April 17, 2018

ER 1.13, Luck of the Draw: Susan vs. Kayson, Round 2

Posted in TV tagged , , at 5:07 pm by Jenn

Maybe med students shouldn’t be allowed to touch potentially dangerous equipment

Summary: Mark arrives at work at the same time as Susan, who’s nervous because Morgenstern wants to see her about Mr. Vennerbeck’s death. They run into Kayson, who greets Mark and completely ignores Susan. Benton, who’s looking for Carter, is being followed around by a new med student, Jing-Mei Chen (AKA Deb). Benton passes her off to him and runs off to perform surgery without his own clingy student.

Doug’s taking care of a girl named Lucy who was bitten by a hamster. Her aunt, Leslie, has brought her in, and, because she’s a woman with a pulse, she can’t help flirting with Doug. Mark is amazed when Doug doesn’t return her affections. Carol tells Lydia about her weekend ice-fishing (and doing other things) with Tag. Lydia asks if they’ve set a wedding date, which makes Carol tense. She feels like she’s just getting her life back together. She admits that she may have some hesitance about making a life-long commitment. Then she accidentally sticks herself with a needle.

Mark wants to know why Doug didn’t accept what was clearly an invitation to a date with Leslie. Doug says that if it’s only about guaranteed sex, he’d rather play tennis. Mark is very disappointed. Lydia and Wendy try to reassure Carol that her chances of catching HIV from the patient the needle came from are very small. However, she should avoid having unprotected sex for the next six months. Well, at least Carol has an excuse not to get married for the next six months.

A customs agent wants Mark to deal with a detainee named Jorge who swallowed condoms full of cocaine. Mark can’t give Jorge any medication without his consent, but he warns that he could get really sick if any of the condoms break. The customs agent isn’t impressed with Mark’s rudimentary Spanish, which he picked up working in the ER. Doug tends to a boy named Ben who’s in respiratory distress. Ben’s father, Mr. Gaither, says this happened before, when Ben had pneumonia.

Morgenstern tells Susan that he tried to talk Kayson down, but he’s bringing charges against her. She’ll have to appear before a committee next week and defend her actions. Susan argues that she tried to present Mr. Vennerbeck’s history to Kayson, but he wouldn’t listen to her. Morgenstern is concerned that Susan didn’t assert herself. She has a history of deferring to other doctors rather than advocating for her patients. She may not be a good match for the ER. Ben isn’t stabilizing, so Doug takes a chance with some medication. Mr. Gaither isn’t as happy as he should be to hear that his son is going to live.

Mark talks to Carol about her needle stick, joking that he should empty a container of used needles so he can catch up with her (she’s been stuck five times now). He asks if she and Tag have set a date; unlike with Lydia, Carol keeps calm and just says no. Susan, however, is agitated because of her meeting with Morgenstern. Carol talks to a patient named Alan who has organized his medical records so thoroughly that they’re all color-coded. He’s wearing all blue because it’s Monday, and he’d really prefer not to be put in a green exam room.

Ben needs to be admitted to the hospital, so Mr. Gaither sets up some of his things in his room. He’s annoyed that Doug doesn’t have a good idea of what treatments he’ll need. Mr. Gaither starts a metronome, telling Doug that Ben likes rhythm. He was in an accident that left him with a brain injury, and Mr. Gaither likes to surround him with familiar things. He asks if Doug has children, and Doug makes one of his rare references to his son. Mr. Gaither leaves for a job interview.

Mark has passed Jorge along to Carter and Chen, so Carter makes Chen perform the patient’s rectal exam. It’s unpleasant for both of them. As Susan and Carol examine Alan (in a yellow room), Morgenstern invites Benton to cover for a surgeon who will be going out of town. Benton happily accepts, knowing it’ll be good practice for when he’s chief resident. Morgenstern admires his “naked ambition tempered by arrogance.” Benton’s scrubbing in for an operation, but he gets a call from Walt about his mother being missing and has to step out.

Susan looks at one of her patients’ charts and sees that Mark signed it. She checks some others and sees the same thing on them. She goes to find Mark, who’s not seeing any progress with Jorge, probably because the 100+ condoms he swallowed have made his body unable to move anything anywhere. Susan confronts him for signing all her charts, and he reveals that Morgenstern told him to double-check all her work. She asks why he didn’t stand up for her. Mark reminds her that she lost a patient; as chief resident, it’s Mark’s problem, and he has to listen to his boss.

Susan realizes that Mark knew ahead of time what Morgenstern was going to say to her in their meeting. He told Morgenstern that Kayson is hard on her, and he’s not surprised that the result was a lack of communication that led to someone’s death. Mark also agreed with Morgenstern that Susan backs down when she goes up against hard-headed men like Benton and Kayson.

