq LaSalle so Benton could have a Black girlfriend.

July 7, 2020

ER 6.14, All in the Family: This Place Is Killing Me

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

Pour one out

Summary: Weaver arrives at County for a night shift in the middle of a slow spell. The Valentine’s Day party is still going on, and the music is still loud, though at least it’s more Valentine-y now (“More Today Than Yesterday”). Luka and some nurses are discussing Malik’s no-polish manicure, which he says women love. Weaver asks them to turn down the music, then tells the staff they can party for five more minutes before getting back to work.

In the lounge, Abby’s on the phone with someone, trying to work out some kind of payment. (Come back for the exciting explanation in a future episode.) Carol gets ready to go home, still feeling stung by the loss of Robbie and Julia’s parents. Weaver comments that it must be nice that she has her girls to go home to. Randi needs a doctor for a patient who’s supposed to be Carter’s, so Weaver tells her to find him. Pablo comes in with a foot injury, and Weaver’s pleased to see that he’s alive, since he hasn’t been around for more than a year. Haleh thinks he was deported, then snuck back into the country.

Dr. Deraad has finally managed to get himself to the ER, though it’s way too late for him to be able to help anyone and also people have been horribly injured because of his negligence and I can’t look at him anymore. Weaver’s unfamiliar with the whole Paul situation and can’t tell Deraad where to find him. She goes to treat an injured man dressed as Cupid, then runs into Chen, who needs help dealing with the toxicology department. Weaver stops outside Paul’s exam room and sees blood on the floor. When she opens the door, she’s horrified by what she sees inside.

Mark, Elizabeth, and their parents are still at the restaurant; Mark and Elizabeth have loosened up enough to sing “Piano Man” together. Alex Kingston is a talented woman but…not musically. Elizabeth’s pager goes off in the middle of the song, so she mercifully stops singing. Mark keeps going alone, getting as far as “Bill, this place is killing me” before his pager goes off as well.

Back at County, things have gone from slow to chaotic as the staff starts tending to Carter and Lucy. They’ve put together that Paul must have attacked them, but they have no idea where is or if he’s still in the hospital. Lucy has multiple stab wounds and has lost a lot of blood; Weaver’s shaky when she tries to take care of her. She’s upset that Carter and Lucy were bleeding to death while the staff was having a party, completely oblivious.

Luka heads up tending to Carter, who’s not doing as badly as Lucy. Abby notes that she was just talking to him. Connie shows a couple of cops the scene of the crime, and Deraad tells them the attacker was Paul, though he doesn’t know anything helpful about the patient. Benton races to the ER at an Olympic-qualifying speed, having heard that Carter was injured, and takes over his care. Weaver and Dave determine that Lucy needs surgical attention, so Haleh brings Benton over to her trauma room.

Abby goes to a supply cart in the hallway, looking for an infuser kit for Carter. Instead, she finds the knife Paul stashed there after the attacks. Connie recognizes it as the cake knife that disappeared from the lounge. Abby tries to gather herself so she can keep looking for the kit. A cop asks her if Carter’s awake and if he’s going to survive. Abby doesn’t have any answers for him.

She goes back to Carter’s trauma room, where he wakes up confused. Chen tries to reassure him, getting protective when a cop tries to question him. Carter sees Lucy in the next room, but Abby can only tell him she’s alive, not how badly she’s hurt. Chen pulls Benton back to Carter’s room, telling him that Carter has an injury to his kidney.

Mark and Elizabeth arrive at County, leaving their parents in the car. Benton stays with Carter as he’s taken up to surgery. Weaver asks Luka questions about Paul, but Luka isn’t sure what happened. Mark and Elizabeth join them with Lucy, who’s still unstable, and Elizabeth determines that they need to open her chest. When Weaver advocated for a sternal saw in the ER, she never could have expected she’d be using one on Lucy. Everyone’s uneasy watching someone they know get sawed open. Together, Weaver, Elizabeth, Mark, Luka, and Dave manage to get Lucy’s heart rate stabilized.

As soon as Lucy’s in the elevator on her way to the OR, the ER is quiet again. Luka and Mark think they were able to help Lucy enough to keep her alive. Weaver leaves the hospital, brushing off people who need to talk to her, and goes outside for some fresh air. She throws up in a garbage can, then goes back inside to her responsibilities.

Anspaugh gets word of the attacks and tells Benton he’s scrubbing in on Carter’s surgery. Carter knows his injuries are bad, but Benton stays calm and promises to take good care of him. “I’m glad it’s you,” Carter says. Benton heads for the scrub room as Lucy is brought up to be operated on by Romano and Elizabeth. Anspaugh, Benton, and Elizabeth scrub in together, all silent as they think about the stakes of what they’re about to do.

Down in the OR, Luka asks Amira why the nurses thought they needed a six-inch butcher knife to cut a cake. Amira argues that she’s not the one who brought it; she couldn’t even find it. She doesn’t know how Paul was able to get his hands on it. Weaver tells her to get Carter and Lucy’s emergency-contact info but not make any calls herself. She asks Mark what he knew about Paul, which isn’t much. Mark says Carter was supervising Lucy, and Weaver wonders who was supervising Carter. She’s upset that Mark left early and didn’t pass the case off to Luka.

Mark says he reviewed the patient board with Luka before he left, but Luka says he didn’t know that Paul was psychotic. Mark replies he didn’t know, either – no one presented the case to him. Luka says he was managing the whole board and didn’t know that Paul had gone from stable to possible dangerous. Weaver points out that he was having a party, not doing his job. Mark tells her that they both thought Carter and Lucy had everything covered.

Chuny interrupts to announce that Paul’s pregnant wife, Samantha, has arrived. Lucy left her a message letting her know that Paul was in the hospital. Luka takes her off to tell her what’s going on. As Cleo returns from an errand, having missed the entire chaotic situation, Mark enlists her to help him with a patient being brought in by helicopter.

Samantha doesn’t believe Luka’s claims that Paul stabbed two people and ran away. She denies that he could ever hurt anyone. Luka tells her that Paul may have schizophrenia. Benton and Anspaugh operate on Carter, and Benton’s usual calm, methodical demeanor is out the window. Anspaugh keeps his cool, stopping Benton from doing anything drastic like removing Carter’s injured kidney. Next door, Elizabeth and Romano are tense as they operate on Lucy, who’s still losing blood.

The patient brought in by helicopter is a man who was injured when a heavy stream of oil hit him while he was fixing a pipe. (Apparently that’s a bad thing to have happen.) David comes looking for Mark, wanting to know how long he and Isabelle will have to wait before Mark and Elizabeth can take them home. Of course, Mark doesn’t know.

Luka and Samantha talk to a detective who asks Samantha where Paul might have gone. She’s still in denial that he’s dangerous – if he was, why didn’t the doctors take more precautions? Luka tells her they don’t have any answers, but no matter what’s going on, Paul needs help. Samantha suggests that he might have gone to the roof of their apartment building, since he likes to go there to be alone.

Lucy’s operation is calmer now, and her surgeons are lamenting how horrible it is that Paul attacked her. Carter’s condition is much better, and Benton and Anspaugh have managed to save his kidney. Anspaugh notes that he could live with just one, but Anspaugh didn’t want to remove an organ. Alarms start going off and they realize there’s a problem with Carter’s lumbar artery. He’s suddenly at risk for paralysis.

David and Isabelle sit in the waiting area, wondering if this is a normal day at work for their kids. Abby and Chen receive a patient brought in by paramedics after being hit by a car. Chen recognizes him as Paul and tells Abby to get Weaver. Paul’s altered again, making paranoid rants and complaining that “they” wouldn’t stop sticking him. Weaver tries to head up his care, but she gets overwhelmed and asks Mark to switch patients with her. He sends Cleo up to the OR with their oil guy (I don’t know his name; I’ll call him Exxon) to wait for a surgeon to become available.

Elizabeth and Romano are done operating on Lucy and somewhat pleased with her condition, figuring it’s the best they could hope for. Romano’s called away for a phone call, so Elizabeth goes in alone when she learns that Lucy’s waking up. Thanks to a stab wound to her neck and a subsequent thoracotomy, Lucy can’t speak, but she’s able to whisper a thank you to Elizabeth for saving her.

Benton and Anspaugh are finishing up with Carter, so Shirley asks Anspaugh to operate on Exxon. Benton tells her to get Elizabeth instead, ordering Shirley to have Cleo stay with Exxon until Elizabeth can get to him. Just as Elizabeth is about to go to the OR with Exxon, Lucy suffers what she’s able to self-diagnose as a pulmonary embolism. Elizabeth and Romano debate whether or not to thin her blood, since that could cause post-surgical complications.

Mark tells Samantha that Paul is doing okay and is now talking to a psychiatrist. Mark wants her to wait before she sees her husband. Lucy’s incision is bleeding a little, but Elizabeth tells her that’s normal because of the medication she was given. She does have a pulmonary embolism, but they’ll be able to fix it. Elizabeth can tell that Lucy’s scared, and she promises to get her through this.

Chen and Dave go over to Doc Magoo’s, done with their shifts but not wanting to go home before they know if Carter and Lucy will be okay. Abby and Luka are already there for the same reason. Back at County, Lucy wants to stay awake while Elizabeth takes care of her embolism. Romano assures her that they’ll save her – after all, they put a lot of time and money into her training, so her death would be a big waste. He offers to talk her through the procedure so she knows what’s going on.

Lucy’s alarms go off again, so Romano opens her up in a procedure room, knowing she doesn’t have time to get to the OR. This delays Elizabeth from operating on Exxon, so Anspaugh tells Benton to go take care of him. Benton quickly determines that Exxon’s stable enough to wait a little longer, so he tells Cleo to stay with Exxon while he goes back to Carter.

As Elizabeth and Romano take care of the clots Lucy’s forming, Exxon starts to go downhill. Cleo can’t keep waiting for a surgeon; she thinks Exxon tore an artery, and the only way she knows how to fix it is by opening his chest. Lucy’s also doing worse, and Elizabeth and Romano have to shock her heart. Benton finally returns to Cleo and Exxon, blasting her for opening the patient instead of continuing to wait for a surgeon.

Romano and Elizabeth continue trying to stabilize Lucy, but Romano determines that they can’t do any more for her. He has Elizabeth stop shocking her, and they wait quietly while Lucy’s heart stops. Upset, Romano throws the equipment tray across the room, then decides they need to try to save Lucy again. This time it’s Elizabeth who says they can’t do it. R.I.P Lucy Knight.

Paul is calmer now, so Deraad lets Samantha come see him. Paul remembers bits of the events of the day, like the blue cake. He says he had to do what he did because the doctors were trying to take his internal organs. Samantha finally accepts that something’s not right with her husband. Paul begs to go home, only concerned with feeding his dog.

Mark leaves Paul’s room and goes to the front desk, where Weaver’s face tells him all he needs to know about Lucy’s fate. Benton finishes up with Exxon, then asks Cleo about Carter, who’s now in recovery. He tells her she was right to make the decisions she did about Exxon; he regrets putting her in such a tough position. She tells him that there was a complication with Lucy.

