August 1, 2020

Felicity 2.8, Family Affairs: Not Talking Turkey

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:13 pm by Jenn

It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without a big fight in Elena’s bedroom

Summary: David surprises Felicity in her dorm room as she’s leaving a message for her parents. She told them previously that she has too much work to come home for Thanksgiving, but she thinks they don’t believe her. David suggests having a casual Thanksgiving together. They start making out on her bed (with the door open), so she puts a Post-It on the door. It doesn’t do its intended job, and Meghan comes in anyway. Felicity snaps at her, and Meghan says she was doing her a favor, but since Felicity’s being a jerk, she won’t do it. The favor was going to be to warn Felicity that her parents are in the building.

Felicity tells Sally via tape that she wants her parents to leave. She loves them, of course, but there are a lot of things she hasn’t told them about her life. The Porters meet David, then get reintroduced to Meghan, who pretends she’s really into helping the kids in the dorm and is starting a recycling campaign. She’s also wearing what looks to be lingerie as a shirt, but no one comments on that. Anyway, the Porters want to have Thanksgiving with Felicity, then do their own thing while she studies. Felicity says she and David have plans, so Barbara invites him to hang out with the family.

At Dean & DeLuca, Javier offers Ben an opportunity to make some extra money over Thanksgiving. Javier’s hosting a charity event and is so desperate for help that he’ll pay Ben and any friend he can bring along twice what he usually makes. Ben agrees and says he’ll ask Julie and Sean if they want to come along. “Do you know why I like you?” Javier replies. Ben asks why, and Javier tells him, “No, I’m asking.” They both laugh.

Felicity confides in Elena that she hasn’t told her parents that she’s dropped pre-med. She’s afraid of how he’ll react. Noel tells them that Ruby isn’t going to make it back from her movie set for the holiday, so Noel and Elena will be spending the day together. Elena invites Felicity, her parents, and David over, suggesting that it’ll take the pressure off of them. They’ll just have a party.

Julie and Sean are up for Javier’s event; they’ll just have dinner together at the loft afterward. Javier has them all sign contracts, since the last time he got servers to help him, they all took silverware home with them. Sean asks for an exclusivity clause so he can serve Smoothaise. Ben describes it as “not so bad.” It’s then that he learns that the charity event is being organized by Maggie.

Felicity takes her parents to Epstein Bar, trying to pass it off as a café instead of the pub it is. Barbara claims to like Felicity’s hair. She and Edward ask questions about David, curious about why she hasn’t mentioned this guy she’s been seeing for a month and was going to spend Thanksgiving with. Then Edward asks about Felicity’s pre-med courses. She finally comes clean about dropping the major and switching to art classes.

Edward asks about all the changes Felicity has made in her life – her hair, her courses, her older boyfriend. She tells her parents there are a lot of things they don’t know about her life. She feels judged, so she ditches them. Back at the dorm, Meghan is trying to fill community service hours by getting food for everyone who’s staying in the dorm over break. Burky asks for stuffing without raisins. David’s there again, but Felicity has to leave for work. She tells him they’re having Thanksgiving at Noel and Elena’s. David asks to bring another guest – his mother. She wants to meet Felicity’s parents.

Ben goes to Maggie’s catering space and tells her to move her event somewhere else. She says it was her husband’s decision to have it there. Ben tells her he met her husband when he came in to order a cake for their anniversary. He can’t be the other man anymore. Maggie says she never meant to keep anything from Ben, but her relationship with her husband is complicated. She knows the party will be weird, but she misses Ben and would like him to be there.

Barbara goes to Dean & DeLuca, where Javier is thrilled to meet her for the first time. She tells Felicity that David seems great, and she shouldn’t have implied that they’re moving too fast. She’s looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with him and getting to know him better. Barbara has even bought him a gift from a museum gift shop, knowing he likes photography. It seems Edward isn’t as happy about David, though.

Noel objects to Professor Sherman coming to his apartment, as well as to his assignment to call her and tell her what to bring. Elena shuts him down and sends him on an errand so she can ask Felicity about her love life. Felicity thinks it’s sweet that David came by her room twice in one day, then walked her to work. Elena wonders if Felicity thinks David is getting more serious than she is. She says Felicity’s right to be freaked out about their Thanksgiving plans, and it’s weird that David isn’t, too. She’ll be able to see if they’re on the same page by watching how he reacts to Barbara’s gift.

Speaking of freaking out, Ben is trying to convince himself that the party won’t be weird, what with his secret lover and her husband both there. He tells Julie and Sean everything will be okay. They don’t care – they just want to take home the leftovers. Also, Julie didn’t know Maggie was married, and Sean didn’t know her husband would be there. The husband, Charlie, officially introduces himself to the three of them, recognizing Ben as the guy who sold him the cake. He says he wife loved it.

Felicity and David make pumpkin pie together at his apartment, and she gives him Barbara’s present. David reveals that he got the Porters a guide book to New York. She tells him he’s allowed to be honest about not liking the situation, but David is happy to get to know the people who brought Felicity into the world – the person he’s falling in love with.

Felicity tells Elena about this the next day, as they’re shopping at a convenience store. Felicity is surprised that David doesn’t see their relationship as casual, the way she does. Elena agrees that he’s moving too fast. Felicity realizes she’s the Ben of the situation – David has strong feelings, and Felicity has led him on. Elena tells her to talk to him about it, but not now. Thanksgiving comes first.

Professor Sherman is the first guest to arrive at Noel and Elena’s, followed closely by Felicity’s parents. Noel will have to entertain them all by himself. Sean tries to push Smoothaise on guests at the charity event, but it’s not going over well. Charlie greets the guests and thanks them for their donations for a homeless shelter. Holy cow, Maggie is cheating on the nicest guy on the planet.

Ben and Maggie end up in a back room together, and he panics about the possibility of her wanting to make out while her husband is in the next room. Maggie says she just wanted to say hi, but that doesn’t last long before she wants to kiss. Julie interrupts and tells Maggie that Charlie’s looking for her.

Elena and Felicity finally make it to the apartment, to Noel’s relief. Meghan shows up next, having never mentioned that Barbara invited her. Meghan’s excited at the possibility of Barbara getting drunk. Professor Sherman tells Felicity that she likes them together; David’s happier than he’s been in a long time. Of course, now Felicity’s going to have to ruin it by telling him (later! After Thanksgiving! Don’t cross Elena!) they’re moving too fast.

Ben thinks Julie’s mad that she caught him and Maggie together, about to do something naughty. She tells him she doesn’t want to run interference for him again, then asks if Maggie’s worth it. Back at the apartment, Felicity tells Elena that she doesn’t feel right waiting until tomorrow to talk to David about their relationship. Elena tells her to have some of Professor Sherman’s boozy punch and stop thinking.

Noel and Meghan note that the Porters and Professor Sherman are getting along really well. Meghan’s disappointed that no one seems likely to fight. Felicity asks her about the dinner she was organizing at the dorm. “Oh, yeah,” Meghan says, remembering. Cut to the dorm, where Burky and three other students are waiting at a table, hungry.

David arrives for dinner, and Noel, who’s been drinking the punch, tells Meghan he likes David. In one of the bedrooms, David tells Felicity he hopes he didn’t overwhelm her the night before when he shared his feelings. “Are you guys fighting in there?” Meghan calls to them across the apartment. “If you are, talk louder!” Heh. David tells Felicity they’ll talk later. After Thanksgiving!

Maggie takes a break from the party to look at the snow out the window. Ben joins her and tells her they can get coffee together and talk sometime, but not now. After Thanksgiving! Charlie comes to bring Maggie back to the party, but she tells him she wants to introduce him to Ben, the person she’s been sleeping with. Charlie says she’s drunk, but Maggie seems pretty sober. She also knows that Charlie cheated on her, so she figures it’s only fair that she slept with someone else.

Off-screen, Felicity has learned that Edward wasn’t surprised to hear that she dropped pre-med. He knew she was wavering about it last year, and he’s not thrilled, but he likes that she’s happy. Plus, he really likes David, and they’ve discussed David visiting the family over Christmas. Noel asks Professor Sherman what’s in the punch, but she won’t tell him. He goes to his room to lie down. Edward turns to Elena to get his fill of science-related course talk.

Felicity needs a break from all the happiness and warmth, so she goes to Noel’s room, not realizing he’s there. He reminds her of last Thanksgiving, which feels like just a day ago to her but a million years ago to him. As they talk, their faces get close enough to kiss…which is exactly what happens. Of course, that’s right when someone walks in. Unfortunately, the person who walks in is Professor Sherman.

Noel rejoins the party first, and Felicity waits a few seconds before coming out of the bedroom. Other than Professor Sherman, Meghan seems to be the only one who notices. Felicity and Noel end up sitting next to each other, and they agree that they shouldn’t have kissed. They decide to talk about it once the punch has worn off “sometime in February.”

Everyone compliments the turkey, which Elena cooked. Meghan asks if she can keep the bones. Edward jokes that he hopes Felicity gets special treatment in Professor Sherman’s class, since she’s dating the professor’s son. Professor Sherman says no, and David quips that he’s working on it. Professor Sherman asks to speak to Felicity in another room, and Noel braces himself for a big fight. David remains clueless.

Professor Sherman tells Felicity that David had his heart broken by his last girlfriend, so Felicity needs to be honest and tell him about her and Noel. David has followed them to the bedroom and has some questions. Felicity blames the punch for a drunken kiss. Everyone else comes to the bedroom, where Meghan tries to start a big fight. David brushes off the kiss, saying his and Felicity’s relationship is casual. The parents turn on each other while Noel tries to take responsibility.

