October 9, 2018

ER 2.13, It’s Not Easy Being Greene: Off Days and Days Off

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

ANGST! SO MUCH ANGST!

Summary: Mark is out for a jog on a snowy day, on his way to the hospital even though he has the day off. Haleh calls him dedicated while Chuny calls him sad. Weaver tells Susan that she and Morgenstern think Susan would make a great chief resident next year. She gives Susan instructions on a procedure she’s performing while talking about time management and how Susan will be able to balance her job responsibilities and Susie.

Carol’s upset to learn that she’s had her shifts cut. It doesn’t get better when Jeanie complains that she’s been given more shifts. Jerry tells Carol that she can join an investment club for $2,000 and get $10,000 to $20,000 within ten days. Carol educates him on the wonders of pyramid schemes. Let’s hope it’s not too late for Jerry to get out. Vucelich tells Benton that he wants him to go to Paris to present info on their study. They’ll need to find another patient for the study soon, since some Norwegian doctors are doing the same research.

Benton asks Malik where Carter is, and Malik says Carter’s late but will be coming any minute. Cut to…a sex joke, since Carter’s in bed with Harper. He tells her some of the things he thinks about to “delay the inevitable,” like procedures and equipment inventory. I think it’s safe to say that Carter has the world’s worst pillow talk.

Mark tells Susan that Jen is suing for full custody of Rachel, and is painting him as a distant father. They give each other TB tests while they discuss the possibility of Susan becoming chief resident. She’s not sure she could do it while working fewer hours than other chiefs have. Mark advises her to be warmer with Weaver, since they’ll be working closer if Susan becomes chief. Doug learns that Mark is working on his day off and just laughs.

Benton sticks Carter in the ER while he goes hunting for another study participant. Carol chats with a patient named Mrs. Henry who got dizzy while working in her garden. She raises earthworms, which generate a beloved kind of fertilizer and sell for a good amount of money. Carol’s inspired to go into this line of business. Mark’s patient, Alan, had a seizure and now has an erratic heartbeat.

Carter wants to get an interview for his residency, but it doesn’t look like anyone’s interested. Harper brings him an x-ray, thinking her patient has an aortic aneurysm and needs to see Vucelich. Carter can’t see the calcification she thinks is on the scan and advises her not to call Vucelich. She passes the patient along to Carter and goes off to help Mark. Seconds later, Susan glances at the x-ray, sees what Harper saw, and diagnoses an aneurysm.

Alan’s heart rhythm gets more erratic, so Mark kicks his wife, Mrs. Wimbur, out so he and Harper can try to figure out what’s wrong with him. He’s smart enough to know that nurses are valuable sources of information, and he asks Haleh and Lydia for their input (low potassium and cocaine, respectively). They stabilize Alan, but only briefly.

Carter presents Harper’s patient’s x-ray to Vucelich and Benton, who confirm that Harper’s diagnosis was right. They praise him for the catch, and he doesn’t tell them that Harper was the one who read the x-ray correctly. Lydia and Haleh, however, were both wrong about Alan, and Mark still doesn’t know why he’s having heart problems. Alan gets worse, requiring CPR, but after 20 minutes, he’s not any better. Susan joins the group and first suspects what Haleh did, that cocaine is a factor. When Mark says he’s clean, she says Alan might be acidotic.

More time passes and Doug comes in to try to help. Eventually, close to an hour goes by, and the doctors are unable to save Alan. Mark laments that he was only 32. He gives the bad news to Mrs. Wimbur, but he’s unable to tell her what caused her husband’s death. She blames Mark, since she was originally told that Alan could be saved.

While Jerry tries to escape his pyramid scheme, Susan tells Weaver that she officially wants to be considered for the chief position. Weaver’s like, “Oh, great! Now go take care of some more patients.” Carol takes Mrs. Henry for tests, though Mrs. Henry is worried about having to leave her worms in her truck. She figures no one will steal them, even though they’re worth $5,000, but she fears that they’ll freeze to death. She asks Carol to bring them into the hospital and feed them some table scraps.

Susan’s patient, Mrs. D’Angelo, is suffering a lot of pain from stones in her gall bladder. She wants surgery, but since her condition isn’t life-threatening, her insurance won’t pay for it. (God bless America.) Mark calls pathology to ask for a rush on Alan’s autopsy so he can answer his medical mystery. Susan tells him to go home, but Mark doesn’t appreciate being accused of killing a patient and running the risk of being sued. Susan assures him that he did everything right.

Vucelich and Benton operate on Harper’s patient while Carter assists by suctioning. The patient has a bad reaction to the anesthesia, and Vucelich blames Benton for not getting a full history. Once he starts getting things under control, Vucelich realizes that since the patient had never had an operation before, he wouldn’t have known about an intolerance to the anesthesia, so he wouldn’t have mentioned it in the history. He extends an olive branch to Benton by inviting him to lunch. Weaver gives Susan some advice on Mrs. D’Angelo’s treatment; it sounds like she’s trying to teach, but Susan takes it as criticism.

Mark meets with Morgenstern and Kathy Snyder, a hospital attorney, who announces that they’ve worked out a settlement with Sean O’Brien. Morgenstern’s happy to put this behind them, but Mark isn’t – this will be a black mark on his record and will follow him for the rest of his medical career. Kathy points out that they could lose millions if they go to trial. Mark insists that he didn’t do anything wrong, so he shouldn’t admit that he did. Kathy says that experts disagree. Morgenstern does, too, but Mark refuses to settle. He’ll hire his own lawyer and fight on his own if he has to.

Carol and Chuny take a look at Mrs. Henry’s worms, which Carol sees as a key to getting the money she needs to fix up her house. Lydia feeds them some yogurt. Harper finds Carter to bask in the glory of making her diagnosis, but her mood quickly darkens when she realizes that Carter didn’t give her any credit with Vucelich. He says he meant to, but everything happened fast. Harper doesn’t accept his excuse that Vucelich and Benton just assumed that he’d made the catch.

Mark tells Susan about the settlement and how Morgenstern is blaming him for Jodi’s death. Susan says that it was a tough diagnosis that any of them could have missed. But when Mark asks what she would say if she were called to testify in court, she doesn’t want to give an answer.

Jerry tries to convince Malik to start their own investment club, but Malik’s no idiot. Carol goes looking for the worms, but they’re missing from the room where she stashed them. Doug examines a teenager named Ray who’s been having headaches and dizziness, but seems mostly fine.

Carter interrupts Vucelich and Benton’s lunch to tell them that Harper made the diagnosis. Vucelich blasts him for taking credit, but since the patient isn’t a candidate for the study, it doesn’t really matter who made the diagnosis; no one will get a finder’s fee. After Carter leaves, Vucelich calls him a “strange boy.” Benton questions the patient’s exclusion from the study, but Vucelich just casually says that the patient has neurological problems that make him ineligible.

Susan tells Mrs. D’Angelo that they’re not going to give her an ultrasound because it’s clear what her problem is. There’s no point in spending the money. She’s been able to secure a slot for surgery at the end of the year, but since it’s only February, that doesn’t do Mrs. D’Angelo any good. Carol, Lydia, and Wendy (R.I.P. Vanessa Marquez) find the worms outside and rush them to a trauma room to warm them up. Susan rushes in to help, thinking they have a real, human patient. She makes a hilarious patient as Carol tries to break the worms out of the block of ice they’ve become.

When nothing abnormal shows up on Ray’s tests, Doug talks to him, trying to find out if his problems are stress-related. Ray says things are fine, but he’s clearly upset about something. He tells Doug that there’s something wrong with him. Doug thinks he’s just having normal teenager anxieties, but Ray has a secret: He’s come to the conclusion that he’s gay. He doesn’t know what to tell his father or brothers. He’s sick of pretending to be someone he’s not.

Doug calls for a psych consult, just wanting to give Ray someone to talk to. Haleh doesn’t appear to agree with this form of treatment. Benton tells Harper she made a good call with the aneurysm, but it’s too little too late. Susan calls Harper and Carter in to help tend to a patient as Weaver looks on. Harper tells Carter to shut it when he tries to offer some help. Mark and Doug meet up at a diner, where Mark admits that he may have killed Alan. He heard a murmur on examination, and he should have done more to save him. Doug thinks Mark is holding himself to too high of a standard.

Harper screws up something on the patient, and Carter tries to take the blame, but Harper wants to own up to her own mistake. Susan and Weaver discuss treatments, but Susan makes it clear that she’s not going to give in to Weaver just because Weaver has seniority. Susan ends up being right, and she gloats a little too much, asking Weaver questions that she would normally ask an intern or med student.

Mark goes to the morgue to find out if Alan’s autopsy has solved any mysteries. Haleh advises Doug to talk to Ray himself instead of continuing to wait for a psych consult. She asks if Doug is trying to avoid having a difficult conversation with Ray because he’s gay. Doug insists that he’s not homophobic, but he doesn’t think he’s the right person for the conversation because he has no expertise on the subject. Haleh doesn’t seem convinced.

The pathologist, Dr. Upton, doesn’t find anything abnormal with Alan’s heart. She tells Mark that medicine is an art, and it’s ambiguous. Sometimes there are no answers. In this case, she can’t determine Alan’s cause of death. Mrs. Henry is ready to be released, but her worms won’t be going home with her. Carol couldn’t save them. She gives the news as if she’s telling any patient’s family about a death.

Jeanie finds Benton looking over the protocol for Vucelich’s study. He wants to know if Vucelich is dropping patients with bad outcomes from his study so his results won’t be skewed. Harper yells at Carter for his behavior all day, which he blames on his poor odds at getting a residency at County. He’s forgotten a bunch of Benton’s patients’ orders and has to keep working.

Weaver calls Susan on getting a fact wrong in her impromptu Q&A in the trauma room. Susan finally blows up at her, saying it’s not worth it to be chief resident if she’ll have to put up with Weaver always looking over her shoulder. But Weaver thinks this reaction means Susan’s more qualified to be chief resident than she thought. Ray’s father arrives to take him home, and Ray pretends his trigonometry classes are the cause of his headaches. (Dude, I feel you.) Doug invites him to talk if he ever wants to, but Ray’s ready to go back to being his fake self.

Benton goes looking for records on Helen Rubadoux, who was also dropped from Vucelich’s study. He pulls out a few more files while he’s at it. Jerry’s come into a bunch of money, thanks to his pyramid scheme, so he’s ending the day on a good note. Carol has been able to salvage a few worms (she claims Mrs. Henry gave her some), so she’s going to see if she can make some money with them. Carter finally finishes his tasks and apologizes to Benton for being an idiot earlier. He also has to confess to being late with some orders. Looks like the golden child is slipping. Benton finds something interesting in a patient file and makes a phone call.

Mark smooths things over with Susan, admitting that he was in denial. He’s not sure he should keep practicing medicine. Susan says they all ask themselves that. Mark hopes the job is worth losing his family over. He now knows that Alan’s death wasn’t his fault. He did everything right and Alan died anyway. The lesson is that they can’t win. Mark asks if anyone thought it was strange that he came to work on his day off. Susan lies that they didn’t. (She’s a bad liar but he doesn’t catch on.) Then Mark ends his day the way he began – running.

Thoughts: Freaking animal plots. Just…why?

Carol: “What happened to those worms in radiology?” Susan: “They’re doing a consult.” Ha!

Mark needs a hobby. I don’t even think about work when I have a day off.

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September 18, 2018

ER 2.10, A Miracle Happens Here: A Christmas Carol

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

It’s Santa! I know him!

Summary: Shep’s alarm goes off at 5:45, and he has to be rudely awoken by some annoying Santa-themed rap. Carol’s already up and around, trying to get a fire going in her newly discovered fireplace, since the furnace went out during the night. She can’t get the flue open, so Shep suggests that they have Christmas at his place. Carol insists on having it in her new home and tries to think of ways to make it work. Shep will probably win this round, since there’s now a hole in the roof letting snow in.

Some carolers sing “Carol of the Bells” at the hospital, and their lovely voices almost make up for their hideous outfits. (The women are wearing caps with snowmen on them. If they have children, those kids are now dead from the humiliation.) The group is from the recovery wing, and they invite the ER staff to sing for them at 4 p.m. Apparently Carol made the arrangements but didn’t tell anyone. Unfortunately, no one can sing. Susan and Doug try to volunteer Mark, who’s not in yet, as he’s with the hospital’s lawyer. Sean O’Brien is suing him.

The lawyer tells Mark that the case is going to take a long time to move forward, and he plans to settle anyway. It’s better to leave Mark with a black mark on his record than for the hospital to have to pay out a million dollars. Mark heads off to find a bathroom, running into Sean and his son, who’s now about a year old. Sean definitely doesn’t want to make small talk with the man he’s suing for his wife’s death.

