November 19, 2019

ER 5.3, They Treat Horses, Don’t They?: In Case You Didn’t Know, Insurance Companies Are Awful

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

I mean…just…sigh

Summary: The ER is being painted, and for some reason, the painters are starting in the copy room. Weaver disapproves. Mark tries to make conversation with Rachel, who’s showing signs of the teenager she’ll later become. She makes bare-minimum conversation with her father, then gushes to her mother when she calls. Weaver learns that her title has changed from acting chief to interim chief. Anspaugh tells her they’re forming a committee to look for a permanent chief. She gives him an evaluation she did of Doug.

Carter has gone from living in a mansion to living in an okay apartment to living in a dorm and having to share a bathroom with a bunch of guys. Poor Carter, slumming it with the middle class. Having to fix a clogged toilet and losing your toothbrush down it in the process isn’t fun, but his beard may be worse. When he gets to work, Randi says he’s starting to look “mythic.”

Weaver asks Mark if he thinks “interim chief” sounds better than “acting chief.” He tells her Anspaugh asked him to serve on the committee to find a replacement. She hopes he can remain unbiased since she’s one of the candidates. He decides to pass on the opportunity. Jeanie returns from a music camp in the wilderness and meets Lynette. She isn’t working until noon, so she volunteers to help out at the clinic. Her first patient is a boy who has roundworms, which is definitely worse than losing your toothbrush while unclogging a toilet.

Benton meets with a doctor who confirms the audiologist’s findings: Reese has hearing loss. Benton has looked into cochlear implants, but the doctor isn’t a fan, since they require destroying the patient’s residual hearing. Plus, Reese isn’t a candidate right now. He should use hearing aids right now and get into speech therapy. Benton asks about sign language, but the doctor thinks that will just limit him.

Doug wants to take Carol and Mark to lunch, but he won’t tell them what the special occasion is. A painter finds some papers in the copier and gives them to Jerry, who sees Doug’s name on them and tells Randi to put them in his box. Roxanne comes by to talk to a nurse about insurance and asks Carter to examine her healing toe. He’s a little more interested in her than he was the last time he saw her.

It’s Elizabeth’s last day as a fellow before becoming an intern again. Benton is distracted as they scrub in together, and she’s worried that he thinks she made the wrong choice. He says he just can’t imagine being an intern again. Anspaugh lets Benton know that the patient they were about to operate on just died.

Mark, Lucy, and Carol get a patient named Rodney who took a carving knife to the forehead. He’s drunk and combative, so Lucy helps tie restraints around his arms. She doesn’t tie hers properly, so he flails and sends her flying. Carol is quickly getting fed up with the inept student. Doug’s new patient is a 15-year-old named Dana who broke her leg while playing soccer. However, she didn’t fall or have a collision, which means she probably has a tumor.

Doug finds the papers in his box and is confused about why they’re there. Benton fights with someone with his insurance company in his attempts to get hearing aids for Reese. Dwight tells Mark that a call came in about a hostage situation and shootout; he’s welcome to tag along with the paramedics if he’d like. Mark is hesitant but decides to accept.

Lucy uses Rodney’s unconscious body to practice inserting an IV. She fails and Malik has to redo it. She admits to Carter that she asked him for help, which Carter encourages her to do, since they can teach her a lot. Mark and Dwight meet up with a bomb squad, since the person who took hostages has explosives. He’s also been taken down by the cops and needs medical attention. Dwight is up for the job, but the guy running the show wants Mark to go since he’s a doctor.

Doug tells Jeanie, who was helping him with Dana, that she may have Ewing’s sarcoma. He gives Jeanie the chance to bow out and see other patients, but Jeanie wants to stay on the case. Paramedics bring in an elderly woman named Emily whose neighbor found her unconscious. Carter stabilizes her, telling the neighbor that it’s not clear if she’ll live. The neighbor doesn’t care about Emily, per se; she just wants to know if her apartment will become available, since her sister’s looking for a place.

Doug and Jeanie tell Dana’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ellis, that she may have cancer. Dana hasn’t been told anything yet. Mark works with a bomb squad guy, Clark, to try to treat the bomber without, you know, blowing anything up. (Clark calls the bomber Boris; I have no idea if that’s actually his name, but I’ll go with it.) Back at County, Benton tells Carla what he’s learned about Reese’s hearing. She thinks everything will turn out fine. Benton’s insurance is awful, especially for a doctor, and he doesn’t have much in the bank, but Carla can chip in. Elizabeth spots the three of them together.

A woman named Margo introduces herself to Carter as a representative from Emily’s HMO. She reveals that Emily has a DNR, so all the work Carter did to stabilize her was for nothing. Margo won’t approve her admission to the hospital; she can’t justify spending money on a woman who shouldn’t be alive. Carter argues that she’s on a ventilator, so she has to be admitted. Margo disagrees.

Mark and Dwight bring in Boris after he’s been separated from the explosives. Benton helps tend to him in the ER and discovers a box that might be a detonator. Clark says that as long as they don’t mess with it, it should be fine. Good thing Clark is here to reassure the staff. Hey, everyone! It “should be fine”! A guy from the bomb squad says so!

Boris has wrapped chicken wire around himself and the detonator, which will have to removed in the OR. Jeanie pours saline on it, which shorts out the electricity. Clark yells that everyone has about five seconds to get out. As the others run for cover, Benton stays behind, counting. He cuts out the detonator, tosses it in the corner, and covers himself. After it goes off, he checks out the minimal damage, then goes right back to work.

Having run out of time to go out for lunch because of Mark’s heroics, Doug buys pizza for him and Carol. Before he tells them why he wanted to have the meal together, he gives a dramatic reading of the papers in the copier – it’s his evaluation from Weaver. Shockingly, it’s negative. Doug then announces that the evaluation doesn’t matter. A friend on a committee told him he’s already been approved to become a pediatric ER attending. Carol’s thrilled, and though Mark had doubts, he’s happy for his friend.

Weaver interrupts the celebration to tell Mark that Rachel’s there. Somehow, she came across a horse with colic and promised its owner or handler or whoever that Mark can help. Mark points out that he’s a people doctor, not a veterinarian, but there are no vets close by who can help. Mark is obviously going to help Cherry Blossom, because how else will he get his daughter to pay attention to him again?

Roxanne is still hanging around the hospital, and when she spots Carter again, she asks to get together sometime to talk about…investing. Sexy. She gives him a free guest pass to a health club and tells him she’s there every night around 7. Woo-hoo, Carter’s gonna sauna and talk about interest rates! At least it’s better than fighting 30 guys for a shower.

Weaver treats a man who’s having trouble breathing. They paralyze him to intubate him, but they don’t have a big enough blade for the procedure. Randi may have a solution, since she’s gotten her hands on the knife extracted from Rodney’s forehead and would like to keep it. Mark goes in to help Weaver, who feels like she’s being pushed aside. Then she learns from a painter that the copy room’s being painted because it’s being turned into an exam room for the new pediatric attending.

Carter tries to get Weaver’s advice on Emily, but Weaver’s not in the mood. She tells him that if he wants to be chief resident, he needs to start making big decisions on his own. Elizabeth tracks down Benton, thinking he’s going back to Carla, and asks him to let her know if she’s about to be dumped. He assures her that that’s not what’s going on. He snaps that he’s not avoiding her, then reveals that he’s dealing with Reese’s hearing problems. He didn’t want to tell her because it’s private.

So…Mark treats the horse. Jerry reluctantly helps give Cherry Blossom an enema, not wanting to get too close to his hindquarters. Doug visits Dana, who’s heard that she needs to see an oncologist and is smart enough to know what oncologists treat. She overheard him talking to her parents and mentioning possible amputation. Doug tells her that the doctor will go over all her options, but Dana just wants a straight answer.

He tells her that amputation may be her best option. Dana’s adamantly opposed to that, though her survival isn’t guaranteed either way. Doug says that if she were his daughter, he’d opt for amputation. Dana asks if the doctor amputates even if she says she doesn’t want that. He tells her they’ll go over all the facts and options before any decisions are made.

Carter calls the person who holds Emily’s power of attorney; he has more than 700 clients and hasn’t met any of them. Yet he’s allowed to make their medical decisions. Carter fills Mark in, trying to figure out what he should do. Mark reminds him that Emily has a DNR, so they need to let her go. Carter goes back to her trauma room and starts the steps to do so. When he takes her off the ventilator, she starts breathing on her own. Jerry goes out to check on Cherry Blossom, who hasn’t shown signs of the enema working yet. He helps get Cherry Blossom out of his trailer so he can walk around a little. As a result, he gets crapped on. Womp womp.

Weaver pulls Mark into the lounge to ask if he knew that Doug got the attending position. She’s annoyed that no one kept her in the loop. Mark tells her to accept it and move on. Weaver’s annoyed that Mark told her he didn’t support Doug getting the position, then celebrated when he got it. Mark says they have to live with the hospital’s decision. He thinks she’s really just mad that she hasn’t been made the permanent chief. She needs to decide if she wants to be a doctor or an administrator.

On her way out for the day, Lucy stops by to see Carter, who’s sitting with Emily. She’s now declining again, and Lucy’s surprised that Carter doesn’t do anything to save her. He tells her this is what Emily wanted, and she’s not suffering. As soon as she’s died, Carter starts signing the charts Lucy needs him to sign.

The Ellises are upset that Doug talked to Dana about her treatment. While he told her that amputation is her best chance at survival, he also offered some alternative treatments. Doug says he wants her accept that amputation might be what’s best for her, rather than being forced to comply with a treatment she doesn’t want. Mr. Ellis say it’s their decision, not Dana’s. He tells Doug to stay away from her. Doug says Dana needs to feel like her parents are on her side, not working against her.

Mark has changed his mind and wants to be on the search committee to find a new chief after all. Roxanne helps Carter hook up a new sound system in his room, then slow dances with him. And…that’s it? That’s the end? Whatever.

Thoughts: Clark is played by Dean Norris. Dana is played by Ashley Johnson. Mrs. Ellis is played by Ann Gillespie.

Benton with the bomb has to be his coolest moment in the whole series.

Do you think Carter and Benton ever talked about how they both like jazz? …Yeah, probably not.

November 12, 2019

ER 5.2, Split Second: Waaaay Too Much Talk About People’s Lower Halves

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 5:09 pm by Jenn

Thanks for showing up and doing nothing, Rach

Summary: Two students (one of them is Bernard) wake Carter at 2:45 a.m. so he can let them into the dorm room they’re locked out of. Carter probably regrets taking a job as an RA. Benton is also up late/early, and eager to finish up a date with Elizabeth. There’s already another man in her apartment, but Benton quickly learns that he’s no competition – he’s Elizabeth’s father, Charles. Carter is woken again with a complaint about an overflowing toilet.

