May 12, 2020

ER 6.6, The Peace of Wild Things: Father Figures

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

A fun thing to do during boring episodes is play Spot the Mulleted Nurse

Summary: Carter and Weaver run into each other on the way off the El early in the morning. There’s already an ambulance approaching the hospital, making them think this will be a busy day. At County, Mark tells them there was a fire at a nursing home, so a lot of elderly patients are coming in. Plus, there’s no desk clerk and Jeanie isn’t coming in.

Jackie’s squabbling with her teen daughter when Benton comes into the kitchen for breakfast. Jackie complains to Benton that her daughter can sink a basket from 20 feet away but can’t get her clothes in the hamper. Put a basket over it! Benton tells Jackie that Carla told him Reese might not be his son. Jackie crabs about Carla putting him through all the custody stuff when she doesn’t even know if he’s Reese’s father. Benton confides that he’s thinking about taking a DNA test, but he’s worried about the results. Jackie thinks he should find out sooner rather than later, so Reese doesn’t find out first and accuse Benton of lying to him.

Carol tracks down Meg, who’s been out of touch for a while. She has a bladder infection, so Carol wants her to come back to the hospital for treatment. She urges Meg to go to the detox program she ran out on. Meg says she quit using on her own a few days ago. Weaver demands more nurses from another part of the hospital to help with all the elderly patients, but whoever she’s talking to won’t budge. Weaver says she hopes the person gets in a horrible accident and lands in the ER so Weaver can be of no help to him or her. Ouch. On the plus side, a desk clerk named Andrew has arrived, so that’s one position filled.

Carter helps a woman named Jean find her husband, Barry, who was admitted after the fire. Carol and Lawrence both arrive in the midst of the chaos, and Weaver asks Carol to help out at the desk. Dave and Haleh tend to a woman with some breathing problems, though Dave can’t figure out what’s causing them. Haleh guides him like he’s a child until he realizes what’s wrong.

Andrew’s an aspiring comedian, so Malik urges him to practice his impressions. Carol is semi-amused by his passable Keanu Reeves impersonation. Weaver’s annoyed that Jeanie keeps skipping work and tells Malik to call her and tell her to come in and explain herself. Dave brags to Lucy that he made a tough diagnosis while doing something with a Bunsen burner in a lab. She tells him he has to jiggle the handle on the burner to get it to turn off. She adds that Haleh already told her that she made the diagnosis, not Dave.

Carter has taken over Barry’s care, and he tells Jean that they need to intubate him to help him breathe. There’s a small chance he’ll get better, but he most likely won’t. Jean wants to be optimistic and give intubation a try. Carter says Barry’s heart could be causing problems, so they should run some more tests and make sure they know what’s really wrong.

Cleo presents a patient to Lawrence, who can’t handle tending to a woman with dementia. Because he probably has dementia. Got it? Are we all on the same page? Good. Mark and Weaver smell gas and start to move people out of the trauma hallway. Mark goes into a room, tracing the source of the gas, and gets blown back by a sudden explosion.

Once Mark is determined to be okay, Weaver reports that the fire department thinks the explosion was caused by a Bunsen burner. Cleo used one earlier but is sure she turned it off. Romano comes in to ask questions and be grumpy. Carter examines a preteen boy named Eddie who has flu-like symptoms. In the lounge, the nurses check out a cake they’ve gotten for Carol’s surprise baby shower. Connie finds a pair of glasses in the fridge, and Weaver recognizes them.

Benton visits Elizabeth in her new office but can’t start a conversation before Romano interrupts. He wants Elizabeth to take one of his surgeries the next day while he deals with administrative stuff. She learns from him that Mark was involved in the explosion in the ER. Romano then shifts gears to ask how much she would pay for his sperm. He claims a sperm bank is recruiting him for a donation. Elizabeth is somehow able to keep from laughing in his face.

Weaver returns Lawrence’s glasses to him and tells him where they were. She’s definitely worried about his mental state. Carol asks Cleo for a prescription for Meg’s bladder infection, even though Meg hasn’t come in to be examined. Carter has determined that Barry’s heart is failing, which is probably what’s causing his poor health. He thinks it’s time for Jean to let him go. Jean isn’t ready to make such an important decision, but she agrees to sign a DNR.

