November 23, 2021

ER 9.20, Foreign Affairs: Luka Antes Up

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

No Chase? Sad

Summary: Gordana comes to the ER looking for Luka so she can report that her patient, Ante, is on his way to Chicago, arriving that night. They’ve arranged for him to have surgery at another hospital, but not for two more weeks. His mother sent him early because he’s getting worse. Without the surgery, he won’t survive.

Jack Carter is back in town for Millicent’s funeral, to which he’ll be wearing a red tie, since that’s what his mother liked. Millicent’s lawyer is there to tell Carter that the family foundation’s board has called an emergency meeting. Millicent’s will states that Carter is to become president of the board. Jack is clearly unhappy to be passed over, but he says that’s a good fit. Carter knows he’s lying, and that Millicent gave him the position because she was disappointed in Jack as a son. Hey, Carter, maybe don’t insult your father on the day of his mother’s funeral. He doesn’t want the job, but he also knows he can’t walk away.

Abby gets ready at her apartment, worried that she’s wearing too much lipstick for her boyfriend’s grandmother’s funeral. Eric breaks in, having left his treatment center after getting into a fight with someone over Jell-o. Abby guesses he isn’t taking his medication. He says he is, but not his full dosage. He wants to try a different facility. Abby asks why he didn’t call her and tell her there was a problem. He says he doesn’t know, but I’m guessing it’s because he hates being a grown man who keeps having to turn to his sister for help.

At County, Romano has lowered himself to treat a boy with stomach pain. His mother doesn’t like Romano, and though she speaks Spanish and needs Chuny to translate, I don’t think Romano has any problem catching on. Paramedics bring in a minor league baseball player who passed out during a game. Romano treats him with Luka, who then goes to Weaver to tell her they need to try again to get the powers that be at County to approve Ante’s surgery. He says he’ll arrange everything, including a pro-bono crew. Weaver tells him not to get his hopes up too much, but she’ll work on it.

Luka gets straight to work, asking Jerry to track Ante’s flight while he puts together a surgical team. Romano thinks his baseball player has long QT syndrome, a heart problem. He’s supposed to be done for the day, but he decides to stick around and follow up instead of passing the patient along to Susan.

At the cemetery, Carter introduces one of Millicent’s friends to Jack. She has no idea who Jack is. Ouch. Abby hasn’t arrived yet, even though Carter sent a car for her, so he doesn’t want to start the service yet. Back at County, Romano tells the ball player that treating his condition will require surgery and months of rest before he can go back to playing baseball. The player’s wife objects, knowing no team will want him after that. He’s supposed to get his big break soon. Amazingly, Romano backs down and agrees to treat the player with medication for now. In exchange, he wants box seats if the player makes it to the majors.

Chuck finds a yawning Susan and sings “Wake Up, Little Susie” to her. They’re signing their annulment papers that afternoon. Luka asks him what he’s doing that night. Abby finally makes it to the cemetery, so the service can begin. She’s brought Eric with her and has left him in their limo to watch cartoons and drink. He gets out during the service to pee. As Carter silently begs to wake up from this nightmare, Abby slips away to keep Eric from joining the service. They start bickering, and their voices carry and interrupt the minister. Jack joins the group as Eric knocks over some flowers, then falls into the open grave. Womp womp.

Bact at County, Luka tries to talk Dorset into serving as a support surgeon during Ante’s operation. Dorset has a date with a brunette from radiology, but Luka knows who he’s talking about and warns that he’ll be disappointed. Dorset asks if Elizabeth will also be at the surgery. At the roach coach, Chuck and Susan try to pick a reason for their annulment. He volunteers to take all the blame for their drunken decision to get married. They sign the papers, and after they say a cheerful goodbye, Susan goes back to work.

Luka approaches Elizabeth about Ante’s surgery, offering her anything she wants in return, like babysitting or lawn mowing. She admires him for trying to help Ante, but she thinks he’s acting rashly. Luka says this is Ante’s only chance. Elizabeth asks if Dorset’s participating, and though she claims it’s a problem that he is, she agrees to help.

Back at the cemetery, Abby has drugged Eric to keep him from causing more trouble. She apologizes to Carter for the disruption. She knew she couldn’t leave Eric home alone, and she thought he would stay in the limo. She’ll drop him off at County and then go to the Carters’ house for the reception. Carter doesn’t think she should attend. Abby knows he’s still mad that she prioritized Eric over him, but Eric needs her help. Carter tells her to go help him, then.

Paramedics bring in three members of the Mitchell family – a mom and her kids, Turner and Noelle – who were shot in a drive-by at their house. As Luka’s working on Turner, he gets a call that Ante is doing poorly on his flight. Turner’s stabilizing, so Susan lets Luka go deal with Ante’s case instead. Elizabeth takes over tending to Turner, so Susan goes to help Pratt with Noelle. It turns out she wasn’t shot; Mrs. Mitchell pulled a bookcase down on top of her to protect her when the shooting started, and Noelle now has a spinal injury.

Romano’s at home in his giant, gorgeous kitchen, boiling water. He accidentally catches his reattached arm on fire, but since he has no feeling in that arm, he doesn’t notice until he sees the flames. Weaver attends a committee meeting about Ante’s surgery, but she can’t convince the other doctors present that they should help him. Luka interrupts to complain that they never seem to debate when a rich person needs an artificial heart. They have the ability to save people who don’t have money, but they don’t want to.

Jack finds Carter hiding in an office during the reception, and Carter apologizes for what he said about Millicent being disappointed in Jack as a son. He ducked out of the reception because he didn’t feel like mingling with people he doesn’t know. He’s also embarrassed about what happened with Abby and Eric. Jack assures him that he and Abby shouldn’t feel responsible.

Pratt chats with Noelle as she’s sent up for surgery. Romano arrives and tells “Denzel” (AKA Gallant) to bring him some antibiotics. Gordana returns, and Luka promises her that no matter what, Ante will be brought to County. Gallant thinks Romano is going to try to humiliate him again, but Romano wants treatment from someone who won’t go blabbing to everyone that he burned himself. The injuries are bad, and Gallant isn’t sure he has the training and skills to treat them. Romano tells him to get Susan instead, since she’s the least annoying of all the ER doctors. Gallant says he needs a surgeon. “I am a surgeon,” Romano reminds him.

Carter shows up looking for Abby, but she hasn’t come in with Eric. Mrs. Mitchell’s oldest child, Curtis, shows up and Susan tells him that his mother and brother are doing okay. Noelle is getting scans to determine whether her paralysis is permanent. Curtis asks his mother if she saw who the shooters were. Mrs. Mitchell realizes he wants their names so he can go after them. She begs him not to do anything.