Some costumed skaters doing an on-ice nativity play were injured by a Zamboni, so Susan, Doug, and Harper are busy in the ER. Officer Al eases Susan’s fears by reporting that baby Jesus was played by a doll. However, the Zamboni driver appears to be drunk, so I think he’ll be spending Christmas in jail. Meanwhile, Mark will be spending it moping by himself, since his family is in Milwaukee and his wife is sleeping with someone else.

Carter wants to observe an operation Benton’s performing, but he hasn’t finished his work from the night before, since he was busy trying to comfort a patient’s family. No one’s going to be a nice person on Benton’s watch, even on Christmas Eve, so Carter doesn’t get to observe. Carol tries to round up participants for the carol singing that afternoon, but no one wants to sing. Doug mentions that the cops are charging the Zamboni with a DUI, even though he wasn’t technically driving a car. Mark dubs it a ZUI.

Benton scrubs in with a couple other surgeons who a) don’t want to make small talk with him and b) don’t even know his name. Vucelich informs them that their patient has changed his mind about having surgery, but he thinks he and Benton might be able to get him to change it back. Carol tends to a patient named Stan Calaus who cut himself while carving a wooden toy. He and his wife used to sell their goods at craft fairs; now he has a whole crew helping out, and they still have more orders than they can keep up with. Carol tells him he would make a great Santa, but he must hear that a lot.

Vucelich tells Benton that part of being a surgeon who employs cutting-edge techniques is selling his methods to patients. He lets Benton take the lead in convincing the patient, Mr. Chamberlain, to let them operate. Mark has signed up to work both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and Doug nicely offers to take one of those shifts. Mark would rather work than spend the holidays alone; Rachel will be with Jen until Christmas night.

Shep brings in an unconscious woman named Hanna Steiner who was carjacked. Mark notices tattooed numbers on Hanna’s arm, and he and Shep have to tell Malik that that means she’s a Holocaust survivor, because wherever Malik went to school growing up, the school system sucked. Mr. Chamberlain tells Benton and Vucelich that he doesn’t care what techniques they’re using; his wife, Macy, wants him to wait, so he is. Carter arrives with Macy, having convinced her that the procedure is the way to go. This is the family Carter spent the night talking to, and they love him now. Vucelich rewards him with the offer of scrubbing in.

Hanna regains consciousness and asks about Tirzah, her granddaughter. She was in the car when it was stolen. The car has been found by the police, but there was no baby inside. Mark and Haleh’s day just got a whole lot worse. They try to call Hanna’s son, but she doesn’t think that’ll do any good, since he lives far away. Mark tries to encourage her to get a CT scan while they wait for news on the baby. Hanna says something in Yiddish, and when Mark understands her, Hanna decides to defer to his medical recommendation.

Al shows Susan the ruby earrings he wants to give Lydia for Christmas. He’s uncertain about the choice, since they’re nothing that special or expensive, but Susan promises that they’re perfect for Lydia. She finds Mark fighting with Jen on the phone about wanting to keep Rachel with her a couple more days so she can go to a party with her cousins. He complains to Susan about Jen’s horrible timing in having an affair. She invites him to spend the holiday with her, Susie, and her parents, though I’m not sure that’s better than spending it alone.

Vucelich and Benton operate on Mr. Chamberlain as Carter observes closely. Vucelich thinks Benton is lucky to have a student with such a good rapport with patients. He lets Benton finish up, but Benton gets flustered since they’re rushing for a personal-best operating time. They don’t break their record, thanks to Benton, but Carter gets to help out, so at least one person in the operating room is happy. Weaver spots an old friend named Mlungisi who’s in town for a visit. She hugs and kisses him, showing more affection than she will in the entire rest of the series. Carol, Mark, Haleh, and Randi are stunned.

As a man rushes his teen son in with a bullet wound in his shoulder, Mark chats with Hanna, trying to help her stay positive that Tirzah will be found safe. She covers the numbers on her arm and tells him it’s easier to be a victim of discrimination when you’re a child because you don’t know any different. Mark notes that she’s seen the worst in people. Hanna says she’s also seen the best, like Tirzah.

Mark tries to assure her that the carjacker just wanted the vehicle, so he won’t hurt the baby. Hanna knows that the best way to get revenge on those who have hurt you is to keep living your life like they don’t own you. But then something like this happens and you remember that everything can be taken from you. Hanna admits that when she was getting her CT scan, she prayed for the first time in 50 years. She asks if Mark knows Yiddish and if he’s religious. Mark says he’s the child of a lapsed Catholic and an agnostic Jew. She teases that he’s no good to her; she can’t ask him to pray for her family. Mark says he’ll try.

The staff is supposed to go to a restaurant for a party later, but since it’s snowing and traffic isn’t moving much, Carol thinks everyone who’s still there at 4 p.m. might as well go sing with her. Susan says her voice is so bad that when she sings to Susie, the baby goes to sleep immediately as a defense mechanism. Carol says they can both just mouth the words, though that won’t be any good if no one else is singing. Carol tries to enlist Carter, but he pleads “chronic tone-deafness and acute stage fright.”

Mark agrees with Carol that Stan looks familiar – just like Jerry Garcia. Apparently it’s Show Susan the Earrings You Bought for Your Girlfriend Day, because Carter wants Susan’s opinion on the earrings he’s going to give Harper. Unlike Al’s rubies, Carter bought Harper real diamonds. He’s worried that she’ll think they’re too much, since they haven’t been dating that long. Susan says Harper will be happy that he thought to get her something so nice.

Some teens bring in a priest who was shot at his church. Jeanie is horrified that someone would shoot a priest. Weaver has arranged to take some time off so she can be with Mlungisi while he’s in town, and since Mark was already scheduled to work, it’s not a hassle. Harper and Randi try to get Weaver to tell them how she and Mlungisi know each other. Weaver just says that she had a farm in Africa.

Susan and Jeanie work on the priest, who asks to speak to Diablo, one of the boys who came in with him. Susan wants the priest to stay calm, but he insists, so Jeanie goes to get Diablo. A baby is being brought in after being found in an adult theater (oh, classy), and the police think she might be Tirzah. Mark and Doug check her over, but she seems fine, just unhappy. Hanna wanders in and recognizes her as Tirzah.

The priest tells Diablo that his shooter wasn’t from the L.G. (which we can assume is a gang). He gives Jeanie his rosary beads for Diablo. Carol checks on Stan, who’s sending off his wife and kids to finish up their work. Mrs. Calaus promises she has both their maps, the naughty and the nice. Carol tells Stan that she’s enjoyed being his nurse today; everyone else she’s encountered has been scroogey. Stan tells her she has to find the Christmas spirit within her rather than rely on other people to show it.

Carol changes her methods, telling some of the staff that she’s going to sing Christmas carols, and they can join her if they’d like. No one does, but at least she doesn’t feel grumpy anymore. Susan and Jeanie rush the priest to an elevator to take him to surgery, but they have to take him back to the trauma room when he destabilizes. The teens who brought him in are eager for information, which the staff don’t have time to provide. Hanna wisely takes Tirzah out of the room while they’re working.

Mark discovers that the bullet severed the priest’s aorta, so they get some scans. By the time Jeanie returns with the films, the priest is dead. The teens are devastated and ask for a priest to deliver last rites. In a much cheerier part of the hospital, Carol sings a respectable version of “The 12 Days of Christmas” to some patients in the recovery wing. Mark, Susan, Doug, Carter, Harper, Malik, and Lydia join her, making up their own lyrics. No one sounds good, but Carol appreciates their effort, and the patients are happy to see them.

Benton lies down in an on-call room, reciting Scripture about Jesus’ birth to himself. Lily grabs him to come take care of an elderly woman named Helen Rubadoux who may have an aortic dissection. When Carter arrives to help, Benton puts him to work doing what he does best – talking to the patient’s husband, Ruby. Carol goes looking for Stan, but he’s already left. The window in his room is open, and Carol thinks she hears sleigh bells. (Also, Stan Calaus is an anagram for Santa Claus. Sigh.)

Carter tells Ruby that Helen needs surgery, and though her odds of survival are only 50/50 because of her age, it’s necessary to give her any chance at all. He suggests a new procedure that will complete the surgery faster, lowering the odds that Helen will have a heart attack. Even better, Vucelich developed the procedure and would perform the operation himself. Ruby asks Carter if that’s what he would do, and Carter says it is, so Ruby gives his consent.

Diablo calls someone to report that the priest has died, so they need to make the L.G. pay. Jeanie hangs up the phone and reminds Diablo that the priest said it wasn’t the L.G. Diablo thinks he lied to keep a truce between gangs. Jeanie asks if the priest would want them to keep up the gang war in his name. She gives Diablo the rosary beads and tells him to help the man who always tried to help others.

Hanna’s large family has arrived with a menorah, wanting to celebrate Hanukkah with her in the hospital. Mark and Hanna both think they should leave and let Hanna rest, but the family doesn’t want her to be alone. As Vucelich and Benton prepare for Helen’s surgery, the staff learns that the snow has forced them to cancel their Christmas party. Carol says she wishes she could have everyone over to her house, but without heat, it wouldn’t be fun. Shep reveals that he spent the day fixing the fireplace, so everything’s good. Carol suddenly wishes she hadn’t invited everyone over.

Mark joins the Steiners as they light their menorah and play dreidel. One of Hanna’s granddaughters says that the letters on the dreidel mean “a miracle happened there.” Hanna’s happy that the family had their own miracle in Tirzah’s safe return. And there was a second miracle – Hanna and Mark prayed together. Hanna felt for decades that God had forsaken her, but she realized today that He’s always been with her in the form of her family. Mark decides to leave the family by themselves.

Things are very festive at Carol’s, and even Benton comes by after he finishes Helen’s surgery. Harper and Lydia admire each other’s earrings, deciding they each like each other’s pairs better. They consider switching, not thinking Al and Carter would notice, but Susan stops them. Jeanie tells Benton she was thinking about him today, knowing this is his first Christmas without his mother. He tells her she made him memorize the Bible verses he was reciting to himself earlier, and always liked to hear him say them on Christmas Eve. Benton notes that this is also Jeanie’s first Christmas on her own.

Shep finds Carol scrounging for more cups in her kitchen and announces that he loves her. That’s fine on its own, but then he goes further, saying he wants to spend his life with her and have kids with her. Okay, you’ve been dating for, like, three months. Slow down. Carol isn’t ready to make a big commitment, but she does appreciate hearing that he loves her.

Mark calls Rachel, promising that Santa will find her at her grandparents’ house. He asks if she wants to stay for the party with her cousins, knowing that if she does, he won’t get to spend Christmas with her. He promises they’ll have their own “post-Christmas, post-Hanukkah, pre-New Year’s Day celebration” when she gets there. He goes back to work as some staff have a joyful snowball fight outside the ER doors.

Thoughts: Ruby is played by the late Red Buttons. The priest is played by Tony Plana.

Clooney mouthing the final “bohm” in “Carol of the Bells” made me lose it.

Carol: “Last chance to spread some holiday cheer.” Benton: “What?” Exactly. “Holiday cheer” is a foreign language to Benton.

September 11, 2018

ER 2.9, Home: Jen Is at the Top of Santa’s Naughty List

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

I’m sure those pencils will keep him warm when he’s sleeping outside in Chicago in December

Summary: Doug’s asleep – drink! Susan wakes him up and asks him to examine Susie, who has a cough. Doug pronounces her happy and healthy, which must be because Susan’s so great with her. They hand the baby off to Connie and go to meet another baby, this one much sicker than Susie. As Haleh takes the frantic parents out of the trauma room, Doug decides that the baby can’t be saved. He has to tell Susan a couple times to stop trying to revive him. Doug gives the horrible news to the parents as Susan takes Susie back from Connie.

Carter and Harper have worked things out and are dating, or whatever the kids call it when they spend a lot of time together and hook up. They try to make out in an elevator but Benton interrupts. They get clumsy in their attempts to find a quiet place where they can be alone, then have to pretend they’re looking for someone’s films when they realize Susan is in their hiding spot. (Thank you, Susan and Benton. I didn’t want to watch that.)

Carol brings stuff in for the hospital’s Christmas drive, trying to get rid of some things her mother wants to off-load since she’s moving. Doug and Mark laugh at her old records and baton. Carter and Harper finally find a make-out spot, but it’s the hospital chapel, and they’re soon joined by some nuns. These two are definitely going on Santa’s naughty list.

Shep shaved! It’s a Christmas miracle! He thinks Carol should be sadder about her mom selling her childhood home. He’s brought in an unidentified patient who’s now drawing something in an exam area. Doug and Mark tend to a man named Ethan Brown who was hurt in a hit-and-run. He’s able to ask for his wife through his possibly broken jaw, but Mark wants him to leave on his oxygen mask and stop trying to talk.