Lucy’s at work early, checking to make sure she didn’t lose track of anything the day before. Jerry teases that she’s the favorite of all the med students, since she was able to insert an IV on her first day. Doug pulls her away to help him examine a baby. He manages to keep the joy out of his voice when he informs Weaver that his probation is over, so she won’t have to look over his shoulder anymore.

Carter’s just going back to bed when his father calls. Millicent told him that Carter’s living in a slum, which Carter says is a huge exaggeration. He admits that County might not be able to pay him this year, but his RA role is “practically a faculty position.” He feels good about being able to pay his own way for the first time in his life.

Carol comes back from a meeting in a great mood – thanks to some support from Mark, she’s been approved to hire an RN to work at her clinic. Connie is teaching Mark to answer radio calls from paramedics; he’s considering taking the EMS liaison job he was told about. By the time he gets all the steps right, the paramedics have already arrived and can tell him everything in person.

Elizabeth, Benton, and Charles go to Doc Magoo’s for breakfast, discussing Charles’ offer to let Elizabeth join his practice in England. They spot Romano in the restaurant, which will make it hard for Elizabeth to keep trying to avoid him like she’s been trying to. Charles thinks she should join him for a high-tech operation and impress him. Maybe he’ll regret not renewing her fellowship. When Romano comes over, Charles is icy to him. Elizabeth says she’ll do the procedure – and instead of assisting Romano, he’ll be assisting her. Charles invites himself to observe.

Lucy thinks her and Doug’s patient needs to have metabolic tests done, but Doug thinks they can determine his condition better by just cooling down the room. He tells Lucy she had the right instincts, but he has a hunch that the boy has no sweat glands. Jerry tells Benton that Carla called to say she may not make it to an appointment for Reese to have his hearing checked.

Lucy brings Carter coffee and tells him she signed him up for a couple of possibly interesting cases. She’s already taken the patients’ histories and reviewed their previous charts. She wants to put herself in a good position for her eventual residency. She figures Carter’s been looking toward becoming chief resident since he was an intern. Carter pretends she’s right. Jerry tells Lucy not to call him Dr. Carter – he’s “just Carter.”

Carol thinks hiring a nurse for the clinic will be fun. She’s impressed that Mark has already mastered answering radio calls. Paramedic Doris has brought in a teen gangbanger who attacked her when he thought she was going to take his gun. Mark takes her away to examine the cut on her forehead. The teen, B.G., recognizes a patient in the next room as his friend Toine, who was also shot. Toine is somehow not completely embarrassed that his wound is in his butt.

Carter and Lucy go hunting for a case they can help with, but Carter thinks B.G. and Toine are stable enough not to need their help. Mark asks Doris some questions about paramedic procedures and mentions that he might become the liaison. She tells him she’s been a paramedic for seven years, and they’ve said the whole time that they need more EMTs. Instead, they get their budget cut.

Weaver tells Doug that his probation is, indeed, over, so he’s free. She says she was assigned to babysit him and didn’t actually enjoy it. Doug doubts that. She tells him people keep calling to ask for ultra-rapid detox since they know it worked for Josh. Mark talks to Weaver about the coordination position, which she thinks is a good idea. He heads off to attend a soccer game Rachel’s playing in.

Carter tells Weaver that he put in a salary request because his financial situation has changed. She’s already approved the request and is glad he’s trying to look professional. People who practice medicine just as a hobby look like dilettantes. Carter says that not worrying about money will help him achieve his goal of becoming chief resident. Weaver thinks he has a good chance since his med student is performing so well, which means he’s a good teacher.

While Jerry struggles to make the ER an acceptable temperature (the D-plot of the episode), Benton wraps up surgery with Anspaugh. He mentions taking Reese to an audiology exam to follow up on some hearing problems he had before. Benton thinks they were do to fluid in his ears after an infection. Anspaugh notes that a medicine sometimes given to preemies can cause damage to their hearing. Benton tries not to worry.

Elizabeth examines Toine, who needs surgery. B.G. and his girlfriend, Elan, make obnoxious comments, and when B.G. picks on Yosh, he’s dead to me. Weaver tells B.G. to be more supportive of Toine. That won’t happen after B.G. and Elan hear that Toine will need a colostomy bag after his operation. A girl named Moselle shows up to see Toine, and she and Elan get into a fight. B.G. taunts Toine for getting shot in the butt because he was running away from gunfire.

Weaver tells Elizabeth that she’s sorry Elizabeth will have to find work somewhere else. She’s heard about foreign doctors starting over as interns, an idea neither of them finds appealing. Weaver breaks up a fight between Elan and Moselle, kicking them out of the hospital. Carol and Elizabeth are both impressed. As Carol deals with a guy named Savage who thinks he can smoke in a hospital, Weaver tells Jerry to call someone who can send them some parkas.

Mark cheers Rachel on at her game, trying to out-yell the sexist father of another player. As Rachel blocks a goal, she falls and hits her head on the metal holding up the net. We get a dramatic zoom in on Mark’s face, but Rachel seems okay. The sexist dad’s son apologizes for kicking too hard, and the sexist dad is nice enough to offer up an (empty) first-aid kid and some ice.

Savage tries to light up again in his exam room, like this is the ’50s or something. Elan goes from visitor to patient when her fight with Moselle ends with Elan being stabbed. Benton checks Reese’s chart in the neonatal ICU, where he runs into Tabash, the doctor who took care of Reese. Tabash says his hearing was normal both before and after he was given the medication that could have affected it.

Carter takes charge tending to Elan and tells Lucy to draw her blood. Her hemoglobin comes back much lower than it was before, and Carol realizes that the machine wasn’t calibrated properly. As everyone else worries that Elan is less stable than they thought, Carol reruns the test and gives the new reading, which is fine.

After the trauma, Lucy beats herself up for not doing the procedure properly. Carol says she won’t cover for her again. If she doesn’t know something, she needs to ask. Everyone knows that she’s still learning. Lucy laments that med students get judged on everything from their first day. Carol notes that they have to be, since they’re doing life-saving procedures. Lucy needs to stop worrying about being perfect.

Carter interrupts to tell them that a guy just came in with an intestinal perforation from a carrot. Lucy naïvely asks how he swallowed a whole carrot. Carter and Carol have a good laugh at her expense when she figures out what really happened. After Lucy leaves, Carter tells Carol that he really lucked out getting her as a student. Carol says she’s good, but she’s still a beginner, so she needs more guidance. Carter thinks Lucy’s a natural and Carol’s just jealous.

Carol spots Savage smoking in his exam room and confiscates his cigarettes. He should probably be smarter about his behavior, since the exams he needs done are on his lower half, and the last person you want messing around down there is an angry nurse. Elizabeth does her operation with Romano and a voice-activated robot. Everyone’s impressed except, possibly, Romano.

Weaver pulls Doug out of an exam room to deal with someone who’s insistent on seeing him. Doug mentions to the patient’s mother that she may need an endoscopy, which Weaver thinks he only mentioned to get a reaction out of her, since it’s an invasive procedure. Carol asks Lucy to insert Savage’s IV, saying he’s the perfect patient for her since he doesn’t seem to feel anything.

The man insistent on seeing Doug is an addict who wants ultra-rapid detox. Weaver told him that Doug is the only one who could help him, though Doug says he doesn’t treat adults. He tells Weaver she’s made her point. She thinks he should write a journal article to spread the word further. They bicker for a while until a teenage karate student is brought in after being injured in class.

Jerry introduces Carol to Savage’s private-duty nurse, who reveals that he didn’t actually need treatment. He enjoys having certain procedures done, especially by nurses. Carol realizes she sent Lucy in to do his IV, so she rushes to get Lucy away from the weird man who should be in the turkey file. She calls for a psych consult, realizing that the private-duty nurse isn’t actually a nurse. Carol suggests that she undergo a psych consult, too.

Paramedic Dwight chats with Mark about how unprepared regular people are for medical emergencies. Mark mentions that there was no first aid available in the park during Rachel’s game. The injury the karate student suffered was one that could only cause damage during a specific split second. The fire truck Dwight was on didn’t have an automatic defibrillator, one thing that can easily be changed.

Reese undergoes his test, which shows that he has hearing loss. Romano praises Elizabeth for her work in the OR and says it made him rethink revoking her fellowship. Unfortunately, the money is no longer available for her position. Doug teases Lucy about the carrot thing, so word of her naïvety has spread. They discover that the patient he was examining when Weaver interrupted him caught an STD from her mother while in the birth canal.

As Elizabeth and Romano operate on Toine, Romano mentions the job offer Charles extended to her. He says he could never work with someone in his family. “Robert, you can’t work with anyone,” Elizabeth points out. Lucy goes with Doug to tell their patient’s mother about her condition. Doug questions the mother about STDs, then says she should have had a C-section so she wouldn’t infect her daughter. The mother puts an end to the lecture by announcing that her daughter is adopted.

The audiologist tells Benton that Reese’s hearing loss is considered severe. Benton thinks she’s jumping to conclusions after just one test. The audiologist says he’s in the range that can be aided with hearing aids. He could eventually learn to talk, too. Benton is annoyed because two weeks ago, a doctor said Reese was fine. He wants to talk to the doctor.

Weaver hears that Doug is talking to Babcock and wonders why. Carol coolly tells her to talk to Doug himself if she wants to know details. Jerry boasts that he’s finally gotten the temperature in the ER right. Weaver and Lucy disagree. Carter and Jerry continue teasing Lucy by presenting her with a carrot.

Carol meets Lynette Evans, a nurse Anspaugh thinks would be a good fit for the clinic. Carol was told she could have an RN, but Lynette would be a better choice, since, as a nurse practitioner, she can write prescriptions. She even used to run her own clinic. As B.G. gets ready to leave, rudely saying goodbye to the staff, Lynette stops him and makes him show some manners. Carol quickly offers her the job at the clinic.

Doug asks Babcock if he knows how Josh is doing after the ultra-rapid detox. His mom hasn’t brought him back for a follow-up, and though Doug thinks that’s a bad sign, Babcock says she might have just moved out of state to be closer to family. Doug worries that Josh’s mom will press charges. A teen Doug previously treated recognizes him, and Doug chats with Babcock about how his pain is being managed. Babcock says they have to figure out what kind of pain he’s having.

At Elizabeth’s apartment, she tells Charles that she’s turning down his job offer. Operating on Toine, as low-tech and un-fancy as it was, has made her decide she can handle going back to the basics and being an intern again. Charles guesses that she really just wants to stay in Chicago to be near Benton. Elizabeth would never make a decision based on a man, but…she can’t deny that that was a factor. After a year as an intern again, Elizabeth will have a license to practice in the U.S. Charles thinks that, instead of giving up, she’s fighting for what she wants.