Weaver goes to see an old colleague named Dr. Spielman, Lawrence’s previous boss. Weaver thinks he left his last job because of politics, but Spielman implies that something else was going on. Once Weaver has gotten answers to her questions, she goes back to County, where Lawrence is taking care of a stabbing victim with Dave. Whatever Lawrence’s problems may be, he still has skills, and he and Dave are able to save the patient.

Lucy overhears Chuny and Yosh talking about how Cleo could get fired for not turning off the Bunsen burner. They think she was the last one to use it. Andrew does a Christopher Walken impersonation for Benton, who’s not impressed. Neither am I, and Andrew also needs to get his movie facts straight, because he seems to think Walken played Billy Crystal’s role in The Princess Bride. Anyway, Benton takes Reese to an exam room and swabs both of their cheeks for a DNA test.

Carol goes to the pharmacy where Meg works and finds her outside, having a suspicious conversation with a guy. She’s smoking and tells Carol that her personal care is none of Carol’s business. Lucy confronts Dave over possibly causing the explosion, but Dave insists he turned off the burner. He doesn’t care that Cleo might get fired. Carter talks to Cleo about Eddie, whom he’s diagnosed with diabetes. Cleo offers to come with him to talk to Eddie’s father about his poor diet and lack of exercise.

Weaver tells Mark that Lawrence was forced out of his last job. She jumped at the chance to hire him because he was her former teacher; she clearly didn’t think about why he might have been dismissed from his job. She admits that it was because Spielman thought Lawrence was showing symptoms of having Alzheimer’s. When she asked him to undergo testing, he blew up at her and quit. Mark thinks Weaver has to fire Lawrence; he’s showing the symptoms at County, too, and could endanger patients. Weaver doesn’t think she can fire her mentor, whom she loves like a father.

Cleo tells Eddie’s father, Mr. Bernero, that there’s a trial they can get Eddie into, but the medication he requires is expensive. Mr. B doesn’t have insurance right now and can’t afford the medication and monitoring Eddie needs. Cleo tells him that if Eddie changes his diet and starts exercising, he could improve his health without the medication.

Mr. B starts a new job soon and will get insurance in a few months, so he’d like to wait until then. Cleo warns that waiting could lead to complications. Mr. B notes that diabetes would be a preexisting condition, so the new insurance may not cover it if they start treatment now. Mr. B’s mother is in an HMO and also has diabetes – can’t Eddie take her medication? Cleo won’t accept that as appropriate treatment, but Carter is okay with Mr. B’s ideas. The two of them argue about their options, and Cleo reminds Carter that if he lets Eddie leave without appropriate treatment, his life will be endangered.

Carter goes back to Barry, who’s declined quickly and will be dead soon. Mark tells Lawrence that he left a patient in the waiting area hours ago, waiting for a prescription. Lawrence writes it and hands it over without a chart or refresher on the patient’s condition. It turns out Mark set him up – the patient is an employee from accounting, and Lawrence has never seen her before. Lawrence tells Weaver and Mark that he was just confused, since he’s treated so many people today. Weaver replies that she saw Spielman. Lawrence storms out of the ER without responding.

Barry has died, and Jean kisses him goodbye and tells him how sweet he was. She thanks Carter for all his work. Carol and Reggie track down the guy Meg was talking to at the pharmacy and catch him and Meg engaging in a drug deal. Reggie and some fellow cops ambush and arrest them. Meg sees Carol in Reggie’s squad car and yells at her for her actions.

Dave finally grows a conscience and tells Weaver that he may have been the person who caused the explosion. Fortunately, the fire department found a rupture in a pipe, so no one’s to blame. Dave needs to be more conscientious of safety, though. Weaver tries to call Lawrence, who hasn’t come back. Mr. B brings Eddie’s chart to Carter and asks him to tear up the page that says he has diabetes. Carter says that’s illegal, but Mr. B is desperate and begs Carter to help. Ugh, the American healthcare system SUUUUUUCKS.

Carol tells Mark that she did something and isn’t sure it was the right thing. Mark says he did, too, possibly ruining the rest of Lawrence’s career. He offers to sit and talk with Carol, but she knows the nurses are throwing her a surprise shower. She admits that she misses Doug, but she hasn’t called him or responded to the messages he leaves when he probably knows she isn’t home. She doesn’t know what to say to him. I don’t know, maybe you can say, “Are you planning to be involved at all in your children’s lives?”