Ben wakes up, so Doug turns on the metronome for him. Wendy shows him that Mr. Gaither signed a do-not-resuscitate order for his son. Susan tells Wendy to give her patient some medication, but she says milligrams when she means micrograms. Wendy timidly corrects her as Mark looks on. A man named Mr. Desmond comes in after having been beaten up for saying derogatory things about people. He explains to Mark that he’s a sociologist studying violence. He says inappropriate things to antagonize his subjects and provoke violence. His insurance premiums are the same as those of NASCAR drivers.

Mr. Gaither returns to the hospital, and Doug tells him that Ben will die – possibly in the next few hours – if he’s not put on a ventilator. If Mr. Gaither allows Doug to treat Ben, he could live for a long time. By signing a DNR, he’s giving up. Mr. Gaither responds by walking out of the room without saying anything.

Benton’s mother has wandered off from her equally elderly caregiver, so he and Walt go looking for her around the city. Walt still thinks Mae should be put in a facility, and Benton still disagrees. They argue about how Walt takes care of all the bills at the house and tends to Mae, but Benton won’t let him make any decisions. Benton reminds Walt that he’s a high school dropout and runs a business the Bentons provided for him. Walt spits out that he takes care of his family and Mae, while Benton only has to take care of himself.

Mr. Desmond picks Carol as his next subject, asking her about her fiancé and wedding plans after noticing her engagement ring. He thinks she can’t commit, possibly because she believes she’s too good for him. Carol gets revenge by pouring peroxide on his cuts. Mr. Desmond tells her she’s high up on his index detailing the time between provocation and assault.

Jorge has popped a condom, so Mark, Carter, and Chen take a crash cart to his room in case he needs it. Chen accidentally shocks Carter with the paddles as she’s handing them over. Hilariously, Mark and Haleh aren’t concerned, since the amount of charge was so low, and they just keep doing their jobs while Carter lies on the floor. Once Jorge is taken care of, Haleh determines that Carter’s injuries are more from bumping his head when he fell than from being shocked.

Carol gets back Alan’s chest x-ray, which doesn’t look good. He has cancer, and he didn’t bother to tell Carol or Susan about it when he came in. He ignores their encouragement to get treatment and asks to be alone. Benton finds Mae at an outdoor ice rink and finally brings up the idea of putting her in a facility. She reminisces about the time they spent at the rink and nearby baseball field when her children were young. In a moment of clarity, she recalls that her husband is dead, then tells Benton she doesn’t want to move into a nursing home.

Susan, Haleh, and Malek tend to a little girl who was shot in a drive-by. Mark comes in to help but lets Susan take the lead. Kayson arrives and criticizes Susan’s technique in a procedure. Susan stands up for herself as Kayson says she can’t do it. She keeps trying but has to admit defeat and get Mark to finish.

Benton goes back to work and rushes to join the operation he was supposed to assist with. While moving Ben to the ICU, Wendy tries to make small talk with Doug, saying that she didn’t know he has a son. Doug admits that he’s never seen the boy and doesn’t even know his name. Carol hears Susan crying in the bathroom, but Susan just wipes her face and walks out like nothing happened. Benton’s too late for surgery with Morgenstern, who chats with his replacement about that piano showroom he mentioned before.

Mr. Gaither tells Doug that he just got offered a job in Detroit and will have to move. He admits that he started thinking about how much easier his life would be if Ben were dead. He wonders what kind of person he is for thinking like that. But for the past two years, Mr. Gaither has taken care of his son on his own, all day every day. He hasn’t been able to work or have a life outside of his son. He loves Ben, but he needs this to end. Doug doesn’t say anything, possibly because he has no place to, considering he doesn’t even know his own child’s name.

Carter’s just now regaining consciousness from his trauma during Jorge’s trauma. Chen and Haleh tell him that Chen used him as a practice patient so she could hone her skills at giving rectal exams. Haleh corrects her recordkeeping – she should write that Carter has normal male genitalia, not average male genitalia. Carter grabs the paperwork and realizes they’re just kidding.

Carol’s next patient is a boxer, and she sticks him in Mr. Desmond’s room for her own amusement. Mark apologizes to Susan for not giving her a heads-up about Morgenstern’s meeting or his orders to co-sign her charts. He thinks it’s understandable that she was unable to do the procedure on the girl with Kayson staring at her. Susan thinks he’s just apologizing to try to make himself feel better. He extends an olive branch by inviting her to Doc Magoo’s, the ER staff’s favorite hangout, after work.