Felicity sends everyone away so she and David can discuss things on their own. She promises that she was going to tell him everything later. David thought she was over Noel, and Felicity says it’s not about him. David doesn’t believe that. He knows he freaked her out by saying he was falling in love with her. Felicity says she really likes him, but she thought they were on the same page. They were trying to keep the pressure off.

Felicity just broke up with Ben a few months ago, and she spent her whole year pursuing him and Noel. No matter how much she likes David, she can’t handle a serious relationship right now. David wishes she’d said something sooner so he didn’t make a fool of himself. I think Felicity made a bigger fool of herself, so you’re probably okay, buddy.

Ben, Julie, and Sean have dinner together at the loft, and Julie is introduced to tofurkey. Sean suggests adding Smoothaise if it’s not good, but Julie and Ben are fine with it as it is. Sean jokes that everything went really well at the party. Ben handles it well, saying he’s not heartbroken; he and Maggie just had a fling. Julie and Sean think he can learn something from the situation. They list some possible lessons, like “never date a caterer.”

Felicity walks her parents out of the party, inviting them to say something about what happened. Edward just says he wants the recipe for the punch. Barbara doesn’t think she should be embarrassed. Felicity invites them to have breakfast in the morning. Barbara appreciates being back in her life, even if it’s brief.

Thoughts: What a coincidence that no one from this friend group is going home for Thanksgiving! And for the second year in a row! It’s like how everyone on Friends always spent Thanksgiving together. Weren’t their families disappointed about that? I would think Meghan’s parents would be especially sad not to have her there. They seem like big family-holiday people.

Who puts raisins in stuffing?? That should be a criminal offense.

If I were Barbara, I would be so happy to hear Javier gushing about my daughter. I’d feel a lot better about her living across the country from me if I knew he was looking out for her.

June 2, 2020

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

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

Romano must have been visited by three ghosts before this

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 26, 2020

ER 6.8, Great Expectations: Happy Thanksgivi-Birthday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Tess Ross? Poor kid.

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

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

March 7, 2020

Felicity 1.9, Thanksgiving: Outlook Not So Good

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:18 pm by Jenn

If you squint, it’s just like a Rockwell painting

Summary: At Dean & DeLuca, Javier is telling Felicity that his mother agreed to kick someone named Nono out of the house for Thanksgiving, because otherwise Javier wouldn’t come. Felicity’s confused about who or what Nono is. She voices over a tape to Sally about her original plans for the holiday. She was going to go home and try to put up with her parents. Of course, things changed.

Julie comes in, doing well after everything she went through with Zach. She tells Felicity she’s staying in New York for Thanksgiving. Felicity worries that she’ll get lonely, but Noel’s also going to be in the dorm. Hannah is coming to visit. Felicity is very interested in that development, but Julie says she’s not coming until after Felicity leaves, so Felicity won’t get to meet her.

Lewis says goodbye to Noel before leaving for Thanksgiving break. He is super-creepy. I hope Larry is okay. Felicity has too much stuff for her suitcase, so Noel brings her a bigger bag. He’ll be taking care of her plant while she’s gone. Well, if you call an avocado pit a plant. Felicity tells him she’s been using his Magic 8 Ball to help her decide what to pack. Maybe that’s why she has too many things.

Felicity gets Noel to tell her that Hannah’s coming to visit. He doesn’t want to talk to her about his girlfriend, even though they’re friends. Well, it seems fair, since he doesn’t want to hear her talk about Ben. Speaking of Ben, he’s also packing for home. Sean’s going to a big family gathering on Long Island. Ben is disturbed to learn that Sean has been using his razor and deodorant for months. Boys are gross.

Felicity runs into Elena, who’s hoping to get a lot of studying done over the break. She’s not looking forward to spending all that time with her dad. Felicity finds Julie moping in her bed and dreading having to talk to her parents about Zach. She’s realized that she would get lonely staying in the dorm, even with Noel around. That makes Felicity decide to stay with her. Why doesn’t Felicity just take Julie home with her? Anyway, they plan to throw their own Thanksgiving, and Felicity promises not to keep asking Julie how she’s doing.

Noel shows up with Hannah and immediately gets awkward. The women are all comfortable with each other, or at least pretend to be. Hannah asks Noel if he ate beets, which make him act weird. Felicity’s annoyed that Noel just calls her a girl from his dorm. Hannah’s a pianist and is working on a composition but is having trouble finishing it. Noel freaks out a little when he hears that Felicity and Julie are sticking around over Thanksgiving.

As soon as they’re alone in Noel’s room, he and Hannah start making out, then more. Well, almost more. They both stop and decide to get something to eat. Ben is having trouble getting his plane ticket, so he’s still in the dorm. Felicity and Julie invite him to join them for dinner the next night if he doesn’t get back to California. At home, Elena tries to bond with her father, who doesn’t seem to know how to talk to her about her life. She was hoping to have Thanksgiving just with him, but he’s agreed to a group dinner somewhere.

Noel and Hannah go to a diner, where she announces that she was accepted into a conservatory in New York. She decided to apply after they had a conversation where he said things would be better if they were closer to each other. Noel tries not to panic. Hannah expected him to be happier about the possibility of her transferring to New York next semester. She tells him they don’t have to decide right now. He has RA stuff to deal with back at the dorm anyway.

Felicity angrily goes to Noel’s room, but he’s not there. She leaves a note on his door: “Give me back my pit.” Ben calls home to tell his mom he couldn’t get his plane ticket, but I guess there was some problem on her end and she didn’t do something (I don’t really know). Anyway, looks like he’s not going home. Sean tells him to eat a bunch before Thanksgiving to help his stomach expand so he’ll have more room for turkey. That sounds medically accurate. Ben tells him he heard about fun stuff going on in New York, so he’s staying.

Felicity can’t stop thinking about how weird Noel was acting earlier. Julie thinks he’s overwhelmed and readjusting. Felicity doesn’t like the feeling of not being able to go to his room and have him be there to help her with whatever she needs. Julie’s focused on obtaining a turkey, which must be next to impossible the day before Thanksgiving.

Hannah and Felicity run into each other in the bathroom and Hannah brings up Noel’s behavior. Felicity parrots what Julie said about him readjusting. She tells Hannah he talks about her a lot. That seems to make Hannah feel better, but not Felicity, since she can’t fall asleep. She starts to go to Noel’s room, then remembers it’s not the right time for that. He’s just now getting home anyway and sees her in the hallway. She goes back to her room, then wonders what that’s about and spies while he goes to his room. Noel gets in bed with Hannah and tells her it would be great if she moved to New York.

The next morning, the Thanksgiving preparations begin. Julie finds something she thinks is a turkey in Chinatown, but Felicity believes its “feathers” are really fur. Julie invites Noel and Hannah to dinner, but Hannah says they have surprise plans that Noel won’t tell her about. He got reservations somewhere and would rather have dinner alone with Hannah than with the floormate he kissed weeks ago.

Stuck without a turkey, Felicity and Julie turn to Javier. Nono’s been allowed back in the house, so he’s not going to his mother’s. He tells them how to prepare a turkey, cautioning them not to stuff it – just take out the “little gifts” inside. Of course, Julie and Felicity don’t have an oven, or even a turkey. They were hoping Javier, who’s in the food business, would know where they could get a bird. Javier says he got his months ago. Julie suggests that Javier bring his turkey to them, and they’ll prepare all the other dishes and then eat together. She’s joking, but Javier is open to the idea.

Elena tells her father she’s going back to the dorm. She came home to spend time with him, but he’s been avoiding her. Mr. Tyler points out that they only live half an hour from her school, and this is the first time she’s been home. If she wanted to see him so badly, she could have come at any time. Elena points out that the trains go both ways, so he could have visited her, too.

Noel gets annoyed when he learns that Hannah bought a PC instead of a Mac. How dare she! His father was killed by a PC! She’s looking up places to live if she moves to New York. The Magic 8 Ball says “outlook good” about Tribeca. Sean critiques Ben’s outfit for the dorm Thanksgiving get-together; he needs to wear something “contempo casual.”

Julie has trouble replicating her father’s sweet potato recipe, and when she gets upset over them, she admits to Felicity that she wants to see her parents. However, she knows that if they found out she was raped, they would look at her differently. Maybe she’ll tell them at Christmas. Yeah, Merry Christmas, Emricks. Felicity says she needs to wait until she’s ready to tell them.

Hannah comes through on her way to the store and tells Julie the sweet potatoes look great. Noel comes in next and starts blathering about Magic 8 Ball phrases. Felicity brushes him off and leaves to wash out a bowl. Julie tells her to do it in the men’s room, which has a bigger sink, though she’d rather not explain how she knows that. Julie chastises Noel for not being more friendly while Hannah’s around. Noel doesn’t seem to understand why he’s acting so weird.

Ben arrives as Noel joins Felicity in the men’s room, hoping she won’t be able to ignore him now. She calls him out for not telling Hannah that they’re more than just floormates. She hates not being able to talk to him. He shouldn’t be flattered, though. Felicity denies being jealous, but even if she were, it wouldn’t matter, because he and Hannah are…we’ll never know what she was going to say, because Noel kisses her. Ben walks in as they’re making out, then leaves before they notice him.

When Felicity finally exits the bathroom, her hair a mess, she tries to get right back into Thanksgiving prep. They don’t have enough plates, so Ben offers to get some from his place. Hannah returns and Felicity introduces her to Ben, who’s surprised to learn that Noel has a girlfriend. He leaves awkwardly while Felicity flashes Julie a big fake smile, pretending everything’s normal. Javier and Elena arrive at the same time, he with a turkey big enough to feed everyone. Felicity excuses herself to go hyperventilate. Julie tells Elena there’s plenty of food, so she’s welcome to join them. Javier asks about candles and sends Julie to put on nicer clothes.