Haleh and Lydia have joined the group at Doc Magoo’s, and they’re reminiscing about a prank Carter pulled on Lucy. He told her to do a pelvic exam on a well-known patient named Vanessa, leaving out the part where Vanessa’s a drag queen. Chuny interrupts the fun by coming over with news about Lucy. Back at County, Benton examines Carter to make sure he has full function in his legs. Carter thanks him, then asks how Lucy is. Benton ignores him to continue the examination, which is all Carter needs to know.

Elizabeth finally makes it home early in the morning, looking like she’ll never stop picturing the things she saw today. Paul’s room is still blocked off as a crime scene, marked with both police tape and Valentine’s Day decorations. Carol is back on shift, and she points out to Mark that they’re down a resident and a med student. They ask Abby to work another shift. Mark takes a moment to himself, then goes off to take care of a patient. Weaver finds Romano stitching Lucy’s chest closed on the surgical floor and helps him finish up with her body.

Thoughts: Samantha is played by Liza Weil.

I absolutely hate TV and movie scenes where people throw up, but I give a pass to the scene where Weaver does because I think her reaction to the trauma is realistic. She’s portrayed as cold and uncaring a lot of the time, but here we get to see that even she can’t turn off all her emotions when a colleague is involved. The same goes for Romano when he gets angry after Lucy flatlines. He hates almost everyone, but he was proud of the way she fought for Valerie, and he’s genuinely sad that he couldn’t save her.

Imagine being Carol and leaving work for the night thinking everything’s normal, then coming in the next morning and being told that one of your co-workers was murdered. How does everyone on this show not have some form of PTSD?

June 30, 2020

ER 6.13, Be Still My Heart: My Bloody Valentine

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


Summary: I guess David’s thing is playing things at high volume early in the morning, because here he is again, making noise. He’s looking through Ruth’s records and has put on a cha-cha song. Over at Elizabeth’s, she’s also dealing with a parent, since her mother’s staying with her. Isabelle wants to come observe a procedure Elizabeth is doing later in the day, but Elizabeth tells her it’s not allowed. Isabelle thinks her daughter has enough pull to change the rules.

David has switched over to the Oklahoma! soundtrack, and Mark is singing along to “Surrey With the Fringe on Top” while shaving. David bugs him about getting a prescription refill, but Mark says family members aren’t allowed to do that. David wonders what the point is of having a son who’s a doctor if he doesn’t get perks like prescriptions. Isn’t it enough to be able to tell people your son is a doctor?

At County, Amira is decorating for Valentine’s Day and Yosh is handing out valentines. Luka confirms that they celebrate the holiday in Croatia; they even have those little hearts with the messages on them. Paramedics bring in Jean, who wants Carter to be her doctor since he was so wonderful with her husband, Barry. Abby starts her off with an examination, thinking she has an infection.

Mark and Elizabeth meet up on the way to work, looking forward to having dinner together that night. Elizabeth warns that Isabelle may come visit the hospital, and Mark shouldn’t be too excited to meet her. They start goofing around in the snow, which leads to Elizabeth running into the ER, screaming, while Lucy’s trying to talk to her next patient, Paul Sobriki.

That’s right, friends. It’s THAT episode.

Dave and Chen are trying to work together on a patient named Hudson, who was in a fender-bender. They’re acting like squabbling siblings, so they miss the part of their patient’s history where it turns out he’s a doctor himself. Mark takes over the examination as an amused Hudson reports that the residents are asking the right questions but not waiting to hear his answers.

Carter doesn’t remember Jean or her husband, but he tells Abby he’ll come see her anyway. First, Lucy pulls him away to help her with Paul, who’s had a headache for a couple of days. It seems like a migraine, though he doesn’t have a history of those. Carter approves of Lucy’s suggested treatment, saying he trusts her judgment and doesn’t need to examine Paul himself.

He heads on to see Jean, pretending he remembers her. Abby wants to give her every treatment available, but Carter isn’t sure Jean would want all of that. Mark asks Carter if he’s overseeing Lucy’s work with Paul, and Carter says she presented the case to him. Mark reminds him that if he’s going to supervise med students, he needs to, you know, supervise them. Carter goes to check on them, finding that Paul is now altered and saying strange things. Carter chastises Lucy for not giving him all the details about the case before. Lucy says he was fine before and she was about to get Carter.

Romano pages Elizabeth to the OR for an unscheduled procedure on a patient named Gretel. Romano is uncharacteristically concerned about the patient…who happens to be his dog. (That’s right, friends. It’s THAT episode, too.) Once Paul has been knocked out with a sedative, Lucy and Carter prepare to give him a lumbar puncture to see if he has meningitis. He wakes up when Lucy sticks him with the needle, so Carter holds him down and tells Lucy to keep going. She has trouble with the procedure, and it’s not helped by Paul begging her to stop.

I guess dogs and humans have the exact same anatomy, because Elizabeth and Romano are fine operating on Gretel. Romano acts like it’s totally normal to remove your own dog’s tumor, because what else should he do? Let a doctor specially trained to operate on dogs, who’s familiar with dogs’ anatomy and care, do the operation? Romano would be crazy to let that happen!

Chen and Dave tell Mark that Hudson had been in remission from cancer for 15 months, but it’s come back. They disagree about the best treatment, and Mark gets them to admit that they haven’t even asked Hudson what he wants. Mark takes over the case and tells them to be quiet.

Abby checks on Jean, who’s doing better after getting fluids, though she thinks Yosh’s TLC and valentine are what have helped the most. She didn’t think she would get a valentine this year, since her husband died a few months ago. Barry was always very thoughtful and remembered all their special occasions. She shows Abby a pin he gave her last year; she didn’t tell him that he got her the same pin the year before. It says “be still my heart.”

Paul is mentally stable again, and tells Lucy that his wife is probably out shopping for Valentine’s Day, which is why Lucy can’t reach her. He doesn’t have meningitis, but Lucy hasn’t figured out his diagnosis yet. Paul wants to go back to the diner where he usually studies (he’s in law school); he’s been avoiding the library since there have been some muggings there recently. Lucy picks up on a little paranoia. She wants to do a CAT scan, assuring Paul that he won’t be affected by the radiation.

Romano is the only one taking the Gretel situation seriously until she has a seizure that leads to heart trouble. Romano wants to do everything himself, but Elizabeth won’t let him. Mark gives Hudson his diagnosis, which comes with only about a year left to live. He decides to have chemo, since radiation on his esophagus could leave him unable to eat. If he only has a year left, he wants to still be able to enjoy food.

Lucy chats with a friend of Paul’s who used to study with him in the library. He tells Lucy that Paul has been acting weird for a few months, seemingly wearing the same clothes all the time. They went to the same college, and Paul did really well there, but now he’s cutting classes. He also picks fights with the friend over dumb things like parking spaces.

Jean is doing worse, and since she’s unconscious now, Abby has to make a decision about her care. Carter runs to join her, getting delayed by Lucy, who wants to talk to him about Paul. She thinks he might have a psychiatric disorder. Carter ignores her and goes to Jean’s room, where Abby has given her dopamine to help her. She didn’t want heroic measures, but Abby doesn’t think dopamine falls into that category. Carter warns that she’ll flood Jean’s lungs if she gives her more fluids. Abby will have to make more hard decisions.

Paul and his friend get into an argument in the hallway when Paul accuses the friend of following him to the hospital. Mark and Carter separate them, and Malik takes Paul back to his room. Mark has to rush off to see to Hudson, so the friend tells Carter to let Lucy know about the fight. Hudson is unstable and needs radiation immediately, even though he wanted chemo instead. Mark says he won’t live long enough for chemo if he doesn’t have radiation now.

Carter blasts Lucy for not keeping a better eye on Paul. Lucy thinks Paul has schizophrenia, and she’s planning to call for a psych consult once she’s presented the case to Carter. Carter needs to get back to Jean, so he tells Lucy to page psych now and hand Paul off so she can see other patients.

Jean is conscious again, but Carter was right about the fluids, and her lungs have been affected. Abby wants to intubate her and treat her infection, thinking that’ll be the end of the story. Carter points out that she’s elderly and has multi-organ failure. If she undergoes intubation, she might never be able to be extubated. He reminds Abby that this isn’t about what she wants – it’s about what Jean wants. Jean stops breathing, a complication of the heart failure that’s going to kill her.

As Carol and Luka get read for a trauma that’s coming in, Romano and Elizabeth finish Gretel’s surgery and move her to a recovery room. Romano thinks Elizabeth’s joking when she asks if Gretel has insurance. Isabelle picks this moment to show up for Elizabeth’s fancy laser surgery, instead seeing her tending to a dog. So much for making a good impression. Romano makes an even worse impression when Isabelle says she’s in town for some lectures on wave-particle duality, and Romano says that sounds horrible. Isabelle clarifies that she’s giving the lectures.

Carol, Luka, and Cleo meet a couple of ambulances bringing in a family from a car accident. The young kids, Robbie and Julia, only have minor injuries, but their parents are in serious condition. Cleo and Haleh try to tend to the kids, but Robbie’s more concerned with his parents’ conditions than his own. Isabelle watches from the hallway as Elizabeth finally gets to put her skills at treating humans to use. Julia slips out of her and Robbie’s exam room and almost gets a glimpse of her father’s bloody trauma before Cleo pulls her away.

Luka and Carol work hard on Robbie and Julia’s mother but ultimately can’t save her. They go next door, where Benton and Elizabeth aren’t having much more luck with the father, and let them know that his wife has already died. Benton realizes the father isn’t going to make it, either. Luka and Carol volunteer to tell Robbie and Julia that they’re now orphans.

Julia’s too young to really grasp what it means that both her parents are dead, but Robbie gets it. He asks to see his parents’ bodies. Luka, who we know from previous interactions with kids believes in telling them the truth, says that’s fine. He prepares the kids a little for the scary sight they’re about to see, which turns out to be too much for Julia. Robbie goes into the trauma room alone, takes a last look at his parents, and cries over his mother’s body.

Hudson is awake but probably wishing he wasn’t, since Dave and Chen are looking after him again. Even though Mark went against Hudson’s wishes, Hudson is grateful. Chen and Dave keep bickering, and Mark tells them he only had one child because he didn’t want to listen to two of them argue. Just wait until season 8, Mark. Then you’ll wish you’d never had any children.

Elizabeth goes looking for her mother, and Mark tells her that they met. In fact, the three of them are going out to dinner, along with David. Mark says Isabelle arranged it all; she “has a way about her” that makes her hard to turn down. Elizabeth meets up with Isabelle at Doc Magoo’s, where Isabelle claims Mark (who “has a way about him”) organized the group dinner. She thinks he’s trying to set her up with David. Isabelle says she had no idea how difficult Elizabeth’s job is.

Lucy finds Paul in the lounge, where he says he was looking for coffee. Chuny and Lydia are getting ready for a staff Valentine’s Day party, though they only have one small cake, and it’s blue instead of red or pink. David resists being set up with Isabelle and says it must have been Elizabeth’s idea. Mark tells him it’s just a friendly dinner. He tells David he can skip it if he wants.

Carter bugs Lucy about still looking after Paul; she’s called psych twice but they haven’t been able to send anyone to see him. Carter tells her to let Malik stay with Paul while she does her job. Lucy’s fed up with Carter and ignores him. David and Isabelle get along better than expected, bonding over their children’s heroic medical actions. They restaurant they’re at doubles as a piano bar, and they laugh together over how bad one of the singers is.

