March 29, 2022

ER 10.16, Forgive and Forget: Tanks for Nothing

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

What are the odds that this episode would come up just TWO DAYS after a guest star won an Oscar?

Summary: Elizabeth’s having a home-cooked dinner with Dave while their kids play together. He asks about Mark’s death, then confides that he and his daughter Sydney’s mother were never married. The mother was only 20 when she had Sydney, and she left three weeks later. (For the record, Steven Culp was 49 here, and if Sydney is three like Ella, he was 46 when she was born, which means there was a 26-year age difference between him and her mother. EW.) Elizabeth isn’t impressed with the meal, but she likes Dave enough to kiss him. Both their daughters see but don’t seem to care.

Sam goes to Luka’s after having not seen him for a few days. His body language says he’s not up for a visitor right now. It could have something to do with the fact that there’s someone in his shower. Sam gets the hint and leaves without seeing that Luka already has a visitor: Gillian. At County, Abby tries to help Morris with a patient named Welling who’s demanding pain medication for a back problem. He claims he doesn’t have medical records because the VA burned them. Abby wants him to have a psych consult, but Morris says psych has seen him multiple times and won’t admit him.

Welling tells Abby he’s not suicidal, but he’s homicidal toward Morris. Abby asks Morris to have him admitted for high blood pressure, which I’m guessing is just the result of his anger. He threatens to get a tank and frag Morris, then leaves the hospital. Sam arrives for a shift and makes awkward small talk with Luka. Chen is back at work, and Neela brings her a patient who needs stitches after a fight with her girlfriend. Frank: inappropriate homophobic comment. Neela tells him he’s a horrible man and people hate his discriminatory remarks. She only wants silence from him from now on. Frank: comment about how she’s PMS-ing. Shut up, Frank.

Carter tells Luka that Gillian left him a message about having dinner. When Sam joins them, Carter tells Luka they’ll talk more later. She takes Luka to see a new patient, a 13-year-old named Brian who’s having testicular pain with no known cause. Brian silently indicates to Luka that he doesn’t want Sam there for his examination. Though he’s really polite, he comments that Sam is hot when she leaves.

Paramedics bring in a man named Charlie who’s septic. He’s been under his daughter Dahlia’s care after a brain injury left him unable to walk or talk. Carter warns Dahlia that Charlie might not survive the infection, but he doesn’t appear to have a DNR or any kind of record of what he would want in this kind of situation. Dahlia insists that the doctors help him.

Sam comes in while Luka is examining Brian, who quickly covers himself up. Luka thinks Brian has an infection, but Sam worries it’s something more serious and if they wait for his labwork to come back, he could have complications that lead to him losing a testicle. Luka snaps at her and Sam asks if he’s mad at her for stopping by his place.

She wants to clarify that when she said they should slow things down, she didn’t mean stop seeing each other altogether. Luka reminds her that she wants a casual relationship. Sam says if it’s a choice between something serious and nothing, she’d prefer something serious. Luka softens and tells her to follow up on her suspicions about Brian’s condition, just in case.

As paramedics bring in a new patient, Morales tells Pratt, Abby, and Sam that a guy stole a tank from the National Armory. Abby immediately goes to Morris and drags him to the admit desk, where a bunch of people are gathered to watch what’s basically a police chase on the news, only with a tank instead of a car. The driver is, of course, Welling. Supposedly he doesn’t have ammo, but if he wanted to hurt Morris, well, this would probably do the trick.

Sam and Elizabeth discuss the tank as Elizabeth does a procedure on Charlie. Lawson comes in, having planned to do his own procedure, and Elizabeth tells him it’s not necessary. He complains about her poaching his patient, which is hilarious because when they first met, he was stealing Elizabeth’s cases. They bicker a little, then confirm that they’re on for dinner that night. Elizabeth asks Sam how men are able to argue with you one minute, then turn around and ask about your plans.

Sam tells Chen that she doesn’t think Dahlia understands how serious her father’s condition is. Chen says he has a good chance, but Sam notes that even if he recovers, he’ll still need care 24/7. Chen reminds her that Dahlia’s responsible for her father’s medical decisions, despite only being 19. She knows her father better than the staff does.

Pratt and Carter check on the tank situation, wondering if Welling is just driving around for fun or if he has a destination in mind. Frank tells them all the equipment the tank has on board (he looked it up on Weaver arrives and tells everyone at the TV to go back to work because “it’s not the moon landing.” Carter notes that Welling is six miles away, but a detective with Weaver says they’ve put up roadblocks and are going to make him detour until he runs out of gas. Morris doesn’t think that’s enough. “They’re also getting a helicopter with a gigantic magnet,” Abby says. Heh.

Abby and Morris bicker about Welling’s psychiatric state as the staff learns that roadblocks mean nothing to a tank. Welling’s fine with just driving over anything in his path. The detective runs off to figure out a plan B. Or maybe he’s running off to hide so he doesn’t have to deal with this situation anymore. Abby pretty much has no sympathy for Morris, who is probably regretting not listening to her, just as everyone who doesn’t listen to Abby ultimately does.

Sam and Brian chat about the tank until Luka arrives to announce that Brian has chlamydia. He admits to having some hookups with classmates. He just needs antibiotics, and he’s pretty casual about the whole thing. Sam is upset, as well as a little worried that one day Alex will be in this situation. Lester gets a few seconds of screentime as Frank carries some boxes around. Gillian comes by to solidify plans with Luka for that night, and Sam sees her kissing him goodbye.

Paramedics bring in some car accident victims, including a man named Hector and his seven-year-old son Oscar. And when I say “car accident,” I don’t mean they crashed their car. I mean Welling’s tank crashed into them. Hector is very anxious about Oscar, and he asks the staff to get in touch with his wife. Neela goes to ask Frank to handle that. Frank: racist comment. He ducks into the drug lockup to make the call, then sinks to the floor in pain.

Oscar is even more anxious than Hector, which just makes things more tense in his trauma room. That’s on top of the tension already between Luka and Sam. She even throws a suture kit at him when he requests one. Luka just calmly asks for another one. Pratt asks if they need Dr. Phil. Ugh, no. The staff tries to treat the scared seven-year-old, whose understanding of English isn’t clear (and Chuny isn’t available). Sam finally comes up with a simple solution: She opens the door between Oscar and Hector’s trauma rooms so they can see and hear each other. They both calm down right away.

Neela goes to call a surgeon and finds Frank unconscious. Pratt comes to help her as Neela determines that Frank is having a massive heart attack. Carter tells Pratt to stay with him while he goes to get assessed. Pratt praises Neela for saving Frank. The detective has decided that they should evacuate the ER, which Weaver isn’t happy about. Morris volunteers to leave, since he’s the target. She tells him to stand in the street and “play Tiananmen Square.”

Luka tries to convince Sam that he and Gillian didn’t do anything – she has a boyfriend. Yeah, and she had a boyfriend the last time you hooked up. What else you got? He adds that Sam said she didn’t want to be exclusive. Sam thinks he moved on pretty quickly, since they had that conversation just a few days ago. Luka says he forget Gillian was coming to visit. Sam pretends she doesn’t care, since Luka’s already slept with every nurse in the ER.

Brian has called some girls he slept with so they can get tested for chlamydia. Luka gives them a little speech about how they might regret casual sex later. Buddy, they’re not listening, and if they knew about your sexual history, they would just laugh in your face. Sam checks on Charlie and tries to determine whether he wants to keep receiving treatment.

Kayson climbs out of whatever hole he lives in to do a procedure that might keep Frank from needing surgery. Frank wakes up during it and Pratt tells him what’s going on. Kayson thinks Pratt is causing Frank distress, so he tells Pratt to leave, but Frank asks him to stay. Pratt doesn’t like Frank or Kayson, but he’d rather make Frank feel better than do anything Kayson wants, so he stays.

Abby and Carter go outside, where the police are setting up roadblocks outside the hospital (they’ve also closed the ER, so it’s calm now). Abby looked at Welling’s old charts and thinks that his history of drug abuse indicates that he’s experiencing drug-induced psychosis. Carter notes that psych never admitted him, so Abby shouldn’t feel bad that she didn’t catch his problem. She regrets not being able to help someone who needed it.

As Neela comes to get Carter, Frank’s wife and daughter arrive. That’s right – Frank’s married! And he has a daughter! She has Down syndrome! That’s probably supposed to make us feel sympathy for Frank but he’s still a bigot so it doesn’t work! I also can’t believe someone married that guy! Charlie’s not responsive anymore, and Sam tells Chen that he doesn’t want any more treatment. Carter lends a hand as he starts declining.

Frank tells Pratt about his time in Vietnam as he undergoes Kayson’s procedure. He was in danger plenty of times but never really thought about it. Half of his unit was Black, and they were all cocky guys just like Pratt. He remembers their names and laments their deaths. “You are what those boys could have been,” he tells Pratt just before he declines.

Carter and Chen try to stabilize Charlie as Sam says they’re just torturing him. Dahlia tells them intensely not to stop helping him. Neela goes to get an update on Frank, who needs a stent. Pratt wants to help, and though Kayson doesn’t want his assistance, he does need a second pair of hands. Pratt does a great job, but Kayson won’t give him any credit. At least Neela’s there to witness it.

Abby, Morris, Lester, Chuny, and some others watch from a window as Welling arrives on the corner of their street. The police are completely useless against a tank, but Welling gets trapped when he comes up against a couple of snowplows he can’t get past, and a truck pulls up behind him to block him in. Morris is eager to see him arrested, while Abby wants him to get a psych evaluation. Police surround the tank, open the lid (is that what it’s called?), and throw in a stun grenade, then shoot down at Welling. Abby’s horrified.

She runs to the scene to help the paramedics as they rush Welling to the ER. He’s alive and basically says, “I told you I would be back.” Abby orders Morris to help her, Carter, and Chuny tend to him. Morris takes a little while to get himself going, but he eventually jumps in to do his part. He even asks to scrub in when Welling goes up for surgery. He tells Abby they saved him. She just looks at him and walks away silently.

One of Brian’s hookups has an abscess that could require surgery and might cost her a fallopian tube. Sheesh. Use condoms, kids! Luka asks Sam to get coffee, but she spots Gillian returning to the ER and says no. Neela chats with Frank’s wife, Connie, who mentions how she always dreaded a call about him being hospitalized while he was a cop, not a desk clerk. He took the clerk job because he wanted to put money away for their daughter, Janie. Neela lies that, yes, Frank talks about her all the time. Connie says he loves his job and always has stories to tell. He’s even mentioned Neela and how bright she is.

Sam tells Dahlia that Charlie may have suffered more mental damage from being deprived of oxygen. She should consider putting him in a facility. Dahlia asks if Sam thinks people get what they deserve. When she was in school, her father called every day to see if she would be home when he got there. He wanted to make sure they’d be alone. Dahlia would shower and wait for him in her room. She doesn’t give any details, but I think we all know what she’s implying and how gross it is, and I’m sure we’re all wondering why she doesn’t dump him in a long-term-care facility and never talk to him again. Maybe she wants to watch him suffer.

Gillian and Luka kiss outside the hospital, so…sorry, Gillian’s boyfriend. She realizes that Luka doesn’t want things to go farther with her because he’s interested in Sam. After his surgery, Pratt tells Frank he’ll have to start eating better. “I’m in Hell, right?” Frank replies. Neela brings in Connie and Janie, and Frank’s demeanor changes from jerk to warm. Elizabeth tells Pratt that Kayson has banned from the lab, then praises him and Neela for saving Frank.

Sam heads home with Alex, who’s going to have a great night eating McDonald’s and watching horror movies totally inappropriate for his age. Luka’s outside their door, but Sam doesn’t want to talk, since she’s figured out that Gillian was at Luka’s when she went over, and she feels stupid for thinking he wanted to be with her. Luka apologizes, but Sam brushes him off. She goes inside, then comes back out to invite him to join her and Alex. And then hopefully she apologizes off-screen for being childish and throwing the suture kit at him, because…come on.

Thoughts: Dahlia is played by Jessica Chastain.

The tank stuff feels like it would be better suited to Grey’s Anatomy.

Shout-out to Neela for confronting Frank for his bigotry instead of just being like, “Oh, that’s Frank for you” like everyone else. is available if anyone wants a memorable URL.

September 21, 2021

ER 9.11, A Little Help from My Friends: Working in the ER Is a Team Sport

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

Who acts like this??

Summary: Luka is brooding. I know this isn’t big news, but the music wants us to think it is. He, Abby, and Susan head to an M&M to discuss their treatment of Rick. Anspaugh kicks things off, but instead of sticking with them, we go to Weaver and Sandy’s place, where they’re turning an office into a nursery. They’re very cute and happy together.

Back at the M&M, Abby and Luka tell the audience that they thought Rick had the flu. Susan starts to talk about how the intubation went wrong, but all the questions are really for Luka. He admits his mistakes, though Anspaugh says they aren’t there to assign blame. The point of an M&M is to discuss what went wrong and hopefully learn from it.

Luka points out that he was hungover and knew he shouldn’t be working. He also didn’t listen when Abby recommended more tests. He’s ready to face the consequences for his actions. For the record, Rick is still alive, but Luka figures he’s all but dead, so he freely admits to “killing” Rick. As he leaves, Romano asks if anyone verified that there are real medical schools in Croatia. Shut up, Romano.

In the lounge, Susan tells Luka not to let Romano get to him. He appreciates her attempts to defend him and says the hearing committee was more than fair. Susan knows any one of them could have been in this position. Luka isn’t sure he still has a job, but Susan says Weaver was just asking for him.