Romano checks on the ball player, telling his wife that she doesn’t have to explain why they’ve decided not to go for the aggressive treatment. Gallant told Weaver about Romano’s injury, so she examines his arm and tries to encourage him to have a procedure he needs. Romano knows that’ll end with him losing parts of his arm, and he doesn’t want that. She urges him to at least have a consult with plastic surgery.

Abby arrives as Curtis blows up at Susan over his family’s situation. Carter calms him and starts to tend to a cut he got when he took out his anger on an IV stand. He has a gang tattoo, though his mom convinced him to leave the gang. He suspects that they were behind the drive-by because they saw him as an easy target.

Weaver tells Luka that the board won’t approve Ante’s surgery, but they said that if, hypothetically, a hypothetical boy with Ante’s condition showed up hypothetically needing the surgery Ante needs, he would be treated off the record. Pleased, Luka goes to the airport himself to pick up Ante.

Carter tells Curtis that Noelle’s chances of walking again are unknown. Curtis tells his sister that he’s going to sort everything out at home. A couple of his friends arrive to take him off to get revenge. Carter tries to talk them out of it, but Curtis sees himself as a warrior who needs to fight for his family.

Luka and Chuck fly Ante from the airport to County as the boy declines. The rest of Luka’s recruits gather, having been promised various things for donating their time (one guy is getting Cubs tickets). Elizabeth and Dorset are all, “Oh, you’re here? I hadn’t thought about that possibility!” Gordana meets the helicopter on the roof, and Chuck helps her and Luka keep Ante stable on the way to the OR. Elizabeth assures Luka that the surgical team will take it from here.

Chuck and Susan meet up for an official-ish goodbye, though Susan notes that they don’t have to stop seeing each other just because they’re no longer married. Weaver finds Luka watching Ante’s surgery from a gallery and tells him some high-level board members aren’t pleased with what Luka pulled, but they’ll deal with that later. Luka admits that he wanted to be a hero and feel like a doctor again.

Gallant asks Romano how he is as Romano leaves the ER. Romano pretends he doesn’t know what Gallant is talking about. Carter checks on Mrs. Mitchell, keeping quiet about the fact that Curtis left to go kill some people. Elizabeth and Dorset take a walk downtown together, and she reveals that she agreed to do Ante’s surgery without getting anything in return from Luka. Dorset wants to go out with Elizabeth, who’s hesitant to agree to a date. She’s about to accept a ride home when she spots Romano moping by the water.

She asks Dorset for a rain check, then joins Romano, who laments that he was simply making tea when he burned himself. He doesn’t think he’s ever going to regain feeling in his arm. Elizabeth urges him not to do anything that will cause another delay in his recovery. But Romano has decided that his best option is to amputate his arm. Elizabeth reminds him that there’s a possibility for recovery down the line, but Romano doesn’t want to wait. He asks Elizabeth to set up his surgery.

Abby runs into Luka while looking for Carter and congratulates him for his success with Ante’s surgery. He tells her he’s going to the Congo in a couple of days for his work with the Alliance de Medicine Whatever. She hugs him goodbye and tells him to take care of himself. Carter joins Pratt to help him with his new patient, once of Curtis’ friends. Chen offers to take over so Carter and Abby can leave, but Carter has a hard time letting go of this case. He eventually storms out, and Abby follows to try to talk to him. He angrily tells her that he needs some time alone. After she leaves, he cries, and she doesn’t come back to comfort him. BREAK UP ALREADY!

Thoughts: I want a guy who will sing to me when he see me in the hallway. Where’s my Chuck??

Like in the previous episode, it’s hard to pick a side between Abby and Carter. She was right not to leave Eric home alone, but bringing him to the cemetery wasn’t a good idea. She should have take him to County.

It says a lot that Romano asks Gallant to help him, even after Romano’s insulted him in the past. I think it’s partly because he thinks Gallant is good at what he does and partly because he thought Gallant would do whatever Romano wanted.

April 27, 2021

ER 8.12, A River in Egypt: Private Lives

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

Insert your own joke here about Christina Hendricks having experience with mad men

Summary: Abby’s asleep – drink! Once again, she’s woken up by Brian and Joyce’s fighting. This time it’s worse, as Brian hits Joyce and she screams for help. Over at the Greene/Corday house, Rachel’s up in the middle of the night, eating a snack and watching one of the Killer Tomatoes movies (maybe a jab at George Clooney, who was in one of them). Mark joins her, remembering how they used to watch The Smurfs together early in the morning when she was a toddler.

He sees that her boots are wet and busts her for going out. She tells him she went for a walk; the middle of the night is the only time she can go out, since she’s basically on house arrest. It’s like living in a prison. When Elizabeth calls down, wondering what’s going on, Rachel calls her the warden. She regrets coming to live in Chicago and announces that she’ll go back to St. Louis. Then she leaves, slamming the door, which wakes Ella.

Abby called the police on Brian, but Joyce won’t file a report, so they can’t do anything other than keep Abby’s complaint on record. Brian is acting like nothing happened. He comments that Abby must be a light sleeper. Eleanor is still at Millicent’s house, also acting like everything’s normal. She even offers to make breakfast for Carter. She asks about Jack, who’s back in the city but hasn’t been in touch with his estranged wife. Carter tells her to leave him alone for a while, but she wants Carter to act as a go-between for them. She thinks she can fix her broken marriage.

On her way out of the building, Abby runs into Joyce, who apologizes for being so loud. She downplays how serious the situation was – they just have a lot of history and passion. Abby notices that Joyce is limping and offers to take a look at her injured ankle. Joyce declines. At County, Carter and Susan talk about Eleanor’s weirdness and how hard the divorce must be on her.

Weaver’s impressed that Gallant was able to get a patient approved for surgery despite the surgeons’ reluctance to operate. Susan teases that he’s a teacher’s pet. Mark and Carter are both amused. Hey, it’s better than being on Weaver’s bad side. Paramedics bring in a rapper who calls himself Diamond Z, who was stabbed in a brawl at a club. He was also kicked in the junk. His girlfriend, Aisha, has some minor injuries, too.

Frank lets Weaver know that Sandy left a message for her. Chuny and Malik gossip about how Sandy’s gay; Chuny’s cousin used to flirt with her in high school but she never paid attention to him. Oh, yeah, then she must be a lesbian. Chuny asks Weaver if she and Sandy are friends, but Weaver says Sandy probably just wants to check in on a guy from her unit who Weaver treated.