Shirley checks on Gretel, assuring Romano that not everyone at County thinks he’s crazy – just the ones who were part of the operation. Romano lives alone, so Gretel’s the only one he goes home to. Shirley makes the insane suggestion that Romano try to show compassion for people the same way he shows it for Gretel. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. She tries to keep Romano from giving Gretel a dog biscuit, since she’s not supposed to have any food yet.

At the restaurant, David sings “They Call the Wind Mariah,” definitely showing up the previous singer. Mark says he used to do this sort of thing to embarrass Mark as a kid. He agrees with Elizabeth that David is pretty brave. Back at County, Abby’s still sitting with Jean in the last moments of her life. Abby admits to Carter that he was right and she shouldn’t have chosen the treatment she did for Jean. Jean dies and Abby whispers, “Be still my heart.”

David and Isabelle duet on “I Remember It Well” as Elizabeth and Mark discuss the movie it’s from, Gigi. Elizabeth watched it a bunch as a kid because Isabelle liked the movie’s lesson – women shouldn’t define themselves through men. Mark thinks the evening is really bizarre.

Abby’s smoking on the roof again, even though it’s freezing outside. Carter brings her some coffee and suggests she find a warmer place to mope. She tells him that in OB, everything is almost always happy. This is the first time she’s seen someone old die. Carter gives her good news and bad news: She’ll never get used to it. They decide to go back inside for the Valentine’s Day party.

In the ER, “Battleflag” by Lo Fidelity Allstars is blasting, to ensure that we always associate it with this episode. The nurses cut the cake, and Lydia says there’s a bigger knife in the lounge. Amira says she couldn’t find it. Carter realizes that Lucy still hasn’t seen the patient he’s been telling her to treat. Lily reports that she’s still waiting on Paul’s psych consult. Abby asks Carol and Luka if the patients mind the loud music, but it’s so loud that they can’t hear her.

Carter goes off to find Lucy, but Paul’s room is dark. Carter spots something on the floor – one of Yosh’s valentines – and when he straightens up after grabbing it, Paul appears behind him in a dark corner. He sneaks up behind Carter and thrusts something into his back. Carter touches the spot and his hand comes away bloody.

He leans on a supply tray to try to keep his balance, but it collapses and he falls to the floor. He calls for help but the music drowns him out. Carter clutches his back and tries to get up, but he’s too weak. He looks across the room and sees that he’s not alone. Lucy is also on the floor, bleeding. They both lose consciousness.

Thoughts: Paul is played by David Krumholtz. Robbie is played by the late Anton Yelchin.

Laura Innes directed this episode, which is probably why she’s not in it.

To me, this is the most memorable episode of the series. When I think of ER, this is the episode I think of. I still remember how shocking the ending was when it first aired.

There’s discussion later about who’s to blame for what happened with Paul. Carter absolutely dropped the ball by not getting more involved in the case, but ultimately I blame the psych department. It shouldn’t take three phone calls to get them to the ER.

Who came up with the dog plot? I want to have a word with you.

June 23, 2020

ER 6.12, Abby Road: Does Anyone Ever Have a Calm First Day in the ER?

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:55 pm by Jenn

Fresh meat

Summary: The flu is going around, which means patients are coming to the ER and spreading the germs around even more. Weaver and Dave are both sick, but she won’t let him go home. Mark doesn’t have much sympathy for Dave, either. In the lounge, Carol and Luka discuss her water heater, which he tried to help her fix when he dropped her off after work one day. Carol shuts Mark down before he can comment on the fact that it seems like they’re getting closer.

Abby Lockhart arrives in the ER, and Carol thinks she’s there to fill in for an absent nurse. A homeless guy pukes on her. Welcome to the ER! Carter bugs Carol about having a body moved from the ER to the morgue. Carol remarks to Abby that the only thing worse than med students is residents. Paramedics bring in a little boy who lost a couple of teeth in a sledding accident, and though Carol thinks they were baby teeth, Abby disagrees. She reveals that she’s not just a nurse – she’s also a third-year med student.

Abby meets her future husband, Luka, and comments to Haleh that he’s hot. She wonders if he’s single, but Carol says he doesn’t talk about his personal life. Abby starts to help Carol and Haleh clean up after treating the sledding boy, but it’s the nurses’ job, so Carol dismisses her. Abby asks to see pictures of the twins when she has some time.

Weaver tells Mark she needs to go home, though she still won’t let Dave leave his shift. She introduces Mark to Abby (though they met on Thanksgiving), who explains that she sometimes takes nursing shifts to pay her bills. He gives her a quick tour of the ER. They run into Carter, who’s about to start treating a 13-year-old named Darnel who has muscular dystrophy. He and his wheelchair were pushed down the stairs at school. The pusher, Marty, is also in the ER, being treated by Cleo. He claims that Darnel stabbed him with a pencil.

Carter tells Darnel’s mother that he may have provoked the incident that led to him being pushed down the stairs. She tells Carter that he’s been acting out recently. Darnel tells another kid that he has cancer and will have to have his penis removed. Yeah, this is a charmer, here. Carter sends Darnel’s mother to the waiting area so he can try to get Darnel to open up to him. It doesn’t work.

Lucy treats a homeless man named Clayton who has frostbite and probably also the flu. Romano comes to the ER, hoping the flu kills off a bunch of people so the herd is weakened. Romano would have loved 2020. He complains about Benton’s plans to assist with a pro-bono plastic-surgery procedure for a little girl with a scar from a dog bite. Romano won’t approve the procedure, since it’s cosmetic.

Cleo notices big bruises on Marty’s back, which he says come from abuse at school. There are also welts on his legs that he blames on mosquito bites, even though it’s February. Outside the room, Cleo tells Yosh that they’re infected track marks. At the Roach Coach, Elizabeth reads Mark a newspaper article about an astrophysics symposium in the city. One of the guest speakers is her mother, Isabelle, who never mentioned to her daughter that she was coming to town. Apparently that’s typical of her. Mark encourages Elizabeth to reach out to her mother, but Elizabeth isn’t interested.

Abby joins Mark and Elizabeth in trying to subdue a patient who took PCP and jumped out a window. A friend of his is filming everything so his buddy can see what he’s like on PCP. These must be some of the people Romano hopes the flu will kill off. Abby is able to grab a syringe of Haldol and inject the patient, who responds by biting her. Abby’s instincts are different from mine, which would be to run out of the ER and never come back.

Mark tends to Abby’s wound, remarking that she probably didn’t expect to be her own teaching case. Nearby, Carol and Dave bicker while she gives him an IV so he can stay hydrated. Mark asks Carol to keep an eye on Abby while she adjusts to her new job. Carter examines Darnel to see how his muscular dystrophy is progressing. Darnel isn’t amused by Carter’s bedside manner; he also knows all about his disorder and what it means for the rest of his life (nothing good).

Abby helps Luka take care of a little boy named Connor who’s sick once again from chalasia, a disorder that affects the esophagus and stomach. Dave calls in Elizabeth to consult on a patient named Barnes, but she says he just has the flu and doesn’t need surgical treatment. Cleo tells Mark about Marty, but Mark can’t find any evidence that Marty’s been using drugs. He encourages Cleo to bluff Marty into telling her what’s going on.

As Lucy looks for a missing Clayton, Benton’s patient, Tia, arrives with her mother. Mrs. Foster is disappointed that her daughter can’t have the surgery she’s been waiting for. Benton doesn’t think a few extra days will do much harm, since she’s been scarred for months. Mrs. Foster asks Benton to tell her straight out if the surgery isn’t going to happen. He says it is, just not right now.

Dave brings Abby to Barnes and asks her to do what should be the nurses’ responsibilities. In later seasons, Abby would tell him off, but here, she just gives in. Lucy tracks down Clayton and tells him that a combination of the flu and congestive heart failure are affecting his breathing. He declines the offer of intubation and ventilation – he’s ready to die and is just glad it’ll be in a clean, warm bed. Lucy offers to call a friend or relative for him, but Clayton says he doesn’t have any.

Luka tells Connor’s mother that he doesn’t need surgery. Carol thinks Mrs. Brant is a medical professional, since she knows so much about chalasia, but Mrs. Brant says she’s just read a lot about it. Luka says Connor needs an upper GI, a scan that will require him to drink a bunch of contrast material. Mrs. Brant knows that’ll be hard for him, since he’s had to do it before, but Luka insists that he needs it.

Cleo’s bluff on Marty works, and he admits that he uses needles, but not for drugs – he’s been injecting himself with human growth hormone to get taller. He can’t get it without a prescription, so he buys it on the Internet. He’s fine risking his health if it means he gets taller and other kids stop picking on him. Cleo tells him he doesn’t need hormone therapy, and it’s not the right way to solve his problem of being bullied.

Abby senses that Carol’s uncomfortable with her new role in the ER, since sometimes nurses don’t like it when their former colleagues become their superiors. Carol starts to tell Abby about her own near-trip to med school, but the conversation stops when Barnes starts throwing up blood. Carol quickly grabs Benton to help as they try to figure out what’s wrong.

Dave arrives and reports that Elizabeth didn’t take Barnes up to surgery (which he clearly needs) because she thought he only had the flu. Barnes doesn’t have time to wait for an OR, so Benton starts a procedure in the ER. Romano comes in after Benton’s done his thing and yells at him for not admitting Barnes to surgery. Dave defends Benton’s actions, which kept Barnes alive. He’s impressed by Benton’s work. Romano isn’t.

Carter brings Darnel a laptop, wanting to find out if his MD is affecting his motor skills; the computer could be a better tool for his schoolwork. Darnel knocks over the computer, so Carter asks if he wants to break anything else to make himself feel better. Darnel trashes the room, and Carter joins in, which I guess means he’ll be paying for any damages. Carter asks Darnel to write his name, but Darnel can’t. He confides that he’s tired of everyone always trying to help him; he can do things for himself. Carter agrees and tells Darnel to clean up the room while Carter talks to his mother.

Carol pulls Luka away from Connor to report that he doesn’t have a pediatrician – weird, since he has a chronic illness. Carol made some calls and learned that Connor’s been admitted to numerous ERs in the area multiple times. He did need his first surgery, but everything since then has been exploratory and nothing was ever found. Luka notes that something’s making him sick, but Carol thinks it’s his mother. Luka says there’s no proof of Munchausen by proxy, where a parent makes a child sick on purpose. He asks for time to see if something else is going on.

Marty’s father tells Cleo that his son’s only problem is his inability to fight back when his classmates abuse him. Mr. Dorset is also short, and he was also picked on in school, but he learned to deal with it, so Marty will, too. He promises that he’ll make sure Marty doesn’t take any more hormones. But now Marty has a high fever, and Cleo detects a heart murmur, which makes her suspect an infection from the needles Marty’s been using.

Abby’s next patient, Mr. Spencer, is a hypochondriac with a lot of complaints. The only problem she finds is excess earwax, which she can clear out with peroxide. Spencer complains of heart palpitations, so Abby agrees to do an EKG. Meanwhile, Carol gets Connor from the next exam bed over so he can have his upper-GI tests.

Romano finishes up on Barnes in the OR, complaining that the room is hot. Benton wonders if he has the flu. Romano claims that he never gets sick, so Shirley dryly suggests that he’s “going through the change.” I love Shirley. Connor’s GI series doesn’t show anything wrong, so Luka wants to do another scan. Mrs. Brant suggests an endoscopy, which would be invasive. She thinks they’re wasting time on tests that won’t show the real problem.