A guy named Chip has come in to get some help with his insomnia and obsessive thoughts. He stopped sleeping three days ago, so Susan wonders what happened to kickstart the insomnia. Chip says he’s having relationship issues. Pratt arrives for a shift and sets off a metal detector (which means those things are actually being used – good to know). He says it’s his pager and he always sets off the detector. A security guard won’t buy that as an excuse, and he insists on searching Pratt’s bag. Carter steps in to make peace as the guard finds a gun in the bag.

Pratt says he found the gun behind a Dumpster outside and was going to give it to a real police officer. He guesses that someone left it there while receiving treatment and will pick it up when they leave. The guard doesn’t believe Pratt’s story and says he’ll have to call the police. Pratt runs off to help a patient, and when the guard starts to follow him, Carter steps in again. He points out that Pratt will be around for a while, so the guard can talk to him later.

Outside, a woman has just brought in a man she’d hired to cut down a dead tree in her yard. The man, Jose, fell about 20 feet from the tree to the roof. Meanwhile, paramedics bring in a 93-year-old man named Mr. Gilman who started having chest pain while having sex with his wife. While assisting Weaver and Luka, Gallant gets a note from Harkins, who will be leaving the hospital today. So Luka didn’t kill her, either.

In the next trauma room, another security guard decides this is a good time to confront Pratt about blowing off the first security guard. Sure, sure, Jose and his unstable pelvic injuries can wait. Carter kicks them out. Pratt promises that this situation isn’t what he thinks. Susan returns to Chip, who’s reached that point in his sleepless desperation where he’s crying. She tells him she’ll reach out to psych again to get someone to come talk to him. Susan then runs into a teenager named Anastasia who took some sort of drug before a math tournament.

Luka’s sent to the ICU to review something for a patient, and while he’s there, he asks about Rick. A nurse tells him Rick may need dialysis. Luka introduces himself to Rick’s mother, who knows Luka treated him in the ER but may not know about everything that went wrong. She asks if Rick was afraid. Luka doesn’t think so, since he was joking around with Laura.

Romano spots them talking and pulls Luka out of the room to chastise him. He knows Luka wants to be honest with Rick’s mother, but he can’t just come right out and say he screwed up and now her son is going to die. Luka’s free to take the blame when he’s around his colleagues, but he can’t admit any guilt to Rick’s family. If he doesn’t control his emotions, more patients will be harmed. Romano goes a step further, telling Luka to take the rest of the day off and warning that if he’s seen with Rick’s family again, he’s fired.

Would you be surprised to learn that psych is backed up and can’t send someone to talk to Chip? No, I didn’t think so. Susan promises that they’ll give him something to help him sleep as soon as psych determines that it won’t interfere with what he’s already taken. Chip worries that people will hate him. Susan asks if he did something. He tells her that his girlfriend caught him with someone else. No, not another woman. No, not another man. Her ten-year-old son. Chip claims he didn’t do anything, but he was about to. He doesn’t want to be like this.

Mr. Gilman has declined, but Gallant is able to stabilize his heart. Weaver stops by to check on the case, and Haleh notices blood on her coat. She guesses that Weaver brushed up against a bleeding patient. Pratt and Chuny tend to a man who came in with Jose and provided information on the situation (basically, they recently came to Chicago from Nicaragua and joined Jose’s uncle’s business). The man is hesitant to admit that they’re undocumented, but Pratt assures him that it’s not a problem and they’ll receive any medical treatment they need.

Susan calls psych again, insisting that Deraad come down to see Chip immediately. She spots Anastasia erasing a patient board so she can write an equation up there. Chen discovers that she took Ritalin, which has given her both enough intelligence to write a theorem proving the existence of God and a photographic memory to write all the patients’ names back on the board.

The security guards take Pratt off for a chat as Susan tries to get approval to take Chip up to psych. She gets rejected, but Chip has wandered off anyway. Weaver goes to an exam room and gives herself an ultrasound. She’s not comforted by the results. Abby walks in, unaware that anyone was in there, and Weaver numbly says that she can’t find the baby’s heartbeat. Abby continues searching with her, but there’s nothing there. She encourages Weaver to go home, but Weaver wants to stay.

Mr. Gilman’s wife, Coco, arrives, and let’s just say she’s not 93. (Going by ages in IMDb, she’s 37.) Abby calls Jerry and Pratt out for ogling her. Kayson consults on Mr. Gilman’s case, informing the couple that his prognosis isn’t good. He could have a fatal heart attack at any time. Mr. Gilman weakly whispers to Gallant, “When can I bang her?” Gallant can’t figure out how to react to that. Coco says they’re trying to have a baby. Gallant can’t figure out how to react to that, either. Kayson says that when Mr. Gilman can walk up two flights of stairs without getting winded, he’ll be free to do whatever he wants.

Weaver changes into scrubs so she can continue her shift as if she hasn’t just suffered a major loss. In the lounge, Anastasia has made a dome out of coffee cups. Carter thinks it’s impressive, but he ruins it by touching a cup and making the whole thing collapse. Weaver comes in just then, and if you look closely, you can see Laura Innes start to laugh, then turn around so she doesn’t ruin the take. She asks about Pratt and the gun, which should lead to an automatic suspension. Also, Carter bought the metal detectors, so he should be monitoring what goes on there.

Outside, the woman who brought in Jose is trying to leave, and Pratt is standing in front of her car to stop her. Car vs. man is no contest, so she gets away. Carter comes out and points out to Pratt that the men she brought in know her address, so they can report her to the police. Pratt doesn’t think the police will do anything. (Also, they’ll probably deport the men for being undocumented, but Pratt and Carter don’t bring that up.)

Carter wants to know what’s going on with Pratt: He comes in late, leaves during his shift, and brought a gun to work. Carter says he’s seen Pratt’s “type” before. Careful, Carter. Pratt argues that Carter doesn’t know anything about him. Carter warns him that if he continues this behavior, he’ll throw away his career.

Paramedics bring in a 20-something-year-old named Rosemary who briefly lost consciousness after hitting her head. They restrained her because she’s flailing around. Weaver realizes that Rosemary’s flailing is actually her attempts to communicate – she uses sign language. Weaver signs “hi” to her to let her know she’s figured out that Rosemary is deaf. She knows enough sign language to ask Rosemary what’s wrong and determine that she’s septic.

Chen starts to examine an elderly man named McNulty, but he would prefer a male doctor, so she hands him off to Carter. McNulty quickly gets annoyed because he’ll have to wait for treatment. The medical system is all screwed up and just makes patients mad. Having heard the man’s assistant, Sarah, call him Dr. McNulty, Carter suddenly makes the patient a priority. Sarah explains that some kids broke into their clinic looking for drugs, and McNulty got hurt trying to fight them off.

He insists that he’s fine, but Sarah tells Carter that the kids hit him over the head with a bat. He was unconscious for a few minutes and has some cuts from broken glass. Carter tries to convince McNulty to stay for tests, even though McNulty has determined he’s fine. He bets Carter $10 that his CT will be negative. Carter hands him off to Abby, telling her to run some tests McNulty didn’t say he would do. He’ll also need a tetanus shot, since his last one was in 1949. First Abby takes a boy to the bathroom, clueless about the danger lurking when Chip follows him in.

Carter confronts Pratt for discharging the second guy from the tree accident without consulting him. He asks some questions about the stitches Pratt is giving a patient, because all of a sudden Carter wants to do his job and teach his students. Pratt knows what this is really about and says again that the gun wasn’t his. He was going to throw it in the river after work. Carter asks why he didn’t do it before work. Pratt just says he was late.

Susan asks Abby if she’s seen Chip, and is relieved to learn that he’s still in the hospital. As soon as Abby tells her he’s in the bathroom with a kid, Susan panics. Fortunately, the kid is fine and didn’t even see Chip. Chip, however, isn’t fine – he’s hiding in a stall and has carved the word “evil” into his forehead.

Weaver tells Rosemary that she has a bladder infection that spread to her kidneys. She determines that Rosemary didn’t tell her parents she wasn’t feeling well because she doesn’t want them to know that she’s sexually active. While discussing treatment, Weaver pauses and excuses herself, since she’s cramping. Gallant asks for her help with something, but she tells him to go to someone else.

On his way to do that, Gallant catches Coco straddling Mr. Gilman and has to separate them. Poor Gallant has to explain to her that, no, she can’t have sex with him in his trauma room, and not just because he could have a heart attack. Adding another complication to the mix, Mr. Gilman’s children, Bob and Mattie, arrive to check on their father. Mattie clearly hates Coco (who’s young enough to be Mattie’s daughter), but Bob seems to like her.

Deraad finally comes to the ER, but since Chip hasn’t hurt anyone or himself, he can’t be admitted to psych. Abby notes that he has to be kept away from children, and Susan tells Deraad that Chip needs to be in some sort of program and on medication. Deraad tells her he can’t admit a patient just for his thoughts. Susan says this is their chance to intervene before Chip acts on those thoughts. Deraad agrees to put him on a psych hold if he articulates a plan for harming a child.

Anastasia and her fellow mathletes are sent away, which means Chen needs something to do. I mean besides flirt with Pratt. Gallant asks Jerry to call the legal department for Mr. Gilman and his family. Pratt gets a call from Leon and announces that he has to leave. Weaver tries to gather herself in the med lock-up, where Abby finds her and tries to convince her to go up to the OB floor. Her miscarriage hasn’t finished, and though Weaver wants to let it happen naturally, Abby at least wants her to be monitored.

McNulty’s too impatient to wait for Carter to give him stitches, so he’s fixing himself up on his own. Since no one can find Weaver, Gallant asks Carter to get involved in Gilman’s case. Coco wants to collect her husband’s semen so she can inseminate herself. Mattie argues that Mr. Gilman is senile, but Bob says he’s just horny. Gallant tries to tactfully explain to Carter that Mr. Gilman has agreed to undergo electroejaculation. “Come again?” Carter says with a barely straight face. Basically, some guy – who has made a career out of this – ejaculates Mr. Gilman.

Mattie says that Coco is only doing this because there’s money involved. If she doesn’t get pregnant before Mr. Gilman dies, she doesn’t get any of his money. And $7 million is a whole lot of money to miss out on. Coco knows her rights, and those rights include her husband’s semen, so Carter and Gallant probably can’t stop this. Paramedics bring in a trauma patient, and Carter makes his escape, leaving Gallant to wait for a hospital lawyer.

Carter and Chen treat the new patient, though they decide they need more help. Weaver’s MIA, and Luka and Pratt both left, so they’re out of luck. Pratt’s now at home, where Leon is crying and bleeding. It turns out the gun was his, and Pratt took it so Leon’s supposed friends couldn’t get it. Those friends are more like enemies, though, since they stabbed Leon and beat him up.

Chen and Carter’s patient doesn’t make it, and I’m sure three doctors being gone didn’t help. McNulty’s labs have come back, and Carter wants to discuss them with him, but he left and Chuny can’t reach him on the phone. An OB examines Weaver and encourages her to take some time off from work. Abby’s very kind to her boss, who can’t bring herself to say how grateful she is. Abby offers to give her a ride home later. As she leaves, Rosemary walks by and sees Weaver in a hospital bed.

Coco got her semen, and she’s no longer interested in her husband’s condition. Chen and Jerry laugh with/at Gallant over the case and the word “electroejaculator.” Carter comes to the admit desk looking for Pratt, who just happens to be on the phone, wanting help from Gallant. Carter goes to Pratt’s place instead of Gallant, both to yell at Pratt and to help Leon, who doesn’t want to go to the hospital. Carter tells Pratt this isn’t smart. “Everything in my life is not smart,” Pratt replies. Carter guesses that Leon doesn’t want to go to the hospital because the police will probably get involved.

Susan gets Chip to tell Deraad that if he doesn’t get admitted, he’ll hurt his girlfriend’s son. Deraad finally agrees to admit him. Weaver checks on Rosemary, who still hasn’t called her parents. She doesn’t want them to know that she has a boyfriend – she thinks they’ll be disappointed, and they’re already disappointed because she’s deaf. Rosemary asks Weaver why she was in a hospital bed. Though she’s been speaking in all her conversations with Rosemary, who can read lips, Weaver sticks with sign language to communicate that she had a miscarriage. Rosemary puts a comforting hand on hers, and Weaver breaks down.

Pratt tells Carter that Leon, whom he calls his brother, isn’t technically family. He came to live with Pratt and his mother when Pratt was six and Leon was nine. When Pratt’s mother died nine years later, Leon became like a father to him. Leon got into a bar fight and was shot in the head, which left him with mental disabilities. Now Pratt takes care of him on his own.

Carter reminds Pratt that in the ER, the staff works as a team. That means covering for each other and leaning on each other. If Pratt doesn’t get that, he should find a job that doesn’t require trusting people. Pratt admits that he’s never been big on trust. Carter points out that that leads to a lack of trust from other people. Self-sufficiency is great, but asking for help is better, and it doesn’t make you weak. Pratt’s like, “Yeah, I hear you, but I’m not really listening to you.”

Thoughts: McNulty is played by the recently deceased Ed Asner. Bob is played by Michael Durrell, AKA Dr. Martin from Beverly Hills, 90210. Gilmore Girls fans would recognize Sarah as Liz Torres, AKA Miss Patty.

McNulty has the same name as the main character on The Wire, whose boss, Rawls, was played by John Doman. Doman also plays Deraad on ER. I’m guessing that’s not a coincidence.

I would need drugs to get through a math tournament, too.