Susan grabs Abby to help her with a patient, an inmate named Mike Kinney who was stabbed in prison. He declines pain meds, saying he wants to feel the pain because it reminds him he’s still alive. Next door, Mark, Carter, and Yosh tend to Diamond Z, who refuses to let Yosh put a catheter in his penis. No men get near Diamond Z’s penis! None! Chuny delivers a message to Carter from Jack, who’s already on his way out of town for another business trip.

Weaver calls Sandy to tell her not to stop by, since Weaver’s waaaaaay too busy to chat, and for absolutely no other reason. She spots Chen down the hall with Romano. Well, that can’t be good. Diamond Z has been joined by his “bro,” C.C., and is fine with him sticking around while Carter talks about his test results. Diamond Z has chlamydia, which he knows comes from “nasty booty.” He and Aisha aren’t using protection, but he’s sure Aisha didn’t give it to him. Carter wants him to be tested for HIV just in case.

He notices that Abby’s tired, and she tells him she was up all night, but not for fun. He teases that Frank looks tired, too. Abby then puts a horrible image in all of our heads by joking that she and Frank were up all night having sex. Not cool, Abby. Carter tells her to test Aisha for chlamydia. After learning that Romano has summoned her for a meeting, Weaver casually asks Carter if he knows why Chen is there. He doesn’t. C.C. asks Carter to give him a chlamydia test. Carter tells him he can only contract it through sex, which C.C. already knows.

Mark got in touch with Jen about Rachel, but Jen isn’t sure they should let Rachel move back to St. Louis just because she wants to. Elizabeth thinks Mark should consider sending her to boarding school. She’ll learn responsibility and form a sense of community. It worked for Elizabeth. Mark thinks it worked because she’s British. Elizabeth guesses that Mark is just waiting for this fight to blow over so he doesn’t have to make any tough decisions.

Paramedics bring in a man named Mr. Echevarria, who passed out while waiting for a cab outside a hotel. Meanwhile, Susan stitches up Kinney, whose stab wounds are all too shallow to be life-threatening. She wonders if he stabbed himself so he could get a day pass out of prison. Kinney says Susan is the first woman he’s talked to in 14 months. She replies that in high school, she was voted Most Likely to Marry a Convict.

She learns that Kinney is on death row, scheduled to be executed in June of 2002. He appreciates knowing exactly when he’ll die, unlike people who go about their lives with no idea of when they’ll breathe their last breath. Some of them will never have the chance to apologize for things they’ve done. Susan gets uncomfortable with the conversation. Kinney asks if she can find a reason to keep him in the hospital for a little longer, just so he doesn’t have to go back to his cell. She agrees to keep him for observation. A guard promises to straighten Kinney out.

Mr. E. shows signs of heart damage, and Mark thinks he started having a heart attack last night but ignored the symptoms. Mr. E. insists on getting to the church where his daughter’s getting married, but he also doesn’t want anyone to call and tell her he’ll miss the wedding. Elizabeth notes that she’ll wonder where he is when he doesn’t show up to walk her down the aisle. Mr. E. says she won’t.

C.C. has chlamydia, and apparently didn’t feel the need to tell Carter until now that he also has HIV. Carter asks if Aisha knows this. Carter is slower than the members of the audience who have already figured out what’s really going on here. He tells Diamond Z that he tested positive for HIV, though Diamond Z claims not to know how he contracted it, since he doesn’t use needles and he isn’t gay.

Carter says Aisha should be tested. Diamond Z doesn’t want to tell her she’s been exposed, and he definitely doesn’t want word getting out that he has HIV. He decides to just leave. Carter tries to get Aisha to stick around for more tests, but Diamond Z rushes her out. C.C. stops them, urging Diamond Z to come clean. Diamond Z punches him and leaves.

Weaver goes to Romano’s office, where he, Chen, and a lawyer have been waiting impatiently. Long story short, Chen wants her job back. She and Weaver bicker about whose fault it was that Paul died, and whether Weaver acted professionally when she put the burden on Chen. Romano tells them to end the catfight, so Weaver says that, while she respects Chen’s skills as a doctor, there’s no job opening.

Chen’s lawyer finally puts all the cards on the table: They’ll file suit unless Chen gets her job back, has her record expunged, and gets a statement of correction placed in her file to clear her reputation. Weaver tells Chen to grow up; she can’t screw up and then whine about being mistreated. I’m surprised Chen doesn’t bust out her knowledge of Weaver’s missing pager right here.

C.C. asks Carter and Abby if Diamond Z has HIV (which, of course, they can’t tell him). Carter has finally figured out that C.C. has been hooking up with Diamond Z, not Aisha. C.C.’s viral load has been undetectable, and Diamond Z only “gives,” so he figured they were safe. Besides, Diamond Z doesn’t consider what they do sex. He says he’s on the DL, the down low. Apparently a number of men who consider themselves straight do some sexual acts with men for reasons they claim have nothing to do with attraction to men. Diamond Z only does it with men because women stress him out.

Aisha doesn’t know anything about this, and C.C. says he was just waiting for the day when Diamond Z would be honest with her. He never thought about the possibility that he would pass something to Diamond Z that would then be passed to Aisha. Carter asks C.C. to try to get in touch with Aisha so they can bring her back to the hospital and give her an HIV test. Abby has questions about the DL, and whether it means Diamond Z is bisexual. Carter is fine with the DL designation, but Abby’s like, “A man who has sex with another man, no matter what kind of sex, is not a straight man.” DL just means denial.

Joyce has come to County to get her ankle examined; she tells Weaver that she fell while rolling around in Heelies. Abby keeps her mouth shut about the possible real cause of Joyce’s injury. When they’re alone, Joyce says that she’s as abusive to Brian as he is to her, which I guess makes it okay. Abby notes that Brian isn’t the one getting treated at the hospital. Joyce says he’s the only guy she’s ever loved. Abby asks her to talk to a social worker and at least get some suggestions of how to deal with things. She thinks Joyce came to County for a reason.

Romano comes to the ER to talk to Weaver, taunting that he would have had her paged but he couldn’t be sure she was wearing her pager. OOOH. That was a good one, actually. Weaver brushes off Chen’s accusations, but Romano tells her that a waitress at Doc Magoo’s went on record with a statement that she saw Weaver looking for her pager at the end of the night.

He’s willing to give in to Chen’s demands of being reinstated and getting an apology from Weaver. Weaver notes that she would no longer have any authority over Chen. Romano tells her that they settled with Paul’s family, and he’s not going to risk reopening the case because Weaver screwed up. Chen doesn’t really want to sue the hospital; she just wants her job back.

As Mr. E.’s daughter, Maria, arrives at County in her wedding dress, Weaver is called in to treat a declining Kinney. She notices bruising on his side, and she and Susan realize that he has a broken rib that collapsed his lung. Kinney tries to decline treatment, saying he’s ready to die. Weaver ignores him and works to save him. Kinney tells her that they’ll just keep beating him.