Carol tells Shep’s patient, Mr. Sullivan, that he can’t smoke in the hospital. She and Jeanie tend to his minor wounds as he tells them he’s an architect. He doesn’t seem completely mentally aware, so Carol tells Jeanie to call psych. As Benton notices a hickey on Carter’s neck, the two of them check out Ethan. Jeanie tells Carol that she’s identified Mr. Sullivan, whose real name is Joshua Shem. He has schizophrenia and ran away from his residential home. Because it’s his third time running away, they won’t take him back.

Doug told Mark he can’t work that night, so some of the female employees wonder if he’s going on a date. He remains mum. Ethan’s wife arrive, frantic at first but much calmer when Mark assures her that her husband will be okay. A teenager comes in with her sister, Reba, who was treated for injuries at a skating rink but had a seizure on the way home from the hospital. Looks like she has a head injury that the doctor who treated the cuts on her legs didn’t discover. (That doctor will also be on the naughty list.)

A police officer who came in with Ethan tells Mark and Susan that a witness told him who was driving the car that hit him: his wife. Mark quickly tells Lydia to call security, but Mrs. Brown has already found her husband and is trying to finish what she started with her car (this time with her bare hands). Ho ho ho, Mrs. Brown is getting coal in her stocking.

Mark tells Susan he’s spending the holidays with Jen’s family, clearly a sacrifice he doesn’t really want to make. Susan checks on Reba, who says she doesn’t remember what happened, then promptly has another seizure. Carter runs into Vucelich in the bathroom and says that Benton wanted to have an interview with him, but Carter forgot to sign him up. Vucelich agrees to see Benton anyway.

Susan struggles to end Reba’s seizures, finally guessing that she’s having an allergic reaction to the lidocaine she was given at the previous hospital. Records faxed over from St. Anne’s show that she was given a toxic dose. Weaver thinks Susan should write a case report, then have the hospital pay for her to present it in Miami. Susan doesn’t think she can take time away from the ER to do the necessary research, then leave town when she has both work and family responsibilities. She worries that Mark is disappointed in her for turning down the opportunity.

Dr. Myers meets with Joshua, who declines the offer of medication. He just wants to work on his drawing and go home (though he doesn’t actually have a home). Myers can’t hold him, since he’s not a danger to himself or others, and Joshua says he can take care of himself. Jeanie thinks Myers is just checking this case off his to-do list, but Carol defends him. Myers gets dozens of cases like Joshua every day and does everything he can for his patients. They’ll just have to stall and hope they can find Joshua a new residential home.

Carter, now wearing a huge bandage on his neck, tries to rearrange his plans with Harper since he now has to stay for Benton’s interview. He still hasn’t told Benton about the interview, though. When he tries to bring up the subject, Benton says he doesn’t want to participate in the study Vucelich is interviewing doctors for. Good job, Carter!

Carol catches Joshua trying to leave and admires his drawing of an arch. He says he draws what “they” tell him to draw. She tells him about her new house, and he identifies the style and interior. He tells her there’s a fireplace she didn’t know about. Weaver asks why Joshua hasn’t been discharged, and Carol says she wants to put a sterile dressing on one of his cuts. She’s actually stalling by offering Joshua food, but Weaver’s fine with letting him warm up and have a meal.

Carol hears Doug on the phone, confirming his plans for the evening and promising the person he’s talking to that she’ll look beautiful no matter what she wears. He still won’t give any details on who he’s meeting. Mark then gets a call from a hospital in Milwaukee and learns that Jen and Rachel were in a car accident. Rachel’s fine but Jen’s hurt. Doug offers up his car keys as Mark rushes off to see his family.

Susan calls the hospital back and tries to get information on Jen, but she has no luck. It makes her wonder if County is this tight-lipped. Lydia mentions that she used to date an OR tech at the hospital, so Susan makes her call him. Carter recognizes the arch from Joshua’s drawing as the Sullivan Arch, which he’s seen pictures of in an installment at the Art Institute. Carol remembers that Joshua introduced himself as Mr. Sullivan.

Shep amuses himself by looking through Carol’s old yearbook and the things her friends wrote. He wants to rescue it from being given away. Weaver tells Susan that Morgenstern wants to talk to her about presenting Reba’s case – he’s excited for this great opportunity. Benton ruins Carter and Harper’s plans by giving them more work to do. Jeanie calls around, looking for a place for Joshua, with no luck.

Benton goes to his interview with Vucelich, which turns into a field trip. Joshua’s mother, Madeline, arrives but says she can’t take him home. He’s let go of everything in his past and won’t stay. He was going to be an architect, but a breakdown in college derailed his plans. Madeline gives Joshua some money and pencils, the old thing he still cares about.

Morgenstern helps Susan and Carter tend to a man who fell off a ladder while setting up a Christmas display. He laments that he crushed Rudolph, though he should be more upset about the long, sharp thing sticking out of his arm. I know I am. Morgenstern tells Susan how great Reba’s case sounds, but she again declines the opportunity. He reminds her that she’s a candidate to be chief resident next year. Susan knows she needs to start publishing, but she thinks she’s taken on enough responsibility and doesn’t need “extra credit.”

Mark makes it to the hospital in Milwaukee, and I guess the episode ran short because we have to see him running around instead of just going right to Rachel and Jen. Jen is stable but has a broken leg and possible internal injuries. Despite being a doctor at County, Mark has no standing at this place, so he’s kept away from her as she’s treated.

Susan gets a Christmas card from Chloe that’s full of money. Anyone else would be excited to get $3,000, but Susan isn’t appreciative. Doug, who knows all about deadbeat relatives, advises her to take what she can get. In Milwaukee, Mark finds Rachel and meets a guy named Craig, who was in the accident with her and Jen. In fact, he was driving their car when they were hit. Mark’s too distracted to understand the significance of this.

Jeanie can’t find a place for Joshua, but he’s already taken off. She wonders if she’s cut out for doing this kind of work, since her previous job as a physical therapist let her see her patients’ progress. Carol says they just have to do what they can for everyone. She finds Joshua’s pencils under his bed.

Vucelich takes Benton to an operation so he can see firsthand the work Vucelich does. Benton knows his stuff and is suddenly interested in joining Vucelich’s study. Vucelich tells him to scrub in. In Milwaukee, Jen’s doctor tells Mark that she doesn’t have internal injuries, and surgery to repair her leg went fine. Craig asks Mark to translate from medical jargon to English.

Doug’s dinner date is with his mother, Sarah, and though his relationship with his father is nonexistent, he and his mother get along well. He tells her his father called, and she guesses that he wants money or is up to something. Doug isn’t worried and promises that his father can’t touch them ever again.

Carol takes Joshua’s pencils to the Sullivan Arch, which Joshua has made his home. He says they’re all he needs, but she gives him a blanket, too, ensuring her spot on Santa’s nice list. Carter finally finishes his extra work and meets up with Harper, who’s chatting with Jeanie. She guesses that they’re dating, but Carter says they don’t have time in medical school. Harper mentions that she’s going into the Air Force after med school. Carter teases that she’s going to become an astronaut after that.

Susan runs into a neighbor while doing laundry, and doesn’t correct the neighbor when she thinks Susan is Susie’s mother. It looks like that sounds good to her. Carol puts on some music at home, and she and Shep take hammers to a wall to uncover the fireplace Joshua told her was there. They celebrate by dancing and making out to “Take a Letter Maria.”

The lyrics “take a letter Maria / address it to my wife / say I won’t be coming home” foreshadow the conversation Mark is about to have with Jen (well, if Jen were the husband and Mark were the wife). He’s figured out that Craig isn’t just a friend or co-worker or second cousin or whoever she was going to pretend he was. Jen’s in love with him. Merry Christmas, Mark: Your wife is cheating on you.

Thoughts: Joshua is played by Adam Goldberg.

Jen’s father is a reverend. WELL, HIS CHRISTIAN TEACHINGS SURE DIDN’T STICK.

Susie’s at that age where babies babble in almost-intelligible language. I love that age.

September 4, 2018

ER 2.8, The Secret Sharer: Look Who’s Talking (Whether or Not They Should Be)

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

You’re welcome

Summary: Mark rushes to a meeting with Morgenstern and Neil, who are waiting to talk to Doug about his heroics with Ben. Neil isn’t impressed, but Morgenstern says the hospital board wants to acknowledge Doug’s actions (and also thank him for all the positive publicity he’s brought to the hospital). The board is also unhappy with Neil for firing Doug, which means he’s about to get his job back. There’s a whole gala planned to praise him, too. The men offer Doug a fellowship extension, reporting to Doug, but he points out that he’s already accepted another job. They insist that they want him to stay at County.

Doug does some schedule negotiating with Mark, leaning toward accepting the offer. Meanwhile, Carter examines a boy named Wilbur who has suddenly come down with some facial paralysis. His mother comments in Spanish that Carter seems too young to be a doctor. Wilbur translates, and Carter takes it as a compliment. He assures the two that Wilbur’s condition, Bell’s Palsy, isn’t serious. He adds that he’ll be a doctor in four months. That’s not good enough for Wilbur’s mom.

Susan’s having trouble with childcare and hasn’t been able to work night shifts for a while. Mark tells her she needs to work something out; he can’t keep covering for her. Jeanie and Benton continue their chilly relationship toward each other, equally unhappy to have to spend the day in the ER together. Shep and his stupid mustache bring in a teenage girl named Julia whose brother Kyle found her after she attempted suicide. Julia refuses to talk about what happened.

An elderly woman named Mrs. Ransom sets up some knickknacks by her bed as she waits for Susan to come check her out. She may have pneumonia, but she’s very pleasant and is even willing to have her regular teatime in the ER. Doug rushes in with a boy named Alan who’s having an asthma attack, because he didn’t get to do enough heroic things in the last episode. Carter continues treating Wilbur, despite his mother’s reservations.

Julia becomes combative when Mark, Carol, and Lydia try to give her charcoal to soak up all the acetaminophen she took. Carol takes over the procedure, saying out loud how much she hates this kind of case. Once Julia’s taken care of, she goes out to chat with Shep and another paramedic, who think girls like Julia just overdose to get attention. If they really meant it, they’d use another method. Carol gives him the perfect “oh, is that so?” look, then tells him, “I really meant it.”

Susan calls her mother to ask her to look after Susie the next night. Carter and Harper’s post-breakup relationship is much better than Jeanie and Benton’s, and she’s even hopeful that he’ll want to hang out again (and possibly get back together). Carter casually declines her invitation to dinner. Doug interrupts to ask Carter about Wilbur; he thinks Carter may have missed something indicative of a more serious condition. Susan has no luck with her parents and still needs childcare for the next night.

Julia may have damaged her liver, which means she took a huge amount of pills. Mark and Carol haven’t been able to contact her parents, and she’s still not talking. Alan is doing much better, but his asthma attack was a reaction to his grandmother’s dog. Since Alan’s staying with her for the week, she’ll have to find other living arrangements for the dog. Grandma realizes that Doug is the doctor from the TV, which means Alan is going to be fine.

Haleh tells Doug that Alan’s HMO wants him transferred to another hospital across town. Doug refuses, since Alan’s condition is still unsteady. He makes a false note on the chart so the HMO will agree that his oxygen levels are falling and he’s not able to be moved. Haleh shows Chuny, who made the original note, and Chuny tells Doug she’s not going to lie for him. He again refuses to send Alan anywhere else right now.

Carol sits down with Kyle to find out why Julia might have tried to kill herself. He tells her that their mother died not long ago and their father isn’t around much. Carter tries to get in touch with Wilbur’s mother, but his lack of knowledge of Spanish makes it difficult to leave a phone message for her. He tells Mark that he’s sure he checked what he was supposed to, but he wasn’t looking for the right thing, so now he wants to follow up.

Mrs. Ransom doesn’t have pneumonia, and she’s made herself useful in the ER, looking after a baby while his mother takes a nap. Susan realizes that Mrs. Ransom could be the answer to her childcare problems. As it happens, Mrs. Ransom is looking for work, and she’s available to work nights. Mark notices the discrepancy on Alan’s chart and asks Chuny about it. She pleads ignorance of Doug’s note, only saying that if a mistake was made, it wasn’t hers.

Shep apologizes to Carol for what he said earlier, but she tells him everything’s okay. Carter is now being overcareful about tests, becoming even worse when Lydia tells him his new patient is one of Vucelich’s. Mark pulls Doug out of Alan’s room to confirm that he falsified the chart to put off the transfer. Mark knows that the HMO won’t pay his bills when they see the discrepancy on the chart. If Doug’s going to stay at County and work under Mark, he’s going to have to stop being a cowboy. Doug objects to having to work for Mark instead of with him (though he wouldn’t want to work for anyone else, either).

Carol sends Kyle out of Julia’s room so she can try talking to the girl again. On top of all her other problems, Julia’s pregnant, and Carol guesses that was the reason for her suicide attempt. She confides in Julia that she also attempted suicide, so she understands where Julia’s coming from. Julia says that everything fell apart after her mother died. Kyle would cry in bed at night, like when he was a kid. She would go in to comfort him…and now she’s pregnant. Carol connects the dots. I throw up.