August 3, 2021

ER 9.4, Walk Like a Man: Mikey Doesn’t Like It

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:00 pm by Jenn

Abby can’t take on more work – it’ll cut into her time dealing with her boyfriend

Summary: We start the episode with a literal bang – someone’s having sex. It’s just not clear at first who’s having that sex. Oh, it’s Luka. Right, this is that stretch where he suddenly becomes a womanizer. It doesn’t appear to be working out well for him, since he doesn’t seem fulfilled. At County, Abby declares time of death on some fish in a new aquarium in the ER waiting area. This is the third time this week – she keeps restocking the tank, but they keep dying. Carter suggests that she find someone else to take care of the fish, since she’s obviously doing something wrong. In response, she drops a fish corpse in his coffee.

The new security measures have patients waiting in a different spot, behind bullet-proof glass, and the hospital’s beautification committee has decorated with the aquarium. That only took two weeks. Fish are more important to the hospital than security, apparently. (I accidentally typed “sexurity.” I have Luka on the brain.) Abby, Susan, and Chen went out again the night before, but Abby won’t tell Carter what they did. He probably just wants to know if Abby drank.

The ER is slow, since another hospital reopened. This allows the staff to gather for a TV broadcast that’s about to start. Susan’s hungover from the night before, and various people offer her remedies. The broadcast begins, featuring Weaver giving two reporters flu shots in the ambulance bay. While she’s giving the injections, she gives a little PSA about why people should get the shots. But the talking distracts her, and she accidentally injects the male reporter using the same needle she used on the female reporter. Save that one for the blooper reel!

The staff has set up a spot where a nurse can triage patients when they come to the ER, so hopefully that means no more smallpox patients sitting in the waiting area for hours. Pratt flirts with the current triage nurse, but he strikes out when he calls her by the wrong name. Abby goes to get her next patient, who leaves her husband and son behind in the waiting area. The boy is whining, and his father doesn’t have any sympathy for him. Gallant tries to intervene, but the father yells at him and goes back to telling the kid to shut up. I don’t know who I feel worse for, the kid or Gallant.

Pratt teases Gallant for trying to help while Chen tells Susan she’s thinking about taking karate classes. Pratt flirts with her next. Dude, keep it in your pants during work hours. Stella has returned yet again, but since she has actual medical problems, as Gallant previously determined, no one urges him to get rid of her this time. The male reporter has to undergo blood tests to make sure Weaver didn’t accidentally infect him with something the female reporter might have. The male reporter is worried because the female reporter used to date “a bisexual.” Shut up, bro.

Weaver complains to the staff that they don’t have enough nurses on duty to reach acceptable nurse-to-patient ratios. Susan offers to take a look at the schedule, but Weaver ignores her and tells Randi to call Haleh and make her come in. It’s supposed to be Haleh’s day off, but since she’s the nurse manager, she’s expected to fill in when needed. Susan tells Weaver that Haleh resigned from that role in September, and her replacement resigned last week. Weaver asks Abby to come by her office later. “Dr. Romano’s office?” Abby clarifies. Ooh, not smart.

Gallant examines Stella, and though he’s probably really tired of having to treat her, he doesn’t let it show. He tells Carter that she has shortness of breath, which could indicate congestive heart failure. He wants her to be admitted for monitoring, but Carter thinks he’s jumping the gun. She’ll have to undergo some tests before they take that route. Stella asks if she can smoke a cigarette first.

Carter asks Susan about her hangover, probably angling for details about the ladies’ night out. Susan teases that Abby hasn’t cheated on him “since that stripper named Thor.” Carter expresses his concern that Abby’s been tempted to drink while going bar-hopping with her new friends. It turns out Susan didn’t know Abby’s an alcoholic. She says Abby doesn’t drink that much. Carter wonders how much “that much” is.

Abby catches them talking and asks Susan what that was about. Susan tells her that Carter let it slip that Abby’s an alcoholic. She thinks it’s sweet that he’s concerned about Abby. Abby’s apologetic for not mentioning her addiction to Susan, but Susan says it’s none of her business. She’s been enjoying hanging out and will let Abby and Carter deal with their issues on their own. Abby says it’s not a huge secret, and she’s sorry for dragging Susan into it.

By now they’re in the restroom, where they hear someone in a stall drop a syringe on the floor. It’s Weaver, and she clearly doesn’t want to talk about what the syringe is for. Now Abby and Susan have something new to talk about. Susan jokes that she was probably just practicing giving flu shots. She brushes off an impatient guy from the waiting area, who then wonders where the nearest bar is. Abby is a little shaken, and she tells Susan she just doesn’t talk about her alcoholism much. Susan says she’s there if Abby wants to talk, but she understands if Abby doesn’t.

Kayson gives Stella a surgical consult and tells Gallant she doesn’t need surgery. “Do you still work here?” he asks when he spots Pratt. Gallant pushes back against Kayson’s decision, but Kayson isn’t about to listen to a puny med student. He complains to Carter that Gallant called for a consult and now won’t accept Kayson’s advice. He’s already done all he can for Stella. After Kayson leaves, Gallant tells Carter that he doesn’t feel right just releasing Stella. Her condition could have changed since Kayson last treated her, and they should monitor her. Carter agrees to let her stay for a little while.

Abby pulls Carter aside to tell him she talked to Susan. Before they can get into anything more, Luka summons her for help with a patient. Carter joins Pratt to treat a man named Felix. Pratt introduces Carter to the concept of the DBI, the Dirtball Index. It seems like the more tattoos a person has, the higher they rate in the index. I would rate Pratt pretty high, whether or not he has any tattoos. Gallant notes that Felix is in the military.

Elizabeth tries to talk to her patient’s husband, Thomas, about the operation his wife, Margaret, needs. Thomas doesn’t feel right signing the consent form, since Margaret usually makes these kinds of decisions. When Margaret wakes up in the ER, she tells Elizabeth she can’t have an operation and be on bed rest; Thomas has Alzheimer’s and she has to take care of him. She asks to wait and see if she gets better without surgery. Elizabeth warns that her splenic injury could cause her to bleed to death.

Carter teases Pratt by creating his own acronym, PERR (pupils equal, round, and reactive). A couple of Felix’s friends come into his trauma room and tell the doctors that they went partying last night. They just got home on leave. Carter asks if the guys did anything other than drink. Felix is showing signs that he may have taken drugs, and Carter wonders if his friends slipped him something. They get defensive, saying Felix is their friend. Gallant calms them and tries to bond with them over having military experience. They look down on him for being in med school while they were jumping out of helicopters.

Luka and Abby’s patient is Marlene, a preteen who’s had multiple UTIs. Her mother, Janet, comments on Luka’s accent. He jokes that he’s from Idaho. Marlene gets uneasy and sends her mother to get her something to eat. While waiting for her labs, Marlene hangs out with Abby and tells her they came to the city to go to Shedd Aquarium. Abby has a good substitute for her.

Gallant tells Felix’s friends that there’s something toxic in his system, whether or not they gave him anything. Felix is awake now, but he can’t see anything. Abby takes Marlene to see the new fish tank, and they discuss why the fish might be dying. Marlene thinks Abby’s overfeeding them, or someone else is feeding them after Abby does. Abby suggests that they’re just a warning to patients that they’re entering a house of death. They start talking about Marlene’s family; her parents are getting divorced. Abby tries to be positive about Marlene just living with her mom now. Abby grew up with just her mother, and that was…great. Really great.

Susan catches Janet buttoning up her shirt as she leaves a storage closet. Moments later, Luka emerges, telling Susan he’s looking for an x-ray he misplaced. Yeah, Susan’s not that dumb. She tells Abby what she saw, amused even though doctors shouldn’t be hooking up with patients’ family members. Abby says this isn’t the kind of thing he normally does. Susan thinks she should talk to him, which is…such a bad idea.

Felix has no alcohol in his system, and his tox screen came back negative, so the doctors aren’t sure why he can’t see. Gallant suggests quinine, an anti-malarial medication Felix would have taken while on deployment in the Phillippines. He would have had to take a lot of it. Pratt offers to talk to Felix, but Carter thinks Gallant should do it. “Give it your best shot, Mikey,” Pratt says.

Susan interrupts Luka while he’s flirting with Janet and asks why Marlene is still there, since she seems to just have a simple UTI. Luka thinks something else is going on, so he’s waiting for test results, but Susan suspects that he’s keeping them around so he can hook up with Janet again. She finally tells him to keep it in his pants and do his job. Pratt approaches as she leaves, giving Luka the test results he really was waiting for. It turns out Marlene does have something wrong with her beyond the UTI.

Gallant chats with Felix, whose vision is starting to come back. Felix quickly gets defensive when Gallant suggests that he took too much quinine. He thinks Felix came home from deployment expecting everything to be the same as when he left, and instead discovered that it wasn’t – like maybe his girlfriend (who doesn’t seem too concerned that her boyfriend is in the hospital, since she hasn’t shown up yet) doesn’t want to be his girlfriend anymore.

Felix admits that his girlfriend got tired of waiting for him to come home. Gallant wants Felix to talk to someone from psych, but since he’s in Special Forces, he can’t have that on his record. He made a split-second bad decision, and it won’t happen again. Gallant agrees to get him a clinic appointment that won’t go on his record. Felix promises that he’ll be okay from now on.

Luka tells Marlene and Janet that Marlene may have chronic renal failure. Abby’s bedside manner and quick connection with Marlene help the girl stay positive, but Janet guesses that this might be serious. Abby makes dinner plans with Carter, who is trying very, very hard not to ask her if she’s been drinking with her friends. He also feels bad about revealing her alcoholism to Susan. Abby doesn’t care about that.

The triage nurse interrupts to give Abby her time sheet, which confuses Abby. Jerry tells her that Weaver sent out a memo. Abby skipped their meeting because she had rounds, so she doesn’t know what’s going on. Jerry asks if Carter and Abby are fighting – not because he wants to gossip, but because he wants to help them “navigate love’s wavy waters.” Carter responds by trashing an origami swan Jerry made and was so proud of.

Someone went over Gallant’s head and called psych for Felix, who’s going to be moved to a locked ward. Gallant goes looking for the culprit, Pratt. Gallant wrote on Felix’s chart that his overdose was accidental, but Pratt knows no one would take that much quinine without meaning to harm himself. Gallant confronts Pratt for making the call without consulting him. Pratt calls him “brother man” and says he was just keeping an eye out for Gallant. Gallant replies that he has enough brothers and doesn’t need another one.

Pratt says he was trying to protect Gallant from a malpractice suit. Gallant complains that Pratt keeps riding him, and Pratt urges him to learn how to stick up for himself. If Gallant has brothers, trust me, he knows how to stick up for himself. Gallant says he told Kayson what he thought. Pratt argues that Gallant didn’t make Kayson hear him. Gallant tells Pratt that they’re different people, but Pratt disagrees. They’re both trying to fit in. The difference between them is that Pratt is being a man, and Gallant isn’t.

Abby suddenly summons Gallant to help Stella, who’s crashing. He and Carter try to shock her heart back into rhythm in the hallway where she’s been waiting for a bed. They move her into a trauma room and Pratt takes over helping Carter. Kayson arrives, calling Stella “the girl who cried wolf.” Yeah, and now her heart isn’t beating, so shut up and do your job.

Margaret agreed to have surgery, and Elizabeth tells Thomas that she’s now on a ventilator. In the middle of the conversation, Thomas gets confused about who and what they’re talking about. Stella has now been unresponsive for 40 minutes, and though Gallant wants to keep trying to save her, Kayson and Carter agree that it’s not possible. Gallant tells them she didn’t have any family. Good, then Kayson won’t get sued.

He defends his decision not to do anything by saying that most patients with Stella’s symptoms don’t get this bad. Gallant says he let Kayson miss the signs. Kayson argues that Stella was a hypochondriac, but Gallant accuses him of just not wanting to deal with her. If they’d admitted her, they could have detected how bad her heart problems were and fixed them. Kayson says Gallant should have spoken up. Pratt notes that he did. Kayson doesn’t want to hear from him.

Carter points out that Gallant is a fourth-year med student while Kayson is chief of cardiology. Kayson says he gave Gallant his expertise and guidance. Yeah, but it was wrong! This isn’t a defense! Gallant loses his cool, saying that Kayson’s expertise and guidance got him and Stella nowhere. “Easy, son,” Kayson says, either not knowing or not caring that a white person should never call a Black man “son.” Carter tells Pratt to take Gallant somewhere to calm down before Gallant says something that will ruin his career.

As they leave, Kayson continues trying to pass the buck, saying that Carter should have put Stella on a monitor. Carter replies that Kayson should have paid more attention. Kayson argues that patient care is about taking calculated risks. Abby speaks up that she thought it was about taking care of the patient. Kayson complains that people in the ER always stick together. Yeah, how dare they have each other’s backs and defend each other’s decisions! You can’t have a productive workplace when the employees do that!

In the hallway, Pratt calls Gallant “Mikey” again and praises him for being a man. Gallant doesn’t want to hear it. He starts to leave, pushing Pratt off of him. Abby and Carter try to calm them both down, but Pratt keeps following Gallant. Finally, Gallant turns around and punches him in the face. “Do not call me Mikey,” he spits out. Hold on, I have to rewind and watch Pratt get nailed a few more times.

Susan gives Pratt an ice pack as he downplays the fight, saying he knows how to take a punch. “So that’s what you were doing on the floor,” she comments. Carter tells him to give Gallant some more time before he attempts another conversation. Abby has officially been made nurse manager, though she doesn’t want the position, even with the raise it comes with. Weaver doesn’t care. Susan presents her with a present Romano sent over: a cactus with a note that reads, “Your 15 minutes is up.”

Carter checks on Gallant, who’s gone back to the trauma room where Stella’s body is laying. He jokes that Pratt wants Gallant to hit him on the other side of the face to even things out. Gallant tells him that Stella has been alone since her daughter died in a car accident. Carter says that Kayson knows what really happened today – he was to blame. But Gallant says he backed down and didn’t advocate for his patient enough. He always backs down. The staff is supposed to fight for their patients’ lives, but they always end up fighting each other instead.