Carter goes to the airport to talk to Jack before he leaves town. This is boring! No one cares about this storyline! Jack tells Carter that Eleanor wants to negotiate with him instead of ending the marriage. Carter thinks that’s fair – Jack needs to take some time to decide if he really wants to end his marriage. Jack already has, thanks to Carter. He got lost in his marriage and can’t find his way back to his wife. He warns Carter that Eleanor is “an emotional vampire.”

Maria had no idea her father was coming to the wedding, since they’ve been out of contact for six years. He regrets not letting her come home. Mark eavesdrops on the conversation, so we can really grasp the parallel that sending Rachel back to St. Louis might ruin his relationship with her. Maria tells her father that she’s happy, and she doesn’t need Mr. E. anymore.

She leaves to return to her big, fancy wedding with all its nonrefundable deposits. Her father didn’t care when she called him from Kansas, begging to come home, so she doesn’t care now. Mark tries to play peacemaker, reminding Maria that Mr. E. wanted to be at her wedding. Maria calls him cold and heartless for turning his back on her. She won’t let Mark make her cry, since her makeup took so long to do. Ugh, Mr. E., you’re probably better off without her.

Susan asks Kinney’s guard how he managed to break ribs while lying on a gurney. The guard says he was flailing against the guardrails, so the guards had to restrain him. Apparently they needed a nightstick to do that. The guard asks why Susan cares, since Kinney is a murderer. She rushes back into the trauma room when she hears the clatter of Kinney’s gurney hitting the floor. Weaver says he flipped it. Now he has a head injury on top of everything else, and Susan doesn’t see the point in trying to save him, since he’s going to be executed anyway. Weaver says a suicidal death-row inmate can’t consent to a DNR, so they have to treat him.

Sandy arrives, and though she doesn’t really want to talk to Weaver, she allows Weaver to say what she wants to say. Weaver pretends she just wanted to see if Sandy was okay after a big fire. Abby interrupts to ask Weaver to approve a request for Joyce to speak to someone from Social Services. Weaver sends her away so she and Sandy can be alone (as alone as they can be in the busy hallway right outside the waiting area), but she doesn’t know what to say.

Sandy thinks Weaver’s playing games and avoiding her. Weaver’s fighting back tears by now. Chen interrupts next, demanding to talk to Weaver. Sandy decides to leave, but Weaver begs her to stick around. Sandy finally grabs her and kisses her in full view of the admit desk. Abby and Malik just stare, but Chen looks amused. Yeah, people being outed without their consent is hilarious, isn’t it, Chen?

Abby gives Joyce a bag that the staff calls an escape kit – money, phone numbers, and other resources that she could use to leave Brian. Joyce denies that she doesn’t feel safe with Brian. Abby brings Adele in to talk to her anyway, but Joyce knows that Brian will get upset if he finds Adele talking to her. I guess this has happened before. Mark pulls Abby into the hallway so she can hold up a phone for Mr. E. One of the choir boys at the church where Maria is getting married is going to hold up another phone so Mr. E. can listen to the wedding. Aww, that’s sweet.

Connie asks Abby if she saw “it” (obviously meaning Weaver and Sandy’s kiss). She heard it was steamy. Weaver has given in and agreed to reinstate Chen, though she’ll have to start back by working overnights. Chen doesn’t agree to that, and she also won’t report to Weaver while she’s working. Chen says they both know what Weaver did. Weaver replies that they also know what Chen did, and of the two of them, Weaver isn’t the one who killed a patient. If Chen were more thorough, she wouldn’t have needed Weaver there in the first place.

The nurses are gossiping about the Big Kiss, of course. Kinney is in a post-op coma, so he’ll either die like that or be executed. Weaver doesn’t care. Susan notes that his care will cost thousands of dollars a day, only for him to end up dead by execution. Weaver still doesn’t care. As Aisha returns, Weaver tells Malik to find something to do other than stand around awkwardly and think about how he saw her kissing Sandy.

Mark takes Rachel for a walk by the river and tells her that he and Jen agreed that she should stay in Chicago. He’s worried that their relationship will be harmed if she goes back to St. Louis. He’s already missed too much of her life and isn’t going to let her leave mad. They both need to try harder and listen to each other. Rachel says she doesn’t want to be treated like a kid. Mark says that’s fair, but he also doesn’t want to be treated like an old man.

Brian arrives at County and Abby tries to keep him out of Joyce’s room so he doesn’t see Adele. He acts like their domestic problems aren’t that big, just the sort of stuff every couple faces. Adele leaves just as they reach Joyce’s room, so Brian doesn’t realize that his wife was talking to a social worker. He and Joyce leave, acting like things are great. She doesn’t take the escape kit with her.

Weaver goes to the fire station to confront Sandy for outing her to her co-workers. Sandy shouldn’t be allowed to make choices for other people. Sandy notes that she didn’t choose to be lied to or spend time with someone who pretends she’s someone she isn’t. Weaver is understandably upset that she got outed in her workplace, where she chooses to keep her private life private. Sandy criticizes her for hiding who she is because she doesn’t want to face how other people will react. She thinks she did Weaver a favor.

Eleanor is still trying to do domestic stuff at Millicent’s house, and Carter finds her changing a lightbulb when he gets home. She’s drunk. She tells Carter she spent the afternoon at a children’s cancer center, the place she agreed to support charitably after Millicent blew them off. It seems like seeing children with cancer reminded her of the son she lost to the disease years ago. She’s also upset because Millicent wants her to leave.

Carter checks Eleanor’s pulse and asks if she’s on something. She admits that she’s been taking Xanax. That plus the alcohol makes her sick later, and Carter tends to her as she throws up. Eleanor asks him if he wants her to leave like Millicent does. He says no. Eleanor says he was right – she failed him. But she failed his brother first. She didn’t take him to a doctor when he started getting sick, which delayed his diagnosis. Carter says it only delayed it by a month or so, not enough to make a big difference, but Eleanor is mad at herself for not doing more for him.

Thoughts: Diamond Z, Aisha, and C.C.’s dialogue was clearly written by white people with no business pretending they know how Black people talk.

Telling a colleague to grow up isn’t quite the mature, professional behavior you think it is, Weaver.

Between the DL thing and Joyce’s Heelies, this is a very late ’90s/early ’00s episode.

I wonder why they had Carter involved in the DL storyline instead of Weaver, for that extra punch about hiding and being in denial.

April 13, 2021

ER 8.10, I’ll Be Home for Christmas: Does Santa Visit Perjurers in Jail?