Hannah asks Noel if they can skip their nice dinner out, since she’s tired. He suggests that they join the group instead. They talk about computers again. Okay, guys, time to break up. Wait, no, not right this second! Hannah admits that she’s been “spending time with” a guy at her school. Long story short, Hannah has her own Felicity.

She thought that when she saw Noel and they made plans for the future, everything would work itself out, but that’s not happening. Noel admits that he’s been in the same boat. Hannah asks if she’s met his new crush, then decides she doesn’t want to know. They know things are different now, no matter how they feel about each other.

Sean’s still at home when Ben gets there; he says he didn’t feel like going to his big family shindig. Ben thinks he lied about their being a shindig. Sean admits that he just wasn’t invited. Ben checks to make sure he’s okay, then, instead of inviting Sean to the dorm party, asks, “So are you gonna come with me or what?” He doesn’t even have to change into anything contempo casual first.

Felicity finds Hannah crying in the bathroom and they commiserate over things changing. Either Noel told Hannah that Felicity is his crush or she figured it out herself, because the way Hannah says Noel is a great guy sounds like she’s endorsing him for his next girlfriend. Everyone sits down to dinner together, finally happy for the first time in days. Well, maybe not the two people who just broke up.

Mr. Tyler makes a surprise appearance, and Julie tries not to be jealous that her friend gets to see her family when Julie doesn’t. Everyone happily welcomes him to join them. Sally’s tape back to Felicity says she planned to spend Thanksgiving alone, but some work friends brought over a bunch of food. She started out in a new city with just her suitcase, and now she’s surrounded by family.

Thoughts: Hannah is played by Jennifer Garner, the star of J.J. Abrams’ next show and Scott Foley’s future wife.

Where did Felicity and Julie plan to cook even the side dishes without an oven? I don’t think they thought this through.

Guys, Hannah’s new computer is cable modem-ready! She’s already in the 21st century!

I’m so disappointed that Meghan didn’t attend the group dinner. I bet she would have snarked through it until Elena told her to shut up.

January 7, 2020

ER 5.10, The Miracle Worker: Maybe Even Doug the Pagan Is an Instrument of God

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

Someone needs to be visited by three ghosts

Summary: Doug and Carol are getting ready for the day, which will involve getting together with her family for Christmas caroling. Doug is uneasy with that, since he’s not religious. Carol calls him a pagan. Weaver’s in a great mood when she gets to work, while the usually cheerful Jerry is grumpy. Amanda has instituted a new charting policy that allows everything to move faster. It just means more work for Jerry. Amanda tries to ease the pain with Christmas treats, but he won’t accept her olive branch.

Despite their breakup, Benton still wants to give Elizabeth the present he’d already gotten her. She agrees to make sure their work is done early so he can go to dinner at his sister’s and see Reese for the first time all week. Elizabeth admits that she bought a ticket to some gala so she wouldn’t have to be alone on Christmas Eve. Unfortunately, she’ll have to sit with Romano. He tells her to wear a “slinky black number,” preferably something short and off-the-shoulder. Elizabeth, go to HR. Go now. Romano also passes off his extra work to Benton.

Mark discovers that Jen sends Christmas cards to a bunch of his co-workers. It includes a newsletter, which talks about the new house she and her husband bought. Also, Jen made partner and got a new convertible. Meanwhile, Mark’s horrible, old car has broken down.

Carter reads a Christmas card he got from a patient he doesn’t even remember. Lucy asks if it bothers him that the patient is grateful to God for Carter’s work. Carter notes that “one can be called worse things than an instrument of God.” He doesn’t necessarily believe in God, but he “give[s] Him the benefit of the doubt.” Lucy isn’t sure what she believes. Maybe humans created him to try to make some sense out of the world. She catches her finger in a cabinet door and Carter teases that God is displeased.

Elizabeth meets with a patient named David Gardner who will be having his cancerous prostate removed the next morning. Wait, Romano operates on Christmas? Really? Even though this is good news, David is still a little nervous. He’s worried about losing sexual function. Elizabeth advises him to make a donation at a sperm bank in case he loses function; by storing up his swimmers now, he’ll be able to have children in the future.

Jerry surprises Amanda in the doctors’ lounge, where she appears to be snooping in Mark’s locker. She says she just saw the door was open and wanted to close it. Mark, Lydia, and Malik tend to a man dressed as an elf who’s so familiar with his heart condition that he knows exactly how to treat it. He just needs to be given a small shock and he’ll be on his way. Mark, of course, wants to follow the proper procedures.

Paramedics bring in an 18-year-old named Steven whose mother found him unconscious in his room. He had a headache and went to lie down, making Carter and Doug think he had a brain hemorrhage. Dwight was able to revive him once, so Doug tries again. Mark will only start the elf’s shocking at 20 instead of going straight to 50 like he requested. That doesn’t work, so Mark goes to 30. The elf gets nothing but pain. Mark finally goes to 50, which stabilizes the elf. “Thanks for nothing, Dr. Mengele!” the elf shouts as Mark leaves.

Doug sends Carter to talk to Steven’s mother, Mrs. Richards, while he keeps working on Steven. Carter tries to prepare her for the possibility that he’ll die. She begs him not to give up hope, since her son is all she has. When Carter goes back to the trauma room, Doug is just about to declare Steven dead. Carter talks him into keeping up the work, just in case they can bring about a Christmas miracle. He quickly gets Steven’s heart beating again and reminds Lucy that he’s an instrument of God. Of course, Steven might never wake up, and he’ll probably have brain damage if he does, but still: Carter got to be a hero!

Carol assures her mother over the phone that she and Doug are coming over for Christmas. She teases him that her uncle wants him to play “Silent Night” on the tambourine. Carol will be attending mass with her family, but Doug the pagan will skip it, and she wants her mother to respect his choice. Mark can’t find his gloves, so Jerry says that Amanda took them from his locker. Weaver and Mark tell him to stop making accusations just because he doesn’t like Amanda.

Just as Benton’s about to get through all his excess work and get out the door early, Romano dumps another patient on him, a man named DeMisa who’s coming in with post-op pain. Steven has no brain activity, but Carter wants to stay positive, noting that he could be an organ donor. Doug doubts it, since his blood type is AB, which is shared by only 2% of the population. He allows Carter and Lucy to talk to Mrs. Richards about allowing the donation anyway. On the surgical floor, Shirley tells Elizabeth that David is being taken to the ER because he’s having a heart attack.

Amanda asks Mark about the complaint she got from the elf about being tortured. Mark just says they had a disagreement about treatment strategies. Amanda brushes it off, since she reviewed the elf’s chart and thinks he’s a nutcase. Mark confides that he’s feeling down because of Jen’s braggy newsletter. Amanda can relate – this is her first Christmas since her brother killed himself in an apocalyptic cult ritual. I’m going to guess that Mark can’t relate to that. Amanda shares her grandmother’s attitude that positivity can go a long way.

Elizabeth meets David in the ER and helps him get his panicked breathing under control while Weaver tends to him. Weaver realizes he’s a trumpeter and chats with him about his talent and touring schedule. She diagnoses him with an anxiety attack instead of a heart attack. Benton examines DeMisa, who had his stomach stapled to help him lose weight but forgot about the part where he’d have to stop eating so much. Benton guesses that he busted a staple and will need a procedure to fix it. Also, poor Yosh will have to deal with DeMisa’s constipation.

Steven made a movement while his mother was speaking to him, so she thinks he can hear her. Carter tells her that he’s brain-dead, so that’s not possible. Lucy gently brings up the possibility of donating his organs. Mrs. Richards doesn’t want his organs removed while his heart is still beating, so Carter moves on to signing a DNR. Mrs. Richards may not want to prolong his life while he’s in a vegetative state. She would rather hope for a miracle.

Mark takes his new positive attitude to his next patient, making Lydia ask if he’s been huffing nitrous oxide. The patient doesn’t catch the positive contagion from Mark, getting mad when he can’t tell her how much she’ll have to pay for all the tests he wants to run. When he says her insurance will probably cover the costs, she accuses him of ripping off insurance companies. She demands any other doctor but Mark.

David’s eager to leave the hospital, even though there’s not much time left before he has to come back for his surgery. Elizabeth suggests that he postpone it if he’s too nervous, but he needs to be fully recovered by January 15th, since he’s doing a TV special with the Boston Symphony. The two chat about music, and she admits to liking disco.

DeMisa is stuck in his wheelchair, so Yosh pages Benton to help getting him out for a scan. Benton tells him to call someone from maintenance to dismantle the chair. DeMisa announces that he has to go to the bathroom (I’m guessing that laxative Yosh gave him has just kicked in), so Benton helps pull him out. DeMisa lands on Yosh, who’s having a very bad day.

Carter, like Mark, is finding it hard to keep a positive attitude now that it looks like all the work he did on Steven is going to lead to nothing. What could Steven have done to deserve a brain hemorrhage that led to him possibly dying on Christmas Eve? Lucy doesn’t have an answer for him. Meanwhile, the circle of life continues as Connie sends Doug to tell a teen patient that she’s pregnant.

Jerry shows Weaver a sex fantasy written on a piece of paper he found in one of Amanda’s charts. The subject of the fantasy is someone named M.G., and gloves are mentioned. Jerry guesses Amanda wrote it about Mark. Amanda interrupts and says the fantasy was described to her by a psych patient. M.G. is Merv Griffin. Weaver tells Jerry to leave her out of it the next time he wants to make a fool of himself.