Carter admits that he could have tried harder with Kayson, too. Gallant takes responsibility – Stella was his patient and trusted him. She’d be alive if Gallant hadn’t been so scared of being wrong. Carter tells him everyone gets scared, even Pratt. That has to be why he’s so arrogant. Everyone who comes to County is scared, but they learn to work through it. Gallant asks when that happens. Carter says it’s as soon as they kill someone. “I just did,” Gallant whispers. Carter disagrees, hopeful that Gallant will never lose anyone again.

Luka has to tell his new fling that her daughter needs surgery. They might have a malpractice case on their hands, since Marlene’s doctor back home never caught her kidney problems while treating all her UTIs. On the plus side, Luka has learned his lesson about sleeping with a patient’s mother. As he goes to give the mother and daughter the news, Abby spots Carter leaving earlier than expected. He doesn’t want to talk, but she’d like him to come right out and say whatever’s bothering him. Carter says he agreed not to try to fix her, so he’ll “shut up and wait for the car wreck.”

She follows him to the El station, asking what he means. He tells her that it’s obvious this relationship is going to crash and burn. Abby wishes he’d come to her earlier and said something, but Carter didn’t want to come across like an overprotective boyfriend. She tells him she’s only drinking a little, and not to get drunk. She usually has one or two drinks. Everything’s under control.

Carter doesn’t understand why she wants to go back to behavior that could lead to disaster. Abby points out that she was drinking last year, and he knew, so it shouldn’t be a problem now. She used to drink because she was miserable – she was in a bad marriage and had a life she didn’t want. Now she has a life she enjoys, and drinking casually with friends helps her feel like she’s past the bad part. She wishes Carter had faith in her judgment. Carter still doesn’t want to have this discussion, and when Abby asks him to stay and talk to her, he instead gets on a train.

Abby returns to County, where Luka’s finishing up talking to Janet about Marlene’s prognosis. Suddenly Janet doesn’t want to be around him. Abby checks on Marlene, who wonders if her illness will help her parents get back together. This girl is both the most optimistic and most naïve patient we’ve seen in a long time, and I don’t think Abby knows what to do with her.

In the lounge, Weaver tells Susan that Abby is the new nurse manager, and she’d like Susan to tell her if Abby isn’t fulfilling her new duties well. Susan asks if Weaver’s okay. Weaver downplays her mistake on the newscast, then tries to deny that anything happened in the bathroom. Susan won’t let it drop, so Weaver just says she’s taking hormones. Outside the lounge, she asks Gallant about the altercation she heard he had. He admits that he hit Pratt. “In that case, I’ll overlook it,” she says. Chen says good night to Gallant, calling him “Iron Mike.”

Pratt tries to get Gallant to talk to him, apologizing for interfering in Felix’s case. He also knows that Gallant only punched him because he was mad at Kayson, not because he had it out for Pratt personally. Yeah, that’s not true, buddy. Pratt good-naturedly warns that next time, he’ll hit back. This is Pratt’s way of saying there are no hard feelings, and Gallant has clearly calmed down. He asks Pratt to say hi to Leon for him. As Gallant leaves, Pratt feeds the fish in the aquarium. Mystery solved!

Carter arrives at Abby’s place just as she’s getting home. He tells her he’s made his opinion about her drinking clear, so he won’t bring it up again, but his real problem is that she hid it from him. She promises not to hide it anymore. Carter apologizes for ditching her, but he needed some time to figure out where they stand. Okay, but you could have said that, bozo. Anyway, I guess she wants to keep going with this. No, I don’t know why.

Thoughts: I know I said it before but I really like Abby and Susan’s friendship. There’s no jealousy that one is dating the other’s ex. There’s no awkwardness because one’s a doctor and one’s a nurse. Susan doesn’t shame Abby for being an alcoholic. They just hang out and enjoy each other’s company. It’s refreshing.

I also really like how Abby treats Marlene. She doesn’t talk down to her or treat her like a child. And even though Abby has to be really busy, she acts like she has as much time as Marlene needs from her.

They missed a great opportunity to have an M&M about Stella’s case, resulting in some sort of consequences for Kayson sucking, but no. He gets away with it. Even worse, he’s still in five more episodes.

Once again, I don’t get Abby and Carter’s relationship. There’s no way she would want to be with someone she feels is constantly judging her. And I don’t think his good qualities outweigh that.

July 20, 2021

ER 9.2, Dead Again: Back to Life

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

Doesn’t she look thrilled to be back at County?

Summary: Carter and Abby have proceeded to the part of their relationship where they’re spending the night together. She seems to be back on the right path, since she’s thinking about going to an AA meeting before her shift. Carter thinks she should consider shower sex instead. At County, Chen notices some lipstick on his neck and laughs at him. Maybe Carter needs another shower.

The ER is so full that the staff has had to start a second patient board. On top of seeing a bunch of patients, Carter now needs to take charge of a new batch of med students. Susan thinks they look very sweet, which I’m sure will get beaten out of them pretty quickly. Carter asks Frank to tell the group to wait while he sees patients, starting with a trauma coming in. As he and Abby head out to meet an ambulance, they critique the performance of a drug-seeking patient who’s faking a seizure. (Tip: If you’re having a seizure, you can’t talk.)

Luka is already in the ambulance bay, sending away paramedics who are trying to bring patients to County. The ER is full, but other hospitals are, too. Luka, stop gazing at Abby and do your job. Actually, no: Weaver, stop hanging out with Romano while he’s in physical therapy and come help out in the ER. She’s taken over some of Romano’s responsibilities, as he expected, but he thinks he’ll be back to work in a couple of weeks. He even thinks he’ll be able to operate again in a matter of months.

As Weaver leaves, Elizabeth shows up. Romano pretends not to be thrilled to see her. She asks about his recovery, and he asks how she’s doing after losing her husband. Before they can really talk, Elizabeth gets paged to the ER. Shirley catches her on her way out and tells her she was lucky to be in London during the “pox scare.” She asks Elizabeth if it’s nice to be back. Elizabeth says she’ll answer that after her first shift back in the ER.

She gets in a crowded elevator, where the muzak overhead is “Piano Man”. After a few moments, she’s delivered to the ER, which is loud and chaotic and…well, normal. She gets right back into the rhythm of things, preparing to tend to a 16-year-old girl who was in a motorcycle accident. When Elizabeth was in London, Whitehead criticized everything she did, but in Chicago, the nurses just do what she says. Abby comments that it’s like she never left.

Carter and Chen join Elizabeth to try to treat the patient, who’s in bad shape, but Elizabeth quickly determines that she can’t be saved. Her first patient back is already dead. Susan grabs her for a new case, a guy named Milo who took a bunch of nitroglycerin and thinks he’s now a human time bomb and could explode at any moment. Gallant wants him to be cleared medically before he’s send to psychiatry. Susan complains that Gallant, who’s on a psych rotation, hasn’t admitted any patients to psych all day.

Susan tells Elizabeth that every bed has been full every day recently. A couple of hospitals in the area have closed, leaving too many patients for too few ERs. Also, Weaver’s been dealing with Romano’s responsibilities, which leaves the ER down a doctor. The ER staff isn’t that upset about that, though, since it keeps her too busy to bug them.

Paramedics bring in a woman named Alma who was shot during a gang fight. She’s asking for someone named Ricky. Carter tells Pratt to deal with the med students, which is just…such a bad idea. Pratt just tells the students they don’t want to work there. Carter and Elizabeth tend to Alma, who announces that she can’t feel her legs.

Haleh enlists Gallant to help her with a patient, even though he’s supposed to be dealing with psych cases right now. Also, the help Haleh needs is moving a gurney holding what Gallant IDs as a dead body. “You ought to go to med school,” she comments dryly. Milo throws himself against a wall and wonders why he’s not exploding. Meanwhile, Carter discovers that Alma is pregnant.

Ricky has arrived, and he’s not happy to be in the hospital. Luka determines that he’s not badly injured. He’s unhappy with the fact that Ricky and his gang buddies just shoot each other all day, and Alma got caught in the crossfire. When Ricky learns that she was shot in the neck, he tries to leave so he can kill the people who shot her. Luka says he already did.

Abby asks Elizabeth to come check out Ricky after she’s sent Alma to surgery. In the hallway, a patient I expect has some mental issues calls Elizabeth names and says she doesn’t pity her. Elizabeth just ignores her. Welcome back to America, Elizabeth! I bet people never called you a whore in London.

Pratt is annoyed that he’s still at work even though his shift ended two hours ago. Zadro is also hanging around, since he can’t leave until his patient gets a bed, and there are none available. Weaver arrives but has more Romano tasks to take care of before she can help with all the patients. She notes that Stella (who briefly appeared in the last episode) hasn’t been admitted to psych yet, even though Weaver called them hours ago. You mean psych isn’t doing their job? What?? Weaver thinks Stella is a hypochondriac, though Gallant isn’t sure.

Carter again asks Pratt to deal with the med students, who are getting impatient. One of them, Erin Harkins, asks Carter (who’s on the phone) when they’ll get some attention. Well, he can’t pay attention to you while he’s on the phone, so chill for a minute. Weaver chastises Carter for ignoring the students, then volunteers to give them a tour. She expects Carter to take over after that, but with a mass trauma coming in, I don’t think that will happen.

The first trauma victim is a man named Frank Chambers who was injured when a wrecking ball crane collapsed and sent a passenger walkway crashing down on him. Next is a guy named Ken whose flower kiosk was damaged. He’s a little dramatic, as he whimpers that he sees a light. Pratt tells him he just has an ankle injury; he’s not dying. The med students observe all this, probably realizing they shouldn’t be so eager to jump into this.

Elizabeth runs into Haleh and compliments her on her weight loss (Yvette Freeman lost a ton of weight over the summer break). She joins Weaver and Carter to treat Chambers. Chambers’ secretary, Tammy, is very concerned about him. Weaver asks Luka to examine her, since she might have a head injury. Meanwhile, Pratt, Chen, Susan, and Haleh take care of Ken and his horribly dislocated ankle. Pratt fixes it without pain medication, which gets him yelled at by Susan. Pratt doesn’t see the big deal, since Ken was going to lose his foot if Pratt didn’t do his job. Plus, Ken’s grateful, so no harm, no foul, I guess.

Weaver and Elizabeth disagree about their priorities in Chambers’ case, but since Weaver isn’t chief of staff, Elizabeth decides not to listen to her concerns. A bold move for her first day back. Luka tends to Tammy, who says she spends more time with her boss than his wife does. I’m pretty sure she’s in love with him. This doesn’t go anywhere, though, so it’s kind of pointless.

Luka then helps Abby with Ricky, who’s now in police custody. He’s been in a bunch of gang fights and isn’t worried that he’s seriously hurt. He calls Abby a name and Luka tells him to shut up. He also tells Ricky that Alma might be paralyzed. Ricky no longer feels the need to go kill the guys responsible. As they leave, Abby tells Luka that Alma is also pregnant, apparently with Ricky’s baby. Neither of them really wants to tell him. (I don’t think either of them SHOULD tell him; what happened to confidentiality?)

Gallant goes to see Stella, who claims to have a bunch of symptoms. He thinks she might have depression. He goes to talk to Weaver, who gets distracted when Elizabeth tells her that Chambers has an aortic dissection (as Elizabeth suspected) and needs surgery. Weaver would like to talk to her about the power struggle they had during Chambers’ trauma. Gallant will have to wait.

Weaver and Elizabeth wind up talking in an exam room where Sasha the motorcycle teen’s body is being kept until her family can be located. They try to ignore her as Weaver says that Elizabeth might be taking on too much too soon. She’s not showing that she can work with others well or demonstrate professional respect. You know, the things Weaver is so good at.

Elizabeth argues that she detected an injury that needed immediate attention, so she wanted it taken care of before Chambers was checked for anything else. She thinks Weaver’s the one with the attitude problem. She wants everyone to bow down to her and do her bidding. Suddenly Weaver starts crying and excuses herself.

Gallant relays some information he’s learned from his psych rotation: There’s a fetish where adults want to be taken care of like they’re babies. There’s one in the ER right now, and Susan wants to send him to psych, but Gallant says the guy’s fetish is actually not the problem. He has a diaper rash. Susan can’t wait until Gallant comes back to the ER after his psych rotation and she can make him do scut work.

Ken is so happy with Pratt’s care that he’s sent over a bunch of flowers to thank him. Frank wishes Ken ran a hot dog stand instead. Pratt thinks everyone should be praising him because he’s saved more patients than anyone else today. Chen asks Carter if the rumor is true that Weaver (whom she calls “your boss”) was crying earlier. Maybe she’s going through a bad breakup? Chen says that Weaver has been pretty moody lately. “Lately?” Carter mumbles.

Harkins brings his attention to a man who’s stumbling into the ER. Mr. Royston started having chest pain, so his elementary-school-aged sons, Pete and Derek, brought him in. Harkins then asks Frank if the med students can wait in the doctors’ lounge. Since they’re not doctors, no, they can’t. Carter, Pratt, and Abby tend to Royston, hoping they can stop his heart attack.

Luka discharges Ricky, whose next step is jail. Luka tells him that Alma’s pregnant, but Ricky doesn’t care, and he’s not sure why Luka does. Kayson makes a rare appearance and immediately dislikes Pratt. Hey, Kayson, I thought I told you to crash on a deserted island and get eaten by a polar bear. Get on that, man.

Malik tells Susan that a bunch of people with alcohol poisoning are coming in. She expects teenagers, but they’re actually adults. The only person on the boat who was sober enough to dock it was a ten-year-old. Susan wishes she’d gone into a much less stressful specialty, like dermatology. Sasha’s father arrives, so now Susan has to ask Elizabeth to tell him that his daughter died. Susan offers to do it herself, but Elizabeth doesn’t see any reason not to do her job.