Benton puts on some music at home, hoping Reese will be able to hear it. No matter how loud he turns up the volume, Reese doesn’t respond to it.

Thoughts: Lynette is played by Penny Johnson Jerald. Elan is played by Taraji P. Henson, just four episodes after she played a different character.

Doug vs. Weaver is so annoying. We get it, they don’t like each other! Let’s move on.

Here’s an idea so crazy is just might work: Don’t let your med student do a procedure until you’ve seen for yourself that she can do it successfully.

November 5, 2019

ER 5.1, Day for Knight: Lucy Is the New Carter, and the Old Carter Is Kind of Awful

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

I make that face at Julie Bowen sometimes, too

Summary: Third-year med student Lucy Knight is on her way to her first day of work at County when she comes across a man lying on the sidewalk. Someone in the small crowd gathered around him says he may have slipped. Lucy’s wearing a white coat, so someone thinks she’s a doctor, but she quickly proves that she doesn’t know enough about medicine to pass for one yet. Fortunately, Mark and Carol arrive, having been summoned by another witness, and take the man to the hospital.

Lucy goes with them as Carol and Mark do exposition letting us know that Jen is out of town for a few weeks, so Rachel’s staying with Mark. Mark thinks Lucy is the patient’s family member and asks her to leave the trauma room. Lucy says she was just passing by and tried to help at the scene. The patient remarks that she didn’t help much. Way to be grateful for the kindness of strangers, sir. Lucy explains that she’s a third-year student and will be starting her ER rotation today. Mark and Carol send her out of the trauma room anyway.

In the waiting area, Lucy runs into a classmate, Bernard, who’s doing an audio tour of the hospital. She asks him to help her practice drawing blood later, but he doesn’t think they’ll be doing procedures on their first day. Benton rushes a patient in with some paramedics and Lucy gets her first glimpse of the blood and gore that come with this rotation. She meets some of the nurses, who are planning a surprise birthday party for Jerry in the lounge.

At the admit desk, Rachel helps Lucy find a new coat before being sent off to soccer camp. Mark gives Lucy an overview of ER procedures, telling her she’ll be assigned to a resident later. He introduces her to Carter, who’s taking a nap since he’s lost sleep after moving into a dorm as an RA. He’s also grown a hideous beard that he’ll keep for way too long. Lucy sees Benton’s patient again, but this time, he’s dying.

Next, Lucy meets Doyle, then Doug, who somehow still has a job. Elizabeth arrives wearing red cowboy boots she got while interviewing for a job in Denver. Mark turns Lucy loose to help out in the ER, but first she wanders back into the trauma room where Benton’s patient is being pronounced dead. After everyone else leaves, the patient’s phone starts ringing. Lucy answers it and tells the caller she’ll take a message.

Later, Lucy takes the audio tour, which sends her to the men’s bathroom instead of the admit desk. Bernard tells her he couldn’t get it right, either. Doyle has already claimed Bernard as her own and is working him hard. Lucy asks Weaver if she’ll be assigning the students to residents, since she’s the ER chief. Weaver says she’s (still) acting chief. Doug interrupts to tell Weaver about a procedure he’s going to do on a child. This is the only reason he’s still employed there – he has to have Weaver babysit him.

Jerry hangs up a banner for his own birthday, sure that his co-workers are going to throw him a surprise party. (He found the cake; they hide it in the same place every year.) Lucy invites herself to team up with Carter, using a Palm Pilot-type computer to look up a diagnosis. Carter clearly looks down on that sort of thing. Mark warns her not to show up the residents by solving cases they’re struggling with.

Carter examines his patient, Mr. Zwicki, who thinks he’s just fatigued from a renovation project he’s working on. Lucy tries to help out with questions, but Carter doesn’t appreciate the assistance. She tells him she’s willing to do her fair share of her job. Carter sends her off to take a patient’s history on her own. Her patient is fine with that, since God put them in each other’s paths, so clearly it’s meant to be.

Lucy tries to go over Mr. Zwicki’s lab results with Carter, who’s trying to jump in on a trauma with Weaver. Weaver sends him off to do some teaching. Lucy knows her stuff, and Carter lets her tag along as he tells Mr. Zwicki he needs to be admitted for a few days for more tests. He may have cancer. Mr. Zwicki resists staying, so Carter says they’ll go to the waiting area to talk to his wife first. He tells Lucy that sometimes this trick helps; he’s pretty sure Mrs. Zwicki will talk her husband into staying.

Carter ditches Lucy to go back to the trauma with Weaver, so Lucy tells Mrs. Zwicki that her husband could be seriously sick. She doesn’t translate her medical talk, so Mrs. Zwicki doesn’t talk her husband into staying. Carter catches them leaving and tries to change their minds. Mr. Zwicki promises to talk to his regular doctor if his condition doesn’t improve. Carter blasts Lucy for not using normal English to explain things to the Zwickis. When he complains to Mark, Mark points out that Lucy shouldn’t have been given that task in the first place. Carter denies that he assigned her to do it.

Mark takes pity on Lucy and takes her up to the roof to get a patient named Emil who’s coming in on a helicopter after a fall. She’s unable to get her protective gown on, and she has to chase it in the wind. The others leave the roof without her, locking her up there alone. When she gets to the ER, Carol is sympathetic, having also been locked up on the roof once. Mark jokes that he thought Lucy had decided to leave on the helicopter. He has Lucy walk him through Emil’s examination, which shows that he has a serious head injury.

Mark is vague when Emil’s firefighter co-workers check in with him. They’re not sure they did the right thing sending him in on a helicopter, since it wasn’t equipped with medical supplies. Mark says that he probably would have done the same, so they didn’t do anything wrong. He sends Lucy off to do something else while they wait for Emil’s CT results.

The nurses discuss how to present Jerry with his “surprise” cake to make his birthday special. Carter notes that Lucy got a locker, which is pretty lucky, since she’s still a student. Lucy says she heard it belonged to a resident who left the program. That would be Anna, who went back to Philadelphia. Carter is bummed about it, but I don’t think he ever mentions her again, so I guess he’s going to get over it pretty quickly. Lucy apologizes for talking to Mrs. Zwicki without exact orders. Carter doesn’t respond to that, but he does suggest that she try the suture room if she wants a quiet place to study.

Lucy finds the room quiet for a while, but soon Elizabeth and Benton come in, talking about Reese. Benton thinks Reese’s possible hearing problems are due to a recent ear infection. Elizabeth tells him that she didn’t really like the hospital she visited in Denver; she’d rather stay in Colorado. She may get a sponsorship from another doctor. Lucy spies on them through a curtain, unseen as Benton and Elizabeth start making out. She crouch-walks out of the room without them seeing her, but gets caught by Malik.

Lucy goes looking for Carter, who wanted her assistance with a pregnant woman, Mrs. Draper. She’s worried that she’s having a miscarriage, her third. Lucy observes as Carter and Carol gently tend to her. Lucy offers to stay out of the room when Carter comes back later to perform a pelvic exam, but Carter notes that she won’t learn that way.

Mark grabs Lucy to look at Emil’s CT, which shows that his condition can’t be fixed with surgery. They’ll treat him medically for now and wait for his wife. One of the firefighters thanks Mark for talking with him and his co-workers earlier. He thinks Mark must have worked with paramedics in the field before. There’s a position opening up for a medical director for paramedics; they need someone to do ride-alongs and determine procedures. It’s only a few hours a week, but there’s no salary or perks, so therefore, there’s no incentive for Mark to accept.

Bernard takes the audio tour again in an attempt to look busy so Doyle won’t bug him. Doyle is already on to him, though. Lucy goes back to Mrs. Draper, whom Carter determines did have a miscarriage. He asks Lucy to sit with her until an OB-GYN can come see her. Carol looks on from outside the room as Lucy struggles to find something comforting to say to the patient.

Weaver finds Lucy later and, after telling Jerry to call the morgue again about a body that’s been in the ER for a while, checks to see how her first day is going. She sends Lucy to help Doug with a boy who has a gross-sounding throat infection. She thinks he has to have Weaver sign off on his work because she’s an attending and he isn’t. Doug tells her the truth about why he’s on probation. He’s mainly okay with it, though, since Josh is doing well.

Lucy’s next patient is Roxanne, a woman who dropped a weight on her toe at the gym. Jerry offers to help escort her to an exam room, probably because she’s pretty. Mark and Lucy meet Emil’s wife and tell her that they’ll treat him as best they can, but it doesn’t look good. Over the next few days, if there’s no brain activity, she’ll have to decide whether or not to take him off of life support. Lucy takes her to see her husband, hoping that he can hear her.

Carter treats a man who cut his foot while diving in a shipwreck. He tells Lucy to start an IV, who pretends she’s done that before. Carol is nearby and agrees to help her so she doesn’t hurt the patient. Later, Mark tells Lucy how to treat Roxanne’s broken toe and lets her do it herself. Roxanne has been entertaining herself by trying to sell Jerry insurance. He’s already invited her to stay for his “surprise” party.

Carter compliments Lucy on her IV skills while Carol is standing right next to them. Lucy takes the credit. Emil’s wife tells her that she needs to get her kids home, so she’ll come back tomorrow to discuss options for her husband’s care. Weaver yells at Jerry again about the body in the ER, telling him to take it himself since no one has come from the morgue to get it. Only the body has been replaced by Malik, who’s holding Jerry’s cake to surprise him. Everyone sings to him happily, except Lucy, who sadly watches Emil’s wife and kids leave.

Roxanne chats with Carter as Chuny turns on some music. Lucy comments to Bernard that she can’t believe the staff is having a party after a horrible day. He tells her he’s been assigned to Doyle, and Lucy has been assigned to Carter. Bernard thinks she’s lucky. They’re pleased to have made it through the day, though Lucy doesn’t think she helped anyone. Bernard says at least she got to see patients. Lucy leaves the party to go back to Emil’s trauma room. She tells him she knows how much his wife and kids love him, and she wishes this hadn’t happened to him.

Thoughts: As mentioned above, Roxanne is played by Julie Bowen.

Oh, hey, it’s jerky Carter! Awesome! I was wondering when he was going to show up.

If I went to an ER and there was a dead body just lying there in the corner of the room, I would find another hospital. Get it together, County.

October 29, 2019

ER 4.22, A Hole in the Heart: Unfinished

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

Swoon

Summary: We pick up right where “Suffer the Little Children” left off, with Doug and Weaver rushing Josh to the pediatric ICU. Weaver’s still yelling at Doug for doing the rapid detox without the mother’s consent. The pediatric anesthesiologist, Alexander Babcock, meets them in the ICU and decides they need to continue the detox instead of just getting Josh stabilized. Weaver tells Doug that he’s broken every rule in the ER, and there’s no way he’ll get his desired job as a pediatric attending.