Susan gets all of Mrs. Ransom’s recommendations from her nanny agency, becoming even more certain that this is going to work out perfectly. Then Jerry and Mark ruin everything by showing Susan the woman’s medical tests. Paramedic Pam Olbes brings in a Civil War reenactor whose foot was run over by a cannon. I bet that’s a new one for Mark. Kyle learns that Julia told Carol everything and panics that their father will be furious. He may even react violently, since Kyle knows he has a gun. He decides not to wait around to find out what happens.

Jeanie’s supposed to practice her sutures, so Benton gives her a patient to work on with Carter. Carter, however, is busy running countless tests on his/Vucelich’s patient, Ms. Briggs. Benton calls him an idiot and has to apologize when Vucelich comes to consult on the patient. But it turns out that she has a blood disease and needs treatment ASAP. Suddenly Carter looks smart. Vucelich even invites him to assist on an operation.

Mrs. Ransom is ready to start working for Susan right away, but Susan has bad news for her: She may have aplastic anemia. It’s terminal, and she needs to be admitted for a bone marrow biopsy. Mrs. Ransom has already had one, and apparently knows her diagnosis but doesn’t want the treatment. She still wants the nanny job, though. Susan tells her that she won’t be able to work anymore, and she needs to be admitted. Mrs. Ransom thinks she’s the one to be the judge of her own condition.

Mark takes care of the reenactor, who’s eager to go back to the battlefield. He tells Connie about his character’s accomplishments. He requests ether for anesthetic, then a bullet to bite on when that’s not available. As a last resort, he suggests that Mark send a private out to get some bourbon. “We’re fresh out of privates,” Mark replies, suggesting lidocaine instead. The reenactor decides he’s fine with the bullet. With Carter busy, Benton helps Jeanie with her sutures. She tries to make small talk, mentioning that she saw Jackie recently, and though the conversation isn’t warm, it’s not as awkward as it’s been.

Julia and Kyle’s father, Mr. Kazlaw, finally arrives as two victims of a motorcycle accident are brought in. Doug takes one patient and Mark takes the other. They disagree over which patient is more critical, and Mark makes the call that his needs a CT scan before the other. Doug examines Mark’s patient himself and says Mark’s wrong. They yell at each other for a while until Mark tells Doug to leave. He’s taking Doug’s patient and writing him up.

Carol talks to Lydia about Julia and Kyle’s…whatever, not realizing that their father can hear her. Big oops! Once Carol realizes the error, Mark tells the teens what happened and assures them that someone will stay with them in case their father becomes violent, as Kyle fears. Carol and Lydia feel horrible for what happened, and Mark tells them they’ll discuss confidentiality at a staff meeting the next day.

As Doug is leaving for his gala, Mark tries to get him to talk, but Doug ignores him. He only stops when Jerry tells him his father is on the phone. This is a surprise since Carol was under the impression that Doug and his father haven’t spoken since Doug was 12. Benton and Jeanie finish up on their patient, finally back on…well, not good terms, but much better terms. Carter joins them, and after Jeanie leaves the room, he hints that Benton should ask her out. Benton says Jeanie’s married, but Carter reports that she told him she’s divorced.

Susan goes to get Susie from the hospital daycare and is surprised to see her father playing with her. Henry disagrees with his wife’s feelings on what they should or shouldn’t be doing as grandparents, and he wants to look after Susie on the nights Susan has to work. He wishes he’d agreed to help out a long time ago.

Carter finally gets in touch with Wilbur’s mother and makes arrangements to go see him at home and make sure his condition isn’t serious. Harper still wants to have dinner, and Carter lets her tag along in exchange for a home-cooked meal. Mr. Kazlaw returns to the hospital after angrily storming out, and Carol apologizes for the way he found out what was going on with his kids. She realizes he’s holding a gun, but he asks her to take it from him.

Doug’s late to the gala, despite leaving way before Mark and Morgenstern. Morgenstern decides that if he doesn’t show up, they’ll tell the crowd that he’s out looking for more people to help. Doug sends a message to Mark letting him know he’s playing pool somewhere. He gives the speech he was going to give at the gala, acknowledging Morgenstern for kissing up to him after approving his termination, and Neil for being unqualified and mediocre at his job.

Doug gets in a dig at Mark for being self-righteous and not standing up for him when Neil fired him. Mark thinks Doug is trying to go out with a bang at County. He asks why Doug’s father called. Doug mentions that his father used to say, “If you’re going to make a mistake, make it a big one.” Yes, it’s a great idea to take advice from the man who abandoned his family, only pops in when he needs money, and will later die in a car crash that was his own fault. (Uh, spoiler.)

Jeanie goes to say good night to Benton before she leaves, but he’s not so warm-ish anymore. He wants to know why she didn’t tell him she and Al had divorced. Jeanie points out that they haven’t been talking much, so it’s not like she had a chance to say anything. She insists that her and Al’s problems had nothing to do with Benton. (I bet they had a little to do with him, though.) Carter and Harper go to Wilbur’s house for what Harper says is Carter’s first house call. He does his exam and clarifies that Wilbur is fine. His mom is still not impressed.

Mark gives a speech at the gala, praising Doug for caring so much for his patience. He’s proud to present Doug with an award for community service. Doug starts his speech, worrying Mark, but instead of railing against everyone, Doug just says that the people in his life already know how he feels about them. He just expresses gratitude for the award and gets off the stage.

Carter admits to Harper that it’s scary to think he’ll be a doctor in a few months, without anyone looking over his shoulder. Harper wants to talk about something other than work. Carter decides he’s done talking, so he kisses her. She teases that he must not be able to think of anything to say to her. They make out on the street.

Doug drops his award off a roof, to Mark’s shock. Doug says that his father called him for the first time in 22 years because he saw his son on TV. Now, Doug worries that he’s acting like his father, what with his inability to make commitments and his tendency to yell at his boss. Mark jokes that maybe the problem is him, since he doesn’t like that kind of treatment. Doug asks if the fellowship is still available, and Mark says it is.

Carol comes home to find Shep on her roof, getting rid of some rotting tiles. Unfortunately, he’s gone too far and made a big hole. Carol apologizes for blindsiding him with her admission, though Shep admits that he’s the idiot here. He promises that he doesn’t think any less of her for her suicide attempt. Mostly, he’s just glad that she didn’t succeed. Carol says she is, too.

Thoughts: Kyle is played by Austin O’Brien, who was in It Guy for a while in the ’90s.

Sheesh, Doug, at least wait longer than a day after all that praise before you pull something stupid.

Daycare lady, if a guy comes in saying he’s a kid’s grandfather, but you’re not sure because his only ID is an expired driver’s license, SEND HIM AWAY. Though on second thought, an abduction from the hospital daycare might be the only crisis this show never had.

August 28, 2018

ER 2.7, Hell and High Water: It’s a Bad Day to Be a Child in Chicago

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

“Are you getting my good side? Make sure you get my good side. …Hahaha, like I have a bad side!”

Summary: Doug is in a waiting room, surrounded by children, circumstances that should make him feel more comfortable than he is. He’s there to interview for a job, and he doesn’t appreciate all the questions the kids around him are asking. At County, it’s business as usual – Mark is about to chat with a patient, Mrs. Riblet, who’s partaking in her glaucoma medication in the exam room. Connie confiscates it and says she misses the ’60s.

Jerry has discovered the magic of the Internet, and is using a CD-ROM (kids, ask your parents) and modem to connect with Mt. Sinai so the hospitals can pool their resources. Carter gives Jeanie some instructions on how best to deal with Benton, as if she doesn’t already know how impatient and prickly he can be. Harper and Carter greet each other politely but aren’t exactly warm with each other, thanks to their recent argument.

A girl named Molly Phillips is brought in after a hit-and-run, and since Doug is off at his interview, Benton runs the trauma. Carter’s able to answer Benton’s pop-quiz questions, but Harper struggles. When Carter takes a stab at a question and gets it wrong, he’s knocked down a peg. Then Harper makes a good call, and she’s back in Benton’s good graces. Carter is jealous. Meanwhile, the private-practice job Doug is interviewing for turns out to be exactly what he wants.

Back at County, Molly’s stable but has a bad leg fracture. Carter gets knocked down another peg when Jeanie reads the x-ray correctly and impresses Morgenstern. Doug arrives and tells Mark and Carol that he’s taking the private-practice job. Carol asks if it’s what he really wants. Doug notes that he doesn’t have a choice. Molly regains consciousness, and Harper tries to reassure her that everything will be okay. Benton leaves her and Carter in charge of the girl.

Mark examines Mrs. Riblet’s eyes, which appear to be free of the glaucoma she says she needs pot for. She complains of having a floating feeling, which coincidentally started the same time she started smoking. Hmmm, I wonder if there’s a connection? Linda tries to help Jerry with a computer problem as Mark hands over Mrs. Riblet’s pot. She tells Jerry he’s free to help himself. Linda’s there to drop off a costume for Doug, since they’re dressing up for a trip to the opera. Jerry passes along the pot to Doug, thinking he can use it more than Jerry can.

Benton gives Jeanie an assignment, leaving out the words “please,” “thank you,” and “I am going to treat you with respect as long as we’re working together.” Maybe he should smoke Mrs. Riblet’s pot. The connection between County and Mt. Sinai’s computers allows Carol to play Doom, a hobby I, for one, am surprised to learn she has.

Molly’s parents arrive and promise to stay with her while she’s in the hospital. She’d also like it if Mr. Phillips would move back home. He blames his wife for the accident, since she let Molly ride her bike in the rain. Mrs. Phillips shoots back that he could keep an eye on their daughter if he spent less time at the office with Sarah. Harper tries to place peacemaker, and Carter compliments her.

Doug is driving to meet Linda when he gets a flat tire. Since it’s a time before everyone had a cell phone, and he doesn’t want to walk for help in the rain, he decides to try to relax with Mrs. Riblet’s joint. Just as he’s lighting up, a boy runs up to his window, screaming for help. The boy, Joey, takes Doug to a storm drain as he explains that he and his brother were playing in the tunnels. His brother, Ben, injured his leg and is stuck by a grate. The water level is rising because of the pouring rain.

Ben starts crying over the possibility of a broken leg and the fact that he’s trapped. Doug tries to free him while talking about how he also played in the tunnels as a kid. He sends Joey to call 911, since the grate is locked and prevents Doug from getting close enough to Ben to rescue him. He tells Ben to curl up in a ball to stay warm while Doug goes to see if there’s another way into the drain.

Doug climbs up to the top of the tunnel but can’t make it in through the blocked grate up there. He goes back to Ben and makes sure he’s not too cold. The water is now up to Ben’s chin, and he’s having trouble staying conscious. Doug suggests that they sing to keep Ben awake. The two sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” and it’s clear that Clooney didn’t inherit his aunt’s singing talents.

Doug tells Ben to keep singing while he goes back out to get some supplies from his car. Joey returns, having been unable to find a phone. Doug smashes the window of a building and sends Joey inside to find a phone there. Then he returns to Ben, who’s still conscious. Doug thinks he can use a jack from his car to wedge the grate apart. As he works, the two talk about the Cubs. Doug doesn’t like the boy’s taste in players, so he suggests that they go to a game together next season.

The jack has done what Doug hoped it would, but Ben isn’t strong enough to move himself. Doug orders him to hold on. As Doug’s trying to force the grate apart, Ben slips away in the rushing water. Finally, Doug breaks down the gate and heads off after Ben. They end up in hip-deep water, which Doug carries Ben out of. A helicopter hovering overhead provides him with the light he needs to see what he’s doing to give Ben CPR.

Mark has taken over for Carol at the computer, so I guess it’s a slow night. Jeanie diagnoses one of Benton’s patients, not bothering to hide her pride at how good she is at her job. Molly gives Harper a beaded necklace she made in school as she’s taken to have some lacerations on her face repaired. Her parents fight about who her plastic surgeon should be, because that’s productive.

Doug is still doing CPR when Joey arrives with a police officer. An ambulance is coming, but Doug wants to move quickly. He thinks the helicopter above them, which is from a TV station, is a better idea. He promises Joey that he’s not going to let Ben die, even though that means using a pen to cut a hole in Ben’s airway so he can breathe.

The ambulance arrives, and Doug uses its supplies to keep helping Ben. The helicopter lands, and Joey tells the reporter and cameraman on board that Doug saved his brother. The closest hospital doesn’t have a level-one trauma center, and it would take 12 minutes to get there, so Doug again thinks of the helicopter. It would take 15 minutes to fly to County, and the helicopter isn’t equipped for medical transport, but Doug thinks it’s the better option. He takes more supplies from the ambulance, then gets Ben on the helicopter.