Carter pretends he misplaced a sheet in Eddie’s chart and has to fill out a new one for his patient, who only has the flu. Jeanie finally comes in and tells Weaver that she’s resigning. She’s the happiest she’s ever been and wants to spend as much time as possible with her family. Weaver is happy for her and doesn’t try to get her to change her mind. She invites Jeanie to come back to work when Carlos gets a little older.

Benton takes Reese to Carla’s and tells her he took a DNA test. He has the results already but isn’t going to open them. He was there for every step of Carla’s pregnancy and every day Reese was in the NICU. Reese is the first and last thing he thinks about every day. Benton loves him, and Reese is his son, no matter what DNA says. Benton doesn’t have much in his life, and he’s not willing to lose his child. He emotionally asks Carla not to take him away.

Carol is summoned to her surprise party and pretends she didn’t know anything about it. Malik tells Weaver that Lawrence is back and looking for her. She finds him in a trauma room, where he recites a poem about stillness and the “peace of wild things” (hey, just like the episode title!). He doesn’t get how he can remember a William Blake poem he memorized 30 years ago but not which patients he saw today. I don’t know, man, but that ain’t a Blake poem.

Lawrence admits that he started noticing symptoms about a year ago and saw a neurologist. He started taking medication to slow the development of Alzheimer’s, but clearly it didn’t do enough. Weaver encourages him to sign up for trials in the hospital, but Lawrence would rather kill himself than prolong his life like this. He accepts that he can’t practice medicine anymore. Weaver thinks he could lecture med students, but Lawrence doesn’t see the point in being a doctor if he can’t treat patients.

Seeing the woman with dementia that morning shook him – she had no clue who or where she was. Lawrence knows that’ll be him in a few years. He’ll be unable to care for himself, and no one will come visit him. Weaver cries as she says she will. Lawrence notes that he won’t know who she is. In the lounge, Jeanie clears out her locker, looks in on her co-workers at Carol’s party, and happily leaves to go home to her family.

Thoughts: I’m going to advise Lucy not to wear her hair in braids. She already looks 20; her patients aren’t going to be comforted by her young hairstyle.

Why do ER doctors need Bunsen burners in the ER? Doesn’t their hospital have lab techs? Is this like House, where the doctors always did all their tests themselves?

Carter is excellent with Jean – very patient and gentle. Exactly who you would want as your dying husband’s doctor if you were Jean.

Carol really doesn’t have anything better to do than meddle in Meg’s life? You’re about to have two babies, hon. Go buy cribs or paint the nursery or something. You can’t save everyone.

Goodbye, Jeanie, possibly the only normal person on this show. Enjoy your cool husband and cute baby.

April 21, 2020

ER 6.3, Greene With Envy: How Dare Someone Be Better at Medicine Than Mark!

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

Hawkeye!

Summary: A gray-haired man has come to the ER looking for Weaver. Randi shows him a badge that Weaver has been handing out to employees. It lists the four qualities she wants all of them to have: creativity, accountability, respect, and excellence. Hey, that spells CARE! What a coincidence! Malik escorts in a guy with a stab wound in his arm and brings in Lucy to treat him. The gray-haired man tends to him instead. He uses a blood-pressure cuff as a tourniquet and stops the man’s bleeding. He notes that he employed the creativity from Weaver’s badge. Weaver introduces Lucy to the man, Gabe Lawrence, the ER’s new attending.

Mark is next to meet Lawrence, whom he’s heard a lot about…except for the part where Lawrence is the new attending. Over at Doc Magoo’s, Benton talks to a lawyer about Carla’s claim that Reese isn’t Benton’s. The lawyer doesn’t think that will be an issue – if Carla had doubts about Reese’s paternity, she should have said something three months ago when Benton filed for custody. The lawyer suggests that Benton do a DNA test to make sure Reese is really his before he puts himself through a whole trial. Benton doesn’t see the point.

Carter, Carol, and Elizabeth work on a 16-year-old boy named Josh who was shot. Romano comes in and tries to get Elizabeth to postpone an operation she was supposed to perform later so he can have the OR. She refuses, since her patient needs a mastectomy more than Romano’s needs his operation. Romano gives up a lot faster than I would have expected. Carter asks Elizabeth if her patient is Elaine. When he calls Elaine a family friend (yeah, a family friend he’s seen naked), Elizabeth decides they shouldn’t be talking about her.