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

Benton, you have a child. Please learn how to hug

Summary: It’s December 13th and Carter is horrified that Susan rooted for the Suns while living in Phoenix. They appear to be dating, but they’re acting the way they always have, so it’s hard to tell. Susan makes Carter buy her breakfast at the Roach Coach as he takes a phone call from Jack. He reports to Susan that for the first time in nine years, his parents will be in Chicago for the holidays.

At County, Romano is in a good mood and wants to share some Christmas cheer with Benton by enlisting him for an operation on an alderman. Benton wants to discuss his schedule first, since he needs more flexible hours to spend time with Reese. Romano pressures him to accept his surgery offer instead.

An enthusiastic Santa is ringing a bell and asking for donations in the ER. She complains that no one will give a break to “a female Santa in a man’s world.” Weaver tells her she can’t ask for donations in the hospital. Ms. Santa says she works at the Salvation Army, but when Weaver asks to see her ID, Ms. Santa admits that she just eats there.

Luka arrives late for work and isn’t very apologetic about it. Abby asks Chuny when Weaver’s going on Christmas vacation. Chuny calls her Scrooge and says she’ll never leave. Abby tries to lighten the mood with Luka, but he’s mopey because no one knows where Nicole is. Apparently she stole from her last job, too, so she’s burned a lot of bridges in Chicago. No wonder she wanted to go to Canada. He finally admits that Abby was right about Nicole being a habitual liar.

Sandy brings in a couple of kids who are slightly injured, but not so badly that they can’t fight with each other. She reminds Weaver that they were supposed to make plans to get together, but Weaver never called. She’s clearly gun-shy about getting into a relationship, and she’s also clearly worried about her co-workers finding out she’s a lesbian.

Susan asks Benton to check out a cut a man (later ID’d as Stan) sustained while running from police at the airport. He didn’t have a ticket or any ID. Stan says he’s going to miss his flight, but if he doesn’t have ID, he’s not getting on a plane, so… He also doesn’t appear to know who he is. Benton notices Ms. Prager across the ER and ditches Susan and Stan.

In the lounge, Ms. Prager tells Benton that Judge Alter has denied some motion she filed, and now wants Reese to pick which father he wants to live with. Um, what? He’s four! No judge would ask a four-year-old to make that decision! Ms. Prager says he wants Reese’s opinion, which is totally reasonable, but…come on. If he says he wants to live with Mickey Mouse, will the judge send him to Disney World? Ms. Prager is annoyed that Benton keeps trying to fight Roger when Roger is willing to compromise on visitation. Benton refuses again, so Ms. Prager warns that he’s making Roger look like the better option.

Weaver chats with Sandy again, finally extending a lunch invitation. Sandy recognizes Stan, who’s serenading the ER, and tells Susan he’s homeless. Stan tells Susan that whatever Sandy told her isn’t true. He has amnesia and definitely isn’t this guy who sounds like a rough character. If he were smart, he’d clean up, get a suit, and go to the airport instead of spending the day on the street, alone, at Christmastime.

Benton has made at least a small compromise and has agreed to meet with Roger and Wharton before they’re supposed to see Judge Alter. They want Roger to get visitation with Reese every other weekend, plus two weeks in the summer (a common arrangement for divorced parents). Ms. Prager wants to renegotiate for a little less time, but Benton refuses the deal outright. He announces that he won’t negotiate his time with his own son. Roger notes that he’ll have to take his chances with the judge.

Carter visits Millicent in her no-doubt super-expensive medical facility, where Jack is already with her. He’s alone, since Eleanor won’t be in town until later in the week. Carter and Millicent are both happy to have Jack with them for Christmas, but Jack clearly doesn’t feel the same. Oh, go be WASP-y in Aspen or Aruba or wherever rich white people go for the holidays. No one wants you here anyway.

Back at the courthouse, Alter uses a sign-language interpreter to ask Reese about his two dads. He calls Benton “Daddy” and Roger his other daddy. Alter asks which dad gives him better care when he gets hurt. Reese says Roger, but it’s because his Band-Aids have cartoon characters on them. And that’s why you don’t ask a four-year-old which parent he wants to live with.

December 19th: The custody trial continues, and Roger talks about how much time he’s spent with Reese – more time than Benton has. He makes Reese a priority, which is what’s in his best interest. Carter meets Jack at Doc Magoo’s for lunch, which is just hilarious. Carter wants to know why Eleanor is still in Costa Rica, especially since her mother-in-law is in the hospital. Jack announces that 1) Eleanor isn’t coming after all, and 2) they’re getting divorced. Carter immediately guesses that someone had an affair, then that Eleanor got bored with her marriage. Jack reveals that he’s the one who left.

Back in court, Benton testifies that he let Carla take on a lot of the parenting while he pursued his career, but it felt right because Reese was with his mother. Now that things have changed, Benton is going to adjust his hours so he can spend more time with Reese. He’ll work regular hours on weekdays and have all weekends off. The judge asks for proof of the new schedule by the end of the day.

As soon as court is adjourned, Benton tries to call Romano, who’s in surgery. He starts to head to County, but Roger pulls his car up behind Benton’s to confront him for lying about his schedule change. He thinks Benton is treating Reese like a prize to be won so he can give Jackie a son to replace Jesse. Benton moves toward him like a punch is going to be thrown, but Roger makes it clear that that action will send him straight to Alter. He tells Benton he can’t change who he is.

Weaver and Sandy meet up for their lunch date but can’t find the restaurant they were going to go to. They decide to go to Weaver’s place and order in instead. At County, Benton tries to talk to Romano about his schedule again. Romano is willing to listen this time, but he won’t give Benton nights and weekends off. They work in an urban trauma center; they can’t schedule when emergencies happen. Benton will work when Romano wants him to or not at all.

In response, Benton resigns. His bluff called, Romano agrees to give Benton weekends off. It’s not enough, so Benton says he’ll finish out the week, then be gone. Romano yells after him that he’s giving up a major career so he can play Mr. Mom. Um, that’s Dr. Mom, sir. Actually, it’s Dr. Dad, because the term “Mr. Mom” is ridiculous, but I don’t expect Romano to grasp that.

Abby takes a newborn to the OB floor after he was brought in by paramedics. The mom went into labor in a department store, and the baby was delivered by a shoe salesman. I hope he got a big Christmas bonus for that. And I hope the kid gets free shoes for life. As she’s leaving, Abby spots Nicole in a recovery room. She reads in Nicole’s chart that she really was pregnant, but she isn’t anymore. (It’s not clear if she miscarried or had an abortion. Your guess is as good as mine.)