The reporter leaves his cameraman behind but takes the camera to film the flight himself. They’re on live TV when Doug asks the pilot to patch him through to County. This is how Carol and Mark learn of the rescue. Jerry notices the live news report and turns up the volume on the TV. The County staff get to watch in real time as Doug continues working on Ben. Mark sends everyone to prepare for his treatment when he arrives.

Ben’s heart rhythm is abnormal, and the defibrillator Doug took from the ambulance isn’t working (come on, EMTs!), so Doug has to ask the reporter for help. The reporter puts down the camera, cutting the live feed. Doug also loses the call to County, so he tells the pilot to get back on the line and let Mark know they’ll be landing on the roof. Without the live feed from the helicopter, reporters are now speculating that the rescue effort may have failed. Mark realizes that one medical reporter is right outside the hospital. “Ugh, TV doctors,” Carol metas.

Molly plays cards with Harper while she waits for surgery. She complains of stomach pain, but Benton thinks it’s just bruising. Reporters swarm the hospital, trying to get information out of Mark as he heads up to the roof. He ignores them until one asks if he questions Doug’s decision to fly Ben to the hospital instead of going in the ambulance. “Not for a second,” Mark says firmly in defense of his friend.

As soon as the helicopter lands, Mark and Carol join Doug to help him stabilize Ben. The reporter starts filming again, but he stays on the roof when the doctors take their patient inside. Meanwhile, Molly’s also doing poorly, so it looks like her “bruising” was more serious than Benton thought.

Mark sends Doug to change out of his wet clothes and warm up, but Doug wants to keep helping. Mark orders him away again, and Doug laments taking Ben on the helicopter. Harper tells Mrs. Phillips that Molly may have internal bleeding. Benton and Carter work together to help her. Now in dry scrubs, Doug heads back to Ben’s trauma room, greeting Joey and his parents on the way. Ben’s heart is beating again, but he’s not warming up quickly enough. Mark considers bypass, and when he asks Morgenstern’s opinion, Morgenstern says he’s senior enough to make the call on his own.

Next door, Benton and Carter have to perform an emergency procedure on Molly. Harper takes Mrs. Phillips away from the room so she doesn’t have to watch. Mark joins Benton and Carter, sending Benton over to help with Ben instead. Harper comes back and watches Molly’s treatment with worry. Doug tells Ben again to hold on as they try Mark’s suggestion. Unfortunately, Molly couldn’t hold on, and Mark declares her dead. Harper is crushed.

Ben wakes up, and Doug tells him he made it. Mark wants Doug to get a cut on his forehead checked out, but Doug would rather make sure Ben’s okay first. As the Phillipses leave the hospital in shock and grief, a reporter mistakes them for Ben’s parents and asks how they feel about Doug bringing their child to a hospital that wasn’t closest to the scene. Carter shuts down the interview and sees the Phillipses out.

Mark is fixing up Doug’s cuts and scrapes when Joey and his parents come in to see Ben. Joey’s pleased that Doug saved Ben just as he promised. Doug reminds Ben that they’ll be going to see the Cubs together. He thanks Mark, who says Doug did all the hard work. Doug thinks he got lucky, but Mark credits Doug’s familiarity with kids for his success. The two of them head out for the night, though Doug’s car is still in the park. He and Mark walk outside and are greeted by a crowd of reporters who want to talk to Chicago’s newest hero.

Thoughts: Ben is played by Erik von Detten.

Clooney spends most of the episode in formal wear. Thank you, wardrobe department.

Even after all these years, the shot of Doug finally finding Ben and lifting him out of the water is still really cool.

August 21, 2018

ER 2.6, Days Like This: Aggravated Mayhem

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

“I know you’re not feeling well, sir, but we’re talking about me now”

Summary: Mark stops at a payphone somewhere downtown to call Doug and leave a message asking him to bring him some paperwork. At County, the staff is trying to handle a mass gang shooting. A man named Abraham Zimble comes looking for Carol; he’s a mobile notary and she’s asked him to sign some paperwork so she can buy a house. She doesn’t have time right now, though, so Abraham will have to wait. Susan notes that with Carter and Benton in surgery, Doug MIA, and Mark on his way in from Milwaukee, the ER staff is currently all female. Malik objects.

Unable to reach Doug, Mark goes to his apartment to get the paperwork himself. He offers to wait and go to work with Doug, but Doug nervously tells him to go on ahead. He’s unable to rush Mark out of the apartment before he can discover that Doug isn’t alone – and he’s not with Hulda or Linda. He’s with Harper. Mark blasts Doug for sleeping with a med student, warning that he could be fired. And unless Mark wants to get in trouble for not saying anything, he’ll have to report this to Doug’s superiors.

Jeanie reports for work in the ER as a physicians’ assistant. Weaver pretends that she’ll have a warm welcome, like Weaver’s own. Thanks to her history as a physical therapist, Jeanie knows how to read an x-ray, which makes Weaver happy. The person who isn’t happy is Benton, who’s shocked to see his ex in the ER. He completely ignores her.

Now at work, Mark helps out with one of the gunshot victims. Doug wants to talk, for some reason thinking this is a good time. When he doesn’t get the hint, Mark snaps at him to go away. While Jerry and Randi try to handle all the chaos, Al (the police officer, not Jeanie’s husband) brings in a gang member who bit him. The gang member, Jorge, tries to argue that he was justified, since Al’s dog bit him first. The gang member calls Randi a nasty name, so she tackles him and screams in his face. And that’s when we all learned not to mess with Randi.

Harper finds Mark after he’s done with his trauma and asks to talk to him. Abraham has become a patient, having collapsed in the cafeteria. Mark’s surprised to hear that Carol bought a house; apparently she got a great deal. Carter chats amiably with Jeanie, which makes Benton even more annoyed than he was before. Jeanie looks like, if she hadn’t already broken up with him, this would make her want to.

Carter goes off to do some dumb assignment for Benton and runs into Harper. He invites her to a Blues Traveler concert (awww, remember Blues Traveler?), but she says they need to talk. He’d rather hear what she has to say right now, though he probably changes his mind when she announces that she slept with Doug.

Al has handcuffed Jorge to a gurney while he has his hand examined. Weaver and Jeanie try to ignore him, then go take care of his wounds. Jorge reacts badly, attacking them both and trying to run away (even while he’s still handcuffed to the gurney). Randi uses Weaver’s crutch to knock him out. Weaver’s impressed, as she should be. “Just don’t tell my parole officer,” Randi replies.

Doug disagrees with Neil, his boss (who hates him), about whether or not a kid named Joseph should be admitted. Neil says no, and since he’s in charge, he gets the last word. Jerry, Lydia, and Wendy wonder what Randi did; Jerry says assault, Lydia says grand theft auto, and Wendy says kidnapping. They start a betting pool. Doug defies Neil’s orders and tells Jerry to admit Joseph.

Benton examines a man named Mr. Lake who had chest pain but isn’t feeling it anymore. Benton wants him to be seen by a cardiac surgeon, Carl Vucelich, in case he has an aortic aneurysm. Mr. Lake is hesitant and asks Susan’s opinion, since Susan was his original doctor. She defers to Benton, then pulls Benton out of the room to ask why he got involved. She suspects that he’s using Mr. Lake to get an in with Vucelich in hopes of being invited to assist on his aortic aneurysm study.

Doug runs into Harper and apologizes for the post-sex awkwardness. Harper has no hard feelings. Carol signs her paperwork as Abraham, who thinks he had a heart attack, wonders if his job is too stressful. It’s hard for him to watch people sign paperwork they haven’t fully read, then pay a bunch of money for houses they might not be able to completely afford. Carol tries to ignore him and finish signing.

Mr. Lake doesn’t need surgery after all, so Benton has to cancel Vucelich’s consult. Susan feels bad that Benton no longer has an in with him (or she at least pretends she feels bad). Mark tracks down Doug on the roof and confronts him for admitting Joseph behind Neil’s back. Doug changes the topic of conversation to Harper, insisting that he didn’t seduce her. Mark says it doesn’t matter; he still broke the rules. He also slept with Carter’s girlfriend. Doug says Carter has nothing to do with this. Mark spits out that, as usual, it’s all about Doug.

Benton’s supposed to give Weaver a few stitches (courtesy of Jorge’s attack), but she got impatient waiting and asked Jeanie to do them. She invites Benton to talk Jeanie through the process. Benton does so as if he’s trying to break a Guinness record for the fastest suture-instruction-giver. “He’s nothing if not thorough,” Weaver quips to Jeanie. Malik makes his guess for the What Did Randi Do? pool, suspecting that she was busted for breaking and entering. Chuny thinks assault with a knife is more likely. Carol tells Jerry to stop mocking Randi for an experience that must have been demoralizing and humiliating.

Vucelich comes to the ER, even though Benton canceled his consult, and tells Benton and Susan that Mr. Lake does need surgery. Benton thought his aortic dissection was within the limits for medical treatment, but Vucelich tells him to expand those limits. He spoke to Mr. Lake himself, and the patient has agreed to surgery, so Vucelich is doing it. He invites Benton to join him, and Benton allows Carter to come along.

Neil yells at Doug for admitting Joseph, and the two have a fight in the hallway, within Carol’s hearing. Neil reminds Doug that his fellowship ends on New Year’s Eve, and it’s not going to be renewed. In the OR, Carter’s pleasant personality and inquisitive nature make Vucelich and Morgenstern appreciate his presence. Benton, with his…lack of both of those things, seems like a fun-killer.

Abraham urges Carol to finish her paperwork, wondering if she’s putting it off because she’s not sure she really wants the house. Carol says she’s just busy. It’s not clear whether she’s relieved when Jeanie gets puked on and Carol has an excuse to delay the signing a little longer, but she might be. She tries to talk to Doug, who pretends nothing’s wrong.

Carter’s a little more willing to talk to Harper, who tells him she made a mistake and it won’t happen again. He notes that they only went out a few times and kissed once, so it’s not really like she cheated. She didn’t even need to tell him. Carter says it’s not that big of a deal, but to Carter, everything’s a big deal. Harper says that yesterday was the worst day of her life, what with having to help with Chia-Chia’s lumbar puncture. She wanted to end the day with someone who’d been through it with her.

Susan and Doug tend to a girl who had a seizure while trying to pretend that Doug didn’t just get yelled at by his boss. Jeanie tells Peter that she tried to avoid having to work with him, but County is the only hospital nearby with an ER rotation. He acts dismissive, and she asks if he’s going to be like that the whole time she’s there. They should try being professional and civil.

Mark meets with Morgenstern and Neil to discuss the Doug situation. Neil refuses to budge on his decision to renew Doug’s fellowship, no matter how good a doctor he is. Mark goes to bat for his friend, but Morgenstern doesn’t think anyone can control Doug, even Mark. It doesn’t matter how much he’s needed in the ER.

Mark then goes to talk to Harper, who’s worried about what the discovery of her fling means. She’s afraid that her career will be defined by one night with Doug. Without coming right out and saying it, she asks Mark not to tell anyone about the fling. Doug goes back to his seizure patient, who’s awake and agitated. Weaver tries to comfort her, demonstrating a bedside manner that’s very different from the way she talks to her colleagues. Doug thinks she could have even had a good career in pediatrics.

Jeanie deals with a patient named Mr. Stubey who really doesn’t want a nurse. Jeanie assures him that she’s not one. Then he pees on the floor. Womp womp. Benton summons Harper to help with a patient, which means she and Carter will have to be in the same room at the same time and pretend everything’s fine. You know, like everyone else working in the hospital today. As soon as Carter gets an excuse to leave, he does.

Carol catches Doug moping about his life, though he admits that it felt good yelling at Neil. He’s been at County longer than he’s ever been anywhere or with anyone, so he’s accepted that it’s time to move on. Carol offers to talk if he wants to call her later. At the admit desk, Weaver hears the pool participants bickering over whether they should ask Randi what she did. Weaver calls them wimps and asks Randi herself. Randi gives them a list: “malicious mischief, assault, battery, carrying a concealed weapon, and aggravated mayhem.” Sounds like she’s a perfect fit for the ER.

Carol’s having a light-hearted phone conversation with Shep when Lydia tells her that Abraham is crashing. Carol realizes she only has two pages left to sign, and she rushes to finish them before Abraham dies. I’m sure Susan and the nurses in the room appreciate her lack of help. Carol finishes buying her house just in time.

Doug tries to talk to Carter, who’s blowing off some steam at the hospital’s basketball hoop. Doug attempts to join the game, apologizing for sleeping with Harper and urging Carter to give her another chance. Carter said he listened to her side of things, and he needs time to make peace with what happened. Weaver realizes that the seizure patient is deaf and speaks sign language. Weaver knows some sign and is able to tell the girl, Janie, that she’s going to be okay.