Lucy asks Clayton if she can do anything to make him more comfortable. He tells her to take the $118 in his lunchbox and give it to his homeless friends. She can just throw it off the roof and they’ll find it. Luka tells Carol that Connor’s scans were negative, and Mrs. Brant’s suggestion of an endoscopy makes him think that Carol is right about her having Munchausen by proxy.

Abby rules out any heart problems for Spencer and prepares to start his peroxide treatment. She leaves him for a minute and chats with Mrs. Brant, who’s eager to move things along and get a surgical consult for her son. Abby leaves Spencer’s peroxide in Connor’s cubicle and goes to find out if Luka has called for a consult.

Romano’s feeling worse in the OR, so Benton’s keeping a close eye on him. Elizabeth joins them and admits that she didn’t think Barnes had anything other than the flu. Romano sarcastically praises Benton for not saying anything about Elizabeth’s oversight. He tells Benton he can leave and Elizabeth can take his place. Suddenly, Romano doubles over in pain and collapses. Elizabeth tends to him while Benton takes over the operation.

Cleo fills Mark in on Marty’s case – he has endocarditis, a heart condition that could require surgery. Mark can’t believe he put himself at so much risk just to grow a couple of inches. The two of them play basketball together while inside, Mrs. Brant frantically tells Luka that Connor’s abdomen is now distended. Luka extracts fluid from his abdomen and explains that it’s an indicator that turns red when exposed to stomach acid. That’s what was in Abby’s peroxide bottle, which she left there on purpose, suspecting that Mrs. Brant would make Connor drink it. Now Luka has proof that Mrs. Brant has been making Connor sick.

Clayton dies, and Lucy looks through his lunchbox, finding a picture of a daughter he never mentioned having. Dave tries to get Abby to go out with him, claiming it’s a tradition for residents to take med students out for a drink at the end of their first day. Then he gets distracted when Chen enters wearing a little black dress. “Excuse me, you’re drooling on my chart,” Abby tells Dave. He tries to ask her out anyway and she asks if he’s kidding.

Elizabeth tells Benton that Romano has a kidney stone. They smirk a little over how much pain he must be in. Benton isn’t above going into Romano’s room to gloat. He reports that Barnes is stable, and Romano asks if Benton thinks Romano owes him something. Benton certainly does – he wants the OR time for Tia’s surgery. Romano doesn’t want word to get out that he does favors, but he’ll grant Benton this one.

Carol thanks Abby for her help in the sting, which she definitely didn’t expect to take part in on her first day in the ER. Chuny alerts Abby that Spencer is having a heart attack, so I guess he wasn’t just a hypochondriac. Abby tells Carter, who’s trying to save him, that his EKG was normal and he had no risk factors for a heart attack. Carter has Abby shock him.

Elizabeth goes to see Isabelle, who’s been in town a week and never contacted her daughter. Abby interrupts Mark and Cleo’s basketball game to tell him about Spencer’s heart attack. He notes that she should have gotten his blood count, which would have shown that he has aplastic anemia, a risk factor for a heart attack (and probably an explanation for all his medical complaints). Abby’s apologetic, but Mark knows he should have been more thorough in monitoring her work. She needs to start thinking like a doctor, not a nurse.

Elizabeth and Isabelle get a drink together and discuss Elizabeth’s father. She invites Isabelle to stay with her while she’s in town so they can spend more time together (they haven’t seen each other in three years). Isabelle comments that Elizabeth looks well, which must mean she has a boyfriend. Wow. I mean, she does, but still. Elizabeth says his name is Mark and he’s lovely. That lovely man is currently clucking like a chicken at Cleo for not wanting to continue their basketball game. She shuts him up with a three-point shot.

Lucy goes to the roof, where Abby’s ending her day with a cigarette, despite having not smoked for two years. She’s used to OB, where she just delivered babies. She was never bitten or puked on or had to trick a mentally ill mother. Lucy invites her to throw money off the roof with her. Well, at least Abby can say she had a memorable first day on the job.

Thoughts: Darnel is played by Shia LaBeouf.

Chris Marquette, who plays Marty, only grew to five-seven, so…good casting.

I hope everyone enjoys The Abby Show because that’s what we’re getting from now on. My feelings for Abby go up and down, but my feelings for Maura Tierney never change: She’s awesome.

So Weaver wants sick doctors to stay at work and keep infecting and exposing people to a contagious illness? Someone call the CDC!

I think Abby and Lucy would have been good friends. Unfortunately, we’ll never get to confirm that…

June 16, 2020

ER 6.11, The Domino Heart: If the ER Is a Circus, Chen and Carter Are Both Clowns

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

Poor Valerie

Summary: David has moved in with Mark and is up early, watching the weather channel…loudly. He wakes both Mark and his neighbor. Also, he drank all the coffee. Mark’s like, “Well, I wanted this,” and just goes to work. Carol is already there, back for her first shift since having the twins. She’s barely there for 20 seconds when a patient is brought in. A trapeze artist named Vito fell while practicing his circus act and has a deep cut. Mark comes in to join the trauma and notices that the water in the trauma room isn’t working.

Vito starts declining, thanks to blood loss, and Carol struggles a little to get back into the rhythm of the ER. Luka tells her she can start off slow if she needs to; he seems amused when she insists that she’s okay. Romano joins the group, familiar with Vito and his brother Dominic’s trapeze act. He does something to Vito that agitates him, so Dominic and another guy drag him out of the trauma room.

Mark has bottled water brought into the hospital since there’s a water-main issue that won’t be fixed for a while. Lucy comes in hours ahead of her shift, having been summoned by Valerie – a heart has been found for her, and she’s coming in for a transplant. Lily discovers another downside to not having water: They can’t flush the toilets. Mark requests some Port-a-Potties for the ambulance bay, and maybe some air freshener.

Another circus performer is in the ER, a young acrobat named Peng who hurt her foot. Dominic explains to Luka that when Vito’s trapeze broke, the pieces fell on Peng. Luka’s confused, since her injury is to the bottom of her foot. Peng clears things up by doing a one-handed handstand. Luka’s impressed and decides to get himself some circus tickets. Romano ruins the vibe by having security remove Dominic from the hospital.

Chen’s patient is Mrs. Duffy, an elderly woman with Parkinson’s who may have had a stroke. Her daughter, Louise, takes care of her at home, and though Mrs. Duffy sees herself as a burden, Louise is fine tending to her. Chen notices that Louise seems tired, but she says she’s okay.

Mark bugs Carol about falling behind on patients, and she gets defensive about it. Weaver interrupts to ask Mark why she wasn’t told about the water issues. Mark says he handled everything, though he didn’t think of the fact that without water, surgeons can’t sterilize their equipment. Weaver has canceled all elective procedures and decided to use water from the physical-therapy pool to flush toilets.

Lucy welcomes Valerie back to the hospital, thrilled to be there for Valerie’s transplant. Carol is annoyed to have to fax stuff for Dave. Shouldn’t the file clerks do stuff like that? Cleo can’t get an x-ray back for her patient because the radiologists can’t process the films without water. Benton wonders if they might be able to leave work early, since they can’t do their full jobs. He hints that he’d like to get something to eat with Cleo, but she doesn’t take the bait.

Paramedics bring in a man named Michael who had a seizure while driving. His boyfriend, Curt, isn’t aware of Michael ever having seizures before. His only known medical problem is asthma. Mark notices bruises on Michael’s chest, which Curt says must be from playing hockey. Mark thinks Michael’s condition might be the result of taking too much asthma medication.

Mrs. Duffy’s tests come back normal, so her declining health is probably due to her Parkinson’s. Louise asks Chen to admit her anyway; she can’t care for Mrs. Duffy if she can’t walk. Chen recommends a home aide, which Louise can’t afford. She wants Mrs. Duffy to be admitted for a few days so her medications can be adjusted and she can regain her strength. Chen apologetically says they can’t do that. Louise begs Chen to do something so she can get some rest, but there’s nothing Chen can do.

Lucy buys Valerie some Tweety Bird slippers, since Valerie packed for the hospital so fast that she forgot her own slippers. Weaver pulls Lucy aside to tell her that Valerie has a fever of 100.9. She’ll need immunosuppressants after the transplant, which will weaken her immune system so much that even a small cold could be fatal. Weaver warns that they may have to decline the heart. The transplant committee will probably decide to give it to someone else.

Michael’s stable now and only has a minor hand injury, but Mark is concerned about his mental health. He thinks Michael might have intentionally overdosed on his medication. Michael says he took some extra pills because stress makes his asthma flare up, but he wasn’t trying to hurt himself. Curt checks in and Michael doesn’t mention anything about Mark’s suspicion that he’s depressed.

As soon as Romano and Benton hear that Valerie has a fever, they agree that she can’t have the transplant. Lucy argues that all her tests have come back normal, which means she must have an infection in her LVAD. All she needs is antibiotics. Once the LVAD is removed (which is necessary anyway to do the transplant), she can get the new heart. Romano seems annoyed by Lucy’s persistence, but he probably also admires it.

Carol gets defensive again about criticism that isn’t really criticism. Weaver wants to make sure she’s getting enough sleep. With two babies and no partner to help her? I’m sure she’s getting eight hours every night, Weaver. Dave brings her into a case involving a man who’s been taking some kind of medication that has led to him vomiting blood. Weaver isn’t familiar with the medication, which Dave says is a combination painkiller and steroid easily available in Mexico.

Benton decides to be more straightforward with Cleo and…kind of, sort of ask her out. She casually tells him she’s never sure when she gets off work, so if he wants to have dinner, he shouldn’t wait for her. Elizabeth finds Carol crying in the lounge and suggests that she go home. Carol admits that sometimes she just has a good cry at home, then feels better and goes back to whatever she was doing. She appreciates Elizabeth’s concern. Chuny comes in and Elizabeth tells her that Carol’s feeling overwhelmed. They talk about Carol’s struggles as if she’s not in the room.

Lucy tells Valerie that they think they can clear up her infection with antibiotics and still do the transplant. Valerie worries that the antibiotics won’t work, which could lead to a life-threatening infection. She asks what Lucy would do in her position. Lucy thinks the risks are small and Valerie should go ahead with the transplant.

Mark asks Michael about his relationship with Curt, suspecting that Curt is abusive. Instead of insisting that everything’s fine, which is usually what happens with abuse cases on this show, Michael admits that he and Curt had an argument that turned physical. Mark suggests that he talk to a social worker, but Michael isn’t sure if he wants to take that step.

Linsey Cordova comes to see Elizabeth and lets her know that they held Jenny’s funeral yesterday. She’s grateful that Elizabeth got Dean to tell her where Jenny’s body was. Linsey’s trying to forget him, but she hears his voice all the time – gentle, but telling her horrible things. Elizabeth tells her that Dean wanted her to suffer, but he can’t hurt her anymore, so she shouldn’t give him any more thought.

Valerie heads to surgery, asking if Lucy can observe. Lucy says med students can only watch if they’re on the transplant service, but she’s going to talk her way into having an exception made. If anyone can do it, it’s Lucy. Valerie realizes she forgot to feed her cat and asks Lucy to let her mom know.