Benton goes to the clinic where Cleo now works and tells her he quit his job. She told him there’s a position open there, so Benton asks to meet the person doing the hiring ASAP, so he can get proof of his new job and hours. Cleo reminds him that she just started working there, so she can’t ask her new colleagues for favors this quickly.

Abby waits until Nicole’s out of recovery and tells her that Luka’s been looking for her. She wants to know why Nicole told Luka she wasn’t pregnant. Nicole says it’s none of her business. Abby apologizes for accusing Nicole of lying, but Nicole doesn’t really care – Abby was right about Luka’s kindness not being love. She asks Abby not to tell Luka the truth about her pregnancy.

Benton waits impatiently to meet with his potential new boss. First thing the next morning, he gives Alter a letter showing he’s been offered a new job. Alter’s a little suspicious that Benton left County and got a new job in just 12 hours. Benton says it was always a possibility and he just needed to work out the details. Alter’s suspicious again, since Benton never mentioned he was looking for a different job.

Benton doesn’t think it matters, since he got the better schedule he said he would. Alter notes that Benton told a different story yesterday, and he doesn’t appreciate dishonesty. Benton says he’s doing what he needs to do for Reese. He heads to County, running into Elizabeth and telling her he’s done all he can in the custody case. He also lets her know he’s leaving County. She’s surprised that he’s making such a big change so he can keep custody of Reese.

Carter and Susan work on a 12-year-old boy named Ben who fell off a ladder while hanging Christmas lights. Benton comes to give a surgical consult and decides Ben should stay for observation in case he needs to have his spleen removed. Ben’s parents don’t quite get that a spleen isn’t a vital organ, and that they don’t need to get their large family tested to see if anyone’s a match for a donation. As Carter takes them to a waiting room, Ben’s mother, Amparo, faints.

Carter examines Amparo, who says she’s fine. Benton assures her that Ben doesn’t seem to be badly injured. Carter finds a node on Amparo’s neck, and she tells him he doesn’t need to run any tests. She’s already been diagnosed with lymphoma. She hasn’t told her family yet, since she didn’t want to ruin their Christmas. Benton assures her again that Ben will be fine.

Luka and Abby stitch up a man who cut his hand on an ice skate – part of a pair he was shoplifting for his kids. After he’s done, he’ll be arrested. He doesn’t have anyone to watch his kids, so Luka considers posting his bail. (The man has a job, but it pays minimum wage and he can’t afford a security deposit on an apartment, so the family has been living in a motel. God bless America, right?) Abby doesn’t want to tell Luka not to get personally involved with a patient’s family, but she also doesn’t want to tell him not to help out this nice family when he has to spend Christmas without his own.

At the courthouse, Alter asks to talk to Reese again, this time without his dads or their lawyers present. Sure, Benton and Roger will just hang out alone in the courtroom, not getting violent with each other or saying anything they can’t take back. No problem. Back at County, Ben’s family accompanies him up to the OR floor, since he needs exploratory surgery. Carter’s like, “So that’s what it’s like to have a big family of people who all like spending time together.”

Susan and Carter meet up in the lounge to exchange presents, though he forgot to bring hers. He tells her he’s distracted by news of his parents’ divorce and his mom’s absence. Susan thinks it’s a blessing in disguise. Her parents fight all the time and should be divorced. She’s relieved that Carter isn’t having difficulties because of something that has to do with her. He tells her she’s pretty much the only thing going right in his life right now.

Cleo and Jackie join the court proceedings as Alter and Reese come into the courtroom. Alter talks about how, in a typical custody case, each parent retains his or her role as mother or father no matter which way the decision goes. In this case, Alter basically has to void one father’s title as Daddy. Both Benton and Roger love Reese, and both have made sacrifices for him (though Benton’s was sketchy and Alter isn’t happy with him). Alter thinks Reese would do well in either household, but based on Benton’s new job and history as Reese’s father, he gets custody. Roger will get visitation every other Saturday.

Christmas Eve: Benton, Cleo, and Reese decorate her place for Christmas, and Benton invites Cleo to lie under the tree with him and look up at the lights. She notes that they need to get moving or he’ll be late for his last shift at County. “What are they going to do, fire me?” he asks. He remembers lying under the tree as a kid.

Since both of them are going to be working in Schaumburg, Benton suggests that they relocate (by which he means they should get a place together). He’s spent so long working hard, trying to get to the end zone, and now he’s realized that the end zone is his family, not his job. He and Cleo start kissing, but Reese interrupts so they can put the star on top of the tree.

Mark finally appears in the episode as paramedics bring in a six-year-old boy named Teddy who has a gunshot wound. His mother, Paula, states blankly that she shot him. Benton finds Roger waiting for him on the OR floor, curious about whether Benton really got a new job. He said he would change his hours, yet here he is working on Christmas Eve. Benton says it’s his last shift at County. Roger’s there to drop off Reese’s Christmas presents and remind Benton that he’ll get Reese in two weeks. Benton tells him he can come over tomorrow and give Reese the presents in person.

He heads to the ER, where Paula is telling Mark and Susan that she mistook Teddy for a burglar. She heard glass break and thought it was a window, but it was an ornament Teddy dropped. Mark pulls her out of the trauma room so she doesn’t have to watch Benton open her son’s chest. They take Teddy up to the OR, though Romano doesn’t think they can save him. Elizabeth joins him and Benton as Benton tries hard to help Teddy while Romano says over and over that it’s pointless. Benton finally kicks him out. Elizabeth is also skeptical about Teddy’s chances, but she stays to help anyway.

Mark tries to reassure Paula, both that Teddy has a chance to make it and that she shouldn’t beat herself up for shooting him. She says she just wanted to protect her home. Back in the OR, Benton is able to repair the damage in Teddy’s chest, stunning Elizabeth. Even Benton doesn’t know how he did it. It’s a Christmas miracle!

Elizabeth sends Benton to give Paula the good news, telling him that everyone at County will miss him. (Well, except Romano.) Benton doesn’t feel the same way, but he admits that the job has had its moments. He tells Paula that Teddy will recover, then watches Elizabeth wrap up the last surgery he’ll ever perform at County. Passing Romano without a word exchanged between them, he leaves.

Christmas Day: Carter waits for Benton on a bench on his normal jogging route. He learned of Benton’s departure from County in a message, and he knows there’s no way to change his mind. Carter gives him the El token Benton gave him during his second week as a surgical intern. They’d worked on a bunch of patients over the course of half a day, and Carter asked for a break because he was exhausted. Benton kicked him out of the OR.