Derek wanders back to the trauma room where the doctors are trying to save his father. He arrives just as Kayson declares Royston dead. Royston’s wife hasn’t arrived yet, so Kayson thinks the staff should wait to tell the boys that their father didn’t make it. Carter doesn’t see the point, since one of the kids just heard the news himself.

Kayson and Carter both leave, and Abby starts the tasks nurses usually do after a patient died. Pratt realizes that Royston still has a heart rhythm that can be shocked. Over Abby’s objections, Pratt revives Royston. Meanwhile, Carter tells the kids that their father was too sick to save. Derek feels guilty for asking Royston to play with them when he said he was tired. Carter assures him that Royston had a heart problem no one knew about, so there was no reason to think anything was wrong. In fact, the kids gave him a great chance at survival by getting him to the hospital.

Pete is in a little bit of denial about his dad being dead. Carter gently confirms that he is, then assures Pete that it’s okay to be sad – that shows how much he loved his father. He offers to let the boys see their father’s body. But when he takes them back to the trauma room, they see that Pratt has revived Royston.

Elizabeth breaks the news to Sasha’s father that she didn’t survive the motorcycle accident. She remains pretty robotic as he cries, devastated. Susan watches as Elizabeth just leaves him in the hallway to mourn alone. Kayson yells at Carter about Pratt’s actions, though Carter thinks he was justified in trying to save Royston after Kayson pronounced him dead. Pratt thought he was acting in his patient’s best interest. Kayson says there’s no way Royston will have any meaningful life after this, so Pratt did more harm than good. Carter notes that his and Pratt’s names are on the chart, not Kayson’s, so they’ll take full responsibility.

After Kayson leaves, Carter makes it clear that he doesn’t actually think Pratt made a good decision. He needed to respect Kayson’s judgment when he pronounced Royston dead. Carter didn’t defend Pratt because he likes him or approves of his approach to medicine. He just did it because Pratt is his responsibility. He should have gotten Carter instead of shocking Royston himself. Instead, Pratt ignored authority and did what he wanted, not what was best for his patient. Pratt objects to that; Royston has a family, and they deserved to have him around if it was possible to save him. Carter says that Pratt just wanted to see if he could save Royston.

If I had any power in the ER, I wouldn’t let Pratt stay on this case, let alone have any more interaction with Royston’s family, but somehow Pratt is allowed to talk to Pete and Derek. He warns that there’s a chance their father might not wake up. They don’t quite get the details here; they just know that their father is still alive, thanks to Pratt. As Carter and Abby discuss what they want to do that night, Mrs. Royston arrives. She catches on pretty fast that her husband’s condition probably won’t improve. Carter gently asks her if she wants to sign a DNR. She asks if that’s the right thing to do, and he says it is.

Gallant has successfully treated the woman who was yelling at Elizabeth earlier – she just needed to take her medication. Weaver asks him why Stella’s still in the ER. Gallant is waiting for her labs to come back; he thinks her problem is physical, not mental. He’s right, as the lab work says she has thyroid problems. Weaver tells Gallant that while he’s on his psych rotation, he can’t do the same things he would do in the ER. That said, she’s proud of him for making the correct diagnosis.

Derek runs to get Abby, since Royston’s monitors are going off. She realizes that Mrs. Royston signed a DNR, so they aren’t allowed to try to save him again. Pratt is also there, and Derek is upset that he saved Royston last time but is now just going to let him die. He runs off, crying. Pratt just stands there with the patient he thought he could save while the man’s family has to watch him die.

Chen checks in with Elizabeth at the end of her shift, asking how she’s doing. Elizabeth says she’s fine. Frank gives her an update on Alma’s status: She’s now a quadriplegic. Elizabeth takes a moment in the lounge to let herself be sad. As she goes to get something from a cabinet, she spots a picture of the staff, including Mark. Pratt comes in and she sees that he’s now using Mark’s locker.

Later, Abby finds Carter asleep in the lounge. She heads off alone, even though, as Luka notes, they came in together. Pratt goes home and discovers that he won’t be able to just relax and have some quiet after a long day. There are people in his apartment, and he wants one of them to go away. After he’s kicked everyone out, he tells the one person remaining, Leon, that the other guys are using him. Leon doesn’t seem to care. (More about him later.)

Carter wakes up after the shift change and learns from Randi that Harkins is still waiting around like a good little teacher’s pet. She’s been there for 16 hours and refuses to leave without her tour of the ER. Carter obliges her instead of telling her to go home, because this is the last moment of peace she will have for a very, very long time.

Thoughts: The kids playing Pete and Derek are heartbreakingly good at acting sad.

Imagine if Pratt’s supervisor were Benton instead of Carter. Just take a minute to think about how satisfying it would be to watch Benton put Pratt in his place.

Harkins, here’s a good lesson for your first day: Don’t bug a doctor while he’s on the phone.

If I were talking to Weaver and she started crying, I would think she’d been abducted by aliens and replaced with a double.

November 10, 2020

ER 7.10, Piece of Mind: The Doctor Has Become the Patient

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

At least he didn’t lose much when they shaved his head

Summary: A man named Dan is driving his teenage son Paul somewhere, complaining about how Paul wants to quit playing hockey. A hockey scholarship is the only way Paul will get to go to college, so Dan wants him to keep playing. Paul notes that without devoting all his time to hockey, he would be able to improve his grades and get a scholarship that way. The argument ends when their car gets hit by a truck.

It’s New Year’s Eve, which means it’s time for Mark to have his tumor removed in New York. He’s sent plenty of patients to the OR, but this will be his first time going himself. Elizabeth tries to keep him optimistic. Back in Chicago, Dave is on the scene to help get Paul and Dan out of their upside-down car. A lot of what follows is from Dan’s POV. In the ambulance, he tells Dave that his chest hurts. Dave delivers him to Carter, explaining that he did an ambulance ride-along as part of his residency.

Cleo joins Carter to transport Dan to a trauma room while Weaver tends to Paul. Dave wishes Dan good luck, then heads back out on the ambulance. Carter reinflates Dan’s collapsed lung while Cleo gets information out of him like his family doctor and a person to contact. Paul is in the next trauma room, so Cleo holds the door between the rooms open to let them check on each other. Dan notes that his wife will be mad about the crashed car, and jokes that he’s going to tell her that Paul was driving.

In New York, Mark signs a DNR and gives Elizabeth his power of attorney. Elizabeth won’t accept the responsibility, since she’s positive that he’ll be fine. She thinks his worry that he’ll end up in a vegetative state is just him being “dramatic.” He convinces her to sign anyway. Dan is also signing forms, giving consent for Paul to have surgery on his broken leg. Dan himself needs a head CT, since he lost consciousness.

Abby asks Carter if he told Weaver yet (meaning that he took Vicodin, though she doesn’t say that in front of Dan). Carter says it’s one of his New Year’s resolutions. Elizabeth shaves Mark’s head as he tries to tie up loose ends about their house. He wants her to be in the OR during his operation, though Elizabeth doesn’t think Burke will approve of that. Mark lies that he’ll be fine on his own. He notices his roommate, a little boy, watching him but pretending not to watch him.

After Dan’s CT, Abby tells him that someone is trying to contact his wife, Deborah. He asks to see Paul, but Abby says he might not be able to talk to his son before surgery. Dan learns that on top of his leg injury, Paul also has a head injury. Dan worries that Deborah will be mad at him “again.” 20 years ago, they lost a baby to SIDS. Dan was home alone with the baby at the time and fell asleep. Deborah came home and found the baby dead. She didn’t blame Dan outright, but he knows she believes she could have saved the baby if she’d stayed home.

Burke gives Mark a pre-op exam and asks if he has anything on his mind. “That’s why I’m here,” Mark replies. He wishes Burke good luck, which Burke says they won’t need. Mark’s young roommate, Leo, introduces himself and they start chatting. Leo has a heart tumor and is surprised that Mark, a doctor, is sick enough to need surgery. Mark tries to give Leo a pep talk about his own procedure.

A drunk patient sings “Auld Lang Syne” to Dan, who’s really getting the full ER experience. He tries to get Weaver’s attention as she tells Benton about a patient who needs a pager removed from his rectum. Wow, a late Christmas present for Benton. Dan asks Weaver about Paul, but she doesn’t get a chance to give him details before she’s summoned to stabilize Paul. He passed out while getting x-rays and is now unresponsive. Dan urges him to stay strong.

Dave checks on Dan, who’s going to be admitted for a few days, though his CT is clean. Abby tells him that his brain might be bruised, so he’ll need some more scans. A police officer asks Dan about the accident, but Dan doesn’t remember what happened. The officer tells him he ran a red light. Dan insists that he would never do that, but there are a lot of witnesses who say otherwise.

Mark nervously waits with Elizabeth until someone comes to take him to the OR. He jokingly asks if she’ll go to a movie while he’s in surgery. Then he turns serious, telling her that he’s left her life insurance in case he doesn’t survive. She continues to avoid addressing the possibility that he won’t live. Okay, Elizabeth, there’s optimism and there’s denial. You’re getting waaaaay too close to the latter.

Jesus, the guy transporting Mark, calls him “Mr. Greene” instead of “Dr. Greene” and chats with a co-worker on the way to the OR, as if he doesn’t get how important this day is for Mark. In the operating room, Mark faces scary machines and equipment, like the saw that will open his skull. He casually asks Burke for something to help his anxiety. (If this were me, I wouldn’t even go into the OR without being injected with so much Ativan that I thought I was still home in bed.)

Paul is comatose, but Weaver thinks he can hear Dan, so she encourages him to talk. Dan says that he used to fake being asleep as a kid so he didn’t have to get up for school; he would have to stop when Dan tickled him. In New York, Mark is ready for his procedure, which he’ll be awake for, so they can make sure his ability to communicate stays intact. Elizabeth has come to the OR after all.

Deborah arrives at County just as Paul is about to be taken for surgery on his leg. Dan tells her that the crash was his fault, but still an accident. She’s upset. Dan complains of more chest pain, so Weaver sends him back to bed. A quick exam indicates that the chest pain is more serious than Dan has been leading on.

Mark ID’s flash cards while Burke does some brain mapping. When his language starts to fail, he notes that his thumb is shaking. Elizabeth figures out whatever’s wrong with him, but the doctors don’t fix it before he starts having seizures and flashes of his life up until now. He sees Rachel, Jen, and his parents, but not Elizabeth, which is weird. Mark loses consciousness, and the anesthesiologist can’t get a response out of him when he wakes up. Burke suggests holding off on the rest of the procedure.

Mark starts speaking again and tells Burke to keep going. The doctor keeping track of his language has him name things that start with the letter B. “Brain,” “Burke,” and “Broca” (the area of his brain that they’re mapping) are gimmes. After Burke removes the tumor, which is gross-looking, Mark says “baby” and “boy.” He has a hunch that that’s what they’re having. He switches to listing off boys’ names that start with B. He also suggests Jesus, and Elizabeth is like, “I know you’re having brain surgery but there is no way I’m naming our child Jesus Greene.”

Dan is also stable as Carter ends his shift and hands him off to Luka. Luka tells Dan that he could be at risk for having a heart attack. He asks if Dan passed out while he was driving; his angina could have led to an irregular heartbeat that made him lose consciousness. This means Dan might not be responsible for the accident. That’s the least of his problems, though, since his chest pain gets worse. Luka determines that he’s having a heart attack and needs surgery.

Mark is in recovery and doesn’t seem to be having any complications. Burke tells him everything went great. Kayson and Luka do a procedure to unblock one of Dan’s arteries, though Dan (who’s awake during it) is still more worried about Paul than himself. Luka notes that, as a teenager, Paul wants less to do with his father than ever but actually needs him more than ever. Dan asks if Luka has kids, and Luka says no.

Deborah is allowed in to let Dan know that Paul is awake and doing well. Dan tells her that his heart problem caused the accident. Well, I think the jury’s still out on that, so I wouldn’t get too confident there, buddy. Deborah apologizes for being cold to Dan earlier and tries to keep him from blaming himself for anything that’s happened to either of their sons.

Mark is now confused and thinks he needs to go home. Elizabeth asks a nurse to give him a sedative, but the nurse can’t take her orders, since Elizabeth isn’t on staff there. Romano interrupts Dan’s procedure to whine about not being informed of it. He was supposed to be given the authority to determine if Dan met the criteria for the procedure. There’s a complication involving a tear in a blood vessel, so now Dan needs bypass surgery. Looks like Romano gets to be in control after all.

Mark wakes up from sedation and is now back to his normal self. When Elizabeth leaves the room to talk to Burke for a minute, Mark notices that Leo, who’s also just out of surgery, is bleeding. He tries to alert a nurse, but they don’t notice Leo’s complications until alarms start going off. Mark watches helplessly as the little boy he tried to encourage declines.

Dan panics on his way to surgery, but Romano ignores his request for a second opinion, since he won’t survive long enough to get one. Dan recognizes Benton from the OR but doesn’t ask if he was able to remove the pager from the guy’s rectum, which I would definitely be asking. He has a bad feeling about the operation, which Benton casually dismisses, and asks the surgeons to tell Paul that he loves him and is proud of him.

Burke does a neurological exam on Mark, who’s distracted by the sight of Leo’s mother crying over her son’s condition (it’s not good). Though Mark is doing well physically, Burke wants him to meet with a psychiatrist, just in case he’s experiencing any depression. Mark declines and asks to have his catheter removed so he can start walking around, which will get him out of the hospital faster. Burke tells him he’s lucky and is undergoing the most successful treatment possible for his tumor. If he believes that, he’ll be fine.