Carol takes Shep to her new house, though “new” isn’t a word that’s been applied to this place in quite a while. It’s pretty clear why Carol got such a good deal. Also, it’s right under some El tracks, so it can’t be much fun to live there. Still, Carol’s excited, and Shep’s excited for her, celebrating by carrying her over the threshold.

Mark runs into Doug on an El platform and confirms that he didn’t tell Morgenstern that Doug and Harper slept together. He chastises Doug for admitting Joseph when it was clear he didn’t need to be; Doug was just pushing Neil’s buttons, the same way he’s been pushing Mark. Doug can’t – or, more likely, won’t – explain why. He just waits until Mark leaves and mopes by himself some more.

Thoughts: Vucelich is played by Ron Rifkin. Jorge is played by an unrecognizable Guillermo Diaz.

Al’s K-9 partner is named Peggy. I love it when dogs have names like that.

Suggestion for season 7 of Orange is the New Black: a cross-over featuring Randi. (Fun fact: Yvette Freeman, AKA Haleh, played one of Frieda’s Golden Girls in season 2 of OITNB.)

Shep’s mustache: NO.

August 14, 2018

ER 2.5, And Baby Makes Two: In Which Benton Learns That Caring About Your Patients Is, Like, a Thing

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

Okay, this is sweet

Summary: Mark is still staying at Doug’s place, and Doug is still seeing at least one of his girlfriends. At County, everyone’s in a good mood since it’s Weaver’s day off. There’s popcorn and dancing. Carter’s still benefiting from Benton’s finger injury, and is a little too gleeful about it. Benton punishes him by making him deal with a patient who has a flashlight…um…someplace he shouldn’t have a flashlight.

The doctor Susan thought might want to adopt Susie is, indeed, very interested. Susan talks with a social worker who encourages her to set up an arrangement that makes her feel comfortable. She shouldn’t rush into anything. Susan doesn’t think taking her time will make anything easier. The potential parents, Kevin and Lisa, seem great, but Susan may be starting to doubt her decision.

Chia-Chia’s back, very sick with the flu. Benton’s been working with medical patients instead of surgical ones, and he’s not happy about it. Doug tells Mei-Sun that he needs to give Chia-Chia a spinal tap. Carol examines a woman with a migraine, though when she starts making excuses for why she can’t take certain medications, Carol gets suspicious that she’s an addict looking for a painkiller fix. She tells Harper that it won’t be long before she can spot a scammer.

Benton decides to remove his finger splint a day early so he can go back to surgery. It’s bad timing, since his next patient, Vickie, squeezes his hand to try to keep him from touching her. Carol shows Harper the hospital’s Turkey File, which includes the names of drug-seekers. The migraine patient, Lottie, is in it. Harper thinks it’s sad, but Carol says what’s really sad is when a patient cons you out of drugs multiple times before you catch on and realize you were being scammed.

As a nurse trainee named E-Ray Bozman arrives to start work, Mark enlists Harper to help Doug with Chia-Chia’s lumbar puncture. Doug resists getting assistance from a student, but Mark tells him his only other choice is E-Ray, who’s put on Morgenstern’s lab coat over his tie-dyed shirt. Susan takes Susie to the park and tries to convince herself that letting Kevin and Lisa adopt the baby is the right choice. She’d like to keep Susie, but she’s not sure she could be a good mother.

Vickie’s been assaulted, and Haleh sees from her medical records that it’s not the first time, thanks to her abusive husband. Benton passes her off to a social worker, saying it’s not his job to talk to Vickie. Doug does the spinal tap while Harper and Mei-Sun hold him still. Doug has heard that Chia-Chia likes his neighbor’s dog, so he starts talking about the dog he had as a kid. When the boy stops fighting the procedure, Doug tells Harper he surrendered.

Jerry’s so happy with Weaver’s absence that he’s ordered a cake. He and Carter try to keep Mark from seeing it, since it has an anti-Weaver message on it. Carter invites Harper to get lunch with him, then dinner when she declines, but she’s not as enthusiastic about hanging out with him as she’s been in the past. Loretta arrives with back pain as E-Ray tells Carol about his various careers, including UPS delivery man and rodeo clown. He’s also an inspirational speaker, and since he likes to nurture people, he figured nursing was a good career path.

Harper gets Chia-Chia’s test results, though the lab didn’t have enough spinal fluid to run all the tests Doug wanted. Mark prescribes Loretta bed rest, though she was supposed to go to a job interview for a receptionist position. She doesn’t think she’ll get it, though, since most places take one look at her and decline to hire her. Lydia figures it’s because of her clothes and offers her from the hospital’s stash. Their owners may have died, but some of those owners were rich and had nice wardrobes. (It’s much less creepy if you just tell yourself the people weren’t wearing the clothes when they died.)

Doug tells Mei-Sun that they’ll have to do another spinal tap to get more fluid. Susan tells Mark that she wants to go over all her work options before she makes her final decision about Susie. If she keeps the baby, she would have to switch her residency to part-time. Mark isn’t sure, but he’ll try to work something out with Morgenstern. Carol brings Carter to E-Ray’s patient and are stunned to see that E-Ray shaved the man’s entire head, instead of just the small portion where he needed stitches. E-Ray says they talked about transformation in order to make a life change.

Ms. McGillis, the social worker Benton handed Vickie over to, asks him to note in her chart that she didn’t have any injuries to her hands or arms. This indicates that she didn’t fight back against her husband, which means she’s in danger of being killed. Benton admits that he didn’t ask Vickie what happened. He doesn’t think she’ll talk to McGillis, since she didn’t talk to him. (Maybe McGillis will actually ask her, though, since she actually cares about the patient, unlike some people whose names rhyme with Skeeter Fenton.)

Lydia helps Loretta pick out a professional outfit, because she also cares about her patients, Peter. As Doug and Harper return to Chia-Chia for the second lumbar puncture, Benton finally does his job, asking Vickie how she got hurt. She claims she got hurt and doesn’t want any help. Benton tells her he’ll have to report her assault to the police, but she knows from experience that that won’t make a difference.

Doug does Chia-Chia’s next lab test himself, praising Harper for her work with the boy in a tough situation. They determine that Chia-Chia has meningitis and is nearing the end of his life. Benton asks Carol to call the police for Vickie, then detains Carter from performing surgery by assigning him a patient with a minor injury. But both of them get sidetracked by a patient who was hit by a car and lost his arm. Well, not lost, really, since it’s in his backseat. But it’s not attached to him anymore.

Doug and Harper tell Mei-Sun that Chia-Chia needs to receive medication through his spine – basically the reverse of the spinal tap. He’ll need it twice a day for ten days. They’ll at least be able to give him a catheter so they don’t have to keep sticking him with needles. Once Chia-Chia has fought of the meningitis, his body will be able to focus on fighting his AIDS. Mei-Sun reluctantly agrees to the treatment.

Carter treats his patient’s finger while all the other doctors get to have fun with the one-armed man. He notices a strange mole on his patient’s arm and gets permission to examine it more closely. Mark, Benton, Carol, and Haleh work on the one-armed man before sending him to surgery. Susan takes Susie to see her parents, Cookie and Henry. They’re enjoying being grandparents, so when Susan mentions adoption, they object. She suggests that they help with childcare while she’s at work, but that leads to an argument.

Even without being involved in a big trauma or a surgery, Carter has achieved a victory: His patient’s mole is melanoma, and Carter’s going to be allowed to biopsy his possibly cancerous lymph node. He brags to Harper, who points out that his glee over getting to do the procedure is actually glee that a man has cancer. So I don’t think they’ll be having dinner together.

Benton spots a police officer talking to Vickie and says he hopes the officer had some success getting her to talk about her assault. But the officer is the assailant – he’s Vickie’s husband. Suddenly it’s very clear why she said that calling the police wouldn’t make a difference. Benton makes the big mistake of asking the officer, Michael, what goes through his head when he’s beating his wife. Oh, Benton. Don’t tick off a violent guy with a gun.

Carol tells the one-armed man’s wife that the doctors are working on reattaching his arm. She says they only have insurance for a few more days, since her husband, Jason, lost his job a few months ago. Carol is kind to the wife, Carrie, who admits that she’s worried that Jason’s actually dead and they’re keeping it quiet for some reason. E-Ray comes in to help Carter with the biopsy as Carter tells the patient, Mr. Forchet, that he has cancer. Forchet can’t believe that he came in for stitches and now has a potentially fatal illness. He starts crying, as does E-Ray, who encourages him to let it out.

Benton talks to another officer about Vickie, agreeing to testify on her behalf if necessary. The cop says that it doesn’t matter to him that one of his fellow officers was the assailant – he should be punished. Doug tells Mark about his plans for Chia-Chia’s treatment, but Mark thinks it might be too extreme. Not like Doug’s going to listen to him, though. Susan takes Susie to Kevin and Lisa’s house, getting a glimpse of Lisa playing with her son. It looks like an ideal family scene, but Susan obviously still has reservations.

Randi shows Jerry, Lydia, and Haleh some of her fashion designs, hoping to have her own line someday. Carol tells Carrie that Jason’s arm has been reattached, even though the chances were small that the surgery would be successful. Carrie asks for some Valium, then decides to smoke a cigarette to calm herself instead. Carol’s like, “You get that this is good news, right? You can be happy now, if you feel like that’s something you want to do.”

Mark approaches Mei-Sun to make sure she understands the side effects Chia-Chia may have to endure. If she wants, they can give Chia-Chia medicine to make him comfortable, and she can take him home. Even with treatment for meningitis, Chia-Chia doesn’t have much time left. Mei-Sun is confused, since Doug led her to believe differently.

As Carol realizes that she’s missing a syringe of morphine (gee, I wonder who took it?), Michael arrives in the ER. The cop Benton spoke to claims that he fell while chasing a suspect. No dummy, Benton knows exactly what happened, and when he doesn’t comment on the situation, the other cop gets that he won’t be ratted out.

Harper reads Now We Are Six to Chia-Chia as Doug comes in to start his treatment. Mei-Sun announces that she wants to take her son home instead of putting him through more pain. Also no dummy, Doug realizes that Mark is behind this, but he supports Mei-Sun’s decision. Carol and Haleh find Carrie high on the bathroom floor, and the morphine loosens her tongue so that she reveals what really happened to Jason: She chopped off his arm with an axe. The nurses find both Jason and Carrie in the Turkey File.

Doug confronts Mark for telling Mei-Sun that she shouldn’t have Chia-Chia treated for meningitis. Mark knows that miracles are few and far between, but Doug thinks that if Rachel were in Chia-Chia’s position, Mark would bet on a miracle. Loretta returns to tell Lydia that she landed the receptionist job. “Of course, I had to do the guy,” she admits.

Harper has been shaken by Chia-Chia’s case, and Doug finds her crying in an exam room. She thinks he was right to keep fighting for Chia-Chia; it showed that he really cares for his patients. She’s not sure what to do after a day like this one, and when Doug suggests alcohol, she agrees. Mark tracks down Susan and lets her know that Morgenstern is willing to try to get her residency bumped down to part-time. Susan announces that, like Madonna, she’s made up her mind: She’s keeping the baby.

Thoughts: Henry is played by Paul Dooley.

In E-Ray’s defense, Carol told him to shave the patient’s head. She didn’t give him any specifics.

I know drug users don’t usually display the best logic, but…chopping off an arm with an axe? That’s just overkill. A broken bone would do the trick.

August 7, 2018

ER 2.4, What Life?: Everything’s Coming Up Carter

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

Hulda seems more fun than Linda anyway

Summary: Mark’s asleep – drink! Hulda wakes him up in Doug’s apartment so he can take a call from Rachel and Jen. Susan’s having a much more hectic morning, trying to get both herself and Susie ready on her own. Benton’s having an angry morning, since his car’s out of commission and Walt is out on a test drive instead of fixing it. Jackie tells her brother not to take his bad mood out on Walt, since it’s his own fault he messed around with a married woman and got hurt.

Susan makes a stop at a store so she can buy diapers, then tries to chase off a guy who wants to clean her windshield. He recognizes her from a trip to the ER and asks for Demerol. She thinks he’s getting too close to the baby, but he just wants to make sure she doesn’t forget her diapers. At County, Carter waits for Benton while Weaver lectures Harper about wearing too many earrings.

Benton finally makes it to work in a loaner car, but someone steals the parking space he was about to pull into. Things turn physical – there are prosthetic limbs involved – and Benton hurts his finger. Susan comes in late, happy to see that things are slow. In reality, everyone’s just outside bringing in patients from a big traffic accident. Well, everyone except Carol and Shep, who have enough time to confirm their date that night.

Randi replaces Susie’s wardrobe while Harper wonders if Weaver’s seen her outfit. Lydia and Connie are proud of Carol for landing a date with Shep, but Doug just makes fun of his name. Susan tells Carol that she can claim that Chloe abandoned Susie after she’s been gone three months. Carol notes that Chloe might come back, but Susan doesn’t think she deserves a second chance.