Carter was so tired that he started crying in the hallway. Benton gave him the token and a choice: Use it to go home or commit to his job and use it to come back the next day. Benton jokes that he was expecting a Rolex. Carter tells him that if Benton gets tired of Schaumburg, he can use the token to come back to County. Or, since the El doesn’t use tokens anymore, he can call Carter and ask for a ride.

Getting a little teary, Carter tells Benton he owes him, then hugs him. Benton breaks it off as soon as he can, pretending he needs to keep jogging before he gets too cold. As he leaves, Carter says he’s a good doctor because of Benton. Benton replies that he isn’t, but he should keep trying.

Thoughts: Paula is played by Anne Dudek, because apparently everything I recap now has to include someone who’s been on The Magicians. Amparo is played by Lea Salonga, and it’s too bad Ming Na isn’t in this episode, because then we would get to see both Mulan’s voice actress and the actress who did her singing.

Roger’s visitation proposal is incredibly reasonable and Benton is a jerk for not accepting it. And it’s not like Roger is some horrible monster who’s a threat to Reese’s safety. He’s a good father and Reese loves him. I get Benton being territorial, but it’s gotten out of hand.

I love Carter and Benton’s scene together at the end. It’s perfect for their characters and their relationship.

This marks the end of Benton and Cleo’s time on the show – almost. They both appear at the end of the season, and Benton returns at the end of the series.

February 9, 2021

ER 8.1, Four Corners: What You Think Is Right

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

You can play Where’s Waldo? with this picture, but instead of Waldo, look for someone who isn’t a WASP

Summary: A young woman named Alice gets out of an ER bed and starts wandering the halls. Abby and Carter are at the admit desk, talking about someone’s death. Mark and Elizabeth are bickering over a patient he doesn’t think is well enough for surgery. Randi tells Mark that Romano wants to talk to him about Derek. As he heads to that no-doubt pleasant meeting, Benton asks Mark if Cleo’s doing okay on the triple cocktail, the medicine she’s taking to try to prevent her from developing HIV.

Carter is annoyed with a doctor who won’t agree to admit one of Carter’s patients. He’s on his way out and tells Abby to call him if the patient, Holly, hasn’t been admitted in half an hour. As Weaver arrives for a shift, Luka tells Abby that he’s found an apartment with two bedrooms in an area she likes. Ooh, they’re ready to live together! (Don’t get too excited.) Abby is hesitant to take that next step. Their conversation in the ambulance bay is interrupted when there’s a crash on the overhang above them. Alice rolls off it and falls to the ground.

The episode is split into the overlapping perspectives of four characters. First is Weaver. She buys a Kenyan bracelet from a vendor on the street, then heads to County, listening to a talk-radio argument about gay people. Weaver is back at work after three weeks off, and no one knows how to talk to her, either because they now know she’s a lesbian or because she’s Weaver and they never know how to talk to her. While Carter, Abby, and Luka interact in the background, in the scenes we just saw, Randi admires Weaver’s bracelet. Weaver lies that she got it in Kenya, the place she spent the last three weeks.

From the lounge, she hears the crash of Alice falling on the ground and goes to a trauma room to wait for Luka and Abby to bring her in. Chuny fills in some details: Alice was waiting for a psych consult, and she’s also pregnant…with her brother’s baby. Yiiiiikes. Things in psych are slow now that Legaspi’s gone. Yeah, things in psych were slow before that. Just ask Lucy. Oh, wait, you can’t, because she’s dead. Anyway, Abby asks if Weaver has heard from Legaspi, but Weaver doesn’t respond. She inserts a chest tube into Alice and gets sprayed with blood.

Benton joins the group, so Luka tells Weaver to go get cleaned up. After she does, Chen thanks her for giving her a second chance at becoming chief resident – Chen got the position. As Luka gives some bad news to a woman named Mrs. Jenkins, the guy Chen is treating says they should sue some Scottish guy. Chen explains to Weaver that her patient, Carl, started a brawl on a talk show. Turns out his girlfriend is transgender and decided to tell him on TV. Weaver gets in the middle of the fight between the homophobic Carl and his now-ex-girlfriend, whom he calls a freak.

Luka settles Carl down, then asks Weaver if she’s going to the M&M for Derek. She asks if anyone talked about her while she was gone. Before he can answer, Anspaugh joins them. They all head to the M&M, where Mark is questioned about his treatment (or, more accurately, his lack of treatment) of Derek. Weaver spaces out, remembering her last conversations with Legaspi and Romano. She imagines that everyone in the room is staring at her. Then they really are staring at her, but it’s because Anspaugh wants her to weigh in on whether Derek’s treatment was compromised. She doesn’t think they were too busy to give him the appropriate treatment.

After the M&M, Romano makes small talk with Weaver, suspicious of how she disappeared for three weeks without any warning. She plays it cool, then scrambles to make sure he hasn’t spread her big news. Romano says that he backed off of Legaspi after Weaver threatened to take the situation to the press, the county, and the ACLU. Legaspi decided to leave on her own. When Weaver asks if Romano has told anyone about her, he pretends not to know what she’s talking about. She spells it out for him and he says he assumed that her sexuality is confidential and shouldn’t be discussed at work.

Benton: While at Walt’s garage to get something repaired on his car, Benton learns from his niece Joanie that Jackie was fired. She took too long of a leave of absence after Jesse’s death. Joanie invites Benton and Cleo over for dinner sometime, and he tells her they’re taking a break. Joanie perfectly channels her mother when she asks what he did wrong. Benton says Cleo is going through something difficult and just needs some space.

At County, Benton treats the Scottish talk-show host Carl mentioned he wanted to sue. The host says he’s been hosting the show for a while, and while brawls sometimes break out, no one has ever gotten hurt before. Benton gets distracted when he sees Cleo talking to Mark. He leaves the host to try to talk to Cleo about how she’s doing. She sends him to examine Alice, who sustained some injuries in the brawl. She’s also trying to deal with the news that her boyfriend is also her half brother.

This means we’re back in time, and Benton is examining Alice in the room where we first saw her. Mrs. Jenkins comes in, wanting to explain things to Alice, who turns out to be her daughter. Alice is understandably furious that Mrs. Jenkins took her on TV to tell her that she’s dating her brother. After Mrs. Jenkins is escorted out of the room, Alice admits to Benton that she thinks she’s pregnant. He confirms this, making Alice’s day even worse. Benton is gentle with her but clearly has no idea how to handle this situation.

He leaves Alice in Chuny’s care as Malik runs into the ER, warning everyone that Weaver’s there. Benton moves on to treating another participant in the talk-show brawl, but he ditches her to talk to Mark about Cleo. Next he goes up to the OR, where Joanie’s waiting for him. She’s upset because she thinks Jackie and Walt are going to break up. Benton tells her they’re acting like any parents who lost their son. Joanie thinks Jackie is getting too upset about things Walt is doing, and she shouldn’t still be grieving this much after almost a year.