Carol finds Alan in the dreaded green room, thinking about taking more chances. As Mark and Doug are getting ready to leave for the night, Carol’s boxer punches Mr. Desmond, making him fly into the hallway. A bunch of the staff goes to Doc Magoo’s, and Carol announces that she and Tag will be getting married on May 18th. She also won 10 bucks in the lottery, a 1 in 250 chance – the same chance she has of contracting HIV from her needle stick. Doug leads a toast to his ex, and the co-workers start goofing off together. Susan watches from her car, moping instead of joining in the fun.

Thoughts: Leslie is played by Kristin Davis.

Chen complains later in the series about being called Deb, so I want it on the record that that’s how she introduces herself to Carter and Benton.

Speaking of Chen, she’s like a completely different character between season 1 and season 6. Though, really, the same can be said for Carter.

Jorge swallowed 185 condoms full of cocaine. 185. How is he not throwing up everything he’s ever eaten?

I kind of love Morgenstern’s obsession with the piano showroom. I wonder if he’ll ever go in.

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April 10, 2018

ER 1.12, Happy New Year: Susan vs. Kayson, Round 1

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

Really, Susan, you should be glad that this mess is almost out of your life

Summary: Carter runs down the street to the ER to tell Mark that there’s a man out in the street who appears to have been shot. The two of them and Carol take a gurney to the man and start working on him. Carol peg him as a gangbanger who was ditched on the street after being shot by a rival. Mark allows Carter to do an intubation, since he’s observed dozens of them. With Mark and Carol’s help, Carter does it well. He wants to accompany the patient up to the OR, but Benton says it’ll already be crowded enough.

Sometime later, Hicks comes to the ER to check out one of Mark’s patients. Another, Mrs. Davies, insists that she doesn’t need to stick around, though she’s already been under observation for hours. Lydia’s struggling to stick to her New Year’s resolution to quit smoking, so Bob gives her some encouragement. Doug tries to examine a boy who injured his eye while having a paintball fight with his brother. He tells their mother to keep the paint away from them; she’s offended, like she needs that kind of parenting advice.

Al brings in a homeless patient named Gilbert who’s uninterested in seeing a doctor. He’s also racist, and Al smacks him for throwing a slur at Hicks. Susan tries to talk to Kayson about a patient, but he won’t even slow down on his way to the OR. She wants him to see Mrs. Davies so she can finally leave.

Benton tells Carter that the patient he brought in died in surgery. Carter points out that this is supposed to be his surgical rotation, so maybe he should be doing surgeon things instead of Benton’s scut work. Benton doesn’t see the point in breaking tradition, since this is what all medical students do. Carter notes that he’s there to learn. When Benton asks if he’s learned anything, Carter demonstrates that he’s at least learned to keep his mouth shut at the right time.

Gilbert’s legs are severely frostbitten, though he insists they’re fine. He does perk up at the thought of a warm whirlpool bath, though. Kayson finally comes back to see Mrs. Davies, telling Susan she should have been released hours ago. Chloe comes by, and Kayson takes advantage of her interruption to dismiss himself. He tells Susan to try harder to get his attention next time. Susan tries to pay it forward with brushing someone off by telling Chloe she can’t talk, but Chloe blurts out that she and her boyfriend, Ronnie, are moving to Texas.

Susan takes a break so she can interrogate Chloe about her decision to move. Ronnie doesn’t have a job yet, and the two haven’t found a place to live. Now that Chloe’s pregnant, she needs to make solid plans. Chloe guesses that Susan doesn’t think she should have the baby. She refuses to stay with their parents, since they think she always makes the wrong decisions. Realizing there’s nothing else she can do right now, Susan gives her sister her coat.

A firefighter comes in after being injured in a fire, and his colleagues watch anxiously outside his trauma room. Peter gets coffee with his sister, Jackie, who wants to find a care facility for their mother. Jackie just got a new job, which means she can’t be with Mae all the time. Peter thinks she’s making up for the fact that she had to look after him after their mother went back to work. He doesn’t want to send their mother away, so he tells Jackie he’ll find other arrangements. She complains that he’s suddenly stepping up after leaving everything to Jackie and Walt for six years. She tells him they all have to make the decision together.

Carter tells Mark that he doesn’t think Benton is interested in supervising him anymore. Mark advises him to get used to it, since he’ll probably have worse supervisors in the future. Doug watches Carol longingly as she goes to chat with one of the firefighter’s colleagues. He’s only been on the job three weeks and now isn’t sure he can handle it. Carol tells him to get some rest first.