Susan examines a ma with belly pain, thinking he just has indigestion, though it could be from heart trouble. He’s more interested in what’s for lunch than in his health. Carter and Harper went to a concert the night before and decide to get dinner together. He’s secretly taken an x-ray of Benton’s hand and determined that he dislocated a joint in his finger. Benton’s story is that he slammed it in his car door. He and Carter head in to help with one of the accident victims, and since Benton can’t do a necessary procedure, he announces that Carter will handle it.

Susan takes Susie to daycare, hoping this is just a temporary arrangement. She at least has a babysitter coming by for an interview that afternoon. Mei-Sun brings in Chia-Chia, remembering the order Doug gave her to always bring the child straight to him instead of going to the pediatric clinic. Weaver accidentally annoys Susan by asking Mark if she can deal with someone who’s threatening to sue and wanted to talk to someone in charge.

Carter’s thrilled that Benton’s injury has allowed him more responsibility. He finally fixes the dislocation, but Benton doesn’t even bother to thank him. Shep calls in on the radio for what he claims is a noon calibration check. Lydia thinks he just wanted to hear Carol’s voice. Benton spots Weaver talking to the man who wants to sue – it’s the guy he attacked in the parking lot. Benton quickly steers Hicks away from the conversation before he can be spotted.

As a cab driver brings in an elderly woman who can’t speak, Susan, Harper, and Haleh determine that a 14-year-old girl named Amy is pregnant. Her clueless mother thinks she has appendicitis. Susan kicks her out so they can have a confidential conversation. Later, she complains to Weaver that she’s only getting boring cases. Weaver thought she should have a lighter load since she’s adjusting to taking care of Susie on her own. Susan coolly says that she’ll let Weaver know if she needs special treatment.

Weaver’s annoyed to learn that Doug didn’t put Chia-Chia on the patient board. Mark steps in and tells Doug to play by the rules. Amy guesses that she’s pregnant, and though she’s adamant that Susan not tell her parents, Susan tells her she’ll need some sort of support system. The woman from the cab has her medical history with her, though not her ID. She has end-stage MS and possible dementia. Carol already has some affection for her.

Hicks invites Carter to scrub in on an operation, since Benton can only observe. Benton makes a sad face. Amy’s mother has also guessed that she’s pregnant, and she’s not pleased that Susan won’t let her participate in discussions about her daughter’s condition. Weaver thinks they should call security to keep Mrs. Thompson away from Amy, but Susan says Amy’s ready to tell her. Weaver tells Susan that sometimes seemingly boring cases present challenges. “If you’re considering violence, count me in,” Doug says.

Susan was supposed to go give Susie a bottle at noon, but she’s almost an hour late. She wants the daycare workers to go ahead with the feeding, though Doug tells her she’s allowed to have a life. They vent about Weaver, cracking up Carol and Chuny. Of course, Weaver overhears, and she doesn’t appreciate that Doug used a fake cane to imitate her use of a crutch.

Mark and Harper have no luck finding a bed for their nameless patient or figuring out where she was living before she came in. Shep makes another call, this time one that’s actually work-related, and Carol hears gunshots over the radio. Carter and Hicks get along great and work well together while Benton quietly seethes on the sidelines. Carter even gets to assist with a procedure that Benton hasn’t gotten to do yet.

Susan confides in Doug that she’s thinking about adoption for Susie. He thinks she’s looking for adoptive parents and suggests a doctor in the hospital. She clarifies that she was thinking of being the adoptive parent. Susan’s hungry patient, Tom, won’t stop eating, and she’s at the end of her rope with him. Shep and Raul arrive with their patient, a 12-year-old who was shot, and Carol sees that Shep is uninjured. Instead of being relieved, she’s short with him.

The nameless woman has started moaning, and Mark decides it’s time to find her a bed, even if no doctors have agreed to admit her to their services yet. Shep and Raul try to calm the uncle of their patient, who’s desperate to see her. But it’s not because he’s worried about her – he strapped at kilo of drugs to her leg and he wants it back. Shep chases him, accusing him of shooting his own niece. The uncle gets tackled and the drugs end up everywhere.

Mark and Harper find a room for the nameless woman and tell a nurse they’ll take it, as if they’re apartment hunting. The nurse threatens to call someone with authority who can make them take the woman back to the ER, but Mark threatens to tell her supervisor that she stopped taking admissions before the end of her shift. Susan interviews a babysitter, but the woman is unwilling to work with Susan’s unfixed schedule. She reminds Susan that babies need structure and stability.

Tom has finally eaten his way to major health problems, and with Susan away, Mark and Weaver have to tend to him. They pump his stomach after realizing that he drank an entire bottle of some solution he was only supposed to get an ounce of. Weaver blames Susan for not giving Lily clearer instructions (though her instructions were clear; Tom drank the rest on his own). Mark sends the two outside to finish their fight, then tells them to meet him in the lounge for mediation.

Carter has to cancel his plans with Harper since Hicks has asked him to monitor a patient overnight. Judging by their kiss, Harper’s okay with this. Mark sternly tells Susan and Weaver that they need to learn to work together better. He wants to make it clear that he supports Weaver in her management decisions, so Susan needs to go along with them. But if Susan runs into obstacles that keep her from doing her job, Weaver needs to step up. After Susan leaves, Mark tells Weaver that Susan is a great doctor, so if there’s a problem, Weaver needs to fix it.

Immediately after the conversation ends, Susan and Doug apologize to Weaver for the conversation she overheard earlier. She accepts, but she doesn’t want to chat. Doug tells Mark it was just a misunderstanding and asks if he’s enjoying his role as peacemaker. Doug then heads off with Linda, even though he woke up in bed with Hulda that morning. Hicks suggests that Benton do physical therapy to get his finger back in shape. She even suggests a therapist: Jeanie. AWKWARD.

Weaver and Susan team up to tend to a man who fell onto a piece of equipment in which his arm is now stuck. The nameless woman’s husband has arrived and is apologetic for sending her to the hospital. He’s now unable to take care of her on his own, and he can’t afford a care facility. He came in because he missed her after just a few hours apart. Susan guesses that her and Weaver’s patient has cyanide poisoning from his job, and though Weaver isn’t certain, she lets Susan administer treatment. She turns out to be right, and Weaver’s pleased.

Mark notes to Carol that Susan has been spending a lot of time with Susie lately. It turns out he didn’t know that Chloe left, and that Susan’s taking care of the baby on her own. Raul makes a radio check (Randi wonders if he’s single) and tells Carol to answer the pay phone. It’s Shep, who wants to apologize for anything he did to make Carol mad. He’s guessed that she was worried about him, which means she cares. She has to laugh at herself.

Mark invites Hulda to get a drink with him, since Doug is out. Moments later, Doug comes home with Linda, so Mark pretends that Hulda’s his friend. It turns out the women know about each other and are fine with not being Doug’s only girlfriends. Mark decides to pass on hanging out with them to call Susan and let her know she can turn to him if she needs anything. Susan hears him leave the message, then calls the doctor Doug said might be interested in adopting Susie.

Thoughts: I recap with closed captioning on so I don’t miss anything, and whoever has to caption all the medical terminology deserves an A+ and a gold star.

Harper, stop dating the guy who keeps talking down to you.

I think Doug’s apology to Weaver is the most mature thing he does in the whole series.

July 31, 2018

ER 2.3, Do One, Teach One, Kill One: Mark’s Greene, But Carter’s Greener

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:10 pm by Jenn

Okay, I’m not mad at this

Summary: Mark and Jen have spent the past few days together in Milwaukee, and things are going so well that she gets in the shower with him. For some reason, he thinks this is a good time to bring up his idea to spend a few nights back in Chicago when he has to work early the next morning. He’ll stay at Doug’s, though Jen doesn’t like the thought of Mark being around Doug’s parade of girlfriends and one-night stands. At County, Carter presents a patient named Ed to Benton, briefly getting distracted when he sees Harper. But Benton agrees with his assessment and allows him to make Ed his own patient.

Carol does another ride-along with Shep and Raul, going with them to an apartment building to check on a landlady’s tenant. The man is dirty, overweight, has a bunch of rabbits, and is singing to himself. When he says he doesn’t want to go to the hospital, Shep and Raul start to leave, since they can’t force him. Carol doesn’t think he’s mentally competent to make decisions about his own health. Shep resists, since he just cleaned the rig, but Carol wins the argument.

Susan brings Susie in to daycare, annoyed to see that she already has four patients lined up. Weaver tells her that since she’s a resident, she needs a larger load. Wendy tells the doctors that she’s working on an article about Mark for a nursing newsletter and will be interviewing them. Benton leaves Jeanie a message to arrange a meet-up. Chuny’s interested in knowing more about his personal life. Mark examines the singing man, Mitchell, and tells Carol he’s at risk for a cerebral hemorrhage. Mitchell cries and asks what will happen to his rabbits while he’s gone. Carol volunteers Shep to look after them.

Haleh brings Doug a four-year-old HIV-positive boy named Chia-Chia, whose mother, Mei-Sun, couldn’t wake him. Doug quickly determines that Mei-Sun gave the boy too much Dilantin, a seizure medication. Carter shows Harper how to perform a pleural tap on Ed. At first Carter’s successful at draining fluid from the patient’s lungs, but then Ed starts bleeding. Carter hesitates when Harper says they should get Benton, but he soon realizes he’s in over his head.

Doug gets the Dilantin out of Chia-Chia’s system and assures the boy that everything’s okay. Benton rushes Ed to the OR, making Carter think he’ll be out of the running for a surgical residency next year. Yeah, because that’s what’s important right now – not the fact that you botched a procedure and endangered your patient’s life. Wendy interviews Haleh, who says that Mark was really helpful when he first started working at County. “So would you say that, back them, he was sort of…green?” Wendy asks. “No, Wendy. I would never say that,” Haleh replies.

Hicks and Benton work to save Ed as Carter apologizes for his screw-up. Hicks is understanding and reveals that Benton, her best student, once made a similar mistake. Because of Ed’s drinking habit, he screwed up his veins and liver, so his health wasn’t going to hold out much longer anyway. He needs a more extensive procedure to save his life. Benton notes that Carter accidentally did Ed a favor.

Susan comes across a patient named Mr. Holthouse who’s using a Tibetan singing bowl to help him relax. He determines that she’s under a lot of stress and offers to tell her about some relaxation techniques. She tells him she’s more relaxed than she looks. Jerry reveals that he’s been promoted to supervising emergency services coordinator, though the promotion is in title only, and doesn’t come with any extra benefits or responsibilities. It makes Jerry want to wear a tie to be fancy, though. Mitchell starts seizing, and Mark and Carol try to do the math to determine how much Dilantin to give him. (Is this episode sponsored by the makers of Dilantin?)

Mei-Sun tells Doug that she usually takes Chia-Chia to a pediatric clinic upstairs, but they see a different doctor every time and often have to wait a number of hours to be seen. Doug has new medication for Chia-Chia and asks Mei-Sun if she can read English. She gets offended, thinking he’s implying that she gave her son too much Dilantin because she couldn’t read the instructions. Doug realizes that she was given two prescriptions and followed both correctly. The clinic is to blame for the overdose. He tells Mei-Sun to bring Chia-Chia to him the next time he needs a doctor.

Despite having a spinning feeling, Mr. Holthouse is able to stand on his head. Weaver questions Susan’s decision to order a CT scan for a case of vertigo. They bicker a little, and Weaver ends up telling Susan to run all procedures by her. Mitchell didn’t survive the hemorrhage Mark feared he would have, so his rabbits are now owner-less. Shep feels bad for both the animals and their owner.

Doug calls one of the clinic doctors to blast him for giving Chia-Chia a prescription that, combined with one he was already given, put his life in danger. Susan complains to Mark about Weaver and asks him to tell her to back off. Carter observes as Hicks and Benton continue working on Ed, eventually fixing his liver. However, his heart is weak and they wind up having to try to shock him into rhythm.

Weaver brings up her problems with Susan to Mark, thinking Susan resents Weaver’s position. Mark delicately says that Weaver’s assertiveness might be causing a communication problem. Ed doesn’t survive his surgery, which means Carter’s first official patient has died. Benton reminds him that Ed was really unhealthy; he probably would have died of liver failure within a month if his heart hadn’t given out. Carter reluctantly goes to inform Ed’s family of his death. Benton tells him this kind of experience is how he’ll learn and become a better doctor.

Doug jokes around in his interview with Wendy, pausing to check out a woman passing by. She’s Randi Fronczak, the new clerk. She needs a physical before she can start work, and Mark silently signals that Jerry shouldn’t assign Doug the task. Malik tells Carol that a huge guy who’s high on PCP has climbed on top of an ambulance. Susan diagnoses Mr. Holthouse with inner-ear inflammation, which will heal, though he’ll have to stop standing on his head and floating in his sensory-deprivation tank for a little while. He wants to give her his prayer bowl.