Doug tells 13-year-old Laura that she’s pregnant and goes over her options. She chooses abortion, so Doug asks Carol to make the arrangements. Benton is also trying to make arrangements, desperate to see Reese on Christmas Eve. Romano and Elizabeth are supposed to leave for their gala, but Elizabeth is still wrapping up her shift. Romano leaves even more work for Benton. Don’t they have interns to do this stuff?

A 16-year-old girl is brought in suffering complications from a liver disorder. (She never gets a name, but her last name is Mikami, so I’ll call her Mika.) She’s been on the transplant list for months but no match has been found…because her blood type is AB. Mark has decided to work on unconscious patients for the rest of the day since no conscious patients have helped him stay positive. He feels like something about him just depresses people. Amanda teases that she’s suffering the same effects.

Carter sees Mika’s arrival as a godsend: If he can get Mrs. Richards to agree to donate Steven’s organs, Mika will live. But she’s gone for a walk after signing Steven’s DNR, and his heartbeat is no longer stable. Carter goes off to find her, because he just loves tracking down parents of children with rare blood types.

Carol goes to get Laura for her abortion, but now Laura’s not sure she can go through with it. She’s been raised to believe that it’s a mortal sin. She asks Carol if she agrees, but Carol says her beliefs don’t matter here. She suggests that Laura talk to someone in her family and determine whether she’s really sure this is what she wants. Laura agrees to talk to her mother.

Carter returns to Steven without Mrs. Richards and decides that since Steven still has a faint pulse, he can be shocked into stability. Carter says he’ll take full responsibility when it inevitably gets out that he shocked a patient with a DNR. Lucy and Chuny refuse to help. Carter thinks Steven and Mika’s arrival at the same time means something, and he can help make a miracle. Lucy covers Steven’s chest with her hands so Carter can’t shock him, but she moves in time to let him do what he wants.

Elizabeth and David chat about his job and how he’s single because he travels so much. He admits that his anxiety attack wasn’t so much about the surgery as it was about possibly losing sexual function. He jokes about having performance anxiety while by himself, about to make a donation at the sperm bank. Elizabeth invites him to get dinner with her.

Benton goes to tell DeMisa his scans were clear and he didn’t blow a staple, but DeMisa’s missing. Yosh realizes his disappearance is probably connected to the five patient dinners he’s missing. They find DeMisa in a supply closet, unconscious after really blowing a staple and ruining his intestines. Benton tells Yosh to page Romano back to the hospital.

Mrs. Richards is in the hospital chapel, and Carter interrupts her prayers to tell her about Mika. He plays the God card, saying that if He meant for Steven to die on Christmas Eve, it must be so Mika can live. Mrs. Richards can’t bring herself to think about another child’s problems when her own child is dying. She wants him to pass peacefully and be buried whole. Carter does a poor job of hiding his disappointment.

DeMisa needs surgery right away, and though Benton’s not supposed to operate without an attending, he gets started without Romano anyway. Doug spots Laura with her mother and a priest and complains to Carol that the priest will pressure Laura to have the baby. Carol says he might just counsel her. Doug’s annoyed that Carol didn’t tell him that Laura asked to see her mother. He would have tried to prevent the priest from joining them. And how do you think that would have gone, Doug?

Things are lighthearted in DeMisa’s OR, as Benton and the other members of the surgical team identify all the foods he ate. Romano arrives angry and tells Benton to leave. Benton ignores him and keeps working. Romano asks if Benton gave Elizabeth extra work to keep her around the OR so she couldn’t join him at the gala. He orders Benton again to leave, and this time Benton steps away from the table. He tells Romano that Elizabeth left an hour ago.

As Benton starts to leave, Shirley whispers to him that Romano’s drunk. He tells someone to find Anspaugh, then asks Romano if he’s been drinking. Romano loves that, of course. Benton asks him to step back, and when Romano refuses, Benton outright accuses him of being drunk. Romano takes a swing at him, but Benton easily ducks. The force of the swing makes Romano fall and hit his head on a cart. With the Grinch unconscious, Benton can continue DeMisa’s operation in peace.

Amanda has ordered a bunch of food and booze for an impromptu staff Christmas party. Jerry remains the only person who’s not happy with her. Mark can’t find his lab coat, and Jerry decides not to further embarrass himself by guessing where it is. Don’t worry, Jerry – it’s a dumb storyline, but it’ll be over soon.

Carter tells Lucy that he was wrong and there’s no such thing as miracles. He was sure he had God on his side, which was pretty arrogant of him. The two spot Steven being wheeled down the hall, followed by Mrs. Richards and Mika’s parents. Lucy explains that the parents met and started talking, and Mrs. Richards agreed to the organ donation. P.S. Lucy introduced them. Carter happily tells her she’s an instrument of God.

Doug apologizes to Carol for their fight, and she asks how sorry he is. (The answer: Not sorry enough to go to mass.) She forgives him anyway. Romano fills out a disciplinary report on Benton, hoping it’ll get him fired. Benton has his defense already planned: He had Romano’s blood drawn while he was unconscious, and a test shows that his blood-alcohol level was .12. Romano thinks he’s bluffing, since there are no marks on his arms from a blood draw. Benton says that’s not where they drew from.

Amanda takes a Polaroid of Mark as everyone enjoys the staff party. Jerry’s still grumpy. Time for a music montage! Carter and Lucy look on as a priest prays over Steven in the ICU. Doug and Carol go to Doc Magoo’s. Carla makes Benton’s night by bringing Reese to the hospital to see him. Elizabeth and David have a long, friendly dinner together. Carter sees Mrs. Richards off as she goes home to spend Christmas Eve alone. And in the dumbest ending possible, Amanda decorates a Christmas tree with pictures of herself and Mark while wearing his lab coat and wearing his gloves.

Thoughts: Julia Whelan, who plays Laura in this episode, posted some great tweets about her experience.

Elizabeth and David should have gotten together. End of story.

I love Yosh’s disappointed reaction to DeMisa’s eating, like he’s thinking, “How could you? We were all rooting for you.”

December 7, 2019

My So-Called Life 15, So-Called Angels: Homeless for the Holidays

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:29 pm by Jenn

All I want for Christmas is to give Rickie a hug

Summary: Rickie is crying and spitting blood in the snow, his face cut and bruised. He limps down a sidewalk somewhere downtown while a teen girl plays “Silent Night” on a guitar. At the Chases’, Angela’s playing the same song on the piano. Danielle complains that she’s not getting a new bike for Christmas, though Angela got one when she was Danielle’s age. Her parents really don’t care. Patty stresses about Christmas cards while Graham decorates for Christmas.

Angela asks why the family never goes to church. Her parents don’t have a good answer. She asks if they believe in God. Patty and Graham try to figure out what to say, noting that they come from different religious backgrounds. Danielle wants to shelve the religion conversation, since it’s Christmas.

At school, the choir sings “Away in a Manger” in the hallway. Rayanne thinks people are going cuckoo for Christmas, which isn’t a huge deal to her and her mother. The girls are shocked at the sight of Rickie’s bruises, which he says he sustained when he slipped on his way to catch a bus. Angela is skeptical, but Rayanne says Rickie gets beaten up a lot and doesn’t like talking about it.

The girls spot Sharon hanging up fliers for a teen helpline. Rayanne doesn’t think depressed teens will feel any better after talking to Sharon. Sharon snarks back at her, so Rayanne scatters her fliers. Sharon asks Brian to help hand out fliers, reminding him that he signed up to help. Now he wants to back out.

At the Chases’, Patty tells Graham that Brian’s parents went on a cruise, leaving him alone for ten days, including Christmas. Graham notes that the Krakows are Jewish, so it’s not as big a deal as it would be for a gentile family. He asks what Patty wants for Christmas, and she says she wants him to come to church with her and the girls on Christmas Eve. He’s not on board with that.

While taking out the trash, Angela finds Rickie lurking in the backyard. He says he was at Brian’s and wanted to stop by to see Angela. Before that, he was at Rayanne’s. He appreciates how cozy and friendly the house is, especially since Graham’s been trying out new recipes, so it smells homey. Angela takes him to the kitchen for dinner.

Graham and Patty come home from Christmas shopping and pull Angela out of the kitchen to ask what happened to Rickie. They think it’s too late for someone to be over, but Angela says she doesn’t think he has anywhere else to go. Graham suspects that he ran away. Angela asks if he can stay the night, but Patty doesn’t want to get in the middle of Rickie’s family issues. While the Chases are discussing the best thing to do, Rickie leaves.

He goes back downtown, running into Jordan, who offers him a ride. “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” is playing, adding insult to injury. Jordan senses that Rickie doesn’t want to go home and says he knows a place Rickie can stay. His father used to be abusive, so he can sense that Rickie’s going through the same thing. Jordan finally fought back, and his father backed off. Rickie offers to light a candle for Jordan on Christmas Eve, but Jordan doubts that will change anything. The guitar player is still lurking.

Patty’s worried that she and Graham were wrong not to let Rickie stay. They don’t know anything about him and have never met his family, so how can they know what his situation is? Graham thinks he makes Patty uncomfortable. If Brian came by with bruises, Patty would welcome him to stay. Patty notes that she’s known Brian since he was five, so it’s different. Graham wonders if that should matter.

At school the next day, Angela worries about Rickie, who hasn’t shown up yet. Rayanne says he probably went to stay with his cousin. Angela needs to stop thinking she’s responsible for the whole world. Brian complains to Sharon that people are making too big a deal out of Christmas. Sharon and her cute ornament-shaped earrings tell him that this is the time of year teens need their helpline the most. The stress gives them “actual symptoms of depression, or whatever. Like, total hopelessness and despair.” She begs him to work the helpline on Christmas Eve, since he’s the only one who doesn’t have plans.