Romano assigns Elizabeth to show a journalist around the hospital. The journalist is doing a story on Romano, but he figures she’d rather spend time with Elizabeth than him. Good guess. Mark and Chuny treat a patient who flirts with Chuny and asks about her badge. Mark hasn’t gotten one yet. Lucy and Luka tend to a woman named Lauren who claims she hurt her arm falling off a ladder. Luka seems skeptical.

Weaver shows Lawrence around as Jeanie opens some wedding presents from the nurses. She and Reggie are going to New Orleans that night to get married. Weaver gives her a badge, which she calls a Core Values badge, though shouldn’t that be CARE Values? She tells Jeanie to always wear it, quipping that she can take it off on her wedding night.

Lawrence gives Mark’s patient a neurological exam and teaches Carter a way to detect head trauma without any scans. He thinks the patient can be released. Benton takes Reese to Cleo, thinking he might be sick. Cleo notes that it must be nice having him nearby all day, in the hospital’s daycare. She diagnoses Reese with an ear infection and asks Benton if he had them as a kid, since they’re often hereditary. Benton says he didn’t.

Mark can’t find his patient, whom Lawrence has already discharged. He finds Lawrence in the lounge, telling Elizabeth about the history of the stethoscope. Mark is annoyed that Lawrence let his patient go without a CT. Lawrence says he gave the patient instructions on what to do if he exhibits signs of head trauma. Mark notes that he could pass out, and since he lives alone, no one would know. Lawrence asks Elizabeth for her opinion, and though Elizabeth tries to decline to answer, she admits that Lawrence did enough to examine the patient.

Mark confronts Weaver for hiring Lawrence without saying anything. Weaver only found out he was available a few days ago. Plus, he’s one of the founding fathers of emergency medicine, so Mark should be happy they have him. Mark reminds her that her badges list respect as a core value, so she should have shown him some. Carter surprises Elaine as she’s waiting to be taken for her mastectomy. He wants to make sure she knows that he doesn’t see their relationship (or whatever it is) as just sex. He’s willing to support her through her medical treatment. Elaine tells him to go away, but Carter doesn’t want to.

Luka looks up Lauren’s records and sees that she’s been treated at County for various injuries. She’s also been to other hospitals. He thinks she’s being abused. When he and Lucy return to Lauren’s exam room, her husband, Pauly, is with her. He backs up her story that she fell off a ladder. Lauren acts like nothing’s wrong, which, of course, she would do if she were being abused and didn’t want anyone to know.

Romano introduces Elizabeth and Mark to Paula, the reporter Elizabeth will be showing around. Josh, who’s now on a ventilator but doing okay, gets a visit from his cousin, whose arrival sends Josh into distress. Carol sends the cousin out of the room as Lawrence comes in to help her out. Josh keeps his eyes on his cousin and mimes shooting a gun. Carol realizes that he’s trying to say that his cousin (well, “cousin”) was his shooter.

Lawrence goes after the cousin, who takes off running. Someone sees him pull a gun and screams that he has a weapon. Elizabeth shields Paula as a security guard faces off with the cousin in a hallway. Mark pulls a patient into a room as shots are fired. Benton runs to the exam room where Reese was being seen and finds Cleo protecting him and some other kids. The cousin shoots until he runs out of bullets, then takes off. I’m sure he’ll be picked up by the cops pretty quickly, since there were about three dozen witnesses.

Dave gets off an elevator and enters an eerily quiet ER. Elizabeth and Lawrence rush to tend to the unconscious security guard, who’s bleeding. In a trauma room, they realize he wasn’t shot – the blood is from a cut on his hand. He’s unconscious because he fainted. Dave, always eager to be in the middle of things and probably sad that he missed all the danger, quickly offers his help, so Lawrence tells him to give the security guard stitches. The staff checks on all the patients who were near the shootout, but no one was hurt.

Mark and Cleo take the next patients brought in, the Bradleys, a father and son who were in a car accident. Mrs. Bradley says they asked the paramedics to take them to another hospital, as recommended by their doctor, but the paramedics brought them to County since it was closer. Paula’s nearby and asks if paramedics can ignore a patient’s wishes. Cleo tells Mrs. Bradley that until her son, David, has some tests, he’s not going anywhere.

Elaine is overwhelmed and tells Elizabeth she’s not ready for surgery. Elizabeth invites her to go for a walk and talk things over. The nurses give Jeanie some flowers as she heads out with Reggie. Weaver pulls them into the lounge to give them another wedding gift: Carlos. Thanks to some urging from Weaver, Adele has gone to bat for the couple and gotten approval for them to take Carlos in temporarily. Once Jeanie gets approved as a foster patient, they can reevaluate and maybe make it permanent. Reggie and Jeanie decide to get married in Chicago instead of New Orleans.