At County, Benton declares a patient dead…but it’s not Dan. He thinks the car accident actually saved his life, since it drew attention to a heart problem he didn’t know he had. Paul, who’s being brought to the recovery room, teases that he should get a yearly checkup. He was able to hear Dan while he was comatose and jokingly complains that Dan interrupted his nice nap. Dan says Paul should take the year off from hockey so his leg can heal. Paul suggests that they start running together for exercise.

As midnight approaches, Mark impatiently waits for a nurse to remove his catheter. He asks Elizabeth to do it, and it’s so painful that he’s not sure he can ever order one for a patient again. She helps him to the bathroom as fireworks go off outside the windows to ring in the new year.

Thoughts: Dan is played by Jim Belushi. Paul is played by Jared Padalecki.

’00s music alert: “Butterfly” by Crazy Town. I bet Dave loves that song.

Just for the record, waking up from brain surgery and joking that you’re unfamiliar with your fiancée isn’t funny. If you’re ever in that situation, try to avoid the temptation.

We know Mark and Elizabeth have a girl, so I guess we shouldn’t place too much faith in Mark’s hunches.

November 26, 2019

ER 5.4, Vanishing Act: Lucy, You Got Some ‘Splaining to Do

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

They never warned Mark about this sort of stuff in med school

Summary: Mark is doing a paramedic ridealong with Doris and Morales, accompanying them to the site of a one-car crash. The driver is unconscious and has a very protective, angry German shepherd. Mark distracts the dog while the paramedics try to assess the patient. Mark ends up with dog bites and a tetanus booster. Plus, Weaver teases that if he ends up with rabies, it’s possible no one will notice. She’s trying to have a more casual attitude about not being immediately chosen as the permanent ER chief.

Doug has come in on his day off to get set up for the next day, when the pediatric ER will officially open. Carol tells him that now that he’s an attending, he’ll have to chip in with the other attendings for the nurses’ nights out. I’m sure he’ll love paying for his girlfriend to hang out with people who aren’t him. Doug overhears Carol talking to Lynette about birth control options for a clinic patient, and he recommends a diaphragm, since they work really well. Carol says he might want to rethink that – she’s three days late.

Randi compliments Weaver’s power suit, which she’s wearing for her interview for ER chief. Randi guesses that she copied her whole outfit from a Cosmo article. Elizabeth is back to being an intern and is about to learn which resident she’ll be working with. She guesses she’ll be sidelined to a consultant role. Benton waits until they’re in an elevator to put Reese’s hearing aids on him, making Elizabeth think that he’s delaying telling anyone. Benton says he just ran out of time.

Lucy presents a patient to Carter, a magician who screwed up a trick and inhaled flash powder. He won’t tell them what’s in it, since it’s a trade secret, but Lucy looked it up on the Internet. The magician does a magic trick with a cigarette, and Carter tries to match him by making a blood-gas kit appear out of thin air. The magician impresses Lucy by putting something in her pocket without her knowing. He says it’s not about what people see.

Carol and Doug quietly discuss her possible pregnancy, though she’s pretty sure it’s not a big deal, since she doesn’t feel pregnant. Doug notes that she’s never been pregnant before, so how would she know what it feels like? He goes off to help Jeanie with a patient, but the pediatric ER exam room isn’t ready yet. Lucy and Carter have been using it to stash a corpse, since no one has come from the morgue yet to get it. Chuny asks if the corpse, who she calls Prince Albert, really has a diamond penis piercing she’s heard rumors about. Carter offers to let her look, but Chuny says she’s seen one before.

Elizabeth has the horrible luck of being assigned to Dale Edson. He plans to treat her like he would any other intern, which means giving her all the work he doesn’t want to do. If she finishes in time, she can scrub in to help with surgery (you know, her actual job). On the elevator with Albert, Lucy almost takes a peek to see if the diamond is real. She gets distracted when she leaves to help an elderly man in the hallway. By the time she gets back to the elevator, the doors have closed.

Paramedics bring in a stabbing victim named Bo, who’s accompanied by a cop who’s trying to find out who attacked Bo. The cop thinks Bo will leave the hospital and go seek revenge on his own, but Carol doesn’t want to let the cop stick around and hammer him with questions. Lucy waits for the elevator, but when it returns, Albert is no longer on board.

Mark’s in trouble with some parents whose daughters attended a sleepover at his place. He showed the girls Romeo + Juliet without realizing that it’s PG-13. He tries to get Elizabeth to do a surgical consult, but she’s too busy doing Dale’s scut work to help. She mentions that Dana is undergoing her amputation later that day, and Doug runs off. Mark gets Elizabeth to do his consult, but Dale takes over and sends her to do more boring stuff.

Lucy runs around looking for Albert, then pretends everything’s fine when Carter asks her to see an actual patient. Randi alerts her to the presence of a man looking for Carter. He’s Albert’s brother, Naughton, and he wants to pick up Albert’s personal effects, including some jewelry. Lucy tells him Albert is definitely, no doubt, positively in the morgue. She promises to find him and bring him back up for Naughton.

Doug visits Dana, who reluctantly agreed to the amputation, though she appreciates that Doug helped her get a say in the matter. Mr. Ellis is annoyed to see Doug near his daughter after being told to keep his distance. Lucy goes to the morgue and questions the transport dispatcher, Tony, about Albert’s body. He’s apathetic about his job and gets defensive when he thinks Lucy’s mad that he took too long to get Albert’s body. He makes her panic by pulling a prank to make her think the body was incinerated. Tony says the body was stashed in a closet in the ICU.

Bo wants to leave, but Carol tries to get him to stick around and finish getting stitched up. Then she asks Lynette to call Bo’s mother to come get him. Bo’s 18, but Carol thinks he’ll bolt, so she wants his mother there to stop him. Mark hands a patient off to Jeanie, a man named Mr. Lipson who has minor injuries from a car accident. She notices that his eyes are yellow and guesses he has problems with his liver. He had a transplant a few years ago, and there may be a problem now.

A patient’s mother tries to talk to Jeanie, but she only speaks Spanish and Jeanie can’t understand her. The woman’s cousin, Luisa, hands over the woman’s insurance card, but Jeanie notes that the name on the card is Rosa, while the woman was introduced as Carmen. Jeanie guesses that the card is really Luisa’s, and they’re trying to cover for the fact that Carmen’s son, Angel, isn’t documented. She tells the women that County treats all patients whether or not they have insurance or documentation.

Lucy and Tony go to the ICU to retrieve the body…which isn’t Albert’s. Doug tells Romano that he wants to put Dana on some sort of pain medication that will help rewire her nerves. Doing so would mean pushing back her amputation a few days. Doug doesn’t think Dana’s psychologically ready for the amputation, so this could give her some more time to adjust. Romano doubts that just a few days will make a difference. He tells Dale to let Elizabeth scrub in on the procedure they’re about to do. He and Doug fight about Dana, but Doug ignores him.

Lynette tries to keep Bo in the ER, but his mother hasn’t arrived yet, so he sees no reason to stay. Lynette knows he wants to run off to retaliate against the person who stabbed him. Carol wants to put him on a psych hold, but Lynette’s plan is to sedate him until his mother arrives. Carol overrules her, planning to handle things on her own. Hey, guys, why not just call the cop who was investigating? Carol puts security outside Bo’s room, then tells him they’re waiting for his mom to come.

Romano, Benton, Elizabeth, and Dale operate together, so that room must be all kinds of tense. Dale calls Elizabeth “Lizzie,” and she asks not to be called that. He notes that Romano calls her that. Benton quizzes Dale on some anatomy, then asks Elizabeth to correct him when he answers incorrectly. It’s Romano and Dale vs. Benton and Elizabeth, at least until Dale picks on Elizabeth for something and Romano defends her. However, he then sends her out of the OR to take care of Mark’s patient.

Mark introduces Doug and Weaver to a chief candidate who’s dressed similarly to Weaver. Weaver realizes she’ll need to change up her look to stand out. Jeanie wants Lipson to undergo a liver biopsy to make sure there are no complications from his transplant. He tells her he missed a few checkups, so he hasn’t heard from his regular doctor if there was anything abnormal. He admits that she suspected there was a problem, but he didn’t want to hear the news. Jeanie points out that he can have another transplant if this one has failed.

Kayson tells Jeanie that he examined Angel, who will probably need heart surgery. Carmen is extremely grateful to Jeanie for helping her son. Elizabeth finishes up with Mark’s patient but isn’t allowed to admit him. He tells Jeanie he ran a blood-alcohol test on Lipson as part of his trauma panel, and his level came back .04. Drinking after a liver transplant is a big no-no.

Lucy is no longer panicking over Albert, and is also still pretending everything is okay around Carter. The magician offers her free tickets to his show and does a magic trick with her beeper. She starts to ask him if he’s seen a body, then changes her mind. Lucy spots Naughton and runs away, right into Carol, whose help she needs with an IV. Carol is fed up with Lucy’s incompetence and threatens to tell Carter about her shortcomings if she doesn’t do it first.

Bo has taken off, since the security guard didn’t have permission to keep him there (though Bo didn’t know that). Doug gives Dana the medication Romano said not to, having somehow gotten her parents to agree. Romano is understandably ticked and tells Doug to play John Wayne in the ER, not the surgical floor. All doctors think they’re right; that doesn’t make Doug special. Romano also guesses that Doug gave Dana food, which would have delayed the surgery anyway, and used that window to convince her parents to follow his protocol.

Lucy tries to insert an IV on a little girl, but fails. When she goes to get a small needle, she runs into an impatient Naughton. Just as she’s about to admit that she lost Albert’s body, she spots an arm hanging out from under a sheet on a gurney in the hallway. She pulls off the sheet and reveals Albert like a magic trick. Naughton can’t believe he walked right by him (probably because a workman put some stuff on top of him, so it didn’t look like a gurney at all).

Carol goes looking for a pregnancy test, which is somehow hard to find in the ER. Weaver got a scarf at the gift shop, but Randi disapproves of the way she’s tied it. She advises Weaver to take off her earrings, since they’re throwing her whole outfit off-balance. Doug asks Carol to help Lucy with her IV, since the patient is so young. Carter comes over to defend Lucy’s IV skills, and Doug says he’s setting a new policy with pediatric patients.

Jeanie finds Lipson getting dressed to leave and confronts him for drinking. He claims he only drank once, but Jeanie knows he’s been back on the transplant list for two months. Lipson said he drank to celebrate that his son passed the bar exam. He knew he was rejecting his first transplant, so what’s the harm? He begs Jeanie not to tell UNOS, the transplant service, because drinking will keep him off the list. Without a new liver, Lipson only has about six months to live.

Jerry comes in for his shift and mentions that Randi’s halter top is a little inappropriate for her job. She’s only wearing it because she loaned Weaver her leather jacket for her interview. It looks weird. Mark, Anspaugh, and Kayson all compliment Weaver on her interview, and Mark even says he likes her jacket. Kayson then goes back to the ER to tell Carmen that he can’t operate on Angel because he’s uninsured. His care will cost too much. Jeanie points out that, even though he’s been stable in the ER, he could drop dead once he leaves. Kayson says that a lot of people could drop dead. Let’s hope he’s the first.

Hey, guess who’s back? Bo! He has gunshot wounds this time, plus an angry Carol tending to him and an incompetent Lucy trying to get his blood gas. Carol takes over for her, so Carter tells Lucy to insert an IV. Lucy quietly tells him she can’t – she’s never started one and doesn’t know how. She walks out while the other doctors try to save the patient.

Romano checks in with Elizabeth, who says her first day back as an intern went as she expected. Romano’s impressed that she survived working with Dale. Dale told her to wear a short lab coat, since she’s an intern, but Romano says she can wear a long one. Once Bo has been stabilized, Carol chastises Doris and Morales for not calling ahead about bringing him in. Mark does his liaison thing, siding with Carol while also admitting that they should have been better prepared. Since they treated the patient, they should just move on.

Benton takes Reese to a session with the audiologist, who tells Benton that Reese will have to work hard to develop his language skills. Benton tries to participate with a stuffed animal but feels foolish. The audiologist tells him he needs to step up and come more than twice a week. Lynette tells Carol that even if they’d been able to keep Bo in the ER earlier, he still would have gone out and gotten revenge later.

Lipson leaves without any indication of whether or not Jeanie ratted him out to UNOS. She asks Doug if she can be his full-time physician’s assistant in the pediatric ER. She’s good with kids, and no doubt she won’t come across one who wants her to do something unethical. Doug is on board with the idea but doesn’t think he has any pull with Anspaugh. Thanks to Scott, Jeanie does. And then we get our answer about Lispon, as Jeanie calls UNOS.

Carter finds Lucy on the roof, where she’s moping about being bad at her job. She feels horrible and says she thought she could learn on her own. Carter notes that she put patients in danger, and the number one rule in the ER is that it’s not about the doctors. If Lucy ever lies to him again, she’ll be taken off his rotation.

Doug meets Carol at her house and sees that she’s drinking – she won’t need the pregnancy test he bought her, since she started her period. She jokes that he can save the test for the next time (though she’s not really joking). Doug says they dodged a bullet, and Carol pretends she agrees. They both know how much having a baby would change their lives, but neither is sure if they mean it in a bad way.

Thoughts: Freaking A, Carol, you don’t just casually tell your boyfriend AT WORK that you might be pregnant!

Oh, hey, it’s Kayson. Go crash on a mysterious island with a polar bear, you jerk.

Of course Carter blames Lucy for not being better at something he never taught her to do. Yeah, I know she never told him and she passed off others’ work as hers, but as her teacher, Carter really should have known her skill level.