In the bathroom, Sharon complains to Rayanne that Brian screwed her over. Rayanne isn’t surprised. Sharon asks if Rayanne actually knows Brian that well, and Rayanne mentions that they slept together once. Sharon recognizes that she’s made too many commitments and promises for the holidays. She also acknowledges that Rayanne’s a good listener. Rayanne credits all the years she’s spent listening to her mother’s problems. Now, though, Amber has an annoying boyfriend, and Rayanne would like to keep her distance. Sharon has a suggestion for where she can spend Christmas.

Angela slips a note into Rickie’s locker, then hears guitar music. She follows it to the band room and meets the guitar player, who says she hangs out there sometimes. When she was in school, she never attended, but now that she’s not in school, she spends a lot of time there. Angela says she loved the song the girl was playing. The girl says she’ll probably be working on it forever. She laments having to go back outside, since she can never get warm. Her worn shoes are to blame; someone stole the better pair she had while she was sleeping.

The girl knows who Angela is and knows she’s friends with Rickie. She tells Angela not to worry about him; she’s been looking out for him. When the bell rings, the girl leaves and Angela runs after her but loses her in the busy hallway. She runs into Jordan, who didn’t see the guitar player. Jordan mentions that he took Rickie to an old warehouse, where he might still be staying. He offers to show Angela where it is.

Brian helps Graham get a Christmas tree into the Chases’ house, but he can’t wrangle an invitation to help with any other Christmas activities. Jordan takes Angela to the warehouse, which some homeless people have turned into a makeshift home. Most of them are young. The guitar player is there, playing the same song Angela heard her playing at school. It’s about being alone and cold and trying to break through the loneliness because someone wants to love you. She shows Angela where Rickie’s sleeping, just one of the dozen homeless people finding warmth in an abandoned building.

Angela asks Rickie why he can’t go home. She orders him to come home with her, but Rickie refuses to sponge off of people who don’t even want him there. She tells him he can’t stay there – tomorrow’s Christmas Eve. Rickie says he’ll spend it with his cousins. He tells her to go home, since she doesn’t belong there. Angela says he doesn’t, either. Rickie won’t tell her what’s going on, saying that the best way for her to help him is to leave him alone.

Angela goes back to the guitar player, who’s now asleep. She takes off her boots and swaps them with the guitar player’s, leaving her the better pair. She goes home to her nicely decorated house, where Danielle lets her put the angel on the top of the tree. Angela assures her parents that Rickie’s okay. Brian’s still there and asks if he really is okay. Graham and Patty eavesdrop as Angela tells Brian that Rickie ran away from an abusive home and is now sleeping in a warehouse with other homeless teens.

Angela’s shocked/offended that Brian didn’t know about the city’s homeless-teen population. He snaps that she seems to consider herself an expert on the situation after going to one warehouse. Angela says the people there are normal, just like them. When she talks to the guitar player, she forgets that there’s anything different between them.

Patty feels horrible about Rickie’s circumstances…no, wait, she feels horrible that Angela went to the warehouse and could have put herself in danger. She thinks they need to do the right thing now. Graham agrees – but first, dinner. The next day, they go to the police to talk about the warehouse and helping Rickie. The officer they talk to is more interested in the warehouse than helping anyone. Graham wonders if they’ve made the right decision.

Patty asks what will happen next. The officer says it depends on whether Rickie is “a runaway or a throwaway.” Patty sees posters for missing children and imagines them and their parents asking for help. One of the posters is of the guitar player. The officer thanks the Chases for being good citizens and advises them to keep their own children close.

At home, Angela’s setting up for a nice Christmas Eve dinner, plus a surprise: She wants to invite Rickie and the guitar player over. Patty orders her to never go back to the warehouse. Angela’s mad that her parents eavesdropped and then went to the police. She wants to warn the teens at the warehouse. Patty tells her this is a serious situation, but Angela gets that. She thinks that the guitar player could easily be her. Patty sharply disagrees.

Later that night, Patty tries to wrap presents but is distracted by the fight with Angela. She says it was the kind of fight that’s so bad, it seems like the fight is having you. She asks Graham to talk to her. He says Angela went for a walk, so of course Patty guesses she’s at the warehouse. The police are already there. Patty heads off to find Angela, leaving as Brian comes by to attempt to spend the holiday with nice people. He watches A Christmas Carol by himself and pulls a helpline flier out of his pocket.

Sharon’s there with Rayanne, who’s actually excited to lend a hand. Brian calls in, saying his name is Steve, but Rayanne recognizes his voice. “Steve” says that his parents suggested he spend Christmas in Denver with his sister, but he wanted to stay home. He thought he would enjoy having peace and quiet while he studied for the PSAT. Now he feels lonely. He’s at his neighbors’ house because he couldn’t take any more of it.

Rayanne covers the phone to tell Sharon that Brian’s crying. Sharon offers to get a supervisor, but Rayanne thinks she can take care of things. She calls herself Jade and turns the call into a sex chat. Okay, Sharon, take the phone away from him. Brian decides this is getting too hot and heavy and says he should get off. Dirty! “Jade” points out that at least he’s not sad anymore.

Patty goes downtown to look for the warehouse but instead sees the guitar player, whom she recognizes from her poster. Angela calls home to tell Graham where she is – not the police station but a church basement. The kids from the warehouse are there, too. So it looks like Graham will be going to church on Christmas Eve after all.

Patty wanders around, looking for Angela, and thinks she’s found her when she sees her boots. Of course, they’re on the guitar player, who says she’s no different from Angela. She had a mom and clean sheets once, too. She invites Patty to ask why she left home. The guitar player says she and her mother had a fight, the kind that seems like it’s having you. Patty asks how she died. The guitar player says she froze. Then she disappears.

Hearing “O Holy Night,” Patty goes into a church, where Rickie’s lighting a candle and praying. He tries to hold it together, but when she embraces him, he cries. They sit in the sanctuary and listen to the music until Angela finds them there. Eventually Graham, Brian, and Danielle join them for the rest of the service. Four women sing about feeling like going home.

At the helpline, Sharon and Rayanne are having a great time together. Jordan spends the evening alone, possibly at the warehouse. After the service, the guitar player watches the Chases, Rickie, and Brian leave the church together, then flies off. Because she was an angel. Yeah, of course.

Thoughts: The guitar player is played by ’90s musician Juliana Hatfield. Anyone remember her? Anyone? No? Okay.

Let’s talk about how much the school sucks if no one ever noticed or did anything about Rickie’s clearly abusive home.

I guess it would have been too easy for Brian to invite Rickie to stay with him, which would have solved both of their problems.

Patty: “You will not believe what Bernice and Bob Krakow did.” Graham: “Oh, I know. But just that once, to make Brian.” GRAHAM! Rayanne would be proud. Also, if Brian has a sister, then it was twice.

July 23, 2019

ER 4.10, Do You See What I See?: The Miracle Worker

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

Couldn’t be cuter

Summary: Carol wakes Doug up at the end of a night shift, and they lament that they won’t be able to spend Christmas together the next day. Herb gets his picture taken pretending to shock a patient as he finishes up his stint as Mark’s lawyer. He’s made the whole lawsuit disappear, and even got Mark out of having to apologize to the Laws. Weaver’s spent the night with West in his hotel room, so…that happened.

On his way to work with a bunch of presents, Benton runs into Anna, who warns that Reese might spend his first Christmas playing with the boxes his presents came in. An ambulance arrives at the same time they reach County, and they pause to tend to the patient being brought in, a homeless man named Bart. He’s blind, but when Benton touches his forehead, Bart opens his eyes and starts exclaiming that he can see.

As the doctors move Bart into a trauma room and start treating him, he describes everything he sees, proving he really can see. Benton isn’t sure he was really blind before. Carol tries to get a nurse to swift shifts with her so she can spend Christmas with Doug, but she has no luck. She asks Carter if she should provide Millicent with anything special when she comes to see the clinic that afternoon. Carter warns that she’ll be under intense scrutiny.

Henry’s still working on completing his clerkship, and he thinks the only thing he has left to do is a major emergency procedure. Carter’s not sure that’s all he’s lacking, but he’s probably going to let that slide, since he’s eager to get rid of Henry. Cynthia learns that her credit card limit has been frozen, so she can’t pay for the present she picked out for Mark. He hasn’t gotten her present yet, either, so he offers to pay off her debt.

Paramedics bring in a seven-year-old who got stuck in the chimney while trying to find out if Santa could really fit. Carol tells an EMT named Greg that he can get cleaned up in the hospital, since he’s covered in soot. Henry asks to do the kid’s intubation, but Mark doesn’t want him to treat this as a teaching case. Jeanie wants to give some of County’s needles to a clinic patient so he doesn’t spread his Hepatitis B to people he’s been sharing with. Jeanie says the patient won’t report her – will Kerry?

Word of Benton’s supposed miracle has spread, and Carter teases him about it. Benton blows it off, then corrects Lydia when she says Bart is blind. He’s taken off, and Benton figures he just wanted some attention. Anna thinks he’s being too humble. West has arranged to work a shift with Weaver, so either he’s really into her or he’s playing some weird long con. Carol asks for a taxi voucher for Pablo, who’s misplaced his shoes. Weaver tells him he can wait in chairs instead of outside in the cold, so she’s in a good mood. West suggests that they make arrangements with a cab company for comped vouchers.