A patient named Mr. Vennerbeck thought he had a heart attack, but Susan doesn’t see any damage. He tells her he came in two months ago with back pain and was given some medication. She doesn’t think he needs it again, since his pain has gone away, but she can’t sign him out yet.

Carol looks for help with a trauma, and Mark tells her to take Carter. He runs into Benton as he’s getting his coat to meet a helicopter, and the two go up to the roof together. Carter volunteers to intubate the patient, and Benton allows him to after Mark indicates that it’s okay. Morgenstern comes to get the patient from the trauma room, and Carter presents the case like a pro. Benton rewards him by inviting him to scrub in on an operation that night.

Susan has to again flag down Kayson to get his input on Mr. Vennerbeck. Kayson says he can be released, so Susan sends the patient home. Mr. Vennerbeck is annoyed that he had to wait around so long, and Susan apologizes. Hicks overhears and tells her not to worry about getting people’s approval. They take as long as they take to make sure they’re thorough, and they shouldn’t apologize for it.

Doug tries to break up an argument between two pregnant sisters who want to give their babies the same name. Mark enlists Susan to help out with a patient – this one also pregnant – who’s on drugs. She goes into labor while they’re examining her. They try to rush her to labor and delivery, but the baby is breech and starts coming out in the hallway.

Carter helps Doug and Carol with an elderly couple found unconscious in their apartment, probably from carbon dioxide poisoning. Hicks talks Mark through delivering the breech baby, who at least sounds healthy. Lydia comes in to tell Susan that Mr. Vennerbeck is back in the ER. She realizes he has a murmur and may have had some sort of rupture. An angry Kayson comes to help out, telling Susan she’s not needed on the case anymore.

I guess the theme of the episode is pregnancy, because Mark is now counseling a woman who’s crying over the news that she’s pregnant. She tells him she wants the baby; it’s her husband who’s going to have an issue with this. Turns out he’s infertile. Mark doesn’t know what to say, so he walks out. Susan goes over some x-rays with Carter, who notices that she’s distracted. She sends him to scrub in early for surgery, knowing Benton will be early, too. She advises him to remember the names of three body parts, though he doesn’t get why.

Carol checks on the elderly couple, who are both going to be fine. Doug’s sitting with them and says they’re lucky to have been together so long. We get it, you love her; can we move on? Benton walks Carter through scrubbing in for the first time, as it’s a lot more intensive than just washing your hands. Morgenstern and Benton start the procedure without him, talking about how Morgenstern saw a piano showroom on the highway that he’d never noticed before. Shirley the scrub nurse, who will pop up throughout the series, helps Carter finish getting ready, but he immediately contaminates himself by touching Benton’s shoulder.

Doug ends his day with some noisy sex with Linda, teasing that he can’t remember her name. She thinks someday he really will forget her name. He says it sounds like she believes they won’t last. As she goes to get ready for a trip, Doug says he treated a couple who’ve been married for 48 years. Linda says that if they were the marrying kind, they’d already be married to other people. She thinks he’s too afraid of responsibility and aging and all that stuff that comes with real life.

Carter’s hesitant to get too close to the operation, but Morgenstern is more concerned with him learning than Benton is. He asks Carter about some anatomical feature, and thanks to the three body parts Susan told him to remember, Carter knows the answer. Plus, now he looks smart in front of his boss.

Mark and Susan make eggs in the hospital kitchen and talk about Chloe’s big move. He slams her for not being supportive of Chloe’s plans, but Susan knows that Chloe doesn’t get the realities of parenthood. Mark’s optimistic that having a baby will turn her life around. Susan says that Chloe has never been responsible, and though Susan loves her, she shouldn’t have a child.

Kayson summons Susan to the doctors’ lounge and spits out that Mr. Vennerbeck is dead. He shouldn’t have been released in the first place, considering his condition when he came in two months ago. Susan says his diagnosis then was muscle pain, not anything related to his heart. Kayson says he probably had atypical angina, and Susan should have mentioned it to him. The case was more complicated than Susan thought, and as a resident, she didn’t have the knowledge to present everything to Kayson that she should have. Now Mr. Vennerbeck is dead, and his wife is consulting an attorney. Kayson wants a full investigation.

Thoughts: Chloe, who lives in Chicago, doesn’t have a winter coat, but Susan only gets concerned about it just before Chloe moves to Texas? Uh, okay.

Jackie works for a parks and rec department, and now I’m dreaming of an ER/Parks and Recreation crossover.

Morgenstern and Benton play a game involving foreign capitals while they’re operating, like surgery isn’t difficult enough without throwing in some geography.