Connie wakes Mark, who spent the night at the hospital while waiting for information on Josh. Things are slow, so Lydia and Randi are playing a modified game of curling in the hallway. Elizabeth and Benton had a good time at the jazz lounge the night before, but he thinks they stayed too late. They head to the El together but split up so she can go to work and he can go pick up Reese. Weaver also spent the night at the hospital and is annoyed that she’s the only one on time for her shift.

Mark finds Carol on the roof and warns that what Doug did could have serious repercussions. Carol says she was there voluntarily, but Mark thinks she could get away with arguing that she was just doing her job as a nurse assisting a doctor. Carol says she’s equally to blame for the stunt. Anna and Max are in a good mood when they get to work, which doesn’t help Carter’s mood. Mark tells Weaver that he thinks he should go with her when she meets with Anspaugh about Doug. Weaver says she has a prescheduled meeting with him and will discuss setting up another with Mark.

Elizabeth gets a note from Romano and leaves to go deal with him. Benton takes Reese to daycare, where one of the employees mentions that sometimes it’s hard to get his attention. Benton may want to get his hearing checked. He thinks Reese just gets distracted by the other kids in the room and there’s nothing serious going on. Carol tends to a man named Victor Nable who cut his arm. He says he wasn’t trying to kill himself – he had a fight with his wife and impulsively cut himself with broken glass. He’ll need to speak to a psychiatrist just to be on the safe side.

Weaver goes to her meeting with Anspaugh, who’s finishing up an emergency meeting with Doug. He wanted to get all the necessary parties up to speed on what happened with Josh. Max is also there, as Doug wants him to continue his study in the ER, even if Doug himself isn’t involved. Anspaugh isn’t pleased with Doug’s actions, but he appreciates that he’s taking full responsibility and was proactive in addressing things with them.

After everyone else leaves, Weaver reminds Anspaugh that Doug’s stunt violated numerous policies. Anspaugh is impressed with the lengths Doug will go to for his patients, though. Weaver’s really there to address her time as acting chief of emergency medicine after Morgenstern’s departure. She thinks she’s proven herself, and now she wants to make the job title official. Anspaugh agrees that she’s done a great job and is happy that she wants to keep it. However, the hospital’s policy is to conduct a search outside the hospital, so Weaver isn’t a shoo-in for the job.

Carol checks on Josh, who’s doing pretty well. Doug has fallen asleep in the pediatric ICU but doesn’t mind being woken up by Carol. She tells him he did the right thing, even if both of them end up getting fired. Josh is ready to be extubated, so Carol assists Doug with the task. It’s too soon to tell if he’ll end up okay. Elizabeth goes looking for Romano, who’s out of the country.

Mark discusses Josh with Max, who already knows what happened. He notes that if Doug had pulled the stunt at Max’s hospital, he would’ve been fired. Victor is meeting with Myers, the psych resident, who doesn’t see a reason to keep him there. Carol has looked at Victor’s records and noted that he’s come in before complaining of pain. He’s either looking for drugs or help. Myers thinks he’s depressed, but since he’s not suicidal or psychotic, Myers won’t make him stay.

Carter’s bored, so he jumps at the chance to help Mark with a double trauma coming in – two Elvis impersonators crashed into the lake. Mark sends Carter off to do something else, then tells Anna and Jeanie to help with the “Elvi.” They had a mishap while skydiving, and neither seems seriously injured, but they’re not happy with each other.

Mark tells Weaver that he’s annoyed he wasn’t notified that Anspaugh already met with Doug. He’s also annoyed that Weaver didn’t tell him after the meeting that he’d missed it. The two of them bicker while working on one of the Elvi. Weaver complains that no one listens to her, even though she’s supposed to be the acting chief of the department.

Carter’s patient, Mr. Lang, is a brain-cancer patient who’s fallen into a coma. Adele has found Josh’s mother, Vicki, who wants to see her son. Benton has listened to the daycare worker after all and is working on getting in touch with an audiologist. Since Elizabeth is on the hunt for a way to get in touch with Romano, Randi asks Benton to help out with a trauma.

Doug tells Vicki that everything went well with Josh, and there’s a great chance that he’ll be able to overcome the delays he’s experienced because of his methadone addiction. Vicki wants to know if Doug can perform an ultra-rapid detox on her as well. Mr. Wass, a patient Weaver recently discharged, comes back to talk to her about the medication she prescribed. His insurance won’t cover anything other than medication he would need to receive while admitted.

Weaver tells Carol that there will be a formal review of Josh’s case, so Carol should document her participation. Carter chats with Mr. Lang’s wife, who worries that the time they thought they had left together is almost over. Elizabeth shows up late for surgery with Anspaugh and Benton on the patient she should have been tending to from the start, since she was on call in the ER. She asks if Anspaugh could sponsor her next year, since Romano has decided he’s done sponsoring her. Shirley jokes that if Elizabeth just wants to stay in the country, she could get married.

Weaver might be as good a patient advocate as Doug, since she’s on the phone with Mr. Wass’ insurance company, doing everything she can to help him. Anna and Jeanie tend to a man named Louis who’s in end-stage renal failure. Mr. Lang’s MRI shows a blockage that can be removed, but that doesn’t guarantee recovery. Carter gently tells Mrs. Lang that he would probably be in a lot of pain and die of respiratory failure. If he had the surgery, he might wake up, which would allow Mrs. Lang to say goodbye. Without the surgery, he’ll die, but peacefully.

Louis dies, and apparently has no family, though the woman who came in with him has volunteered to make his funeral arrangements. She calls herself a friend, but she’s actually a hooker who…tends to him a couple times a week. (To be fair, she seems to really care about him.) She tells Weaver that when she was providing him with “manual relief,” her bracelet got caught on a tube, which came out and caused a bunch of bleeding. Weaver decides to let her take care of Louis’ arrangements.

Lydia tells Carter that she lost track of a bottle of Percocet. Carter spots Max nearby and starts getting suspicious. Elizabeth goes looking for another sponsor, though Benton thinks she’s coming across as desperate. She’s annoyed that Romano dismissed her without giving her a reason. Benton says he’s within his rights to end his sponsorship without an explanation. Elizabeth doesn’t think that Benton understands how hard she worked to get to where she is. Benton definitely does, but he thinks she should look into jobs at other hospitals first. She interprets this as permission to move away and end their relationship.

Weaver’s still on the phone, and getting so angry with the insurance company that Doug and Mark’s nearby bickering gets drowned out. Fed up, Weaver tells the insurance company that she’ll admit Mr. Wass and bill them for every possible expense she can think of. She then announces to Mark that she quits the role of acting chief. She’s the only person around there who cares about policy. Maybe Doug has the right idea – break any rules you want as long as you’re helping your patients.

Anna goes outside for some fresh air, and Carter follows her out to discuss his suspicion that Max stole Lydia’s missing Percocet. Anna insists that Max is clean, but Carter notes that Chase used to say he was clean, too. Josh is doing really well, and Babcock thinks Doug can write up his case for a journal article. (I guess it would be called “The Case That Got Me Banned from Every Hospital in the Country.”) Doug isn’t sure if he’ll be sent back to his mother. He gave Vicki the names of doctors who do ultra-rapid detoxes on adults, but that won’t end the psychological aspect of her addiction. Kit says that at least she’s crying.

Max tells Anna that when he recommends a pediatric emergency department in a hospital, he’s usually asked to run it. He’s always said no in the past, but if County invited him to work there, he might stay. It depends on whether Anna would be okay with it. She tells him she hasn’t thought that far ahead. Max brings up the elephant in the room, the missing Percocet, and says he didn’t take it. She says she didn’t suspect he did, or at least didn’t want to think he did. Max knows he doesn’t have many chances left, but he wants to prove himself to Anna.

Mr. Lang is transferred to another hospital, leaving Carter in the dark about what Mrs. Lang decided to do. Though he’s used to not knowing what happens to patients after they leave County, this case feels unfinished for him. At the admit desk, Jerry complains to Mark about a car alarm in the ambulance bay that keeps shutting off, then starting up again. Doug gives Mark and Weaver a report about Josh’s case, which just makes Mark grumble again that Doug kept him out of everything. Weaver tells them to take their fight outside.

The guys go out in the rain to argue about Doug’s rebellious ways and Mark’s failure to support his desire to be an attending. Mark thinks that Doug put in a bunch of work to become an attending, then did something to sabotage it. Doug thinks Mark sees him as a child, which Mark agrees with – Doug never wanted to grow up. Doug says that Mark likes their friendship the way it is. Mark has never seen him as an equal, and it got worse after Weaver took over as chief. Mark supported her on the surface but has always resented her.

Carol’s looking for Mark, and Randi tells her he and Doug are outside, “sharing.” On her way out, Carol passes the waiting area, where Victor is sitting with blood on his shirt. The car alarm outside goes off again, and Victor says it’s his car. Carol asks for his keys so someone can go turn off the alarm. Instead, Victor hands her a gun. “There weren’t enough bullets,” he tells her. Carol quickly puts things together. She has Jeanie sit with Victor, gives the gun to Jerry, and tells him to call security.

She runs outside to the ambulance bay, telling Mark and Doug to follow her to Victor’s car. Inside are Victor’s wife and two kids, all with gunshot wounds. Weaver puts herself back in charge, mobilizing everyone to help with the traumas. She calmly tells Jeanie what to do with Victor. The staff rushes the three victims into the ER and puts aside their personal issues to save them. The daughter, Amy, is stable, and Mrs. Nable may be paralyzed. Mark and Doug work on the son, Steven, whose heart stops.

Victor tells Jeanie that he ran out of bullets before he could shoot himself. Carter and Anna disagree over how to treat Amy, so Weaver plays peacemaker. Amy tells them that when her father pulled out a gun at home, her mother said they would go with him if he returned to the hospital to talk to someone. Steven has a hole in his heart, and though Mark has problems with Doug’s immaturity, he has no reservations about letting Doug take charge of Steven’s treatment.

As Amy and her mother are taken to the OR, Victor tells Carol and Jeanie that his wife was going to leave and take the kids. He couldn’t let her do that. Weaver joins Mark and Doug as they’re finally able to get Steven’s heart restarted. Carter would be disappointed that we never find out what happens to the family, but for the rest of the staff, it’s just another day at work.

Thoughts: Babcock is played by David Brisbin, who’s married to Laura Innes (Weaver).

I can’t believe Doug was allowed to continue taking care of Josh. Shouldn’t he have been pulled from his shift immediately?

I don’t mention Jerry and Randi much, since they don’t always contribute anything significant to the plot, but how fun would it be to have their job? They get all the gossip and see all the crazy stuff the medical staff does every day.

Done with season 4! Next: Hello to Kellie Martin, goodbye to George Clooney.