Carol officially meets Greg, who’s now squeaky clean. Carter gets a new patient, Vinnie, who has chest pain and isn’t doing well. West joins him and Henry for the trauma, and Henry asks to do any necessary intubations. Instead, he’s assigned to bag Vinnie, who keeps murmuring something about a woman named Maria. Elizabeth comes in to do some paperwork before heading to England for Christmas. Romano invites her to join him for Allison Beaumont’s next operation, which, if successful, will save her leg.

Carter, West, and Henry are unable to save Vinnie, but Carter figures Henry can still use his body to practice intubations. Vinnie’s brother, Joey, arrives just then and thinks that Vinnie’s still alive. Carter plays along as he rushes Joey out. Mark and Anna tend to a 67-year-old woman named Mrs. Larkin who was bound and gagged, then raped in her apartment. Chuny finds “whore” written on her stomach in black marker.

Jeanie goes to the lounge to take her medication but realizes she didn’t bring it to work with her. As Elizabeth and Romano operate on Allison, Jeanie asks Weaver to get her a dose of the medication she left at home. Weaver easily agrees. Carter and Henry tell Vinnie’s family that he didn’t make it, leaving out the part where he was already dead when Joey showed up. Henry tries to be helpful by telling Vinnie’s wife that his last thoughts were of her. Except – oops! – she’s not Maria. Maria is Joey’s wife. Stop helping, Henry.

Mark and Carol continue taking care of Mrs. Larkin, having to ask her questions about her assault. Hearing about it makes Mark think of his own attack, and he has to excuse himself from the room. Anna tells Benton that she looked up Bart’s records, and when he was in the year before, he was definitely blind. Benton wonders what Bart’s angle is. “The Lord words in mysterious ways,” Anna teases. Another homeless man comes in, having heard from Bart that Benton works miracles, and asks Benton to make him walk again. Benton says he can’t help.

Mark tells two detectives about Mrs. Larkin’s assault, getting annoyed when they question whether her memories are accurate. Elizabeth is about to leave for the airport when she learns that Allison, who’s been in a coma for the ten days since her car accident, is waking up. She’s still intubated, so she can’t speak, but she’s fine mentally and wants to know where her mother is. Elizabeth breaks the news that her mother died.

Mark finds a toy Cynthia bought, which she claims is for a friend’s child. Moments later, she comes clean: It’s for her own five-year-old son. She hasn’t seen him for three years and never mentioned to Mark that she had a child. He lives with his father and grandparents, and though Cynthia misses him, she knows that’s what’s best for him. Thanks to Mark’s money, she’s able to give him a nice Christmas present.

Carol tries to swap shifts with Chuny but again has no success. Millicent arrives for a tour of the clinic, dragging along Chase, who’s dressed as Santa. They realize a little Christmas tree near the admit desk is on fire, and Carol quickly puts it out with a fire extinguisher. The smoke sets off the sprinkler system. Womp womp. Weaver decides that the lights at the desk need to be taken down because they’re old and could be dangerous. She’ll let Cynthia’s brand-new light-up Rudolph stay, though.

After a quick change of clothes, Carol shows Millicent around the clinic. Carter runs into them and sees that Chase is filling in for their grandfather as Santa. Benton comes across Nat, who’s struggling with a broken floor buffer, and they chat about Reese’s first Christmas. When Benton pats Nat on the shoulder, the buffer starts working. Carol searches the lounge cabinets for decaf coffee, which doctors would never drink, because what’s the point? He tells her about Cynthia’s secret child, wondering if the fact that she didn’t mention him is a bad sign. Doug may have been right about her being a bad fit.

Elizabeth admits to Benton that she kind of wants to confess to Allison that her eagerness to do a special procedure led to Allison’s coma. She knows that it’ll make her feel better to let go of the guilt, but it won’t help Allison. Benton reminds her that she did her job, and everything has turned out fine, so there’s no point in bringing it up.

Mark talks to the detectives again, wanting more information on Mrs. Larkin’s case. He can tell they’re not that concerned with helping her. Carter helps Chase get some presents from the car to pass out to hospitalized kids. Carter’s relieved that their grandfather skipped the visit because now he doesn’t have to defend his decision to go into medicine. Chase notes that he still thinks Carter’s a surgeon, not back to being a lowly intern.

Henry wants to perform a spinal tap on a patient, but Carter tells him he misdiagnosed the flu. Maybe Carter should just let him finish his clerkship right now so he can go back to the lab and be far, far away from people. Carol introduces Millicent to Jeanie, who agrees to let Millicent shadow her for a while. Elizabeth extubates Allison, then decides she needs a head and neck surgeon.

Millicent observes as Jeanie chats with a teenager named Gina who’s pregnant and denies that she could have been exposed to HIV. She figures since she doesn’t sleep with drug users or gay guys, she’s not at risk. Jeanie reveals her own HIV status by saying she never slept with a gay man or drug user, either. Gina agrees to get tested.

Bart’s back, and he’s blind again. He asks Benton to touch him again and redo his miracle. Benton touches him, but nothing happens. Mark finishes up with Mrs. Larkin, who regrets having to miss Christmas Mass. She usually plays the organ, and she doesn’t think the church will be able to find a substitute in time. Mark tells her she shouldn’t worry about that. Mrs. Larkin admits that she hates her rapist, but she doesn’t want to be like that – as a Christian, she’s supposed to forgive. Mark says she doesn’t have to, but Mrs. Larkin knows hatred won’t undo what happened to her.

Mark leaves work a little early, telling Weaver and Cynthia that he has something to take care of. He also wants to hold off on making any plans with Cynthia. Carol finishes up Millicent’s tour and invites her to stay for a staff potluck. Millicent declines, probably because she’s never attended a potluck before. Carter finds Chase in Millicent’s limo, shooting up heroin. Chase says he’s not an addict; he just does it when he’s bored. Carter realizes that the spider bite he treated Chase for wasn’t really a spider bite. Carter isn’t interested in his medical opinion. They both clam up when Millicent joins them.

A neurologist finds a mass in Bart’s brain that explains his blindness. She can’t explain his brief return of sight, since the mass means he shouldn’t have been able to see anything for years. Elizabeth has missed her flight, so she’ll be spending Christmas in Chicago. Romano invites her to a party, but Elizabeth wants to wait for news on Allison, who may have paralyzed vocal chords.

Connie has Gladys Knight tickets on New Year’s and is desperate to change shifts with someone so she can go. Finally, Carol has someone to trade for her on Christmas. In more good news, Millicent has sent over a huge Christmas tree for the staff to enjoy, plus a check for $150,000 for the clinic.

Mark goes to the Laws’ house and tries to apologize to Kenny’s mother for not saving her son, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Chris comes out to confront him, and Mark says he knows now that Chris wasn’t the person who attacked him. Chris admits that he was happy when he heard someone hurt Mark. But even if the family had successfully sued Mark for medical malpractice, Kenny would still be dead. Chris can’t find any meaning in his brother’s death. Mark just says he’s sorry.

Benton tells Bart that he has a tumor, and though it’s operable, he probably won’t regain his sight once it’s out. Bart is still hopeful, since seeing anything today was also unlikely. He spent the day in the park with his guide dog, watching him in the snow. He’s pleased that he got to see something so beautiful. Carol tells Doug that she got the next day off, but she’ll have to work New Year’s. In a twist worthy of O. Henry, Doug switched shifts with Anna so he and Carol could work together on Christmas. Okay, not really; he’s just kidding.

Carol decides it’s time to tell their co-workers that they’re back together. She takes Doug to the potluck and announces that they’re seeing each other. No one gets the big deal. Turns out they all knew (except Weaver and Anna), and they’ve been taking bets on when the couple would finally come clean. Doug adds a surprise: He wants to marry Carol. He tells everyone to talk her into it. Carol doesn’t accept or reject the proposal, just teasing that Doug always has to outdo her.

Everyone goes outside to enjoy the tree and the snow. West invites Weaver to join him somewhere warmer for the holidays. She and Jeanie wish each other a Merry Christmas. Carter wants to skip his family’s party, so he tries to make plans with Anna. Henry has finished his last procedure, so Carter gives him his Christmas present – an evaluation that says he passed emergency medicine. It’s really a present for Carter, who no longer has to deal with him. As Elizabeth sits with Allison as she undergoes an exam, Cynthia and Mark spend the evening together. Benton leaves to spend Christmas with Reese, taking a moment to admire the tree.

Thoughts: Greg is played by George Eads, later Jorja Fox’s (Doyle) co-star on CSI.

Oh, good, we’re starting the old-ladies-keep-getting-raped arc. Merry Christmas, everyone!

“I made it so you don’t have to say you’re sorry” isn’t something you want your lawyer to say. If it’s between saying you’re sorry and possibly paying thousands of dollars, just apologize.

February 19, 2019

ER 3.10, Homeless for the Holidays: Employee X

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

It’s Doug’s best day ever!

Summary: Jeanie meets up with Weaver at Doc Magoo’s after a meeting with her doctor. Her viral load is now undetectable on her new medication, and she thinks County might now be okay with her continuing to work there. Weaver is less hopeful, but she’s also upset that Jeanie’s been sidelined with administrative tasks instead of seeing patients. Whatever happens, however, at least Jeanie’s health is good.

Randi criticizes Mark’s choice of Christmas presents for Rachel, a sled. Gant likes it, but his judgment might be compromised, since he’s been working for about 24 hours. Things get even worse for him when his girlfriend, Monique, calls to cancel their holiday plans.