February 20, 2018

ER 1.5, Into That Good Night: If Anybody Had a Heart

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:49 pm by Jenn

I care more about this guy than I do about Mark

Summary: It’s 4 p.m., and Doug and Carter are continuing the show’s tradition of having doctors woken up at the beginning of the episode. Mark is on the phone with Jen, telling her he has to work and can’t meet up with her. Doug and Susan both tell him to go. They’ll probably regret that, since some accident victims are coming in. One is Sally, a woman who’s almost seven months pregnant, and another is the female gang member who hit her with her car. Sally’s injuries are minor, but she may be in early labor.

Mark meets Jen by the river and she tells him she’s been offered a federal clerkship in Milwaukee. He’s happy for her, even though it’s far away. She suggests that he transfer to a hospital there. Mark doesn’t want to give up his chief residency, so he thinks Jen should just commute. She points out that she’ll have less time with Rachel that way. Mark agrees to make some calls and look for a job in Milwaukee. Jen reminds him that she’s made a lot of compromises, so it’s his turn to do the same.

Sally’s baby is in distress, and when her water breaks, the doctors can no longer try to stop her labor. It’s time for her to go up to labor and delivery. Mark returns and tells Susan about the possible move to Milwaukee. Benton and Carter tend to the gang member, Ms. Suarez, who claims she hasn’t used any drugs.

Jerry’s amazed that the board is so light. He’s probably just jinxed it. Sally gave birth in the elevator, but the baby is premature and its lungs haven’t completely developed yet. Carter pulls Doug aside to ask about the possibility of an STD in a patient who feels a burning sensation when he urinates. Doug tells him how to do a test, then lets Carter know that he knows they’re not talking about a hypothetical patient. Yes, Carter hooked up with Liz, and he probably didn’t use a condom.

A cop wants to take Suarez in to the station; she stole the car she hit Sally with. Benton wants her to stay in the hospital, since she could have serious injuries, and he gets to overrule the cop. Susan’s on the phone with her mother when another trauma comes in. The patient, Samuel Gasner, had a heart attack, but the EMTs have already gotten him stabilized. He needs a heart transplant and has been on a waiting list for a while. He’s in town from Cleveland for a builders’ convention. Samuel passes out, but the doctors quickly revive him. For someone who needs a new heart, he’s in pretty good spirits.

Doug’s next patient is a girl named Sandy who’s having an asthma attack. Doug tells her mother they’ll need to get rid of their cat. Sally’s husband arrives and learns that the baby was born. Samuel’s EKG doesn’t say anything different than it usually does; he asks what he always asks: “Am I going to make it tonight?” His heart stops again and they shock him back into rhythm. He says he doesn’t usually have two episodes in one day.

Mark asks Benton if it’s too late for Samuel to have a heart transplant, assuming they can get him one. Samuel doesn’t think he’ll survive the night. Sandy, however, is doing better, but will need to start taking asthma medication. Susan tells Carol that Mark might move to Milwaukee, though she doesn’t think he’d be happy there. Carter sees Benton practicing tying one-handed knots and wonders if he ever goes home. Benton claims to be listening to Snoop Dogg, but he’s really listening to a cardiology book on tape.

Kayson examines Samuel as he talks about how weird it is to sit around waiting for someone to die so he can get a transplant. He jokingly asks if Mark will lend him his heart for the weekend. Samuel has a nine-year-old daughter and laments missing so much of her life so he could travel for work.

Carter asks Jerry if he’s received test results for his patient, “Car…tere.” Benton calls around for a heart for Samuel, but, as he notes to Mark, they can’t just pull one out of thin air. Ivan the liquor store owner is back with another gunshot wound, but this one was self-inflicted. He got a gun for protection and accidentally shot himself in the foot. He’s grateful that in America, you can get seen by a doctor without having to bribe one with vodka, like in Russia.

Susan asks Benton how hard it is to find a heart with type A blood. Apparently pretty hard, since Kayson and another doctor, Flint, are just happy not to be Samuel. Susan suggests putting Samuel on heart-lung bypass until they find a donor. Kayson says the stress would kill him. He has a transplant team on call, so if a heart becomes available, Samuel can be in surgery within 20 minutes.

In the lounge, Doug amuses himself by playing wheelchair basketball, using Carter as a backboard. Carter explains to Mark that he lost a bet. Lydia has to remind Doug that he’s a doctor and has patients to take care of. Carter makes small talk with Mark about Milwaukee and Samuel. Mark’s never had a patient like Samuel before. He tells Carter to get some sleep while he waits for Benton to call it a day.