Elizabeth goes to the prison ward to see Dean, whom she didn’t euthanize after all. He admits to being glad when he realized she didn’t follow through on her part of the bargain; he never thought she might turn out to be a coward. He thinks her conscience is bothering her. Elizabeth says it is, but not because she almost killed him. It’s because she enjoyed how much power she had over his life.

She could have easily killed him and repaid the pain he’s caused others, but she realized how pathetic he was and didn’t want that power. Elizabeth’s job is done – she made her sick patient better. Now he gets to suffer in prison. Elizabeth saunters out, ignoring Dean when he yells after her that he’s not finished with her yet. Fortunately, this is his last episode, so we’re finished with him. Yay!

Louise slipped on some ice in the parking lot while getting her mother into their car, so she’s back in the ER. In addition, Mrs. Duffy’s wheelchair fell over, so she might need medical attention again. Carter wants to do some tests on Louise, whose blood pressure is high. He’s judgmental about Chen’s decision to let Mrs. Duffy go instead of getting her further care.

Lucy observes Valerie’s transplant, much more in awe of the sight of the new heart than Benton is (though, to be fair, he probably sees this a lot. Also, he’s a robot). Michael agreed to talk to a social worker, but when Mark brought in Adele, he changed his mind. Adele tells Mark that this is common; Michael probably wants to protect his boyfriend. Mark thinks he can eventually get Michael to talk to someone.

Carter argues with Chen about admitting Mrs. Duffy so Louise can get some rest. Chen sticks to the rules, refusing to take Carter’s suggestion to lie that Mrs. Duffy had a stroke. She reminds him that she bent the rules with Alyssa, which got her into trouble, and she doesn’t want to take any more chances. Carter – who, remember, just lied on kid’s chart a couple weeks ago – thinks she should worry less about getting in trouble. Everyone admits people who don’t necessarily need to be admitted. Chen puts her foot down, saying that Mrs. Duffy is her patient, so it’s her call. Carter responds by having Louise admitted for high blood pressure.

Michael has changed his story, telling Mark that his bruises are from hockey. Mark worries about Michael’s safety in his relationship, noting that most people who are killed by their partners have experienced physical abuse. Curt comes in to get Michael, but Mark delays his discharge, saying he wants to run some more tests. Michael is about to give in when Curt tells him to shut up. Mark tells Michael he doesn’t have to go – it’s his choice. Michael chooses to leave with Curt.

Dave clears out the vending machine, knowing there won’t be any good food in the cafeteria since there’s no water to cook with. Cleo mentions that she’s treating a Spanish-speaking father and daughter who both have aplastic anemia. Dave realizes they must be tied to his earlier patient who took the Mexican meds. He knows enough Spanish to be able to communicate with Cleo’s patients, who tell him they got shots from a pharmacist who works out of a backroom clinic. Cleo wants to call to the police, but Dave would rather confront the pharmacist on his own.

Mark looks on silently as Michael leaves with Curt. The water has finally been fixed, but the pressure hasn’t been tested yet, so everyone still needs to use the Port-a-Potties. Chen asks Mark if it’s possible to page an individual beeper for someone working on the code team. The answer is yes. P.S. Carter’s on the code team today.

Valerie comes out of surgery fine, and Benton finally acknowledges Lucy’s awe over the idea of using someone else’s heart to keep a person alive. He wonders if she might want to go into surgery now. Lucy notices that Valerie’s eyes aren’t normal, and she doesn’t respond when Lucy says to squeeze her hand. Benton rushes her to CT.

Chen and some nurses watch gleefully as she pages Carter, who runs out of a Port-a-Potty to answer a code in the ER. He slips on a wet floor and falls, making Chen feel a little bad about her prank. He quickly realizes that she was messing with him, which she calls payback for what she considers blackmail. It worked, though, since she finally admitted Mrs. Duffy. She hopes Carter doesn’t see her as heartless.

They hear a crash outside and run to the ambulance bay, where Michael has crashed his car into the truck driven by the guy fixing the water main. Now Curt’s the one who needs medical attention – Michael thought he was in drive, not reverse, and ran him over. Mark, Carter, and Chen work on Curt in a trauma room but can’t use a piece of equipment for suction because it needs water they don’t have. Carter and Chen come up with a makeshift replacement involving a vacuum hose and sponges.

Romano checks in with Benton, who’s examining Valerie, then tells Lucy that she’s in a permanent vegetative state. Lucy blames the LVAD, but Romano says they can’t be sure what happened, so she shouldn’t feel guilty. After all, he approved the LVAD implantation. Surgeons know that nothing is risk-free. The positive news is that there’s a patient in Milwaukee who’s a match for Valerie’s new heart. Valerie’s not going to recover, so they can remove the heart and give it to someone else who can use it.

Once Curt has been stabilized, Michael tells Mark that the accident was just that, an accident. If I were Mark, I would be very skeptical. Carter is snarky with Chen over their different approaches to taking care of the Duffy women, like, let it go already. He’s disappointed that Chen can’t admit that she made a mistake. He tells her that things will go a lot easier for her if she can deal with them honestly. Chen agrees not to play any more practical jokes.

Lucy speaks with Valerie’s mother, who agrees to donate Valerie’s new heart. Chen examines an x-ray she’s been waiting on and sees a bunch of nails in her patient’s stomach. As she runs off to check on him, Carter stops Chuny from calling any surgeons. He lifts his shirt and shows her that he’s taped nails to himself so he could mess with Chen by giving her a fake x-ray. What a great use of expensive hospital equipment!

Carol’s made it through her first day back and heads home to her girls. Dave returns from the clinic with some bruises from his confrontation with the pharmacist. He tells Cleo he got a prescription by claiming he had a sore throat; the pharmacist didn’t even examine him. Dave grabbed a vial of some medication no one should take and just ran. Now he has evidence to get the clinic shut down.

Benton grows a very, very small spine and quietly asks Cleo if she wants to get dinner with him. It turns out she thought he was inviting her on a group outing, but he admits that it’s just going to be the two of them. She definitely seems interested. Mark speaks with a cop who talked to Michael about the crash, but doesn’t bring up Curt’s abuse. Michael notes that Mark is getting what he wants – Michael will be safe at home tonight. Mark offers to call Adele in again, but Michael still isn’t ready for that.

Luka finds Lucy sitting on a bench outside the ER and gives her his coat, since it’s started snowing. He offers her a ticket to the circus. Lucy says she’s on duty now, after having been at work all day but not technically working. They bond over feeling out of place at County, though Luka’s used to it, having moved around a lot. Lucy feels grateful every day to be able to walk in on her own rather than be brought in as a patient. At the end of every day, she hopes she’s helped even one person, but today that didn’t happen.

Luka reminds her that her day’s not over. Maybe the person just now being brought in by ambulance is the one person she’s going to help. Luka offers to stay behind and find out. He’ll skip the circus, since working in the ER is enough of a circus for him. They receive the patient and Luka offers to walk Lucy through a procedure she’s never done before.

Thoughts: Mark again demonstrates great leadership skills in handling the water problem. He stays calm and makes decisions quickly. Harriet the disaster coordinator would be proud.

Abuse storylines featuring same-sex couples are extremely rare, so good for this show for doing one.

Not one person suggests that Carol get screened for postpartum depression. Good job, medical professionals.

June 9, 2020

ER 6.10, Family Matters: Chen Is Back in Action (Act-Chen?)

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:01 pm by Jenn

I don’t think I could go back to the place where I almost killed someone, but I guess doctors do that all the time

Summary: Mark and Elizabeth are on their way to work, discussing the possibility of barbecuing, even though it’s January and snowing outside. Mark was able to do it in San Diego while he was visiting David, and now he wants to do it in Chicago. At County, they’re greeted by Andrew, then Romano, who tells Mark that a new resident is starting in the ER today. She’s not actually new, though – she’s Chen. Elizabeth is surprised that she’s starting in January. Romano says her program in New York fell through, and her rich father made a donation to County to get her a job there.

Andrew gives Mark a message letting him know that David has disappeared from his retirement home. It sounds like he ran away, which isn’t surprising, since we know he didn’t want to move there in the first place. Elizabeth and Romano meet with Detective Cruson, who has tied Dean to another missing woman, Jenny Cordova. Cruson wants Elizabeth to ask Dean where Jenny’s body is. Romano agrees that Elizabeth is the best person for the job, though she doesn’t think Dean will tell her anything. Cruson says this is the Cordova family’s best option.

In the ER, Carter and Yosh struggle to deal with a woman who’s manically scratching herself. They get security to restrain her, but only after Carter has wrestled with her and landed on the ground. He’s still there when Chen comes to greet him. She’s surprised he’s working in the ER, not the OR. Mark joins them, and Chen tells him she goes by Jing-Mei now, not Deb. She also insists that she always went by Jing-Mei, but I distinctly remember her introducing herself to Carter and Benton as Deb back in season 1, so nyah. Anyway, Mark has to go back to San Diego and get his father to behave.

Carter is surprised that Chen is still in medicine after almost killing someone as a med student. She tells him that incident made her realize how competitive she was, and that she was trying too hard to make herself look competent. Carter tells her about his patient, Cassandra, whom he and Yosh think has a psychiatric problem. Chen notices spots on Cassandra’s arms that indicate body lice. She probably applied a medication called lindane, scratched herself too hard, allowed the lindane to enter her bloodstream, and gave herself lindane toxicity.

Mark is angry at David for being childish and pulling him away from his job. Also, this means no barbecuing. Mark gives Andrew his stethoscope to give to Yosh, then tells Andrew he’s in charge until Weaver comes in. Andrew takes him seriously. Then he swings the stethoscope around and smacks himself in the face. Two women run in, ask for a doctor, and take Andrew’s picture, mistaking him for a doctor since he has a stethoscope. They explain that they’re in a scavenger hunt and have to take photos of, among other things, a doctor, a groom, and a polar bear.

Carter and Chen take on a patient together, a man named Mr. Sumpter who hurt his knee. Chen demonstrates that she’s become very confident in medicine and is good at communicating with patients. Carter draws some fluid from Mr. Sumpter’s knee and sees that he has an infection, probably staph. Dr. Myers comes down from psych and congratulates Chen on diagnosing Cassandra correctly. He thanks Carter for thinking of psych, even though it wasn’t necessary.

Benton and Cleo treat a high school student named Tamara who crashed her car on the way to school. She doesn’t have any serious injuries, just some wrist pain. Chen tells Carter that Mr. Sumpter’s staph infection is actually gonorrhea. Carter can only tell Mr. Sumpter the news and hope he tells his wife. Chen notes that they have to make a report to the Public Health Department, who may tell Mrs. Sumpter themselves. Carter isn’t concerned about the possibility of Mrs. Sumpter never finding out that her husband has an STD.

Elizabeth visits Dean on the jail ward, where he’s displeased with her treatment instructions. He wants a new doctor. Weaver meets Chen, who confesses up front that her father bought her way into her residency. Yes, she almost killed someone while she was a med student, but she knows she’s more competent now. Weaver believes her. She asks Andrew to get her a phone book so she can find a mechanic, since her car broke down. Dave announces that he can fix it. For some reason, Weaver agrees to let him try. Meanwhile, Chen asks Andrew to get her the number for the Public Health Department.