October 22, 2019

ER 4.21, Suffer the Little Children: Everyone’s Addicted to Something

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

Gonna start making moves now to make sure I look like this on my deathbed

Summary: Jeanie’s at home, not feeling well, which worries her. Benton and Elizabeth take the El to work together, and she asks if he wants to go to a jazz concert with her that night. He tells her it’s in an unsafe part of town. She tells him she used to go to an area with an IRA stronghold when she was in London, but Benton doesn’t think it’s the same. Josh is doing better and now needs a place to live, since his mother wasn’t treating him well. Doug is worried that he’ll slip through the cracks of Social Services.

Anna meets Carter outside and tells him that Max, the guy he saw her with the night before, is her ex. He’s doing well in his recovery from painkiller addiction. He’s in Chicago to do a study about setting up a pediatric unit in the ER. Carter thinks it’s pretty coincidental that he’s doing that study at his ex’s hospital. Anna wants to make sure that Carter won’t judge Max for the things she’s said about him in the past. Carter guesses they’re back together, or at least on their way to it.

Weaver complains to Mark about a drug rep leaving presents for doctors. She refuses to take any bribes to use his products. Anspaugh introduces the two of them to Max and tells them about his study. Weaver’s still against a pediatric unit in the ER, but Mark is welcoming. He tries to ease Weaver’s concerns that Doug is trying to find fault with how the ER handles children.

Jeanie makes it to work and gives herself an examination. Max tells Anna that he knows Weaver sees him as a spy there to undermine her authority. She admits that it’s a little weird to suddenly have him back in her life. Elizabeth walks in on Benton changing in the surgeons’ locker room and they flirt a little. He suggests that they go to a hotel that night to hear a jazz pianist instead of going to the concert she mentioned. Romano comes in and Elizabeth worries that he saw them getting too close.

Doug tells Max that, while a pediatric ER department would be ideal, he’d settle for just a pediatric attending. Of course, that’s the job he wants for himself. Mark admits to some reservations, since a pediatric emergency department could lead to all sorts of specialized ER departments. Weaver pulls Max away from his tour to go over some cases with him.

Paramedics bring in a woman named Tina Marie who may have an infection from a recent facelift. Her husband, Emmet, asks to have her signed in under an alias so she doesn’t get mobbed. Tina Marie appears to be high-maintenance, so Mark hands her off to Anna. Tina Marie’s worried about a broadcast she’s supposed to do. Emmet assures her that he can get a satellite link set up.

Carol brings Doug to a toddler who was bitten by rats that run rampant through his apartment building. Doug promises to talk to officials about getting rid of the rats. The boy’s father says that they’ve come before but never done anything. Doug is on a goodwill mission in the wake of taking care of Josh, so he’ll see this through.

Jeanie asks an x-ray tech to get a film of her chest so she can make sure she doesn’t have anything serious. He’s fine with not documenting anything so there’s no paper trail. Weaver’s pleased with giving Max enough cases to occupy his time, but Mark wants him to see how they work. Romano asks Elizabeth if she’s considering accepting a job offer she received back in the U.K. She tells him she passed on it, which he says takes guts – she doesn’t know if she has a future at County.

Jeanie shows Weaver her unlabeled x-ray to get her medical opinion. There’s not enough to go on there, so Weaver tells her to have more films taken. Parents bring in their son, Sam, who passed out in the car on the way back from a visit to his grandparents. Carter tends to him, unsure of what caused his condition.

Tina Marie puts on makeup, telling Anna she’s going to be on TV. She’s a star on the Jesus Gospel Network. Anna tells her and Emmet that she has a problem with her kidneys, most likely because she’s diabetic. She’ll need to stay in the hospital for a little well. If she goes into renal failure, she’ll need dialysis. Tina Marie and Emmet realize that this could require a prayer vigil.

Doug talks to Mark and Malik about contacting someone at the Department of Public Health about the rats in the boy’s building. Max says that he’s had luck contacting Animal Control in those kinds of situations. Carter asks Mark to help him with Sam, since he still can’t figure out what happened. He thinks it’s related to the farm Sam’s grandparents live on. Max is surprised that Mark is letting an intern take charge of such a tough case. Plus, Carter figured out the correct diagnosis, but Mark didn’t confirm that. Mark says Carter’s there to learn, not told.

Elizabeth thinks that Romano saw her and Benton together and isn’t going to continue sponsoring her at County. Benton doesn’t care about his ego. Elizabeth says it might be for the best, since she doesn’t like being sponsored by Romano anyway. Benton tells her that Romano can’t do this – he doesn’t own her. Doug learns that DCFS has decided to send Josh home with his mother after all.

Randi tells Anna that her mother watches JGN and says Tina Marie and Emmet are broadcasting live from the ER. They’re claiming that Tina Marie is dying. Weaver has been told by the hospital’s administration that they should allow the broadcast. Doug tracks down Adele, who’s on her way to take Josh back to his mother. She says that since the mother now lives with her aunt, there’s a responsible adult in the home who can take care of Josh. Doug warns that his mother will just steal his methadone again. He tries to delay with an extra exam and paperwork.

After the exam, Doug tells Adele that Josh may have pneumonia, which means he might have to spend another night in the hospital. Carol keeps quiet, but after Adele leaves, she questions the diagnosis. Doug tells her he’s going to do an ultra-rapid detox so Josh won’t have to take methadone anymore. It’ll take 12-18 hours. Carol doubts he’ll be able to hold Adele off for that long, but Doug doesn’t think he has a choice. Carol volunteers to help out, even if it puts her career at risk.

Now that Carter knows what’s wrong with Sam, he’s started the treatment. Max checks in and compliments him on the diagnosis. He’s heard a lot about Carter from Anna, including how Anna helped him with Chase. Carter doesn’t like that Max knows about his personal life. Well, Max probably doesn’t like that Carter knows about his drug addiction, but here we are.

Benton tells Romano straight out that his and Elizabeth’s personal lives are none of Romano’s business. Romano plays dumb/innocent and says he’s happy about their relationship. He tells Benton he made an excellent choice. Mark tells Emmet that the broadcast is inappropriate, then asks Anna to stay in the room to make sure Tina Marie’s health isn’t compromised.

Paramedics bring in a 12-year-old named Cylla who has an eye injury and a possible concussion after running into a lamppost on the school playground. Max observes while Mark handles everything smoothly. As Doug and Carol start Josh’s detox, Mark chats with Cylla to keep her calm while he fixes her eye. (Trivia: Her favorite Spice Girl is Posh.)

Anna can barely keep a straight face during Tina Marie’s broadcast, in which she acts like she’s desperate and practically on her deathbed. Emmet puts Anna on camera to explain Tina Marie’s condition. When Anna says she’ll be fine, Emmet credits the audience’s prayers and “golden offerings.” Tina Marie says she can feel the power of prayer. Anna doesn’t feel it, so Emmet invites her to join the two of them for a “prayer interface.” Tina Marie says that God will save her through Anna.

Jeanie shows Weaver her next set of x-rays, this time admitting that they’re hers. Weaver doesn’t see anything concerning. She tells Jeanie that no matter what her status is, no one will overreact. She will still have a job at County. Elizabeth realizes that if Romano really didn’t know she and Benton were together, he does now, since Benton told him. She’s amused by the idea of Benton getting tough with him.

Doug and Carol move to the next stage of the detox, and Doug tries to keep Carol out of the public eye so Weaver doesn’t wonder why she’s at the hospital after her shift. While operating with Elizabeth, Romano asks Shirley a hypothetical question: If she asked out a colleague who said no, then turned out to be dating another co-worker, why does she think the colleague lied about the relationship? Shirley says the colleague probably didn’t want to “offend someone’s overblown ego.” Romano basically accuses Elizabeth of lying about dating colleagues so she could play the field.

Max tells Anna that the nurses watched her TV appearance with Tina Marie and Emmet. She’s annoyed that Tina Marie used her illness to get money out of naïve people. Weaver tells Jeanie that her labs didn’t show anything bad; her viral load is still undetectable. She reminds Jeanie that she offered to monitor Jeanie’s health, so she should tell Weaver whenever something’s going on with her. Weaver offers to listen if Jeanie ever wants to talk.

Tina Marie and Emmet’s ratings were good, so they’re pleased with their broadcast. Anna tells Tina Marie that if she doesn’t take better care of her diabetes, she really will have major health problems. Tina Marie notes that those would just be more opportunities for prayer vigils. Anna tells her to take her problems seriously. “My problems are all I got,” Tina Marie replies. Without them, she wouldn’t have her money, and she wouldn’t have Emmet.

They got married in high school, but the fire of their love has gone down a lot. She knows he’ll never leave her, not just because of their love but because taking care of her makes him look good. Anna says that she could never be married to someone she didn’t love. Tina Marie says everyone thinks that, but things change. She warns Anna to be careful.

Benton agrees to take Elizabeth to the lounge she wanted to go to after all. He admits that he worries about how people look at them. Elizabeth says she can’t change her feelings for him; they’re based on who he is, not who she wants him to be. Benton says that their different races are a big deal to him, whether he wants it to be or not. He’s working through it, and she needs to be patient with him.

Max tries to be friendly with Carter, who still won’t warm up to him. He thinks Max wants an ally. Max says he just wants to help Anna and Carter maintain their friendship. Carter guesses that’s part of his plan to win Anna back. He thinks Max is trouble. Weaver has come around on a pediatric emergency department, as long as it’s not at the expense of the ER. She thinks Mark only supports it because he’s friends with Doug. Mark says that, friends or not, he doesn’t support a pediatric emergency department.

Josh goes into distress, and Mark hears the alarms of his machines from the hallway. He catches Doug and Carol red-handed and realizes they didn’t get consent from Josh’s mother to do the detox. Mark moves the baby to the pediatric ICU, telling Weaver along the way what was going on. Carol fully admits to her part in the detox. Weaver is furious, and Mark is angry that Doug lied about who he was treating. Things don’t look good for Doug’s desired attending position…

Thoughts: Tina Marie is played by Swoosie Kurtz, who was nominated for an Emmy for this episode. Emmet is played by Gary Grubbs.

Sam’s full name is Sam Adams. Are his parents patriotic or big drinkers?

I wouldn’t have pegged Randi has the daughter of a religious woman, but then again, it could explain her rebellious nature.

October 15, 2019

ER 4.20, Of Past Regret and Future Fear: The Sins of the Father (and Mother)

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

Summary: I think it’s safe to say that Benton and Elizabeth are officially dating. He spent the night at her place, and she even felt comfortable leaving him in bed while she went to work out. Now she’s on her way to work, and he’s on his way to Reese’s baptism. Elizabeth doesn’t feel left out since he didn’t invite her; she gets that it’s just for family. As he leaves, she tells him last night was “really lovely.”