October 1, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 2, 2019

ER 3.16, Faith: Well, I Guess It Would Be Nice If Greg Could Touch Your Body

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

What’s worse, Carla’s hat or her coat?

Summary: Carol’s asleep – drink! Her mother’s making breakfast and trying to take care of her after the hostage situation. Carol insists that she’s fine; she sees worse things at her job than she saw in the convenience store. Helen notes that it’s a big day, as Carol’s supposed to find out if she still has a job. Carol is also preparing for the MCAT, which Helen thought she gave up on.

She tries to encourage Carol, who doesn’t believe that Helen actually thinks she can become a doctor. She wishes her mother had told her from a young age that she could be anything she wants, like a lawyer or an astronaut. “Fine. Go be an astronaut,” Helen says. She’ll love Carol no matter what she does. Carol’s the one who holds herself back, since she often quits because she’s worried she’s not good enough. That includes her wedding. Helen reminds Carol that she has a good job now and a good life. Helen’s proud of her; Carol just needs to be proud of herself.

Benton catches Carla on her way to work and apologizes for not being in touch since she told him she’s pregnant. She’s annoyed that he’s kept his distance, which tells her a lot about his plans for the baby. Benton is ready to pick up his share of the responsibilities, but she’s not convinced that he’s going to be a stable presence in the baby’s life. She thinks he just wants to contribute money. Benton wants his child to have a man in his life, but Carla notes that the man in the child’s life might not be him. She knows Benton only worries about himself, so she’s not expecting anything from him.

Benton goes to work, his first day back since his appendectomy, and for some reason, everyone wants to see his scar. These people are weird. Carter gleefully shows around the pictures he took of his handiwork. He’s also keeping the appendix in a jar on his mantle. Okay, creepy. Mark sees the nurses chatting, and Jerry mentions that their contracts are up again. Haleh’s sure that things will work out.

Paramedics bring in a woman named Louise who has Down syndrome and is having trouble breathing. Doyle detects a heart issue, probably the after-effect of an illness Louise had recently. Carol meets with Mary from management, who tells her she’ll get a written warning in her file, but as of today, she can get back to work. Carol’s surprised that her punishment is so light, but she can’t be disappointed that the whole ordeal is over.

Jeanie and Greg have worked things out – yay! – and now she wants to go to the opera. He’s not really interested, but she wants to do something spontaneous and romantic. Greg isn’t sure what’s romantic about the opera. Jeanie may be starting to regret this relationship.

Louise’s mother, Mrs. Cupertino, arrives, and Mark asks about Louise’s general status and mental competency. He’s surprised that Louise isn’t on a waiting list for a heart transplant, since she’s sick enough to have needed one for a while. Mrs. C. says they won’t put her on the list because of her mental delays. Hicks checks on Benton to make sure he’s recovering well from his surgery. He thinks she’s trying to see if he’s physically ready, but she’s showing actual human concern for his health and well-being.

Doyle’s upset that UNOS, the transplant coordination service, won’t put Louise on a transplant list because she has Down syndrome. Mark thinks there must be something else going on, but when they talk to the long-missing Kayson, he won’t even admit Louise to the hospital. The hospital transplant committee, not UNOS, refused to put her on the list. She’s in her 30s, and most people with Down’s don’t live to be much older than that, so there’s no point in giving her a new heart.

Doyle objects, but Kayson doesn’t care what she thinks, since she’s just a first-year resident. Mark tries to play peacemaker while still siding with Doyle to advocate for Louise. Kayson says he’d love to give her a new heart, but the committee has made its decision.

The nurses are thrilled to have Carol back at work (especially Haleh, who gets to hand back her supervisory duties). Weaver’s also pleased to have a competent person running things again. Carol says everything’s fine with her, as if she’s surprised that everyone thinks she should be having post-traumatic stress or something.

Carter examines a woman named Mrs. Jarnowski who, despite having some stomach pain, is in better health than she should be based on her diet. She says she eats the same way her mother did, and her mother only died the year before, at age 96, in a car accident. Carter yawns in the middle of their conversation, which is totally professional. He thinks Mrs. J. needs a surgical consult.

As Mark examines Louise, Mrs. C. tells Mark and Doyle that before Louise got sick, she was living in her own place, working, and serving as an altar girl at church. Mark gets a list of the members of the transplant committee, making Doyle eager to see the jerks responsible for rejecting Louise. Mark tells her to watch her attitude.

Doug welcomes Carol back to work, then mentions that he knows the MCAT is that afternoon. Carol has decided not to take it, since med school is a lot of work and would cost a lot of money. He offers to help her out if she changes her mind. Haleh tells Carter that Anspaugh is checking out Mrs. J., even though he wanted Hicks to do her consult. Anspaugh thought it was a good teaching case, but nothing stands out to him as too serious. Dale agrees, because of course he does.

Mark tracks down Nina, who was on the transplant committee. Since Kayson was on board with giving Louise the transplant, she must have been rejected for non-medical reasons. Mark thinks if he can get Nina and one other doctor to change their minds, Louise will get a new heart. Nina says their decision has to be unanimous, but she did reject Louise.

Mark asks if Louise’s life is less important than someone else’s. Nina argues that she isn’t competent to understand the situation and won’t be able to take care of herself afterward. The heart would go to waste. Mark starts to leave, then turns back to tell Nina that all her excuses are bureaucratic things she tells herself so she can sleep at night. Louise makes people happy, and she has as much right to live as anyone else. Nina’s decision will lead to her death.

Greg takes Jeanie to a picnic in the park, which would be a great, spontaneous, romantic idea if it weren’t February in Chicago. Jeanie at least appreciates the effort. He’s spontaneous again when he announces that he thinks it’s time for them to have sex. Well, probably not right there in the park. Jeanie isn’t sure Greg gets what a big step that is, but he’s completely ready for it.

Mrs. J. is having trouble breathing now, and she’s in more pain. Her daughter, Yolanda, tells Carter that Mrs. J. is usually pretty stoic, so if she’s complaining of pain, it must be mad. Instead of calling Anspaugh back, Carter tells Haleh to page Hicks. Benton’s big task for the day is a circumcision on a man who wants to convert to Judaism for his fiancée. He wishes he’d known earlier that this would be a condition of the relationship. Hicks brings in some people to observe, then goes to the ER.

A doctor named Ewing calls Doug to pediatrics for an update on Jad. It’s his 18th birthday, and he’s signed a DNR. He wants Doug to take him off the respirator, even though he probably won’t live more than a few minutes after that. He’s sure of his decision and has said goodbye to his mother and girlfriend, so Doug agrees to honor his wishes. Jad struggles for a minute off the respirator, then surprises Doug by stabilizing.

Carter tells Hicks that he disagrees with Anspaugh’s diagnosis of Mrs. J. Hicks tells Haleh to page Anspaugh as Carter gives his theory – a heart problem that threw a clot that’s now affecting her bowel. Anspaugh comes straight from lunch with Weaver and, to his credit, immediately agrees with Carter’s assessment. He rushes Mrs. J. to surgery, though Hicks tells Yolanda she’ll be fine. Anspaugh’s so impressed with Carter’s work that he allows him to take lead on the operation.

Mark returns to Louise’s room, where she’s playing Jenga with someone named Jimmy. Doyle reveals that Jimmy’s her brother; she brought him to keep Louise company. Mark tells Doyle what Nina said, and Doyle disagrees with all of it. Mark suggests that they call another hospital to get on their transplant list. But then Nina comes by with the paperwork Mrs. C. needs to fill out to get Louise on the transplant list after all.

Doug tries to make a deal with Jad that will let him go off and do whatever he wants during the day, then spend the night at the hospital. Jad isn’t interested, no matter how much extra time that could give him. Doug tries to give Jad his home phone number in case he needs anything, but Jad isn’t interested in that either. Katie takes the number after he leaves.

The nurses got their new contract, so Jerry raids the hospital cafeteria for celebratory cake. Doug looks for Carol, but Weaver says she changed her mind about working immediately after her return and went home earlier. Mark tells Doyle that the transplant committee is ready to put Louise on the list, but Doyle tells him that now Mrs. C. won’t sign the surgical release. Kayson and Doyle both made it clear that Louise will die without a transplant, but Mrs. C. just wants to take her daughter home.

Mark tries his hand at talking to Louise’s mother. She says she was 41 when Louise was born, and the doctor advised Mrs. C. to put her in a state hospital. Mark repeats that Louise will die without a transplant. Mrs. C. and Louise only have each other, and Mrs. C. doesn’t want her daughter in a group home after Mrs. C. dies. She knows Jesus will be waiting for both Louise and Mrs. C. when they die, and Mrs. C. will next see her daughter in Heaven.

While Benton bores Hicks’ students with a dull procedure, and proves why he should never be a teacher, Carter gets ready for Mrs. J.’s surgery. The student has surpassed the master! Mark and Doug meet up in the lounge and recount their depressing workdays. They wish they could have done more with their medical skills today. Mark suggests they get dinner together, but Doug wants to head out and help an old friend.

Greg has decided to suck it up and go to the opera after all. Jeanie thinks he’s trying to prove something to her, and promises that they can slow things down if they’re moving too fast. Greg’s like, “Instead of that, can we skip the opera?” Jeanie is really the one who wants to take things more slowly.

Carol gets home to find Doug waiting for her, knowing she took the MCAT after all. She felt old, and though she had to make a lot of guesses, she also knew more than she’d expected. She invites him in for coffee, but he says he needs to get up early. Carol assures him once again that she’s fine after the hostage situation. Doug asks why she took the MCAT. She says she took it for herself – she wanted to see if she was good enough. He promises she is.

Benton’s day of boring procedures is over, but he’s still hanging out in an OR when Hicks comes by. He admits that she was right to question how he’s been coping with everything that’s happened to him over the past few months, like Gant’s death and almost killing that baby. His life isn’t working out the way he’d expected. Hicks tells him he’s not responsible for Gant’s death, but Benton knows he could have been a better mentor.

He wishes he could say he had a master plan, but honestly, he never thought about Gant. He was just an intern; Benton had more important things to worry about. Hicks tells him he’s not invincible, and all doctors have to learn and grow in their careers. It’s a lifelong process. Benton just needs to have faith. Hicks sends him home, promising that his procedures the next day will be a better use of his skills.

Thoughts: Being Carol’s mother must be exhausting.

Carol took one science class a few months ago and suddenly she’s ready for the MCAT? Also, that plot eventually just fizzles out – I wonder if they ever intended to do more with it.

Jad’s first act as a legal adult should have been to change his name.

May 8, 2018

ER 1.16, Make of Two Hearts: Be My Valentine, Woman I Yelled at Two Weeks Ago

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

Malik and Jerry’s faces are great here

Summary: Jerry plays She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not while Wendy decorates the front desk for Valentine’s Day. A woman named Mrs. Hall comes in with her daughter, Tatiana, wanting Doug to check her over. Tatiana doesn’t speak much English; Mrs. Hall adopted her from Russia just ten days earlier. Doug assures her that they’ll take good care of the girl. Susan teases Carter, who’s received lot of cards for Valentine’s Day.

Officer Al brings in a patient in a blanket, begging for help. Meanwhile, Carol sees Mrs. Hall leaving. Mark, Susan, and Carter lead a team taking care of Al’s patient, but the work stops when Benton arrives and learns that the patient is a dog. Al asks him to keep trying to save the pooch, but Benton only takes care of humans. Susan looks up animal anatomy while Carter gives the dog CPR. Mark intubates, and a chest x-ray shows that the dog has a collapsed lung. I wonder how much that x-ray cost the taxpayers of Chicago. Once the dog has been stabilized, Al kisses Lydia in celebration.

Carol has discovered that the now-missing Mrs. Hall gave them a fake phone number. It looks like she’s abandoned her new daughter in the hospital. Since Carol’s mother is Russian (I thought she was Ukrainian?), Carol speaks a little of the language and is able to have a brief conversation with Tatiana. Tatiana’s English seems to begin and end with “okay,” but they’re still able to communicate.

Mark’s cranky because of a crick in his neck, which he got from sleeping on the couch last night, because he and Jen aren’t getting along. He tells Susan that he’d be in an even worse mood if the dog had died. Doug tells Mark he’s working that night, as he always does on Valentine’s Day, so he doesn’t have to worry about “dating conflicts.” This means he’s available to tend to a 17-year-old whose legs were crushed in a train accident.

Carol doesn’t want Tatiana to have to stay in a room by herself, so she’s moved to a bed next to the dog, which has been dubbed Bill. Susan then pulls Carol away to help her with some cheerleaders who took acid. Their buddy Kirk thinks it’s funny. He put LSD in a box of chocolates but made sure the three girls only ate two each. Susan will be reporting this to the police and Kirk’s parents.

Doug asks Benton about some flowers and chocolates in the lounge that belong to him. Benton says they’re for a pediatrician he’s been dating. The train victim, Michael, comes in and has a seizure while the doctors are working on him. Wendy’s holding his hand at the time and winds up in pain. Chen checks in on the cheerleaders, who are mesmerized by a heart monitor. Kirk is napping, so he isn’t able to stop Chen from taking a couple of chocolates from his box.

Kayson comes by with flowers and a request for Susan to be his valentine. She doesn’t know how to respond. Mark complains that Bill will be sticking around until Al is off duty and can take him home. Tatiana sure isn’t complaining, though. The effects of the LSD make Chen find something fascinating about a blank wall. She tells Carter she’s “very okay.”

Doug and Carol tell a social worker that Tatiana appears to have been abandoned. The social worker tells them that they’ll have to send her to a foster home. Kayson is about to be released after his heart attack, which has changed his outlook on life. He thinks every cardiologist should have to have one. He also thinks Susan should go into the field; he’d love to mentor her. Susan would rather be anywhere but there, so I don’t think she’s going to accept Kayson’s dinner invitation.