Doug advises that an elderly patient get x-rays after a fall, but she resists since she thinks she’s pregnant. Doug promises they won’t hurt the baby, then hands her off to Lydia, pretending the woman really is pregnant. Susan tells Div that she’s worried about Kayson being on her review board. Div thinks she should relax – Kayson “loses so many patients, he gets endorsements from funeral homes.” Susan’s a good doctor, and she shouldn’t be so concerned with what the attendings think of her.

Mark lets Samuel know that his wife’s on her way. Samuel’s extremely pale now and knows his chances of surviving are pretty slim. Mark tells him that without a transplant, he probably won’t live through the night. It’s 2 a.m. already, so that means he has very little time left. He invites Mark to call him by his first name instead of Mr. Gasner.

The cop waiting for Suarez has been standing around for hours; Benton finally tells him that she died. The cop doesn’t really care. Benton finally leaves, which means Carter can go home, but since he only has five hours before he has to be back on call, so he doesn’t see the point in leaving. Susan brings him in to observe an intubation.

Sally’s husband thanks Doug for taking such good care of his wife and baby, who’s supposed to be okay. A friend of Susan and Carter’s patient tells Susan that they were playing a drinking game. The patient, Daniel, had 15 or 20 tequila shots, as well as some beer. His blood alcohol is .832 and he needs dialysis.

Samuel’s wife, Elaine, and daughter, Sarah, arrive at the hospital. Mark tells Elaine that they only have a couple of hours to find a donor heart before Samuel most likely dies. Mark checks on Samuel, who starts to tell him a joke, then stops. He tells him that every decision you make in life counts, but then you die anyway. Cheery! Samuel cries, saying he’s not ready to die and leave his family. He asks to see his daughter.

Mark steps out to get Sarah, but has to take a moment to collect himself. Carol asks him not to tell her that she should be grateful to be alive. He says that’s not what he was thinking, but he doesn’t say what he was really thinking about. He calls around again for a heart, simultaneously telling Susan that he thought marriage would be easier. If he moves to Milwaukee, he’d have to be a junior resident. It’s a step down, but, as Samuel said, “it all counts.”

Sandy’s back in the ER at 4 a.m., and her mother admits to Doug that she didn’t get her the medication she needs. It costs $30, she doesn’t have the money, and Medicaid won’t pay for it for another week. Doug looks for a spare inhaler and medication samples that will hold Sandy over until then. Carter asks Jerry for his lab results again, and Jerry reveals that he put them on the bulletin board. A group of staff members have gathered around to see the results. Liz is back in the ER, picking her next doctor to hook up with: Kayson.

Sarah goes to see her father, completely aware that he doesn’t have much time left. She tearfully asks Mark why he can’t fix Samuel. He admits that they can’t fix everything. Sandy’s doing better, but Doug can’t find a spare inhaler for her, so she’ll need to go to a clinic the next morning. Her mother argues that she can’t take time off of work to take her there. Doug insists that it’s her only option.

Samuel’s time is almost up, and Elaine is with him. Mark and Carol try to revive him when his heart stops again, and their attempts at CPR allow him to tell Elaine that he loves her and Sarah. Susan checks on Daniel, making him promise that he’ll never drink this much again. She thinks he can spare the few million brain cells he’s lost.

Doug finds Mark playing basketball outside the hospital and asks to borrow $40 so he can run an errand. He tells Mark to go home, but I guess Mark didn’t learn the real lesson Samuel wanted him to learn, which is that he needs to treasure his time with his family instead of spending his spare minutes at the hospital.

Doug buys Sandy’s medication and inhaler and takes it to her building, which is full of people who, like Sandy’s mother, can’t afford to take time off of work to take their children to clinics. She promises to take Sandy in for treatment. Mark finally goes home and tells Jen that he’ll move to Milwaukee if that’s what she really wants to do. But now she’s okay with commuting, since she knows Mark would hate the move. Rachel comes in, happy to see her father, and the family snuggles in bed together.

Thoughts: Sally is played by Brenda Strong.

Carter, if you were too dumb to use a condom, please don’t become a doctor.

“Div, there are a lot of subjects that interest me, and believe me, your ex-wife tops my list.” Hee!

February 6, 2018

ER 1.3, Going Home: If You Say You’re Okay Enough Times, Eventually People Will Believe It

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

Probably not the help Carol needs, but still important

Summary: It’s Carol’s first day back at work since her suicide attempt, though her mother isn’t sure she’s ready for it. Carol claims she is and gathers her things. A woman wakes Benton, who’s sleeping at the hospital, and sings to him. The first person Carol sees when she gets to the hospital is Carter, who remembers meeting her on his first day. She jokes that she thought it was her last. So I guess that’s how she’s going to handle this. She quickly realizes that she’s not as ready to go back to work as she thought she was.