Things are much more tense at Carol’s, where she and Doug are getting ready to have brunch with her mother. Helen shows up in a better mood than expected, and with a surprise guest, a man named Javier. Even more surprising, Helen is ready to toast the two happy couples with champagne. This is the first Carol has heard about her mother having a boyfriend.

Doug and Carol take the brunch leftovers with them to work, talking over Helen and Javier’s relationship. Carol doesn’t approve, and notes that her mother normally hates men. Doug teases that Helen’s having sex, so she’s happy now. Carol tries to ignore him. She tells Mark that the victim of a chemical accident is on his way to the ER.

Elizabeth runs into Romano, who notes that she’s picked up a lot of extra shifts in the ER. He’d like to chat about her job and her future. Mark, Carol, and Elizabeth go to the roof to meet the helicopter bringing in the victim from the chemical accident, Paul, who’s in pain but awake and alert.

Carter meets up with Millicent at Chase’s long-term care facility. A doctor tells them Chase is getting worse, but Carter disagrees. He knows the progress Chase has made and insists that he’s capable of more than Millicent and the doctor think. He urges Chase to draw something, but Chase has a hard time holding a drawing utensil. Mark tells Paul that his condition will depend on how much hydrofluoric acid has been absorbed into his skin. Paul feels like Mark isn’t telling him something. Mark just says that hydrofluoric burns can be serious.

Benton meets up with Jackie and his niece and nephew, Patrice and Steven, at the church where the baptism will take place. Steven wants to know where his uncle’s new boyfriend is. Patrice reports that Walt (who I guess wasn’t invited) said Mae must be rolling over in her grave, I guess because Elizabeth is white. Nobody asked you, Patrice. Carla has brought Roger with her to the baptism, and the minister thinks he’s Reese’s father until Benton corrects him.

Carol tends to Paul’s burns as he tries not to writhe in pain. Mark tells Weaver that his prognosis is bad; burns of this magnitude are always fatal. Now they need to find out if he has any family out of town who need to be contacted and told to come to Chicago. Mark is now fully honest with Paul, telling him that while they’re doing all they can for him, he’s going to die. At most, he probably has about 12 hours left.

Sometime later, when Paul feels a little better from the pain medication, he wonders if Mark was wrong, since he doesn’t feel like he’s dying anymore. Carol just says they’ll keep doing all they can for him. She asks if there’s anyone they can call for him, but Paul says it’s too late. The only person he wants to see is his daughter, and he’s been away from her for too long.

Jeanie and Doyle tend to a teen who fell from a bridge into a river. Doyle asks for a psych consult, but he insists he didn’t jump. He was just having some drunken fun with friends. Doyle can’t believe he’s going to come out this with just a couple of broken ankles. Carol tells Mark that Paul wants to see his daughter, whom he hasn’t seen in six years…since she was six months old. Mark is supposed to be done with his shift, but he’s willing to stick around. Carol says she can do everything Paul needs now.

Weaver examines an older woman named Ms. Weinbach who may have pneumonia. That could throw a wrench into her plans to marry her boyfriend next month. Carol calls Paul’s ex-wife, who seems less than sympathetic about his impending death. Paramedics bring in an unidentified man, nonverbal man who was hit by a car while using his wheelchair. Carter and Anna guess that he has cerebral palsy.

Benton comes in to do some notes, glossing over the details of the baptism when Elizabeth asks how it went. Weaver takes over Paul’s care for Mark as Carol tells Paul that his ex won’t be bringing their daughter, Molly, to see him. Paul decides it’s for the best. He always intended to make things up to Molly, but he ran out of time. Carter pulls Weaver aside to help him and Anna with their patient. He steals a piece of machinery from Doyle, because I guess that rivalry is still in play.

A father brings in his young son, whom he accidentally hit with his car. It’s Doug’s time to shine! Paul takes an interest in the case and tells Carol she can go help out if she needs to. She assures him that the others have it. He asks her to make sure the few thousand dollars he has in his bank account get to Molly, but without letting her know where the money came from. Doug’s patient is bleeding internally, so Benton pulls the father aside to let him know that his son needs surgery. Carol tells Connie she needs to go somewhere and asks Connie to look after Paul for her.

Elizabeth and Romano go to Doc Magoo’s for a super-awkward lunch, and that’s even before he tells her that their relationship hasn’t moved in the direction he’d like. He basically says the same things she said to Benton to convince him to try dating her. Once Elizabeth gets over her shock, she tells Romano that, since she works for him, dating would be a bad idea. He takes this to mean that she never dates co-workers. Romano says that for a little while, he thought he was competing with Benton for Elizabeth’s affections. She says nothing.

Carter has trouble communicating with his unidentified patient, who seems to be trying to tell him something. Anna realizes that he has a bad cut on his hand and may need to see a hand surgeon. The patient objects to this and bangs his leg on the bed to communicate this. Weaver diagnoses Ms. Weinbach with pneumonia somehow transmitted by her boyfriend Daniel’s falcon. Elizabeth finds Benton in an OR, ready to operate on the boy, and comments that he’s not working on his notes as he’d planned. He thinks she’s trying to start a fight. She asks if something happened between when they last saw each other, since he was in a good mood earlier.

Carol finds Paul’s ex, Sandy, at work and tries to change her mind about bringing Molly to the hospital. Sandy says she feels bad for him, but he walked out on his daughter, so why does Sandy owe him anything? Carol says that she was young when her father died, and she wishes she’d had a chance to say goodbye. If Molly doesn’t get that chance with Paul, she’ll regret it for the rest of her life. Sandy says that Molly has no memories of Paul, so it’s different. He made bad decisions, and now he gets to suffer the consequences.

Doyle delivers some lab results to Weaver, telling her that Ms. Weinbach tested positive for HIV. Weaver didn’t even realize she’d requested a test for HIV, but it makes total sense with Ms Weinbach’s symptoms. However, she’s in a bind since she didn’t have Ms. Weinbach’s consent to do the test.

Doug examines a baby named Josh who’s been on methadone since his birth, thanks to his mother’s drug use. Doug says he’s in withdrawal, possibly because the mother, Vicki, is taking the methadone herself; she can’t get her own while she’s still using. Vicki wants to leave, but Doug tells her that since she put her son in this situation, she needs to help him get better.

Carter and Anna are finally able to understand that their patient wants them to call someone. Benton tells his patient’s father that because of the damage to his spleen, they had to remove it. Benton’s bedside manner is still poor, so the father doesn’t get at first that, other than that, the boy will be okay. Maybe lead with that next time, Benton.

Weaver tells Ms. Weinbach that they need to run more tests, but she may have the kind of pneumonia that’s a defining illness of AIDS. She admits that they tested her accidentally. Daniel pulls Weaver aside to ask her to treat Ms. Weinbach for pneumonia and let her go. Weaver can’t just let her leave untreated, but Daniel doesn’t want her to be burdened. He’d like Weaver to tell her she has something else. Weaver declines to engage in medical malpractice, so nice try, Daniel.

Carol returns and tells Paul that Molly isn’t coming. She offers to write a note, but Paul says it’s too late. He repeats that he was eventually going to make things up to her. He tried to call her, but Sandy wasn’t happy about it. Paul thought she just needed time to come around. Carter and Anna’s patient is no longer a John Doe – his personal assistant identifies him as a Mr. Lorenzo, a multilingual hieroglyphics expert. Maybe Carter and Anna should have had him draw them pictures.

Carter spots Millicent in the hallway and goes out to talk to her. She wanted to move Chase to another facility, but now she’s decided that Carter’s opinion is important, and if he thinks Chase should stay, she’ll support that. They’re both determined to do whatever they can for him. Millicent wants Carter to remember that even if she and John Sr. aren’t giving him money, they’re still his family. He can finish his residency, but then he needs to leave medicine and run the family business. Carter tells him he’s only ever wanted to be a doctor, and he’s not giving it up.

Anna and Connie find Josh alone in an exam room, apparently having been ditched by Vicki. Doug notes that she misinterpreted what he meant when he told her to do the right thing. Carol sits with Paul, telling him he probably doesn’t have much time yet. She promises to stay with him, since he’s scared. He asks if she wishes she’d done anything different in her life. She reads him back the letter he dictated to her for Molly. It says that she’s the best thing he ever did; leaving her was the worst. If he gets to go to Heaven, he’ll look down on her. Carol cries over his apology for never getting to know his daughter.

Elizabeth finds Benton on the roof, brooding instead of celebrating Reese’s baptism with his family and Carla. He laments that Roger gets to spend more time with Reese than Benton does. Then he wanted to have lunch with Elizabeth, but she had plans with Romano. She tells him that he asked her out, so she lied and said she doesn’t date colleagues. They laugh over their intentions to have a relationship without complications. Benton decides he wants to go to the family celebration after all, and he wants to take Elizabeth. She thinks he should go alone and make it all about Reese. They’ll just meet up later at her place.

Carter runs into Anna on the street while he’s on a break. She spots a guy named Max getting out of a cab and has a near-intimate reunion with him before she realizes Carter’s watching. Doyle accidentally wakes Doug, who was taking a nap while waiting for Carol to get off work. She’s wrapping up things for Paul, who passed away not long ago. Carol wonders if her father asked for her on his deathbed like Paul asked for Molly. All she remembers is what her mother has told her. What if that’s not the truth?

Doug suggests that Carol ask Helen about her father’s death. Carol says that, after it happened, her mother spent years saying that you can’t rely on men. Now Helen’s in a happy relationship and Carol is holding back. She admits that she said she wants to move slowly because she’s afraid of losing Doug. He tells her she has nothing to apologize for.

Thoughts: Paul is played by Michael Rapaport. Patrice is played by Taraji P. Henson.

I think Mae would be less upset about Benton dating someone white and more surprised that he’s dating anyone at all (and that he has a child).

How about we close the blinds in the trauma room before little kids catch a glimpse of the man dying of chemical burns?

October 1, 2019

ER 4.19, Shades of Gray: Poor Carter Is Basically the Same as Rich Carter

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

“Ma’am, we don’t accept pro-life literature as a valid form of payment”

Summary: Now that Carter has told Millicent he’s done taking the family’s money, he needs a loan. He only has one tax return to work with, since being a doctor is his very first job. Plus, he agreed to return to interning without pay. The loan application gets rejected pretty quickly, and the man reviewing it advises Carter to make up with his grandparents.

Morgenstern and Benton have to attend an M&M on Swanson’s death, though Morgenstern doesn’t seem concerned that Benton will pin things on him. The surgeons are somber, as their boss is mourning – Scott passed away. Jeanie sings “Simple Gifts” in the shower, sadly getting ready for his funeral.