Lawrence treats a 12-year-old girl named Crystal who has sickle-cell anemia. Mark looks over his orders afterward and tells Chuny to add a couple of tests. Luka pulls Pauly away from Lauren as she’s being discharged and tells him he thinks Pauly is mentally ill and dangerous. Pauly says Luka’s the one who’s ill. When he returns to Lauren, security guards are there to restrain him. Luka’s having him involuntarily committed. Lucy tells him this is a horrible idea – if psych doesn’t find any problems with Pauly, they’ll just send him home to Lauren. Luka says he’s giving Lauren a chance.

Elizabeth tells Elaine that she can delay her surgery, but not for long. Elaine wonders what will happen to her breast after it’s removed. She doesn’t like the idea of it just being thrown away. Elizabeth tells her that a lot of women have had mastectomies. Elaine wonders how she can be with anyone again once her breast is gone. She wishes she could still be herself. Elizabeth says she can. Elaine tells her to make sure she cuts everything during the surgery.

Lawrence tries to cheer Crystal up about her illness: the gene that causes sickle-cell anemia also protects her against malaria. He discharges her as Mark asks about the labs he added, which haven’t come back yet. Lucy brings in Deraad to tell Luka that he can’t have Pauly committed. He doesn’t appear to be a danger to himself, and there’s no proof that he hurt Lauren. Luka asks Deraad to come talk to Pauly with him. This goes horribly: Luka accuses Pauly of hurting Lauren, but she denies it. Luka baits him, making Pauly angrier and angrier until he decks Luka. Luka’s like, “Yeah, he’s definitely not a danger to others.”

Crystal’s labs come back, and Mark tells Lawrence there’s a problem. The two run after Crystal and her parents, who are just leaving the ER, and tell them to come back in. Lawrence missed something huge. The Bradleys’ doctor, Jacobs, comes to the ER and tells Cleo that David is going to be transferred. Cleo doesn’t feel comfortable having him moved and asks for half an hour while a test comes back. Jacobs won’t back down.

Mark gives Crystal an ultrasound to show her and her parents what Lawrence missed: She’s pregnant. Further, it’s an ectopic pregnancy, so she needs emergency surgery. Lawrence asks Mark if he was checking up on him, but Mark says he was just looking after the patient. Cleo has given in and is helping move David out of the hospital when he crashes. Carter and Benton take over his care, wondering why he was being transferred.

Jeanie and Reggie go to a courthouse to get married, but they only have a few minutes before it closes. They’ve brought Randi along as a witness, and Weaver was supposed to be their second, but she’s not there. They spot a UPS guy and all get the same idea. Back at County, Paula tries to observe as Carter and Benton treat David, but Benton kicks her out. He talks Carter through a procedure he’s never done before, and together they stabilize David.

The UPS happily holds Jeanie’s flowers as a judge marries Jeanie and Reggie. Carlos gets fussy, so Jeanie has to delay the vows for a few moments so she can try to quiet him. The bride and groom both seem thrilled with their new reality. Elizabeth finishes up with Paula, who questions Benton’s decision to let Carter do a procedure he’d never done before. Elizabeth promises that, in this teaching hospital, residents are carefully supervised. Mark thinks Elizabeth should have turned down Romano’s request to show Paula around.

Luka and Carol chat about his decisions regarding Pauly and Lauren. Luka gets that he made things worse by provoking Pauly in front of witnesses. Carol thinks that maybe now Lauren will get how dangerous her husband is. She didn’t go up to psych with him, which is a good first step. Cleo tells the Bradleys that David’s stable and now in surgery. Jacobs praises her for catching what was wrong with him, but Cleo’s annoyed that she gave in to his demands. If she’d just waited until his tests came back, they could have operated in a controlled environment.

Elaine comes through her operation fine and next faces reconstructive surgery. Weaver tells Luka that now that Lawrence is an attending, he won’t be needed anymore. No, don’t send the pretty away! Pauly’s released and heads home with Lauren. Mark, Lawrence, and Dave take care of a gunshot victim together, and Lawrence uses a foley to make a balloon and put pressure on the patient’s wound to stop the bleeding. Mark has to admit that he’s a skilled doctor.