Carter gives Mr. Sumpter the news that he has gonorrhea. He asks if Mr. Sumpter has had sex with anyone other than his wife. Mr. Sumpter says he did, once, and Carter encourages him to come clean to his wife. Too late – she and Chen are behind the curtain around Mr. Sumpter’s bed, and his wife heard everything. She’s…not happy.

Luka’s patient is a young man named Dylan who burned his hands. He’s accompanied by his brother, Jake, who’s developmentally disabled. Carter complains to Weaver that Chen got Public Health to tell Mrs. Sumpter about her husband’s STD. Weaver says that no one did anything wrong. She takes Chen to talk to Officer Al, who’s brought in a teen panhandler who won’t provide her name. Al advises the Jane Doe to take advantage of the warmth in the ER and the free meal she’ll get.

Dylan tells Luka and Lydia that he burned himself making breakfast. Luka determines that Dylan is only 18 and isn’t in school. Jake gets distressed and apologizes over and over. Dylan yells at him to shut up, which just makes Jake more upset. He punches something and cuts his hand. Carter checks on Dave, who’s struggling to fix Weaver’s car. He asks Carter if he knew Chen when she was a med student (really he wants to know if they hooked up). Carter encourages him to ask Chen out, most likely looking forward to seeing Dave get rejected.

As Luka tends to Jake, Dylan explains that he had to take care of some things the night before (no details there), so he slept in this morning. Jake tried to make his own breakfast but accidentally started a fire. Their parents aren’t in their lives and the brothers move around a lot, so they’re not on Social Services’ radar. Dylan says they do fine on their own. Jake even makes a little money by cleaning up around their apartment complex and doing odd jobs for the residents.

Chen and Haleh get Jane Doe into a hospital gown so they can clean her clothes. Chen tries to chat with Jane, but she won’t give up any information about herself. Haleh pulls Chen out of the room with fake test results so she can tell her that she found the girl’s ID. Her real name is Alyssa, and they now have her address and phone number.

Cleo tries to get information out of Tamara, wondering if she was depressed from all the stress in her life and crashed her car on purpose. Tamara finds that crazy, especially since her basketball team is having a great season and has a big game coming up tonight. Tamara’s parents arrive, wondering if their daughter will be able to play in the big game. They’re also making arrangements for her to take chemistry in summer school, since her struggles in that class are part of all the stress she’s under.

Romano tells Elizabeth that she needs to try again to get Dean to tell him where Jenny’s body is. Elizabeth is more than happy to never have to speak to him again. Cruson has brought in Jenny’s mother and sister Linsey to try to guilt Elizabeth into changing her mind. Paramedics bring in a boy named Jason, and Dave takes a break from his mechanic duties to treat him.

Luka tells Weaver about Jake and Dylan, hesitant to call Social Services since he thinks getting Dylan a job will solve most of the brothers’ problems. Weaver wants them in school, since education will help them in the future. She gets Luka to agree to call Social Services. Chen calls Alyssa’s mother while a couple more scavenger hunters run in, looking for a doctor to photograph. Andrew puts on his most doctor-like face and happily poses for them.

Elizabeth asks Dean about Jenny, but he plays dumb. She notes that he’s already been charged with murder, so there’s no point in causing more grief. Dean asks if she’ll stay on as his doctor if he talks. Elizabeth agrees, but Dean says he’ll only talk to Linsey. Dave examines Jason, who’s been experiencing shortness of breath for a few days. Dave thinks he has pneumonia.

Weaver asks Adele if she was able to help Jake and Dylan, but Adele hasn’t spoken to Luka, so she doesn’t know anything about the brothers. Benton examines Tamara’s x-rays and doesn’t see any fractures, so Cleo can release her. Tamara starts crying when she hears what’s supposed to be good news. She confides that her life is super-busy, and though she insists she loves it, she’s tired. Cleo decides to get a second opinion on her x-rays, which will give Tamara some time to rest.

Alyssa is desperate to leave the hospital, thinking that Chen is trying to keep her there for no reason. Chen says she just wants to help. Alyssa explains that her parents tricked her into going to a treatment center, which she ran away from. The center wasn’t for drug or alcohol abuse, but it was supposed to straighten her out…literally, since Alyssa’s gay.

Mrs. Cordova objects to Dean’s request to talk to Linsey, but Linsey is willing to talk to him. Elizabeth and Cruson assure Mrs. Cordova that Dean isn’t a physical threat to Linsey. Elizabeth thinks Dean might actually tell Linsey where Jenny’s body is. If they don’t try this, the family might never get answers to their questions.

Lucy finds Dave in a trauma room, trying to clean something he took out of Weaver’s car. She has Jason’s scans, which show that instead of pneumonia, he has a mass around his heart – probably lymphoma. It’s spread through both lungs and is inoperable. Chen tells Carter that Alyssa’s parents sent her away for deprogramming to turn her straight. Carter urges her to get Alyssa out of the hospital before her parents arrive. Chen doesn’t want to tell her they’re coming, since she might run away.

Before Chen can get Social Services involved, she and Carter hear a commotion from Alyssa’s room. A Dr. Ramsey has arrived, having been called by Alyssa’s parents; he says he’s Alyssa’s legal guardian as the principal of her treatment center. Carter says she can’t be discharged since she needs more test. Chen blurts out that Alyssa’s pregnant, which makes her an emancipated minor. Dr. Ramsey scoffs that Alyssa can’t be pregnant, since she’s a lesbian, but there’s nothing he can do without a court order to take Alyssa back to the center.

Elizabeth takes Linsey to see Dean, who says he’s done horrible things and is paying for them now. Linsey says her family doesn’t want him to suffer; they just want Jenny’s body. Dean says Linsey’s a nice person, and he wishes he’d met her instead of Jenny…because he could have killed her instead. Jenny just screamed all the time. Elizabeth rushes Linsey out of the room, having accidentally traumatized her.

Dave brings Luka into Jason’s case, telling him that Jason’s mother didn’t bother to mention that he had lymphoma two years ago. Good job, Mom. She doesn’t want to give Jason the bad news, and Dave thinks an oncologist should do it, but Luka tells Dave it’s his job. He runs off to follow Dylan and Jake, who are leaving the hospital because Adele came to talk to them. Dylan thinks Luka handed them over to Social Services. Luka just wants to help them come up with better ways to take care of themselves.

Chen and Carter fill Weaver in on Alyssa’s situation, and Weaver helps them arrange to send her to an LGBT center. She cautions Chen not to lie about her patients’ conditions. A scavenger hunter tries to take Weaver’s picture, but Weaver ignores her and goes looking for Dave, who’s left her car parts lying around. The hunter turns to Benton, who dismisses her with an annoyed (but funny), “Go away.”

Tamara’s father pulls Benton back into her room, since Cleo is putting a cast on Tamara’s wrist. She says that Tamara might have a kind of fracture that’s hard to see on x-rays, so Cleo’s just being cautious. Tamara’s parents say it’s important for her to play in the game that night. Benton pulls Cleo out of the room and questions her choice to put a cast on Tamara. She’s allowed to make her own decisions; if she doesn’t want to play in the game, she needs to say so. Cleo thinks everyone around Tamara pressures her too much for her to be able to speak up for herself.

Dave gives Jason the news about his health, showing that when he really tries, he has good bedside manner. Weaver interrupts to blast Dave about taking apart her car, but when she realizes Dave’s in the middle of something important, she apologizes and dismisses herself. Mark surprises David at home in San Diego, where David’s trying to halt the sale of his house.

Luka’s annoyed that Weaver got Adele involved in Dylan and Jake’s case instead of trusting Luka to help them himself. Now that he’s convinced them to come back, he wants to handle things alone. Weaver agrees. Cleo tells Tamara that she can play in the game tonight if she feels up to it. She just put on the cast to help her slow down. Tamara doesn’t want to slow down, though – she’s sure things will get better soon. Cleo doesn’t want Tamara to start resenting her talent. I guess we’re supposed to think that Cleo went through the same sort of thing, but I just can’t bring myself to care.

Lucy talks to her landlord, who agrees to interview Dylan for a job as the building’s superintendent. That gives Dylan both a job and a place to live, which could lead to him being able to apply to be Jake’s legal guardian. Unfortunately, Adele has gotten involved again, and she and Reggie are taking Jake into custody. They think Dylan is neglecting him. Poor Jake is very upset, but Dylan promises to come find him as soon as he can. Luka tries to be reassuring, but Dylan’s done listening to him.

Dean summons Elizabeth to tell her he’s done playing games. He wishes she’d let him die when she found him after the car accident. Paramedics bring in a scavenger hunt participant who suffered numerous injuries while trying to take a picture of a polar bear at the zoo. She’s more interested in the $1,000 she won in the hunt. Then she learns that Andrew isn’t really a doctor, so her win isn’t valid. Weaver wants her to split her prize money with the ER.

She tries to smooth things over with Luka, since calling Social Services is how they handle situations like Dylan and Jake’s. Luka’s upset that her actions broke up a family. He confides that his wife and kids were taken in the war in Croatia, then killed. (This is different from the way he describes things in season 7, but whatever.) He repeats that they shouldn’t break up families.

Mark asks David about his plans. David says he’ll get by on his own. Mark suggests that David come live with him in Chicago for a while. David still refuses to sell the house in San Diego, but he’s open to Mark’s idea. Dave assures Weaver that he fixed her car, even if he couldn’t do anything to help Jason. He tries to make small talk with Chen, who’s nice to him but not interested.

Carter asks Chen why she came back to medicine. She tells him that she was on a subway when a man had a heart attack. No one could help him, but she realized that she knew what to do. She felt so good after saving him that she decided not to waste her skills. Carter tells her she hasn’t changed a bit. Well, except for going by Jing-Mei instead of Deb.

Elizabeth tells Dean that she’ll inject him with 100 milligrams of morphine and send him off into a peaceful death if he tells her where Jenny’s body is. Dean reminds her of the Hippocratic Oath, then guesses that she’ll stop the injection as soon as he tells her what she wants to know. She insists that she’ll keep her end of the bargain. If he doesn’t, she’ll save him and he’ll continue suffering from his chronic pain. Elizabeth asks where Jenny is, then injects Dean’s IV with morphine.

Thoughts: Tamara is played by Gabrielle Union.

The running “joke” of the episode is that no one can pronounce the second part of Chen’s name. Which is ridiculous, because IT’S JUST LIKE MAY. THE MONTH OF MAY. If they saw it written, yeah, I could get not knowing how to pronounce it, but there’s no way anyone would have a hard time saying it after hearing it. It makes them sound racist.

Chen is a little too much in this episode, and she gets really annoying later in the series, but I love how she handles Alyssa’s situation. I also like that Carter and Weaver both want to help. They could easily turn her over to the doctor and say it’s not their problem, but they truly want to help her. Carter even comments that trying to turn someone straight should be illegal.

June 2, 2020

ER 6.9, How the Finch Stole Christmas: Instead of Toys for Tots, County General Has Game Boys for Gangsters

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

Romano must have been visited by three ghosts before this

Summary: Carol is trying to balance doing mom things with talking to her own mom on the phone. Please be aware of how difficult it is for her to take care of two newborns on her own. At County, Elizabeth is summoned to see Dean, who pretends to be in pain so he can bug her. He claims he didn’t rape or murder Sandra, and thanks to Elizabeth’s coercion, he can’t be charged with the crime. She says she wishes she could go back and do things differently. Dean wonders if she would have let him die.