Mark examines Wendy, who’s about as high on Demerol as Chen is on acid. Sadly, her injury was for nothing, as Michael died in the OR. Carol is upset about Tatiana’s abandonment, so Mark tries to distract her with a trauma. A man named Lorenzo has a meat hook embedded in his arm, courtesy of his son, Paulie. They had a fight after Paulie said something insulting about his mother. To his credit, Lorenzo’s worried about Paulie, who’s in worse shape than he is. His meat hook is in his chest.

Tatiana watches through a window as Mark and Carol try to shock Paulie’s heart back into rhythm. Carol finally realizes that Tatiana’s being exposed to something traumatic, and runs over to comfort her. Paulie doesn’t make it, so happy Valentine’s Day to Lorenzo and his wife. But Mark cheers up a little when he sees Doug wrangling a bunch of kids who are dressed up like candy hearts.

Doug asks Benton about his flowers and candy again; this time Benton says they’re for his mother. Chen wanders in, asking where exam 1 is, which makes Benton suspicious of her behavior. Carol checks on Tatiana, who’s been hanging out with Carter and Bill. She thinks the girl and the dog are good companions for each other since neither knows what’s going on. Carter tries to stay optimistic that Tatiana’s mother will come back for her.

Chen goes to the wrong exam room, having a moment of confusion when she sees Doug’s little heart girls dancing around. Then she goes to exam 1 to put a cast on Wendy’s hand. Wendy doesn’t think that’s a good idea. An elderly man named Ed is brought in after passing out and almost drowning in a hot tub. His two girlfriends are concerned about him. Tatiana has a high fever, and Carol wishes she knew more Russian so she could talk to her.

Jerry sends Benton to tend to a senile 85-year-old woman. Jake comes in with a stomachache, and Doug quickly starts examining him. Mark teases Susan a little about Kayson’s sudden affection for her. She tells him she turned down his dinner invitation, claiming she had plans with Mark. Then comes the kicker: Kayson is married.

Carol chats with Jake while Doug talks to Diane nearby. Diane’s sure that her son is faking his illness; he wants an excuse to be around Doug so Diane will have to spend time with him, too. Carol confirms that Jake is faking. Unfortunately, Tatiana really is sick – she has both pneumonia and AIDS. Benton’s senile patient, Mrs. Hayden, thinks she’s supposed to be cleaning her husband’s military uniform, though she can’t find any starch. Benton, who of course has experience with this sort of situation because of his mother, is very patient with her and even accepts when she offers to iron his uniform.

Carol’s furious that Tatiana’s mother abandoned her when she’s sick; no foster family is going to want to take her in. Doug says that the situation is what it is, so they just have to deal with it. Carol laments that they barely get to know their patients before treating them and sending them home. In this instance, Tatiana doesn’t have a home to go to. Carol goes to see the girl, who’s asleep, and says she’s sorry that Tatiana is going through so much upheaval. She’s glad Tatiana doesn’t understand what’s going on.

Mark’s next patient, Mrs. Goodwin, had an allergic reaction to shellfish that somehow made its way into her Valentine’s dinner. He and Susan stabilize her, but as they’re leaving her with the nurses, she starts bleeding. Susan thinks she perforated Mrs. Goodwin’s esophagus, but Mark says the complication wasn’t her fault. They determine that the woman has varices, which Susan guesses are from alcoholism. Once the patient is stable for real, Mark compliments Susan for making the diagnosis.

Now off-duty, Mark tries to convince Susan to go do something with him so her story to Kayson about her plans won’t be a lie. Carol spots Mrs. Hall in the hall (…heh) and coolly tells her that Tatiana can’t go home tonight. In fact, Carol doesn’t think Mrs. Hall will ever be able to take her home. Mrs. Hall admits that she doesn’t want to. Benton finds Mrs. Hayden ironing something with a tissue box and comments that she must have found the starch after all.

Mrs. Hall tells Carol that Tatiana was just diagnosed with AIDS last week. Mr. Hall died a few years ago, and Mrs. Hall never allowed herself to feel the loss until Tatiana’s diagnosis. She doesn’t want to let herself get close to someone else she’s just going to lose. She’s making the abandonment final by bringing Tatiana’s things to her. Carol reminds her how to say goodbye in Russian, but Mrs. Hall doesn’t bother to say it to her so-called daughter.

Benton goes home, where his mother has fallen asleep in front of an old movie. Mark and Susan go ice skating and discuss Morgenstern’s offer of an attending position for Mark. Jen still isn’t supportive, and Mark doesn’t want to think about having to make a decision right now. Back at the hospital, Jerry and Malik stare at Chen while she licks icing off a cupcake. Carter sees the cast Chen gave Wendy and cracks up. Tatiana has to say dosvedanya to Bill, who gets to go home with Al. But it looks like Carol is prepared to spend the night sitting with her.

Thoughts: I wouldn’t worry too much about Tatiana. She grows up to be Lily from those AT&T commercials.

One of my least favorite things about this series is when they take care of animals. Romano, I’m looking at you and your dog.

Enjoy Hell, Mrs. Hall. I’ll take the girl and the dog.

April 24, 2018

ER 1.14, Long Day’s Journey: Susan vs. Kayson, the Knock-Out Round

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:50 pm by Jenn

Soooooo awkward

Summary: Doug and Benton are taking care of a patient named Kathleen who supposedly fell off a ladder. Her children are in the hallway, and Carol takes the daughter, Mandy, off to look at her hand, which she says she hurt when her mother fell. Carter gets to work and learns that Chen has already taken care of a lot of his tasks. She admits that she’s trying to make a good impression.

Carol tells Doug that Kathleen has been treated for a number of injuries at County. Doug realizes they’re dealing with a case of abuse and straight out asks Mandy and her brother David who’s been beating their mother. The kids stay quiet, but Doug doesn’t press them to talk. As he’s leaving, David points the finger at Mandy. Mandy denies the accusation, but her rage tells a different story.

Susan checks with Mark before discharging a patient, since he’s apparently still double-checking all her cases. She’s appearing before Morgenstern’s committee that afternoon. Chen tells Benton that one of his patients wants her surgery explained to her again. He’s already done it twice, so he’s fine letting Chen take a stab at it when she volunteers, as long as it doesn’t interfere with her other tasks.

Doug’s next patient, a preteen named Zack, was accidentally injured by his gym teacher during class. Mark examines Mrs. Chang, a pregnant woman with nausea and an anxious husband. Mr. Chang thinks they should just induce labor, since the baby’s due in two weeks. Haleh tells Benton that there’s a physical therapist named Jeanie Boulet who would be a good fit to help take care of his mother.

Mark jumps on a case with Carol, taking care of a woman named Fran who appears to have overdosed on antidepressants in a suicide attempt. Tag finds out that Doug tried to get a surgical consult from someone under him and invites himself to join Zack’s case. He insists that they keep things professional.

Fran’s friend Sally is more interested in calling Fran’s boyfriend than she is in telling Carol if Fran might have taken any other drugs. Doug holds Fran’s baby so the audience can swoon for a few moments. Carol determines that Fran’s brain stem is no longer functioning, so they stop working on her. Zack may have a tumor, so breaking his leg in gym class could have actually been a blessing in disguise, since it gave Tag a reason to see an x-ray.

Mr. Chang insists that Mark induce labor so their baby will be born in the Year of the Dog instead of the Year of the Pig. He’s worried that their mothers will think their baby will be lazy if it’s born in the Year of the Pig. In fact, Mrs. Chang’s nausea came from herbs she consumed in an attempt to induce labor. Mark tells him this isn’t a garage, and the doctors don’t do procedures just because people want them done. The Changs’ OB, Dr. Noble, arrives and approves of their desire to induce ten days early. They do it all the time, so he doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Mark dryly wishes everyone a happy Year of the Dog.

Benton meets Jeanie, who doesn’t think she’s the right person to take care of Mae. She’s also unsure that Benton, as a resident, can afford to pay her. He promises he’ll make it work, so she agrees to give it a try. Carol and Tag are supposed to go away for a romantic weekend, but he has a staff meeting that might delay their departure. A couple of burn victims come in, and Mark and Doug tend to them.

Jerry tells Carter there’s someone outside who needs help, so he and Chen head off. A family has brought in their Uncle Ed, who they weren’t able to wake from his nap. That’s because he’s not sleeping – he’s dead. In fact, rigor mortis has already set in. The doctors bring him inside, though the family wants to keep going on their road trip and take care of this inconvenience later.

One of the burn victims, Willy, was injured when he tried to save a girl from a fire. His lungs are damaged from chemicals in the building, and he tells Mark and Doug that his cystic fibrosis won’t help matters. Haleh comments to Carol that working on a patient who overdosed must have been difficult for her. Carol replies that she tries not to think about her own suicide attempt too much. Haleh asks if she left a note. Carol says no – she couldn’t figure out what to say.

Susan tries to calm her nerves with a cigarette before her meeting with Morgenstern. Kayson joins her, which probably makes it worse. Carter oversees as Chen takes a patient’s history and quickly comes up with an idea. Susan is questioned by Morgenstern’s committee, and though Kayson tries to make her out to be a bad doctor, the other doctors don’t appear to believe that she did anything negligent. In fact, they think Kayson made more mistakes on the case.

Doug learns that Zack’s mother and uncle didn’t tell him that he might have a tumor. Doug refuses to do his biopsy until they tell Zack exactly what’s going on. His mother tries to do it, then decides to let Doug finish. He answers Zack’s questions and tells him he thinks he’ll be okay. Thanks to Doug’s bedside manner, Zack shows very little fear and says he’s ready to go ahead and do the biopsy.

Carter presents his and Chen’s patient to Benton as a surgical candidate. Benton slams Carter for doing the presentation when Chen made the diagnosis, then basically hands the patient over to her. Doug accompanies Zack to his biopsy and explains everything Tag does so he’s not blindsided by anything.

Benton tells Jackie that he wants Jeanie to take care of Mae, but Jackie still thinks she needs to go to a nursing home. Benton promises to be on Mae duty a couple days a week so Jeanie only has to work three days. Jackie scoffs that Benton’s never taken care of Mae before, so she doesn’t believe he’ll start now. He shoots back that she’s just going to spend their mother’s money on her care, leaving him with less. Jackie tells him he can have the house he keeps complaining about; he’ll just have to do everything for Mae himself. Benton pauses to answer a page, so Jackie ditches him.

Tag promises Carol that they’ll be able to leave by 8. She threatens to interrupt his meeting naked and drag him out if he’s not done in time. Mark tries to ask Susan how her meeting went, but she’s short with him. Doug tends to a guy named Terry who was beaten up but also has a fever. Doug asks Terry’s friend to call his family, but they’re both homeless runaways, and Terry isn’t in touch with his parents. Though he said he was 18, his friend admits that he’s really 15.

Susan tells Doug that the committee went after Kayson, not her, and she’s not proud of it, but she enjoyed herself. Doug advises her to give the news to Mark and cut him a break. A man interrupts to ask if he can see a doctor; he’s been waiting for 40 minutes. They send him back to the waiting room, but when he turns around, they see that he has an arrow sticking out of his head. (His neighbors were playing cowboys and Indians.) They decide to bump him up to a priority. Willy isn’t doing well, but he seems to regain consciousness long enough to hear Nancy, the girl he saved, thank him.

Benton has missed grand rounds and isn’t sure what to tell Morgenstern. He tells Doug that as a pediatrician, he has it made – eventually he’ll just go into private practice. Surgeons all want to be chief, and Benton knows that having to leave work in the middle of his shift is going to hurt his odds. Doug says there are more important things in life. For example, Fran is dead at her daughter’s hand, Zack is probably going to lose his leg, and Willy is in bad shape. Also, he’s still mad that Linda said he’s not the marrying type.

Doug goes outside to play basketball by himself but runs into a kid named Jake who’s waiting for his mom, Diane, to get off work. The two play together and talk about the Bulls. Doug introduces himself to Diane when she comes outside, and she stops him before he can do any flirting, warning that he broke her friend’s heart.

Thanks to the staff meeting, Susan’s the only doctor available when a man is brought in with a heart attack. It’s Kayson. She gives him a say in his treatment, but he thinks he’s going to do. She promises him he won’t, then works hard to keep her word. Doug tells Terry that he may have PCP, a kind of pneumonia that is usually indicative of AIDS. Terry isn’t shocked by the news. He’s been working as a prostitute, and he knows his family won’t take him back now. Doug gives him some condoms, medication, and information for a shelter and AIDS treatment center.

A cardiologist named Steinman thinks Kayson needs angioplasty, but Kayson wants TPA, a clot-busting medication, rather than surgery. Susan advocates for Kayson, threatening to take Steinman before a review committee if he doesn’t follow his patient’s wishes. She’s finally being as assertive as Morgenstern wanted her to be, and Kayson is grateful.

Carol and Tag kick off their romantic weekend with…well, exactly what you would do in a hotel on a romantic weekend. He realizes he left his overnight bag under the front desk at the hospital. He’s worried that someone will find it and he’ll end up embarrassed, so I guess it had sex toys or something in it. Mark finds Doug moping outside, wondering how many more horrible cases he’ll have to see. Mark tells him there’s a baby with croup who needs his attention. Doug says at least that’s one patient he can help.

Thoughts: Continuity error: Jeanie says she’s taking nursing classes, but she later becomes a physician’s assistant.

Apparently you could smoke in a hospital office in 1995, or at least no one stops Susan and Kayson from doing so.

Chen says she has a photographic memory. I’m pretty sure we never hear about it again, so we’ll put it with Mulder’s red-green color-blindness in the Yeah, I Don’t Think So File.

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