Benton asks Lydia if she knows which doctor his singing alarm clock belongs to. “No, but I can name that tune,” Lydia quips. Mark doesn’t know whose she is either. Doug asks him if he’s seen Carol; this is the third time he’s asked. Carol greets Susan and Jerry, saying she’s there to deliver barbiturates. Someone please get her a psych consult. Jerry tells her that Doug warned them all to be sensitive toward her. Benton brings in the singing woman, and Jerry says the cops found her on the El without an ID. Benton tries to pass her off to another babysitter, but everyone’s busy.

Carol peeks in at Doug, who’s examining a crying toddler, then moves on without speaking to him. Lydia gives her a hug and offers to talk if Carol ever wants to. Jerry tries to apologize for joking around with Carol earlier (even though she was the one joking), and she assures him that she’s not as fragile as Doug seems to think. Haleh is thrilled to see her so she can hand back some responsibilities. Mark already has a patient for Carol and tells her that everyone’s rooting for her to succeed. Carol admits that she may have jumped back in too quickly. Mark thinks, since it’s Monday, things will be slow.

Carter ends up with the singing woman, and we find out later that her name is Mary, so I’m just going to start calling her that now, because it’s faster. She’s stopped singing, but now she’s crying. Carter has no idea how to deal with her. Mark pulls Carol into a trauma as Jerry gets a call about a patient coming in with a heart attack. Mark tells him to give that case to Susan. Benton helps him with his trauma patient, who was shot, but Carol jumps over to Susan’s patient. Doug briefly sees her and says a quick hi.

Susan’s patient, Mr. Flannigan, is feeling better and tells her his cardiologist is Jack Kayson. Carol goes back to the trauma room to get something for the patient but is asked to stay with the trauma. Susan’s still waiting for Kayson to get in touch, and she’s uneasy about treating Mr. Flannigan without a complete medical history, but she has no choice. When Kayson arrives, he disagrees with Susan’s treatment and takes over the case. The other patient is sent to surgery, and Mark praises Carol for her good work. She may doubt that she’s ready to be back, but he assures her that no one else does.

Mark’s next patient, Mrs. Cheung, has facial injuries and doesn’t speak English, so Haleh isn’t sure how she was hurt. Mary’s singing again, and Carter’s still keeping an eye on her. Susan and Div chat about baseball on their way to meet them. Mrs. Cheung’s preteen son, Frank, says she fell down the stairs, which Mark finds interesting, since they live on the first floor of an apartment building. Clearly, there’s something Mrs. Cheung doesn’t want Frank to tell Mark. He sends Frank out of the room while he continues his treatment.

Mary talks to Div about her time singing at a club during the war. Carter’s impressed, saying he wouldn’t have thought to talk to her about music since he knows nothing about it. Susan whispers that Div doesn’t either. Div asks Mary questions to determine her mental status, but she thinks she’s in a jail, not a hospital. She also thinks it’s 1948 and Harry Truman is the president.

Morgenstern runs into Carol and welcomes her back. He makes it clear that her return to work is a big deal, and people should be concerned about whether she was ready, but they all agreed she was. Carter has a list of possible diagnoses for Mary, but Div tells him to think of horses, not zebras, when he hears hooves. The most logical explanation is probably right: Alzheimer’s. They need to find Mary’s family. Benton’s annoyed that Carter has spent so much time with Mary, because I guess he’s not supposed to care about people.

Mark tries to get Frank to tell him what really happened to his mother. If they know the truth, it might help them treat her. Frank won’t respond when Mark questions the story that Mrs. Cheung fell down the stairs. Doug asks Carol to have lunch with him, but she already has plans with her fiancé, Dr. John “Tag” Taglieri. Benton again criticizes Carter for spending too much time with a patient. He takes him up to the roof to meet a patient arriving via helicopter.

Morgenstern tells Mark and Susan that he’s changing the time of a morbidity and mortality (M&M) conference that afternoon so Kayson can attend. He wants Susan to present Flannigan’s case. She admits to Mark that she dreads having to revisit the argument she had with Kayson about treatment options. On the roof, Benton and Carter receive their patient, a 16-year-old girl injured in a jetski accident. No one loses any limbs.

Doug thinks his crying toddler might have meningitis, so he needs to perform a spinal tap. The patient’s father passes out at the thought. Carter tries to pass along information about his patient to some nurses, but he has the details wrong. Mark asks Doug if he’s talked to Carol yet. Doug says Tag interrupted, and Mark says he shouldn’t be surprised; they’ve been together for a while. Did Doug expect Carol to fall back in love with him while she was gone?