A 24-year-old woman named Valerie is brought in with complications from a heart condition. She’s already on the list for a transplant. Weaver lets Lucy take charge of her care, but Lucy isn’t sure what to do. Weaver walks her through it and they stabilize Valerie. Lucy promises to get her home in time for Christmas, but Weaver pulls her aside and tells her that probably won’t happen.

On the surgical floor, Elizabeth and Benton chat about their Christmas plans; Mark is in San Diego, so Elizabeth is alone for the holiday. Benton has managed to rearrange his schedule so he can spend Christmas morning with Reese. Detective Cruson calls to give Elizabeth some news about Dean’s case.

Things are busy in the ER, and Cleo wonders if it’s always like this on Christmas Eve. A nurse named Amira tells Weaver she needs a prayer break, since it’s Ramadan and she’s Muslim. Carter goes around collecting Secret Santa gifts, and Malik reminds everyone that he wants a Game Boy. Weaver opts to sit out the gift exchange. Then she gets another kind of gift: a ton of vomit from a sick Santa.

Benton comes to examine Valerie, since Lucy thinks she’s sick enough to be moved up the transplant list. Benton agrees and tells Lucy to send her to the cardiology wing. Valerie tells Lucy that she thought about going to med school, but she couldn’t handle all the smells involve with being a doctor. She opted for a master’s in fine arts instead, though she may not make it to her graduation. She knows she’ll die without a transplant.

The puking Santa is one of a group; they’re Wall Street traders who dress up together every year and deliver presents to homeless shelters. They’re all sick from bad eggnog. The puker, Greg, says they need a Mrs. Claus, but Weaver’s not interested. Carter cracks up at the idea, so Weaver punishes him by making him give all the Santas rectal suppositories.

Luka volunteered for a double shift to let others take the night off. He and Cleo encounter Chad, who fell down the stairs while drunk. Carter treats a boy named Tommy who got his penis caught in his zipper. Tommy’s not very cooperative, so I hope Santa has already locked him in for the nice list or he won’t get any presents. Lucy interrupts Benton during an operation to talk about research she’s done on a possible treatment for Valerie. They can insert an LVAD, which will keep her heart pumping until she can get a transplant. The hospital doesn’t have a current trial program, but another hospital does, and Benton approves moving Valerie there.

Elizabeth tells Dean he’s being taken to jail because there’s evidence that he was involved in another murder. Dean gets agitated, so Elizabeth has him put in restraints. He complains of pain again, and Elizabeth thinks he’s crying wolf, but Kit thinks he has a legitimate complaint. That means he’ll be spending the holiday in County instead of jail.

Carol brings the twins to the ER, thinking Kate might be sick. The nurses are thrilled to get to see the babies. Lucy makes a call about transferring Valerie, but she can’t go until the next morning. Lucy asks Chuny about having equipment transferred to County instead. Tommy’s upset that he can’t go back to the mall to see Santa, since the mall’s closed. Carter cheers him by dressing up as Santa, though Tommy thinks he’s a fake, since he doesn’t look like the Santa at the mall. Yosh says this is Santa’s younger brother.

Carter ditches the act to go help Benton with a gunshot victim, a teen named Taylor. He pins his shooting on a guy named Loman. They find a gun on him, which Carter confiscates. Luka examines Kate but doesn’t think she’s seriously ill. He offers to do a septic workup, just to be on the safe side, and though Carol knows it’s probably overkill, she kind of wants to do it. Luka compromises with just a couple of tests. Carol asks Haleh to draw Kate’s blood, since she’s the best at it in the ER.

Cleo wants to call Chad’s father, since his mother obviously isn’t doing much to help him stay out of trouble. Chad isn’t close to his father, who moved away and started a new family. Mrs. K. arrives at the hospital after being told that her son fell and was injured…even though she was in the house at the time. She was busy with a loud Christmas party downstairs. Cleo tells her that Chad’s blood-alcohol level is .26, which I think means he should actually be dead. Mrs. K. says she let him have a drink, but Cleo notes that he had to have had more than that.

An elderly man named Howard is brought into the ER after passing out and driving into a nativity scene. Benton finds a mass that could be an aortic aneurysm. Elizabeth tells Dean that he has a clot in his leg and needs immediate surgery. Dean doesn’t want to be fixed up and sent to court; he’d rather just die. He creepily (though he does everything creepily) tells Elizabeth that he thinks about her at night. She gives him the coldest stare in history and confirms that he’s refusing surgery.

Lucy tells Benton that she got the LVAD sent to County. She may go on Santa’s naughty list, as she signed Benton’s name as the authorizing physician for a $50,000 piece of equipment. Oh, also, Benton isn’t qualified to insert an LVAD. Romano is the only one who can do it, and he has the night off. Connie disapproves of Benton’s refusal to go above and beyond for a patient. Howard starts crashing while Benton and Connie are in an elevator with him, and they shock him as the doors open on a floor where some people in Victorian costumes are caroling. They stabilize Howard, who wakes up and says he saw his late wife, Edith.

Haleh gives Carter a Game Boy for Malik, hoping this will shut him up. Carol calls her mother to let her know that she brought Kate to the hospital. Her test results still don’t show anything serious, but Carol isn’t satisfied that she’s okay. Luka agrees to do more tests. Carol admits that taking care of the babies has exhausted her more than her work in the ER ever has.

Lucy gets a hold of Romano, who’s not happy to be called so late at night (and who thinks at first that this might be a personal call, as if Lucy would ever want to hook up with him). He hangs up on her. Taylor, who only has minor injuries, asks Carter for his gun back, since it was supposed to be a Christmas present for his younger brother. Carter gives him Malik’s Game Boy instead.

Cleo calls Adele in to deal with Chad, since Mrs. K. obviously isn’t helping him (and may actually be enabling him). Benton prepares to operate on Howard, but he doesn’t want the surgery. Seeing Edith made him think she’s waiting for him, so he’s ready to die and reunite with her. Benton tries to convince him that he just had a hallucination, but Howard disagrees. Benton cautions that without surgery, he probably won’t live through the night. Howard’s okay with that, since that means he’ll get to spend Christmas with his wife.

Lucy breaks the news to Valerie that she won’t be getting the LVAD implanted. Valerie vows to tough it out until she gets a transplant. Luka tells Carol that Kate’s blood count is normal, so she probably just has a virus. Carol apologizes for being difficult, but Luka doesn’t hold it against her. It’s 2 a.m., which means it’s officially the girls’ first Christmas.

Benton tells Anspaugh and Elizabeth about Howard’s refusal to have surgery. Elizabeth brings up Dean and says she’s looking forward to getting rid of him. Anspaugh reminds her that her personal feelings have no place in the OR. He tells Benton that Howard is probably scared, and seeing Edith made him feel better. If he thought Benton understood that, Howard might listen to him. Even though both patients have the right to refuse treatment, it’s their doctors’ job to keep them alive.

Lucy goes to Romano’s house to ask him in person to perform Valerie’s surgery. He tells her he doesn’t care, so she snaps that she didn’t know what she was thinking, asking a doctor to take care of a patient. Both Lucy and Valerie need Romano’s help. A few teens come to the ER looking for Carter, having heard that he gave Taylor a Game Boy in exchange for his gun. Carter doesn’t have any more Game Boys, but he does have other presents to trade to them.

Benton goes to talk to Howard, but he’s too late – Howard died. Elizabeth, however, still has a chance with Dean. She thinks he’s risking his life just to deprive her of the satisfaction of fixing him. She tells him what he risks by not having surgery, trying to scare him. He’s not impressed and asks if that’s the best she can do. Elizabeth tells him that if he keeps ignoring her advice, he’ll have no one to blame but himself. Dean thinks Elizabeth cares about him, not as a doctor but as a woman. She lies that she does, so he agrees to the surgery.

Weaver and Lily treat a man named Thorpe who burned his hands while fixing a generator. He’s preparing for TEOTWAWKI, the end of the world as we know it. Lily thought most of the glitches had already been fixed, but Thorpe says it only takes one to cause a lot of damage. The hospital will be at huge risk. Weaver says the hospital has been inspected, but Thorpe thinks of something that might have been missed. He offers to check it out for her.

Cleo tells Chad and his mother that she’s gotten him a spot in an in-patient treatment. Mrs. K. promises to try harder to control him, but Cleo doesn’t think she can. Chad begs her to reconsider, swearing he won’t drink again. Thorpe shows Weaver and Lily that their computer system isn’t ready for 2000 after all. He flees before anything more can happen, leaving Weaver alone to fix her crashed computer. Malik is upset about the loss of his Game Boy, as well as Carter’s naïvety with a bunch of gang members who want free stuff. Carter doesn’t care since he’s getting guns off the streets.

Carol gets her first moment of silence in weeks and falls asleep in an exam room. Luka asks Connie to make sure no patients are sent in there for a while. Weaver can’t get tech support on the phone, and she’s getting worried about the hospital’s preparedness for Y2K. Santa Greg used to work in tech support and offers to download a patch to fix the computer.

Elizabeth operate on Dean, noting to Benton that she could easily make one wrong move and get rid of him. Benton gets paged to the OR next door, where Romano’s operating on Valerie. He’s impressed by Lucy and all her research on the surgery. Benton wants to scrub in, but Romano says he missed his chance. Lucy thinks Valerie could use all the help she can get, so Romano lets Benton join them.

Haleh, Connie, and Lily discuss whether 2000 is really the start of a new millennium. Chuny wonders why she’s spending so much money on New Year’s Eve plans if the new millennium doesn’t start until 2001. Carol wakes up from her nap feeling rested and grateful to her fellow nurses for looking after the girls for her. Luka offers her and the girls a ride home; he sold his boat and got a car.

Cleo visits Chad as Carter tells Weaver that he traded all the Secret Santa gifts for guns, then had to write checks as more gang members came in to trade. Now he has a Santa sack full of guns to give the police. A 17-year-old drive-by victim comes in, and Carter recognizes his name, Loman, as Taylor’s shooter. Another victim, a seven-year-old, comes in right after him; he was hit by a bullet meant for Loman. Carter tries to save the younger boy, but there’s nothing he can do.

Romano finishes Valerie’s operation, which leaves her with a clicking noise in her chest from the LVAD, but also a beating heart. Carla brings Reese by, since Benton couldn’t get to her house to pick him up. Carla reveals that when Roger asked for time off for the custody trial, he lost his chance at the promotion that would have moved them to Germany, so the custody fight can end. Benton pretends to be sorry, but he gets to keep Reese close by, so he can’t be too upset.

Officer Al has brought Taylor in with more minor injuries related to Loman and the seven-year-old’s shootings. Upset that Taylor went out, got another gun, and accidentally killed a child, Carter dumps the bag of guns on his lap and angrily tells him to take as many as he wants. Carol gets the girls back home and invites Luka to stay for some eggnog. He’s not familiar with the drink, but when he hears that it contains rum, he’s happy to try it out.

Greg fixed the computer, and he and his fellow Santas are on their way to get some bland food. Weaver recommends Doc Magoo’s, which is always open, just like the ER. Greg invites her to join them. She asks about his work and expresses interest in investing in his software company. Romano checks on Valerie, then tells Lucy that she’ll be disciplined for her actions. It’s not because she actually deserves it – he just has to maintain his reputation as a jerk. Valerie thanks Lucy for her help, calling her a doctor, even if she isn’t one officially.