Carter tells Anna that the loan officer she recommended turned him down. He owes Mark money for a baseball bet, but he doesn’t have it. Anna teases that he can make some extra money selling Tupperware or Amway. She’s amused that he’s about to see how the other half lives. Al G. (who I’m just going to call Al now, since the other Al left) brings in a drunk man named Mike and hands him off to Carter for treatment.

Anspaugh and Jeanie talk about his marriage to his late wife in Scott’s room. Scott boxed up some of his things for Jeanie to have, including his beloved Green Day CD and some copies of Soap Opera Digest. Morgenstern kicks off the M&M, then invites Benton to tell the attendees what happened. In the ER, Mike hovers over a kid who’s having breathing problems. Carter tries to take Mike away, but Mike fights him and shoves him to the floor. Doug complains that Carter put an unstable man in the same room as his young patient; no one cares about kids.

The M&M attendees, including Weaver and Kayson, ask Benton and Morgenstern questions about what happened during Swanson’s operation. Benton admits that he pushed Morgenstern aside and took over. He defends himself, saying Morgenstern was just standing there while Swanson was dying. He thinks the procedure he tried was their only option. Morgenstern disagrees.

Carol arrives at work just as a pregnant woman is brought in. A clinic was bombed because it performs abortions, though it also provides family planning and prenatal care. Doug tends to a pregnant teen named Zoe while Weaver and Jerry deal with the press over the phone. Some injured protesters are then brought in.

Carol helps Doug with Zoe while Anna treats a woman named Brianna, who was at the clinic for an abortion. She starts hemorrhaging, so Weaver announces that they need to finish the procedure. Anna freezes up and says she can’t help. Afterward, Anna says she’s not sure why she couldn’t assist. Brianna was 18 or 19 weeks along, which meant the baby could have had a chance. Weaver tells her she needs to leave her personal feelings and moral leanings at the door when she comes to work.

Carter tends to an elderly man named Mr. Newton whose son, Burke, doesn’t think he needs all the expensive tests Carter’s going to run. He also hasn’t been providing his father with much care at home. The M&M committee comes to a decision: Benton is suspended, effective immediately, until Anspaugh comes back and they can do a more extensive investigation.

Zoe starts having breathing problems, worrying her devoted boyfriend, Donny. Carter calls a social worker about Mr. Newton, and she agrees that he needs to be removed from his son’s home. She’s disgusted that someone could treat his own parent like this. Carter tells Burke that Mr. Newton was horribly neglected and will be sent to a care facility. The hospital now has temporary guardianship, removing Mr. Newton’s power of attorney.

Anna examines a woman named Mrs. Martinez who has glass in her eye from the bombing. She’s horrified by how far the protesters went. She marched with civil rights protesters in the ’60s and wishes people had remained peaceful. However, she also sees abortion as murder, and thinks Anna should be upset that the clinic takes away a life for every life Anna saves as a doctor. She practically calls abortion doctors Nazis and wonders who they’ll kill next.

Anna declines to take her offered materials about her protest group. Mrs. Martinez leaves it behind anyway, then heads off with a graphic sandwich-board sign slung over her shoulder. Anna follows her, telling her that the radical protesters were probably encouraged by the sign to do something drastic. Mrs. Martinez says that if the sign upsets Anna, then it’s done its job. Anna says the only thing the sign has done is incite violence, which is really what makes her upset.

Zoe is now unconscious because of a clot, and Doug doesn’t think she’ll recover. The baby, however, appears to be fine. Benton tells Elizabeth about his suspension as he leaves his shift early. Paramedics bring in a final bombing victim, Allison Beaumont. Mark ignores Benton’s suspension to enlist him for help with a trauma. He even dismisses Kayson when he tries to object. Kayson decides the trauma is bad enough that Benton should keep up what he’s doing.

As Elizabeth and Romano work on Allison, Anna checks on Brianna. She’s already ready to go home after her abortion. Carter tells Mr. Newton that Burke won’t be his guardian anymore because of elder abuse. Mr. Newton is distraught to be removed from his home, where he’d planned to die in his own bed. Mark and Benton’s patient is taken straight to the OR, where Benton starts in on a procedure without scrubbing or putting on a sterile gown. Morgenstern jumps right in to help, sending Benton away as soon as he has control of the situation.

Zoe’s parents arrive, and her father is upset to see Donny there. Donny says Zoe’s parents treat her horribly, and if he hadn’t come into her life, she probably would have killed herself. Allison goes downhill fast, but Elizabeth refuses to stop working on her. Brianna thanks Weaver for her care, saying this will have to be the most memorable abortion she’s had. She’s had a few before, and thought her boyfriend would want this baby. Weaver advises her to start birth control, but Brianna isn’t interested. She thinks Weaver’s lecturing her on sex because she doesn’t get any herself.

Zoe’s parents and Donny have two choices if they want the baby: Have it delivered now, which would give them a premature baby needing lots of care, or wait until Zoe’s farther along, which means keeping her alive even though she’ll never wake up. Doug recommends that option, which Zoe’s father notes will mean using her as a human incubator. Donny wants to give the baby a good chance, since Zoe wanted her so badly, but Zoe’s parents get to make the final decision, since Zoe and Donny are minors.

Carol treats a bombing victim’s minor arm injury, then notes that she left her insurance information off of her paperwork. The woman says she’ll pay cash; she doesn’t want her husband to know she was at the clinic. She thought she was past the baby-making stage of her life, and she wanted to quietly get an abortion and never tell her husband. Thanks to the bombing, she didn’t get the procedure. Carol tells her that she can pass the cut on her arm off as a dog bite.

Elizabeth managed to save Allison, but she admits to Benton that the case scared her. He tries not to be a robot as he comforts her. Jeanie planned to sing a hymn at Scott’s funeral, but she sings his favorite Green Day song instead. Allison’s paramedic buddies have stuck around to make sure she’s okay, and Zadro thanks Elizabeth for her care. Romano apologizes for trying to get her to stop saving Allison. He invites her to get a drink, but Elizabeth is never going to want to spend any more time with him than necessary.

Morgenstern tells Weaver that he let things get out of hand. He’s reviewed the tape of Swanson’s surgery, which he took right afterward, before Benton could get it. He wanted to avoid confrontation, and he knows Benton could handle a black mark in his file, but he wants to be honest about what happened. Morgenstern puts in the tape to show Weaver the truth about his screwup.

Jeanie stays behind at the church after the funeral, and Anspaugh approaches her to talk about her special connection with Scott. He wrote in his journal that Jeanie got what he was going through better than anyone else. She reveals that Scott wanted to join the Army when he grew up, just like his father. Zoe’s parents change their minds and decide to have Zoe carry the baby to term. They don’t want Donny involved at all. Doug thinks they’re just being vengeful, but Zoe’s parents feel that Donny took their daughter away from them, and they’re not about to let him take their granddaughter, too.

Carter also changes his mind, deciding that having Mr. Newton removed from Burke’s care isn’t what’s best for him after all. Mr. Newton wants to go home, so he should be allowed to. The social worker notes that people in abusive situations don’t always make the best decisions. She doesn’t want him to be harmed any more than he already has been. Carter reluctantly lets her take Mr. Newton to a care facility.

Anna tells Weaver that she’s been thinking about her freeze-up in the trauma room all day. Weaver says that she did some work overseas in countries where abortion is illegal. She saw patients who couldn’t be helped because they’d taken matters into their own hands and accidentally harmed themselves too much. Anna thought she was pro-choice, but Brianna was so far along that it made her second-guess herself. She doesn’t know if she’ll be able to get past that.

Morgenstern stops Benton on his way out of the hospital and tells him he’s going to have Benton’s suspension rescinded. He gives Benton the tape of Swanson’s surgery, confirming that Morgenstern screwed up. He’s resigned as chief of surgery. Benton has passion for his job that Morgenstern has lost. He feels like he doesn’t belong there anymore. Benton says that Morgenstern taught him everything he knows. Morgenstern says he may be a great surgeon, but after what he let happen, he’s realized he’s not a great man. He smells spring, “all green and full of possibility.”

Carter resorts to ramen for dinner as he tells Doug that he overstepped with Mr. Newton. Doug invites him to get a real meal. Benton goes to Elizabeth’s to lament that his mentor has just left the hospital. He was close to Morgenstern but never told him how much Morgenstern means to him. Clearly, Benton doesn’t want that to happen with Elizabeth, so even though he doesn’t say verbally that he has feelings for her, he shows her by kissing her.

Thoughts: Carol’s secretive patient is played by Cristine Rose.

Benton staying to help Mark after his suspension is ridiculous, because Mark wouldn’t have done anything if Benton had left, but the people who suspended him are scary and shouldn’t be ticked off for any reason.

Show, leave Allison alone. Hasn’t enough bad stuff happened to her? I don’t think we ever see her again after this, so I’ll tell myself she lived happily ever after.

September 24, 2019

ER 4.18, Gut Reaction: I Don’t Know What Varices Are, But Rupturing One Can’t Be Good

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

Goodbye, doomed preteen

Summary: Carol has gone on a shopping spree for the clinic, thanks to a new donation from Millicent. She checks in with Mark, who’s volunteered to organize this year’s ER banquet, to be held that night. Unfortunately, things haven’t gone as planned. The caterer couldn’t work with their budget, so Jerry made other plans with a Swedish caterer. Mark is skeptical.

Weaver asks Mark about a memo from the dean concerning a pediatric attending. She’s upset to learn that Doug took the idea to the dean; she doesn’t think the position is necessary. Mark thinks that once the dean allows some further investigation, he’ll agree and the whole thing will be dismissed.

Doug tries to convince a mother to let him examine her toddler, but she insists on leaving, since she had to wait three hours and now has to go to work. Doug decides this is serious enough to stop the mother from leaving, and he threatens to call the police and have her arrested for child endangerment if she doesn’t stay. Weaver tries to play peacemaker, then points out to Mark that this might not be the kind of person they want as an attending.

The mom gives in and stays, and though she’s calm by the time she’s allowed to leave with her daughter, she’s not happy. Lydia hopes it doesn’t rain that night so everyone dressing up for the banquet can keep their clothes dry. Jerry says it won’t rain, but Carol says the news reports otherwise. She asks Carter if she can ride to the banquet with him and Anna. Carter says he’s not going with Anna. Carol asks if they broke up; she thought they were dating because she picked up some chemistry. Carter pleads platonic friendship, but Carol urges him to ask Anna out.

Elizabeth complains to Benton that Romano keeps tabs on her too closely; she wishes she could change that, but she might lose her work visa. Benton thinks Morgenstern would sponsor her instead. Elizabeth wasn’t impressed when she met him and doesn’t think that arrangement would be any better. She’s been offered a job back in England but would like to stay in the States, where men actually listen to women.