Benton gets paged to the ER to tend to Alice after her jump. Someone asks what Benton said to her, and he has to admit that he didn’t say anything. He, Luka, and Abby work hard, but Luka determines that they won’t be able to save Alice. He goes to give Mrs. Jenkins the news before Benton declares Alice dead, knowing it’s only a matter of time.

After his shift, Benton goes to Jackie’s house to see how she’s doing after losing her job. She’s cleaning out the garage, trying to stay busy. She and Walt were making plans to change some things around the house, and when Jackie went to pick up some pictures of their backyard, she found some photos of Jesse on the roll. She realized she would never see any other pictures of Jesse. He’ll never grow older than 15. Every day, Jackie thinks things are getting better, but then something like this knocks her back to the beginning. Benton comforts his sister as she laments not being able to take care of her baby anymore.

Carter: The death Carter and Abby were discussing at County was Carter’s grandfather’s. He, Millicent, and Carter’s parents, Jack and Eleanor, attend the funeral together. Carter’s phone rings during the service and he quickly turns it off. (It’s kind of random, but my assumption is that that was Abby calling to talk about Holly.) Afterward, in a limo, Carter tries to make small talk with Eleanor, who’s, like, the dictionary definition of WASP. Abby calls to tell him that Holly still hasn’t been admitted. This is before the conversation we saw earlier, so Carter asks the limo driver to take him to County.

Holly’s upset that Carter left her in the ER without saying goodbye. He promises that he’ll get her moved to her own room and out of the noisy ER. He tells her to get Abby to call him if she wants to talk. Now Carter goes to the admit desk to light a fire under the doctor who was supposed to admit Holly, as we saw at the beginning of the episode. Abby compliments his suit and jokingly asks who died. Carter replies that his grandfather did. Oh, Abby. She offers to go to the reception with him in case he wants to talk.

Carter and Eleanor finally make it to Millicent’s house to do their WASP-y duty of pretending everything’s fine even though they just lost their family’s patriarch. Jack tells Carter to mingle and be a good host, like this is a garden party and not a funeral reception. Eleanor and Jack barely interact with each other, and no one seems particularly sad that their loved one has died.

Abby shows up and tells Carter that his harsh words on the phone worked, and Holly has been admitted. She notices that the birdbath in the backyard is broken and asks if John I drove his power lawn mower into it. Carter says he did, but not on purpose – he was having the heart attack that killed him. Abby’s embarrassed but Carter’s amused. She apologizes for crashing the funeral, but she felt bad that Carter didn’t feel like he could tell her his grandfather died.

Eleanor joins them and tells Carter to go find Millicent so she can “make an appearance.” Carter tells Abby that his parents don’t handle loss well. They haven’t had to deal with death in a long time, since Carter’s brother died as a child. He goes to look for Millicent but instead finds Jack listening to financial news. He just couldn’t wait until after the reception to check on his stocks.

Carter encourages him to spend the night at the house to be there for his mother. He tells Jack not to run away again. Jack snaps at Carter to drop the subject, but Carter doesn’t want to. He reminds Jack that his brother Bobby isn’t coming back. If Eleanor wants to spend the rest of her life in a bubble, she can, but Jack shouldn’t let her hold him inside it, too. Jack ignores him and goes back to the financial news.

Carter finally finds Millicent in the garage, trying to start some fancy old car. She wanted to drink a bottle of champagne she and John I were saving for their 60th anniversary next year. Carter urges her to save it, but she wants to toast her late husband. Carter opens the bottle, spraying the windshield in the process (I don’t think that was supposed to happen; Noah Wyle and Frances Sternhagen look genuinely amused). After they toast, they go for a drive.

Mark: After undergoing a routine scan to make sure his tumor is still gone, Mark goes to the ER, where the talk-show brawlers are just being brought in. Luka is a little nervous about speaking at the M&M, but Mark is totally calm, or at least pretending to be. Cleo is struggling with nausea from her medication, which is also affecting her liver. She only has a week left on it, and Mark thinks she should stop taking it; she should have had enough to prevent HIV.

Adele has recovered from her gunshot wound, but she’s still dealing with paralysis. She doesn’t think she’ll make a full recovery. Romano wants her to go to the M&M as a bit of show and tell. Mark joins Elizabeth in a trauma room; she’s back at work for the first time since her six-week-long maternity leave. They work on the patient they were bickering about at the beginning of the episode. They take the conversation from the trauma room to the admit desk, where Randi tells Mark to go see Romano.

Romano warns Mark that the legal department has flagged something in the nurses’ notes about Derek: 17 minutes passed between when Mark left the trauma room and when he delivered Derek to the surgical floor. Before Mark can explain that the elevator stopped, someone comes in to tell Romano that Alice jumped from the fourth floor into the ambulance bay. Mark quickly tells Romano his version of events: The elevator stopped, the battery in the defibrillator ran down after Mark used it a few times, and it took a long time to get help. Romano thinks that’s a reasonable story.

Mark presents the case at the M&M, where Elizabeth realizes that Derek was conscious in the elevator. The look she gives Mark says that she knows exactly what he did. Back in the ER, Abby tells Luka that she wants to go to John I’s funeral reception. Mark passes by them on his way to Alice’s trauma room, where Mrs. Jenkins is sitting with her daughter’s body. She tells Mark that the show set up the drama, and none of it was real. Alice and her boyfriend aren’t related. Mrs. Jenkins lied to get them on the show.

At home that night, Mark and Elizabeth discuss their shared patient, whom she operated on after all. He admits that it was a matter of a judgment call. “You do what you think is right,” she replies pointedly. He starts to tell her what really happened in the elevator, but Elizabeth thinks they’ve discussed Derek enough for one day. It’s clear that she knows what he did, but she also knows why, so she’s going to let it go.

Thoughts: Jack is played by Michael Gross. Eleanor is played by Mary McDonnell. Mrs. Jenkins is played by the late Conchata Ferrell.

I don’t usually like gimmicky episodes, and the gimmick here doesn’t do anything for me, but it could be worse. It could be a musical episode or a backwards episode (stay tuned for that in season 9).

Color me shocked that the one time someone wants Romano to be discreet, he actually is.

Of course Jack and Eleanor named their children Robert and John. They would love the Kennedys, wouldn’t they?

Carter’s section of this episode (and, by extension, the season) is SO BORING. I don’t know why the writers thought we would care about his family beyond Millicent. I would much rather learn about Weaver’s family and her upbringing.