Susan has a patient who needs stitches on her arm, but didn’t mention that she has cancer. The patient, Mrs. Packer, resists being admitted for a blood transfusion to treat aplastic anemia. She knows she’s dying, and she doesn’t want to spend what little time she has left in the hospital. Doug performs an uneventful spinal tap, and Carter and Carol both take a moment to admire the sight of him holding a child. Carol is still acting like everything’s fine.

Carter stitches up Mrs. Packer while Mary sadly hums to herself nearby. He courts the wrath of Benton by checking on her and trying to comfort her. He tries Div’s method of connecting with her by talking about music; they agree that Ella Fitzgerald’s talent is unmatched today. Mary sings some Ella but it doesn’t cheer her up.

Mark and Carter’s flirtatious patient is back, this time complaining that her breasts hurt. She says her name is Proserpina. Mark wants to leave early to have dinner with Jen, but he promises Susan he’ll wait until after her M&M. Haleh tells Mark that Frank wants to talk to him. He seems scared.

The liquor store owner who was shot in the previous episode is back with another gunshot wound. Benton wants Carter to come help him, but Carter’s busy making out with “Proserpina.” An x-ray tech catches them but just goes about his business. Mrs. Packer starts to leave, pausing in the hallway when she hears Mary singing. Susan asks her again to stay for treatment, but Mrs. Packer resists again. However, she’s pleased that she got to have such a nice afternoon – she got to hear Mary Cavanaugh sing in person. As Mrs. Packer leaves, she collapses.

Frank confesses to Mark and Haleh that his father hit his mother. He’s on his way to pick them up right now. Mark assures him that he did the right thing, and they’re going to find people to help him and his mother. He tells Haleh to call Social Services and try to find a shelter. Haleh remarks that she’s never seen such an old-looking child.

Morgenstern runs the M&M, which Benton attends along with Susan, Kayson, Mark, and another doctor. Morgenstern determines that Susan’s treatment worked, so Kayson’s wasn’t necessary. Benton, Mark, and the other doctor, Langworthy, all admit that they would have treated the patient with angioplasty, as Kayson wanted.

After the meeting, Susan’s mad that Mark showed up late and then sided with Kayson. He tells her it wasn’t personal. Susan’s annoyed that everyone else in the room was a surgeon, so of course they wanted to operate. Her decision was valid, and Mark should have backed her up.

Carol asks Carter if “Proserpina” (real name: Liz) found him. The x-ray tech overhears and remarks that he used to know someone like her. Her middle name was Penicillin. Carter chuckles, then realizes it might not be that funny. Doug asks Carol to get coffee, and this time she accepts. First she checks on Mrs. Packer, who has finally agreed to a transfusion. She’s had a lot of time to think about dying, and it makes her realize that every day is a gift. She doesn’t know how and when she’ll die, but she knows it’s not today. She already has plans.

Mr. Cheung has arrived, and he isn’t interested in talking to Mark. The social worker tells Mark that Mrs. Cheung and Frank don’t want to go to a shelter, and she denies being abused, so there’s nothing they can do. Mark tries to get Frank to ask Mrs. Cheung again what really happened. He won’t talk, and when the social worker asks, Frank says his father hasn’t hit him or his mother. They have to let the family leave.

Carter and Mary chat some more about music as he takes her to meet up with her granddaughter to go home. The granddaughter apologizes for letting her wander off so far, but Carter isn’t too upset about it. Doug and Carol meet up in the ambulance bay, and he asks to go out with her again, even though he knows she’s with Tag. She guesses that he feels guilty for her suicide attempt. She tells him it had nothing to do with him, though she isn’t specific about it. Doug asks if she really wants to be with Tag. Isn’t he worth another chance? Carol points out that things didn’t work out for a reason.

Mrs. Packer has a christening to go to, so she’s leaving for the night and will return the next day to complete her transfusion. She doesn’t want to miss a minute of her time with her family. She’s not going to give up on life while she still has some time left. Susan summons Carol to help her with Mark, saying he’s hurt, but it’s just a ruse to get her to a surprise welcome-back party. The staff gives her a neck brace she can put on the next time she needs to alert them to a problem. Carol thanks them all for saving her – by doing so, they gave her a gift, and she’s going to remember it every day. But they can’t help remembering what they went through.

Thoughts: Kayson is played by Sam Anderson. Mary is played by the late Rosemary Clooney, who was, of course, George’s aunt.

Drink every time Benton tells Carter to stop spending so much time with his patients. You’ll end the series with liver damage.

Who the heck asks an engaged woman on a date? I mean, I know you’re cute, Doug, but really.