Weaver meets with Mark and Anspaugh to discuss Jeanie. She can’t be fired because she’s HIV-positive, but it’s legal to make her life miserable, basically. Anspaugh tells Weaver and Mark to come up with a fair policy they can apply to any staff member with HIV. This means the two feuding doctors will have to work together.

Gant still has ten more hours to go before he gets a holiday break, part of which he’ll be spending with Carter’s family (but not Monique). Doug’s trying to buy his mom some last-minute flowers, but Carol hangs up the phone while he’s on hold to force him to see patients. She doesn’t want to hear his holiday complaints, since her mother started her prep for their traditional Ukrainian Christmas celebration at 5 a.m.

Doug asks Mark what his meeting with Anspaugh was about. Mark says they’re working on a departmental policy on HIV-positive workers, which makes Doug think there’s someone in the ER with HIV. Weaver and Carol treat a drag queen, Miss Understood, who had a fight with her boyfriend over who was cooking their Christmas goose and now has chest pains. She’s still clutching the goose and refuses to give it up, but Carol out-stubborns her.

Rumors are now circulating that someone in the hospital has HIV. Jeanie overhears Connie and Randi talking about it but keeps a poker face. Carol tries to get her to stitch up a patient, but Jeanie says she’s doing triage again. As Charlie arrives with Ahmed, the baby Doug has been trying to get into the hospital. Doyle tends to a woman named Beth who has some bad facial injuries and a possibly broken jaw. Doyle sees in her chart that she’s been there before multiple times and angrily guesses that Beth’s husband is abusive.

Mark and Weaver get to work on the policy, trying to balance federal law with state regulations. Mark argues that he’s concerned, not a bigot, and no one wants to fire Jeanie. They just need to remember their responsibility to their patients. Weaver notes that they also have a responsibility to Jeanie, who’s a good employee. If they reveal her personal information, they could get sued. Mark says this is bigger than Weaver’s loyalty to a friend.

Doug’s treating a baby who snacked on mistletoe when he notices Charlie and Ahmed. She’s worried that Ahmed’s mother, Gloria will realize that Charlie brought him there and will be upset. Doug doesn’t care, telling Charlie to get Gloria to the hospital. Paramedics bring in a homeless man, Collins, who has burns and a yappy dog named Nick. Collins makes Mark promise not to send the dog to a kennel.

Doug determines that Ahmed has a mass in his abdomen and will probably need surgery. Gloria hasn’t arrived yet and there are no other adult relatives, so there’s no one to give consent. Charlie wishes she’d brought him in sooner, since Ahmed’s tumor is affecting his kidney function, but Doug praises her for getting the child medical treatment.

Keaton, Benton, and Carter operate on Ahmed while Carol tries to get a history from a woman who was found dancing with elves at Marshall Fields. She’ll only speak through a reindeer hand puppet and will only give her name as Blitzen, “the most overlooked of all the reindeer.” Carol decides to write Blitzen down as the woman’s name.

Doyle’s telling Beth about a shelter she can go to when her husband, Mr. Lang, arrives. He pretends that she was hurt when she fell down some stairs. Doyle coolly sends him back to the waiting area, saying they still have some things to do. Mark tries to find Nick something he’ll eat, but the dog is picky. Also, Collins’ condition is declining. As Carol’s trying to get “Blitzen” a psych consult, a man arrives looking for her.

Nick finally gets some food, finding Miss Understood’s goose. Ahmed comes through surgery fine, but he’ll need to stay in the hospital for a while. Doug tells Charlie that he has to call Social Services, since Gloria didn’t do anything when Ahmed got sick. Charlie’s worried that Gloria will throw her out. Doug agrees to give Gloria a chance to explain herself.

Keaton wants to make last-minute Christmas Eve plans with Carter, so he says he’ll try to get out of things with Gant and his family. Doug treats Charlie to lunch and tries to get her to open up about her family life. She ran away from home in Cleveland because her mom had a string of bad boyfriends who often turned their attention to Charlie. She hasn’t talked to her mother since.

After 34 hours of work, Gant is ready to party with the rich people. Carter says he might not make it to his family’s party, because there’s a “girl” he wants to go see. Gant understands, but Carter feels bad. Not bad enough to give up Keaton, of course.

Weaver and Mark keep discussing their policy, overhearing Lily and Chuny as they gossip about the employee who might have HIV. Mark decides to address this head-on, but this leads to a debate among the nurses. Chuny doesn’t think a worker with HIV should be involved in a bloody trauma. Carol doesn’t see the problem as long as the person wears gloves.

Connie asks if the worker, whom Mark is calling Employee X, got HIV from a needle stick. Doyle doesn’t see why it matters. Haleh says that universal precautions are supposed to prevent transmission, and Lydia notes that they work on HIV-positive patients using those precautions. As Jeanie comes by, Mark says they’re trying to determine whether patients have the right to know that their doctor or nurse or whoever has HIV.

Chuny asks if there’s an actual Employee X, or if this is all hypothetical. Weaver says they’re just discussing policies for now. Employee X could be anyone. Tired of being talked about, Jeanie steps forward and says, “Would everyone stop calling me Employee X? I am HIV-positive.”

Weaver and Mark continue their discussion in the lounge, now with Jeanie present. Mark would be uncomfortable with letting Jeanie participate in a trauma involving deep, penetrating wounds, but Jeanie says she wouldn’t be comfortable with that either. She’s been more careful since she got her diagnosis, and she would never want to harm a patient. Mark knows this, but they need to reconcile state and federal policies.

Jeanie wants to continue helping people, which is why she hasn’t quit her job. She asks what else Mark is concerned about. He notes that dementia can be a sign of full-blown AIDS, and would obviously put patients at risk. Jeanie says that some hospitals have someone monitor employees with HIV to keep an eye on their health. Weaver volunteers to do that for Jeanie. Coming out of the meeting, Jeanie realizes that her co-workers are now looking at her differently. Carol says she wishes she’d known about Jeanie’s HIV, obviously implying that she would have been nicer if she had.

Doyle and Malik tell Mr. Lang that Beth will probably have to stay overnight for observation. They send him back to the waiting area as they wheel a covered gurney outside. Beth is on the gurney, sneaking out to go to the bus station. Doyle even gives her money for her bus ticket and food. Then she tells Malik the money was really his, as he won the employees’ bowl game pool.

Mark looks for an animal shelter that will take Nick, ignoring Chuny when she reminds him that he told the now-dead Collins he wouldn’t send the dog away. Mark’s mad that he had to pay Miss Understood $50 for the goose Nick ate. Chuny guilts him into changing his mind by telling him the shelter will kill the dog if they can’t find him a home. But hey, now Rachel might have a better Christmas present.

Gloria comes to the hospital, furious that no one will give her Ahmed. Doug can tell she’s high, which certainly isn’t going to make him hand over the kid. Charlie’s mad when Doug threatens again to call Social Services. She though he was different from every other adult she’s met with any kind of power.

Mark bathes Nick in the lounge sink and tells Doug he’s giving the dog to Rachel. Doug offers to help with the bath if Mark gives him $20 (he lost his wallet). It’s a good thing he doesn’t pay up front, because the dog escapes. Mark slips and hits his head, staying behind while Doug chases down the dog. Needing stitches, Mark turns to Jeanie for help, extending an olive branch.

Carter and Keaton are exchanging Christmas presents when Benton comes by Keaton’s office. Carter hides under her desk. Benton wants to do another pediatric rotation and hopes Keaton will give her replacement a recommendation (she’s going to Pakistan, remember). Keaton says Benton is a great surgeon, but it’s not enough for pediatrics. He only took the rotation to challenge himself; he doesn’t have a passion for pediatrics. Benton leaves without a recommendation for another specialty, saying he doesn’t want to waste any more of Keaton’s time.

While Jeanie stitches him up, Mark tells her she’s an asset to the ER. He wants her to stay. However, she’ll have to work within the limits they’re setting up, and Jeanie knows Mark wouldn’t be comfortable with her, say, giving Rachel stitches. Doug brings the dog back, then heads off to spend Christmas Eve alone.

Jeanie tells Mark she’s sorry she lied about her health. After he leaves, Carol comes into the lounge and tries to relate to what Jeanie’s going through now that the news about her health is out. When she came back to work after attempting suicide, she felt like everyone was staring at her. Carol hopes the two of them can become friends.

Charlie’s waiting for Doug at his place, having gotten his address from his wallet, which she stole. She has no place to go since, as suspected, Gloria kicked her out. Al visits Jeanie at the hospital and gives her some Christmas cards that were sent to them as a couple. He also has the star they used to put at the top of their Christmas tree. They reminisce about the early days of their marriage.

Carter goes looking for Gant, who fell asleep finishing his charts. Since Gant is doing his scut work, Benton has time to visit Carla and give her a gas station poinsettia. Apparently her standards are low because she lets him come in. At Carol’s, where she’s hosting Ukrainian Christmas, her mother chastises her for not having an extra chair for an unexpected visitor. It’s tradition, but also a necessity when Doug shows up with Charlie, wanting Carol to take her in for the night.

Mark takes both the dog and the sled to Jen’s house, but sees that Rachel has already gotten two puppies for Christmas. Jen’s new husband, Craig, spots him as he’s leaving and notes how coincidental it is that Mark brought a dog. Rachel doesn’t seem to care that Nick is scraggly and not as young or cute as her puppies. Mark pretends the dog is his and can barely hide his glee when Nick bites Craig. Charlie enjoys herself with Carol’s family, and Carol agrees to let her spend the night. Carter and Keaton spend the evening in bed, discussing her move to Pakistan. They recite “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Okay, leave already.