Mark joins Carol, Shep, and Raul outside to try to get the high patient off the ambulance. (He doesn’t get a name, but since he’s on angel dust, I’ll call him Mr. Angel.) Mr. Angel hits Raul with something, so Mark takes Raul inside to get fixed up. Carol thinks she can talk Mr. Angel down, but Mr. Angel isn’t in a rational place; he keeps yelling for someone named Mara. He expresses his displeasure at her absence by pulling the lights off the top of the ambulance and tossing them on the ground.

Jerry asks Susan to give Randi a physical, which Susan “completes” by telling Randi to inhale and exhale. Ed’s roommate, Olaf, shows up, and Carter has to tell him about Ed’s death. Olaf doesn’t care – he just wants the remote control Ed hid from him. Carol and Shep come up with a plan where Carol distracts Mr. Angel while Shep climbs up to inject him with Haldol. Mr. Angel starts spitting at Carol, but Shep doesn’t let that stop him. Benton tracks down Jeanie and tells her they really need to meet. Doug runs into Chloe, who’s visiting Susie and thinks she’s sick (she’s not). Chloe acts a little strange when Doug asks if Susan knows she’s there.

Susan and Haleh work on a prisoner named Curtis who swallowed razor blades to earn himself a trip to the hospital. He put tape on the blades first, so he hasn’t caused any internal damage. Weaver thinks they should leave the blades inside him, but Susan wants to remove them. At an impasse, Susan tells Harper to get Mark. Mark sides with Weaver, telling Susan they can remove the blades if he starts bleeding later.

Chuny presents Carter with Ed’s liver, which was removed so it could be taken to pathology. He’s in charge of taking it there. Mark gives Wendy an interview, telling her about an intense case he once handled. The patient died, though, so it’s not really a compelling story. Susan goes to do something on a computer at the front desk and discovers that Weaver loaded an instructional program using her own voice. This is the last straw for Susan, who storms off to complain some more to Mark.

Doug agrees to let Mark crash at his place, though they might not be the only people there. Neil yells at Doug for yelling at one of his residents, then warns that he’s dangerously close to losing his job. Even his buddy Mark won’t be able to help him. Carol hears Susan ringing the prayer bowl in the bathroom but decides not to ask any questions. Harper finds Carter with Ed’s liver and suggests that they “give him a send-off.”

Carol runs into Shep and Raul as they’re fixing up their rig, and Shep asks Carol to go out with him. She tells him this isn’t a good time, but it’s not a no forever. Shep teases that she’s dated too many doctors; she’s “shopping in the wrong part of the store.” Instead of looking for Gucci, she should be in the automotive department. This wins her over, and she agrees to a date. Meanwhile, Benton waits for Jeanie, but she doesn’t show up to meet him.

Doug checks in on Chia-Chia and finds Mei-Sun crying in his room. She feels guilty for giving her son HIV, and thinks she’s being punished since he’s sick and she’s healthy. Doug tries to comfort her. Benton waits for Jeanie at her car and angrily asks how long he has to wait for her to tell Al about their affair. She’s upset that he made an ultimatum. Benton figures this is her answer – she’s not going to leave her husband for him. Doug and Mark go to Doug’s place, where Hulda the flight attendant has let herself in to wait for her boyfriend. She’s not concerned about Mark seeing her naked, something I don’t think he’ll be telling Jen about.

As Susan’s leaving for the night, she runs into Chloe, who’s on something. She has a big plan to sell stuff at a flea market, but apparently not a flea market in Chicago. She’s leaving to make some money, and she’s not taking Susie with her. Susan is now, suddenly, a single mother. In less angsty ends to the day, Carter and Harper take Ed’s liver to a bar and raise a glass to the man.

Thoughts: Mei-Sun is played by Lucy Liu.

Show, if having Shep cuddle a bunny was an attempt to get me to like him, it didn’t work. Nice try, though. (And it’s a good look for Ron Eldard.)

This week in pointless plots: Wendy’s. Poor Wendy.

July 24, 2018

ER 2.2, Summer Run: Welcome to Hell

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:11 pm by Jenn

Reason #483 not to tick off Benton

Summary: Carol’s doing her ambulance ride-along with Shep and Raul, and their first patient is a teenager with multiple gunshot wounds. There’s another teen victim, but Raul quickly determines that he’s beyond saving. They head off with the other boy, Payaso, whom the paramedics are familiar with. They leave the dead boy behind with his weeping mother. “Welcome to Hell,” Shep tells Carol.

Weaver has started her new job at County and has already ticked off Doug. She’s also told Bob not to fetch food for him anymore. Carol and the paramedics bring Payaso in for Susan to try to save, though he’s been unresponsive for 35 minutes. He starts bleeding a bunch, so it’s not looking good. Benton goes looking for Carter but instead finds Harper, who tells him they were up really late. She’s getting dressed, so Benton would be justified in thinking that they slept together.

Weaver meets Carol and thinks she’s a paramedic. She tells Susan it’s time to give up on Payaso and turn their attention to a patient who can be saved. Susan refuses, so Weaver calls Payaso’s time of death. As things get hectic in the trauma room, Carol welcomes Shep to her own Hell. Carter swears to Benton that he and Harper didn’t sleep together; they just shared adjoining beds in a quiet corner of the hospital. Benton doesn’t care, and just wants to make sure Carter’s ready for the operation they’ll be performing later. (He’s…probably not.)

Once things have calmed down, Weaver chats with Carol about implementing some new policies in the ER. They’re things that would make the nurses’ jobs easier, and Weaver’s willing to make sure they happen. Still, Carol thinks the change in personnel will be tough. Carter and Morgenstern scrub in together, and Morgenstern finally explains why he’s back: He went to Brigham to head up a new emergency department, but it was never approved, so he came back to County. He’d rather operate than work with all the researchers at the other hospital anyway.

Benton and Jeanie quietly try to make plans to get together while not letting anyone else in on their secret relationship. Chloe brings Susie by for daycare before heading to her business class. Susan forgot about a job fair Chloe’s going to that afternoon, which means that, for probably the first time, Chloe’s more on top of things than her sister is. Carter assists while Benton and Morgenstern operate on a man’s arm, and by “assists,” I mean that he holds the guy’s arm up when a pulley could be doing the job. Benton’s punishing him for oversleeping.

Mark comes in from Milwaukee and tells Susan a horror story about his awful commute. She and Doug tell him in vague terms that Weaver isn’t going to be fun to work with. Jeanie calls Al and lies that she has to attend a study group that night, so she probably won’t be home until midnight. (If you feel bad for him because she’s cheating on him, just know that she’s not the only one who’s broken their marriage vows.)

The paramedics bring in a woman covered in maple syrup, which at least means they don’t have to frantically try to save her. Loretta’s back, and Mark thinks she has pelvic inflammatory disease. Carol says it’s a job hazard, meaning Loretta’s a prostitute. Doug examines a boy named Byron who set a fire in the hotel room where he and his mother, Cindy, live. Well, where they used to live, since she figures they won’t be allowed back.

Mark questions Harper and another med student, Barinski, about Loretta’s possible diagnosis. Like Mark, she thinks she has PID. Harper knows her stuff, but Barinski doesn’t. In fact, Loretta knows more than he does. Susan is summoned to daycare since Susie has a fever, which means she has to be sent home. Susan rushes the baby downstairs for an exam. Doug tells Haleh to call a psychiatrist for Byron, then agrees to examine Susie. Susan’s overly concerned and tells Bob to call Chloe, but Doug doesn’t think the baby’s too sick.

Mark, Harper, and Barinski move on to another patient, and again, Barinski doesn’t know what’s going on. Carter makes a diagnosis, but Benton isn’t impressed. Carol and Shep nab some supplies from the hospital, which is apparently okay. Weaver asks them to tell Payaso’s mother that her son didn’t make it. Despite being familiar with Payaso, Shep doesn’t know his family, and he doesn’t think this should be part of his job. Carol goes with him to tell Payaso’s mother and sister what happened. Since Mrs. Rodriguez doesn’t speak English, Shep has to translate. It’s sad in both English and Spanish.

Carter takes Benton to a patient named Rawlings who has abdominal pain. Benton determines that he needs to go to the OR immediately, and he’s impressed that Carter diagnosed the patient on his own and has already made arrangements for his surgery. Weaver nitpicks Susan’s medication orders, telling her that since the nurses at County are so great, the doctors need to make things easier on them. Doug determines that Susie just has a cold and will be fine in a few days. The bad news is that Chloe isn’t at business school…and hasn’t gone to class in three weeks. She dropped out and didn’t tell Susan.

Mark tries to get Susan to help with a trauma case, since she’s been sitting by the front desk with Susie for about 20 minutes. “It’s all very exciting,” Mark promises. Carter tells Harper about a surgery he helped with, mansplaining something to her. He pretends that he didn’t have to participate much in the arm surgery because it’s so basic. Benton finds Harper practicing inserting IVs on Carter and is at a loss for words.

Doris brings in a man who robbed a bank and wasn’t so successful making his getaway. Susan’s in a bad mood and snaps at Connie, who just exchanges an eyeroll with Lydia. The nurses find money the robber stuffed in his clothes, then soon discover that the dye pack in with the money makes a big mess when deployed. Good thing Susan’s wearing a clear mask over her face. Carol and the paramedics are called to get a patient, but another
rig has already arrived. The paramedics decide to take a break and get some snow cones.

Benton praises Carter for his steady, calm work in the OR. He’s invited to scrub in the next morning, but not to sit with Benton and his buddies. Susan cleans up the dye while Weaver tries to make polite small talk. Susan doesn’t even soften when Weaver tells her how cute Susie is. Mark asks Susan what’s going on, and Susan complains about Weaver’s management style. Mark wonders if Weaver thinks Susan is as abrasive as Susan thinks she is.

Shep and Carol ride a Ferris wheel (even though he’s afraid of heights) and get to know each other. Raul has to stay on the ground, because I guess it’s harder for Shep to flirt when another guy is around. Cindy wants to leave Byron in the hospital so she can go to work. Doug reluctantly promises to keep Byron there until his mom comes back. He’s in with a psychiatrist, but it’s not the one Doug requested. This one is Paul Myers, a resident, and Weaver called him. While Doug and Myers are out of the room, Byron sets another fire. Freaking A, kid.

Benton spots Jeanie and her broken-down car on his way out of the hospital. He asks why she didn’t call him to give her a hand. He doesn’t see that Al (now played by the very handsome Michael Beach) is there. He’s completely oblivious that his wife is having an affair, or that her affair partner is standing right there. Cindy returns to County wanting to take Byron off to her cousin’s house without finishing up his much-needed psychiatric evaluation. She promises to follow up later, hopefully before Byron burns down the cousin’s house.

Doug confronts Weaver for calling Myers, since he’s a resident and doesn’t specialize in children. Weaver doesn’t care that the other doctor owes Doug a favor – Myers was available, and Byron needed immediate help. Plus, Myers has to follow the hospital’s protocols, which means they would know if he was following up appropriately. She blames the second fire on Doug, since he left Byron alone in the room. (I blame whoever left fire-starting materials in the room with a known pyromaniac.) She also blames Doug for Cindy’s decision to leave against medical advice.

Connie finds Susan in the lounge with Susie, who’s been having trouble staying asleep. Connie reveals that she’s pregnant with her third child. Susan apologizes for snapping at her earlier, but Connie considers them even, since Susan got hit with all the dye. Mark, Weaver, and Carter tend to a high school football player named Daniel who took a hit to the chest. Weaver thinks he has a complication that’s pretty rare in this case. She tells Daniel it’s weird, which makes him a weird guy, but they like that about him. Weaver keeps the patient calm while still managing to teach Carter. I think Mark’s impressed.

At home, Susan tells Chloe that she knows she dropped out of school. Chloe’s spent a few days waitressing, so at least she’s made some money. The classes made her feel dumb, and she never fit in with her classmates. She wanted to succeed, to show both her sister and daughter that she could. She kept quiet about dropping out because she didn’t want to disappoint Susan. But once again, she’s screwed up. Susan asks what happened to the waitressing job, and when Chloe doesn’t answer, Susan knows she’s screwed up yet again.

Mark misses his train to Milwaukee, which I’m sure Jen will respond to with understanding and polite good humor. Benton and Jeanie meet up, but he’s decided that they can’t keep sneaking around. He wants her to tell Al about their affair.

Thoughts: Barinski is played by Richard Speight, Jr.

Apparently a lot of people like Shep both before and after he becomes aggressive. I’m not one of them.

I also don’t see Benton’s appeal. Is he secretly a good conversationalist? Does he have a sense of humor we don’t know about? Or is he just really good in bed?

 

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