In a trauma room, Elizabeth gets a big surprise: Allison Beaumont, the young woman whose leg and voice she helped save, is now a paramedic. She’s brought in a patient who has diagnosed himself with something the other doctors haven’t picked up yet. Dr. Swanson is a pathologist, and Benton thinks he’s right about his diagnosis.

Carter urges Anna to go to the banquet, even though she thinks it sounds cheesy. She decides to go since he’s going, and he offers to drive her. Mark hasn’t paid the deposit on the banquet space, and the florist was unable to deliver the flowers there. He decides to have them sent to the hospital instead. Jerry offers to line up music, since the band fell through, but Mark is done with his unimpressive assistance. He books an act called the Machine.

Doug tells Mark that the girl he treated earlier is sick enough to justify the lengths he went to in order to have her treated. He wants Mark to make sure Weaver knows he was right. Mark offers to call the mother, Mrs. Bevins, to have her bring the girl back for IV antibiotics. Doug claims he can be diplomatic and handle it himself. Uh, maybe get Carol to handle that, Doug.

Swanson needs surgery, so Morgenstern comes to the ER to see what’s going on. He recognizes Swanson’s name, as Swanson was one of his med-school professors. Swanson even inspired Morgenstern to become a surgeon. Benton tells Swanson he needs surgery, which Swanson would like to have done laparoscopically. Elizabeth doesn’t think that’s a good idea, but Morgenstern disagrees. Benton sides with him. Morgenstern invites Elizabeth to assist so she can see for herself that Morgenstern has the better idea.

Mark becomes even more skeptical about Jerry’s food plans when he learns that Jerry’s mother is making borscht. At least it’ll be free! Romano comes down for a consult, second-guessing Mark’s diagnosis. The bone-marrow drive for Scott hasn’t yielded a match for him, but Anna did match with a patient in another state. Romano offers to do the extraction as soon as he’s done with his next patient. He makes it out to be a minor thing, though it involves drilling holes in Anna’s pelvis.

Doug asks Carol if she thinks he has what it takes to be an attending. Carol admits that “diplomatic” doesn’t exactly describe him; a better word would be “insouciant,” which Doug isn’t familiar with. Scott’s still in the hospital, listening to Green Day and trying to avoid eating hospital food. His pain is worse, even with Doug’s PCA. Anspaugh comes by, and Scott’s nickname for him, Dr. Bad News, proves fitting, as Anspaugh announces that they haven’t found a bone-marrow match. They can try experimental chemo, but it sounds like a long shot. Jeanie promises to stay with Scott if he wants to try it.

Elizabeth isn’t looking forward to surgery with Morgenstern, but she can’t put her finger on why she doesn’t really like him. She admits that she doesn’t have much experience with laparoscopic procedures. Benton teases that she always goes after attendings when she’s nervous. She offers to swap procedures with him and observe the laparoscopic surgery when she’s done with hers.

Morgenstern reviews one of his old teaching tapes before he does the procedure. Weaver tells him that Swanson said very nice things about him. Morgenstern likes that Swanson cares about science and people’s souls. She invites him to the banquet that night. Doug offers Scott more pain medication, then says that Anspaugh is worried that he doesn’t completely understand what he’s in for with the experimental chemo. Since Jeanie’s going to stay by his side, Scott wants to go for it.

Carol tries to call Millicent – the check she wrote didn’t clear, and all the supplies Carol bought for the clinic are getting repossessed. Carter realizes that she put a stop payment on the check and asks what Carol did. Carol isn’t sure; the only possibility is bad press from giving out birth control to teens. Carter isn’t sure how Carol can fix this. He hopes it’s just a misunderstanding.

Morgenstern is fine with the Benton/Elizabeth switch in surgery, and has Shirley put on some Peruvian pan-flute music. Anna tells Carter that she matched for a bone-marrow transplant, which means she won’t make it to the banquet that night. She wasn’t aware that the donation will leave her sore for a few days. Carter has performed a bunch of them, so she asks him to do hers, thinking he’ll help her stay calm. He’s surprised that she’s a little bit of a chicken about the procedure and agrees to do it.

Weaver tells Mark that she enjoyed last year’s banquet and wishes he’d been able to book the same space this year. Mark says it was available, but he wanted to hold it in a place called the Shangri-Lodge. It’s less pretentious. Mark questions Romano’s orders for their shared patient, and when Romano ignores him, Mark says loudly that he’ll manage his patients in his ER his way. Romano backs down, glad to see that Mark has a spine.

Morgenstern and Benton’s procedure seems to be going fine, though Morgenstern feels hot. Benton notices that Morgenstern is in the wrong anatomy, but Morgenstern doesn’t want to be questioned. Benton just wants to make sure Morgenstern doesn’t nick one of Swanson’s varices. Morgenstern accuses Benton of screwing something up, then blames him when something goes wrong and Swanson starts bleeding.

Doug tells Jeanie that he’s not sure Scott really wants to do the experimental treatment. He thinks Scott has a crush on Jeanie and wants to please her. Jeanie denies this, saying she wants Scott to make his own decisions. Doug gets that, but he’s not sure Scott can actually decide for himself. Things with Swanson get worse, and as Elizabeth comes in to observe, Benton decides they need to open him surgically. Morgenstern won’t help, so Benton shoves him out of the way and takes over. Morgenstern just watches silently.

Carter gets ready for Anna’s procedure as she talks about having a bad experience with tonsil surgery as a kid. She thought she was going to die, and she promised God that she would always be a good person if He let her live. The drape on Anna’s back falls off and Carter gets to admire her butt for a few moments. This is, sadly, the closest they will ever get to being naked with each other.

Swanson doesn’t survive his surgery, and Benton asks the pathologist, Upton, if he can sit in on the autopsy the next afternoon. Anspaugh has been made aware of the situation, and he talked to the anesthesiologist about Benton and Morgenstern’s disagreement in the OR. He asks Benton to gather all the charts for the case, as well as the tape from the OR – they usually record laparoscopic procedures.

Carter tells Carol that Millicent’s stunt with the clinic money might not be about her. He’s disappointed that Anna went home and will probably skip the banquet. Scott offers to give Jeanie a ride in the Viper he’ll definitely be able to buy one day, because he’s totally going to beat this cancer. She notes that he doesn’t talk about his friends much. He says he’d rather be with her.

Carol is contemplating taking out a home loan so she can keep the clinic open. Before Doug can give his opinion, Mark pulls him away to treat baby twins in respiratory distress. Benton goes look for the Swanson tape, but there’s nothing in the machine. Mark, Doug, and Carol work on the babies together; one is stable but the other stops breathing. Doug calmly walks Mark through a procedure to help her.

Morgenstern tells Benton that today’s disaster was a one-time thing, as far as he’s concerned, and he’ll support Benton in whatever comes next. He plans to say that Swanson’s cause of death was ruptured varices. Benton says Morgenstern accidentally cut his gastric artery. Morgenstern denies ever cutting the wrong thing in his 20-year career. Benton screwed something up with his clamp.

Benton denies this and says the tape will show what really happened. Morgenstern says there’s no tape. He notes that Benton’s actions in the OR could be considered insubordination, and could even be grounds for dismissal. Benton says he wouldn’t have acted so forcefully if Swanson’s life weren’t at stake. Morgenstern advises him to focus on the medicine when they present the case at a morbidity and mortality seminar. Hypotheticals and accusations should be set aside.

Carter appeals to Millicent to give Carol back her donation. He knows Millicent is upset with him; she shouldn’t take it out on the clinic. Millicent says that’s not the case, but come on. She complains that her grandsons don’t want the family involved in their lives, but they’re happy to live off the family trust. Carter says that, in that case, Millicent can keep her money.

Weaver catches Morgenstern on his way out of the hospital and again invites him to the banquet, hoping it’ll cheer him up. He blows her off. Weaver then tries to talk to Mark again about the pediatric-attending position, which Mark is now leaning toward being a good idea. Weaver warns that it’s a policy change that could undermine their authority. Mark says that attendings run the best emergency department. Weaver says she agrees, seeming to think that Mark is on her side.

Mark pulls Doug away from the Bevins girl, whom Doug is amusing with bubbles, because the writers wanted to come up with yet another way to make people swoon over Clooney. Mark tells Doug that if he really wants to be an attending, he should go for it. Outside – where (sorry, Jerry) it’s raining – Romano warns Benton that he’s in for a fight over what happened in the OR. Benton’s a resident and Morgenstern’s the chief, so one of their statements is going to carry a lot more weight than the other’s.

The Shangri-Lodge is…well, there are taxidermy animal heads on the walls. That’s all you need to know. There’s no band, no food, and only one drink ticket for each guest. Doug and Carol can’t hide their laughter when they lie to Mark that it’s nice. The Machine arrives, but it’s just one guy who plays a keyboard and cymbals at the same time. Carter tells Carol that he couldn’t get Millicent to listen, but apparently he did, because she sent another check over to the clinic after he left.

Anna made it to the banquet after all, high on painkillers. Carter addresses their obvious chemistry and says he didn’t want to make a move because he didn’t want to harm their friendship. Anna feels the same, but there’s another guy – she’s not completely done with her ex. Carter resigns himself to just being friends with her. Scott goes into arrest, and Jeanie rushes to help save him. The rest of the team wishes that Scott’s family had agreed to sign a DNR instead of keeping him alive for a short, miserable time period.

The banquet food is bad and the music isn’t much better, but the ER staff is trying to enjoy themselves anyway. Mark thanks his co-workers, who are like his family, for sticking by him through the past year. They always give their best, and they make the ER a place they can all be proud to work. Doug gets everyone to serenade him.

At Doc Magoo’s, Benton tells Elizabeth about Swanson’s surgery, insisting that all the mistakes were Morgenstern’s. It’s the two surgeons’ words against each other, and Elizabeth didn’t see enough to know what happened. She thinks he should stick to his convictions if he’s positive he knows what happened.

At the banquet, everyone forms a conga line, and Mark dances with Weaver. She tells him that the separate pieces of the party were awful, but it’s still been a great experience. Jeanie tells Scott that he needs to make the decision about his medical care by himself and for himself. He tearfully tells her he doesn’t want any more chemo. They fantasize about driving off in his viper, going to the beach, and watching the sunset together.

Thoughts: Things I get strangely proud of while recapping medicalese: I spelled “laparoscopically” right on the first try. (I did not, however, spell “insouciant” right.” I thought the A was an E.)

As a doctor, Anna should probably know more about what bone-marrow donations involve.

Mark, about tiny stethoscope decorations: “Dumb idea?” Chuny: “No, just tacky.” Thanks, Chuny.

Imagine being so mad at your grandson for keeping a secret that you defund a free clinic.

September 10, 2019

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

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

Look at this cutie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

September 3, 2019

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

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

Angst face!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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