Thoughts: I thought it was really sweet that Carol asked Haleh to draw Kate’s blood because she’s so good at it. I bet nurses don’t hear a lot of compliments about how well they stick someone with a needle.

The Elizabeth/Dean stuff is gross, and I don’t get the point.

Aw, remember Y2K panic? Remember how apocalyptic people thought it would be? Imagine knowing then what would happen in 2020. We would have all died of shock.

May 26, 2020

ER 6.8, Great Expectations: Happy Thanksgivi-Birthday

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

Want to feel old? These girls are now college-age

Summary: This episode is all about Carol, so we follow her as she gets up in the morning, gets on an El train, falls asleep, and almost misses her stop. She slips on the El steps and drops the pie she’s carrying. She’s too pregnant to bend over and pick it up, so she just kicks it to the side. Outside the hospital, Cleo is jumping rope, in case we haven’t gotten the hint yet that she’s very fit. Carol tells Cleo that she used to be that thin. No one cares, Carol.

Weaver’s surprised to see Carol, since yesterday was supposed to be her last day of work before her maternity leave. Carol has come in to show Lydia how to do a report, but she’s late and Lydia’s already gone. Connie invites Carol to stay for the staff’s Thanksgiving potluck, but Carol decides to go home and nap before she spends the holiday with her family. Malik asks about the pie she was supposed to bring and Carol says it was a casualty of her pregnancy.

On her way back out, Carol runs into Carter and Chuny, who are having a snowball fight. This is before Carter gets traumatized and forgets how to have fun. A stray dog has found Carol’s pie and is having a nice Thanksgiving feast of his own when Carol returns to the El. Just moments after she sits down on a train, her water breaks.

She gets off the train and sits on a bench in a station, which is where Luka finds her 15 minutes later. She’s trying to get up the strength to get on a train and go back to County, but she’s had a couple contractions. I would think a crowded, moving train is the last place you’d want to be while in labor anyway. Luka tells her they’ll wait for the next train; if it doesn’t come in five minutes, he’ll call an ambulance.

Back at County, things are so quiet that Malik and Dave are playing a modified game of hockey. Dave’s goofing off in a wheelchair and flips over backward when Malik hits him with the can they’re using as the puck. Weaver tells Dave that things will start picking up as people in Chicago start having dinner and get sick. I imagine there will also be some carving knife-related injuries. Carter has a medical mystery and shares it with Weaver, but it’s Dave who diagnoses the patient with poisoning from a tropical fruit. Carter’s skeptical, since Dave isn’t the smartest guy, but Weaver thinks it’s worth looking into.

Luka gets Carol on a train just as she has another contraction. A man on the train wants to pull the emergency cord, but Luka tells him not to stop the train, since they’re only going one stop. They bicker for a little bit until Carol yells at the guy not to pull the cord. Mark has the day off, and he, David, and Rachel are spending Thanksgiving with Elizabeth. This is her first time meeting David and Rachel. She doesn’t impress them with her pilgrim hat (which was supposed to be a table decoration) or her lack of a working TV, which means David can’t watch football.

Carol’s contractions are getting closer together, and Luka declares that she’s in active labor. He advises her to hum to help get through the contractions – it helped his wife when she was in labor. Carol’s too distracted to comment on the mention of Luka’s wife. They do some off-key humming for a while. Carter tells Dave that his diagnosis was correct, and he wants to know how Dave knew what was wrong with the patient. Dave says he’s seen it before; he spent some time in the jungle. After Carter bugs him a bit, Dave admits that he went to med school in Grenada. He didn’t have the grades to go to a U.S. school, but the end result is the same – he and Carter are both M.D.s.

Luka finally gets Carol on her feet, and as they head down the big staircase from the El station, she asks about his wife. He mentions that they had two children, but his family doesn’t live in Croatia anymore. (More details on that in later episodes.) Carol has to stop and sit on the steps, but Luka doesn’t want to delay the trip to the ER any longer. She passes out, so he picks her up and carries her the rest of the way to the hospital. Carol regains consciousness as Weaver, Luka, and Carter are taking her to a trauma room. Carol thinks she’s fine to just go up to the labor and delivery ward, but Weaver wants her in the ER.

Mark praises Elizabeth for being willing to put up with his family on Thanksgiving. She’s much more hospitable than Rachel deserves, as Rachel turns up her nose at the bacon Elizabeth put on the turkey. She reminds Elizabeth that Brits don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, since it’s to commemorate the pilgrims leaving the Brits’ persecution. Elizabeth notes that the pilgrims then turned around and persecuted the Native Americans. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

David insists on carving the turkey, wanting to show Mark that he’s still capable of doing things since Mark doesn’t think he is. In fact, Mark wants to send him to a nursing home. Mark corrects that it’s a retirement community, but David notes that it has nurses. In the kitchen, Rachel accidentally drops the bowl holding the mashed potatoes.

Luka leaves Carol to tend to an elderly woman who skipped her last dialysis appointment to get her hair done for her birthday. Now she’s in congestive heart failure, so I’m going to say it probably wasn’t worth it. On top of that, the ambulance that brought her to the hospital was hit by a car. Luka isn’t sure if her heart problems are due to her kidney issues or the accident.

Weaver examines Carol and announces that she’s already dilated to 10 centimeters. There’s no time to get her to labor and delivery, so she’ll have to deliver in the ER. Carter wants to be part of the delivery, but Carol isn’t willing to let him participate in something so intimate. Weaver agrees with her decision to kick him out of the room. He goes next door to help Luka with his patient, who’s gone downhill fast.

Mark is summoned from his family Thanksgiving to go to County, since he’s Carol’s birthing coach. He tells David and Rachel he’ll take them home, but the two of them and Elizabeth decide to have Thanksgiving together without him. Mark tells Elizabeth to lock them in a closet if they cause her any trouble. Rachel’s off to a good start, insisting that she’s not going to eat any turkey, since animal fat is bad for your heart. Her grandfather isn’t here for that brattiness.

Weaver, Chuny, and Haleh help Carol through her delivery, but they determine that they’ll need some help from L&D. Weaver calmly tells Carol that the first baby’s heart rate is down, but as long as it stays above 80, everything’s okay. Next door, Luka and Carter are unable to save their patient. Luka sadly wishes her a happy birthday.

Speaking of birthdays, it’s about to be Carol’s twins’ birthday. Cleo comes in to help with the end of the first twin’s delivery, but Weaver has no trouble finishing up by herself. The baby is a girl and seems to be healthy. She’s also way bigger than a newborn would be, and having Carol comment that she’s small just draws more attention to it. Carol has already picked out a name, Tess. One down, one to go!

Up on the L&D floor, a nurse named Abby Lockhart takes over Carol’s care. This is the most competent and confident we will see Abby for a while. Carol asks Weaver to stay with Tess as she’s taken away to get cleaned up. Mark arrives as Carol learns that there’s time for her to have an epidural before she delivers the second baby. She tells him she quits. She apologizes for pulling him away from his family, but Mark would rather be with her.

At Elizabeth’s, David is using various Thanksgiving dishes to illustrate the story of D-Day. Elizabeth is somehow not chugging wine to get through this. Mark helps the anesthesiologist, Babcock, prepare for Carol’s epidural, which she orders Babcock to get right the first time. Does Carol have to micromanage everything? Dr. Coburn comes in and mistakes Mark for the babies’ father rather than Carol’s birthing coach. Carol’s OB is out of town, so Coburn is covering her practice.

David tells Elizabeth about witnessing the death of one of his Naval shipmates, who fell overboard. He’s happy to have gotten a homecooked meal from Elizabeth, his first since Ruth died. David asks how Mark is dealing with his mother’s death. Elizabeth says he doesn’t talk about it much, and Elizabeth doesn’t push him on it. David says he’s always been a mystery. Ruth was the only one who could understand him. David feels like she was a bridge for him and Mark; with her gone, David has lost the connection to his son. Rachel’s been in the bathroom for a long time, so Elizabeth goes to check on her. Rachel tells her to go away.

Mark flips through the TV channels in Carol’s room, making her wonder if she’s boring him. She’s very happy to have gotten the epidural. Mark leaves to call Elizabeth, and Carol asks him to call her mother as well. Mark asks pointedly if there’s anyone else he should call. But no, Carol doesn’t want to contact the father of her children while she’s delivering them, thank you. Abby asks another nurse if there’s an open OR, making Carol worry that she’ll need a C-section. Abby tells her they just need to be cautious in case the baby rotates and becomes breech.

Back at Elizabeth’s, Rachel’s hiding out in the bathroom because she just started her first period, at the young age of ten. Elizabeth only has tampons and doesn’t want to start Rachel off on them, so she sends David out to get pads. He’s not that familiar with them, so Elizabeth tells him to ask a clerk for help. “What if he’s a guy?” David asks reasonably.

Carol’s ready to deliver the second baby, and the heart rate is dropping, so Abby checks her again. She realizes the umbilical cord is cutting off the baby’s oxygen, which means Carol needs to deliver immediately. Since she’s only six centimeters dilated, she’ll need an emergency C-section. In the OR, Coburn and Mark butt heads a little, and though she lets him take charge for a while, Coburn gets the final say in what happens. Carol’s terrified and begs Mark not to let the baby die. The second baby is also a girl, and though she’s not as immediately healthy as her sister, she improves quickly.

On his way back from the store, David slips on some ice outside Elizabeth’s apartment building and cuts his head. He tells Elizabeth he wants a drink before she takes him to the hospital for stitches. Back at County, Carol is bleeding, because women never have smooth deliveries in TV dramas. Coburn decides she needs a hysterectomy. Carol won’t consent, and Mark asks Coburn to come up with another solution. He tells her to respect Carol’s decision, since she’s a nurse and knows the risk of not having a hysterectomy.

Thanks to blood loss, Carol passes out before her fate is decided, and she wakes up in a recovery with two healthy babies. Mark tells her that the hysterectomy wasn’t necessary after all. Abby tells her to thank Mark for advocating for her. Mark teases that she should have some more babies since the first two came out so well. Carol doesn’t see that happening any time soon.

Mark asks Carol what she wants to name the second baby. Carol invites him to name her, suggesting that they give the baby Mark’s mother’s name. Carol doesn’t like the name Ruth, but Ruth’s middle name was Katherine, and Carol likes the name Kate, so Kate it is. Abby sends Mark to the ER to check on David, and after he leaves, Carol asks Abby if she can make a long-distance call on her room phone. She’s finally going to call Doug.

Elizabeth stitches up David in the ER and informs Mark that Rachel started her period. Luka interrupts to ask how Carol is. Mark tells him she had two girls and everyone’s fine. Elizabeth leaves Mark to finish up with David while she visits Carol. David tells Mark that he likes Elizabeth. Abby teaches Carol to nurse, then leaves to go tend to someone else. She tells Carol she was very brave. Carol is left alone with her two girls on their first Thanksgiving/first birthday, and Carol realizes for the first time how much work she’s in for.

Thoughts: Tess Ross? Poor kid.

Dave going to med school at “the Harvard of Grenada” makes me think of Jimmy from Better Call Saul going to the University of American Samoa. (Goooo, Land Crabs!)

Enjoy bratty Rachel, because that’s who we’re stuck with from now on.

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