Mr. Lang falls asleep waiting for his wife at the hospital, and Doyle just lets him stay there. She tells Jeanie that the tree in the waiting area is missing something. She thinks Jeanie was gutsy for coming forward as Employee X. Jeanie realizes that she has the one thing that will make the tree look complete – the star Al brought her. Doyle says that since the star is from Jeanie’s first Christmas with Al, it’s an heirloom and should go on her family tree. But Jeanie says that’s exactly where it is.

Thoughts: Miss Understood’s drag cabaret act is the Mighty Morphin Gender Changers. That is BRILLIANT.

34 hours of work should be illegal.

I’ve always liked how much Weaver fights for Jeanie. I think it stems from having a disability – she’s most likely been mistreated at work, so she wants to stand up for someone else who’s being mistreated.

Apparently escaping from your abusive husband is just that easy.

When Benton comes by, Keaton tells him she was just “reviewing some anatomy.” Cough.

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.

April 3, 2018

ER 1.11, The Gift: Last Christmas, I Gave You My Heart (Literally)

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

I volunteer to cheer him up

Summary: A man dressed in a Santa suit is dozing in the ER waiting room, having come in to get checked over when he woke up dizzy. He sees that it’s 10 o’clock and tells Carter he needs to go to work. Mark tells Susan he needs to get Jen a great Christmas present, especially after he got her a Dustbuster last year. He hasn’t bought this year’s present yet, even though it’s Christmas Eve.

Susan’s just coming on shift, so along with a present, she gets a bunch of patient info. Mark’s supposed to be leaving, but he sticks around when a man brings in his son, Murray, who almost drowned in the lake. Murray’s father prays over him as the doctors get to work. Carol heats up some saline in the microwave so they can try to warm Murray up.

Benton and Carter go to the roof to meet a patient named Teddy Powell who was in a snowmobile crash. Back downstairs, Murray’s heart stops. Benton agrees with Carter’s treatment suggestion of draining burr holes in Teddy’s head, but he doesn’t want to do it unless it’s absolutely necessary. I think Teddy would agree, if he weren’t comatose and possible brain dead.

Mark, Doug, and Carol revive Murray, and after Carol leaves the trauma room, Mark brings up her engagement party. Doug says he’s not going. Mark tries to leave again, but pauses to talk to Murray’s father, Dante. He warns that they can’t know for sure what his condition will be when they warm him up. Then Haleh tells Mark to go check on a patient named Regina. She’s mumbling something about a party, so Haleh, Lydia, and Mark start singing “It’s My Party.”

Hicks looks at Teddy’s brain scans, which show that he’s brain dead. Since his organs are viable, Hicks tells Benton and Carter to find his family and get consent to donate. Carol drags Mark into another case as Susan fixes up a man named Mr. Kaminski who got burned while tapping into a power line to juice up the thousands of Christmas lights on his house. He’s disappointed to be out of the running for a prize he’s won for a number of years.

Murray might still have brain damage, and Doug knows he has a long recovery ahead of him, but he’s awake, so that’s something. Lydia’s transporting a gurney with mistletoe hanging from the IV stand, so when she gets Mark under it, she kisses him on the cheek. He tries once again to leave so he can go shopping, but once again, he has to jump on a trauma – an elderly man was stabbed.

Haleh tells Benton that Teddy’s wife is on her way just as Teddy’s heart starts to falter. Benton revives him, then realizes, “I just resuscitated a dead man.” Mark stitches up a cut on Patrick’s head as Carol tries to find out what happened to the helmet he always wears. He tells them a joke about a cat walking on sand “to get sandy claws,” but they don’t get it. (It’s a play on “Santa Claus,” guys. Keep up.)

Benton and Carter use a very, very ’90s computer to look for possible donor matches who need Teddy’s organs. They find two perfect matches and get started on giving two people a Christmas surprise. Susan examines Mrs. Goldberg, a woman with stomach pains, while Malik finds Patrick a new helmet. Carol can’t get in touch with Patrick’s family, so she invites him to hang out for a while.

Susan does an ultrasound on Mrs. Goldberg, who’s worried that she has gallstones or a tumor. Instead, she’s pregnant. She’s thrilled that she’s finally having a baby after years of trying. Doug enlists Carter to examine a kid named Kirby who ate part of a poinsettia. Doug and Carol warn Carter to wait a minute before looking in Kirby’s mouth, but he ignores them and gets vomited on.

Susan gives Mr. Kaminsky some lights that were decorating the front desk. He says they’re antiques and he’ll be able to use them next year for an old-fashioned display. Jerry complains about the missing lights, and about all the popcorn being eaten off the tree at the front desk. Doug’s next patient, Mrs. Abernathy, is depressed, and her condition isn’t helped by the holidays.

Teddy’s wife arrives, and Benton tells her that he’s brain dead. She thinks her husband is just in a regular coma and might wake up. When Benton tells her he’ll never recover, she asks for a second opinion. Linda comes by looking for Doug and volunteers to finish up Mark’s Christmas shopping. Carter runs into Susan and asks if she’s opened her Secret Santa gift yet. She’s too distracted to realize that it must be from him.

Mary’s back and singing again. She thinks the hospital is a hotel and requests a suite from Carter. Hicks chastises Benton for not moving things along with Teddy; the transplant teams are waiting for him in the OR. She’s even more annoyed when she learns that Benton called the teams before he got Mrs. Powell’s consent. Even though his driver’s license says he’s a donor, she has to sign off on the organ harvest. The surgeons are flying in from all around the country – on Christmas Eve, no less – so Benton will have to figure out what to tell them if they can’t go ahead with the harvest.

Doug recommends antidepressants and therapy for Mrs. Abernathy, who thinks her depression is tied to the marriage proposal she turned down 40 years ago. She regrets the rejection, since she only said no because her would-be fiancé was Jewish, and her parents didn’t approve. Last year, Mrs. Abernathy found letters he sent her that her mother intercepted. She tried to call him, but he died three years ago.

Benton asks Mark to help him talk Mrs. Powell into approving the organ donation. Mark says he’ll see what he can do. The Santa who left that morning is brought in, now unconscious and pulseless. Instead of trying to get Mrs. Powell to do what Benton wants, Mark encourages her to do what Teddy would want, and what’s right for her. Mrs. Powell admits that she doesn’t know what Teddy would want – they haven’t spoken in five months. He called her yesterday, wanting to spend Christmas together, but she said no. She wanted to hurt him like he hurt her, and make him beg for forgiveness.

Santa dies, and Carter blames himself, lamenting, “I killed Santa.” Doug and Mark meet up in Murray’s room, hoping he’s okay. Mary finds Patrick singing “We Three Kings” to Kirby and joins him in his serenade. Carol tells Carter that Patrick’s parents went out of town and left him with a neighbor, but he must have wandered off. Carter tells her that Mary’s family left her with a cousin so they could have a break. Her Alzheimer’s is getting worse.

Susan can’t reach Div, and Malik tells her he heard that Div quit. She asks Carter for a ride somewhere. Doug gets dressed up for some fancy gathering with Linda, and the fact that Carol is able to simply wish him a merry Christmas and then walk out of the lounge is astonishing, because he looks HOT. He confesses to Mark that he still thinks about Carol all the time. He’s afraid to tell her, not because she might reject him but because she might want him back. Mark points out that she’s not married yet.

Benton checks in with Mrs. Powell, telling her they’re running out of time for the organ harvest. She doesn’t appear to care, but then she asks for the consent form. Carter drives Susan to Div’s apartment, and when she lets herself in, she finds it trashed and abandoned. She realizes he moved out without telling her. The phone’s ringing, but the caller hangs up when Carter answers.

Jerry realizes that more lights are missing and asks Bob if she took them down. She tells him whoever said she did is lying. Carter drives Susan home, telling her he’s her Secret Santa. She kisses him on the cheek, and it obviously means more to him than it does to her. He offers to come in and keep her company, leaning in for a kiss. Susan puts the brakes on, then gives him the present she’d gotten for Div. It’s a robe, and Carter puts it on right there in the hallway.

Doug takes a cab to Linda’s party, but when he gets out to go inside, he changes his mind. Linda drops off Mark’s present for Jen, some lingerie. Lydia says he has good taste – all her ex ever got her was a vacuum cleaner. While Benton and Hicks start the organ harvest, Susan opens her present from Carter, a music box shaped like a piano. She loves it. Chloe wakes up and asks about Div; when she hears he split town, she tells Susan she’ll get over it. She gives Susan a tree ornament with her name on it, then says Susan will have to share it with the baby. Chloe’s pregnant and naming the baby after her sister.

Doug crashes Carol’s engagement party and tells her he still loves her. She denies that she returns his feelings. Tag follows them outside and gets between them as Doug tries to insist that Carol come home with him. He challenges Carol to look him in the eyes and tell him she doesn’t think about him while she’s with Tag. Tag slugs him, but Carol breaks things up. She tells Doug to stay out of her life.

Benton and Hicks successfully complete the organ harvest, and Benton asks to close Teddy up. Mary sings “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” as Mark tells Dante and the rest of Murray’s family that his brain function is normal. Doug mopes by himself outside a church. Benton finishes up with Teddy, then grabs the cooler containing his heart. Haleh puts a bow on the cooler, which is awesome, and Benton takes it up to the roof so the heart can go to its new owner.

Thoughts: A kid named Murray is just weird. Who looks at their newborn and says, “I think I’ll call him Murray”? P.S. His father’s name is Dante Valerio, which sounds like a Nic Cage character.

I always assumed they used some special medical equipment to heat saline, but no – just the microwave in the staff lounge.

Formal-wear Clooney is the best Clooney. Don’t argue; you know I’m right.

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