Carter looks in on Elaine in recovery but decides not to go in and talk to her. Carol passes Luka as he’s walking home and offers him a ride. Jeanie and Reggie pick up some baby supplies after their wedding, and Reggie picks out a toy police car for Carlos. Mark tries to smooth things over with Elizabeth, by which I mean he asks her to apologize for siding with Lawrence earlier. She teases that he’s jealous and is afraid he might learn something.

Benton asks Jackie if Reese looks like him. “Hope not. He’s got enough problems,” Jackie says, exactly as any sister would. Benton asks if he had a lot of ear infections as a kid. Jackie doesn’t remember, but she knows he was always getting sick from something, which explains why he became a doctor. Carol drives Luka home and learns that he’s living on a boat. Mark and Elizabeth end their day in bed, and I don’t think anyone needs to know anything more than that.

Thoughts: As shown above, Lawrence is played by Alan Alda, who got an Emmy nomination for this role. Mr. Bradley is played by Felicity’s dad.

Erica Gimpel (Adele) and Cress Williams (Reggie), who have their first scene together in this episode, later played Wallace’s parents on Veronica Mars.

Guys, don’t forget to run every hiring decision by Mark. He is, after all, in charge of the ER. Oh, wait – no, he’s not. Shut up, Mark.

Mark should stop second-guessing Lawrence and keep a better eye on Luka, because…yikes.

December 17, 2019

ER 5.7, Hazed and Confused: So You Had a Bad Day

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:53 pm by Jenn

If you have to take a nap and a shower during your shift, your shift is too long

Summary: Carter wakes up in his new home, which is also Weaver’s home, to the sound of Grace Jones covering Johnny Cash. Weaver’s up bright and early and doesn’t get how loud her music is. She tells Carter he can borrow any CDs he wants, but he’s not allowed to touch her sound system. Weaver’s in a great mood now that she’s ditched the interim-chief position and can just focus on medicine. Carter asks her advice on teaching Lucy, wondering if he should lay off of her and let her turn things around on her own.

Mark goes to what I guess is a firehouse the EMTs and firefighters both use as home base when they’re not out on runs. He wants to do another ride-along, and also wants to spend the night since his apartment is being fumigated. Elizabeth has been on call all night, but Romano has Doyle give her another patient just as she’s getting ready to leave. Elizabeth yells at Doyle about it, but Doyle knows Romano is scarier than Elizabeth, so she needs to do what he said.

Jerry and Chuny discuss what their porn star names would be (their middle name plus their street name). Jeanie tells them that’s their romance-novelist name. Their porn name is a pet name plus your mother’s maiden name. Hers is, hilariously, Nibbles McGee. Anspaugh has taken over as interim chief, but he’s not familiar with all the administrative parts of the job. Weaver declines to help.

Carol runs into Lucy in the bathroom, where Lucy’s going over what she wants to say to Carter about how their teacher/student relationship has declined. Carol warns her not to be confrontational, since that’ll just make Carter defensive. She suggests chatting with him over a meal instead. Carol is disappointed to realize that she’s started her period – her and Doug’s baby-making attempts haven’t been successful. (Yet.)

Elizabeth tells Benton how horrible her night was, and how out of practice she is at working long shifts. She mentions that she ran into Dr. Kotlowitz, the doctor who restored Allison Beaumont’s voice. She thinks Benton should talk to him about Reese’s hearing. Benton doesn’t appreciate her involving her in the situation.

Weaver has gotten her sternal saw – despite Romano’s insistence that her proposal wouldn’t go anywhere, it sped through the approval process and she’s already reaping the rewards. The ER will be sharing it with the OR. Carol tells Doug that she’s not pregnant, which he says is just an excuse to keep trying. She claims that the more they do it, the lower their odds of getting pregnant, which…really? Huh.

Doug joins Jeanie to examine a baby named Sun who hasn’t been feeling well. His mother, Mrs. Everly, is slightly hippie-ish, which explains why her children are named Sun and Skye. She’s not great with remembering the details of caring for her son, but Skye, who’s six, is a big help. She even reassures her mother that things will be okay when Doug says he wants to do a spinal tap on Sun.

Mark accompanies Rosales and Pam to an apartment where a man insists he’s fine even though his head is bleeding. A woman there called 911 because her bleeding husband let someone drill a hole in his head. The driller explains that he used a surgical drill to perform a trepanation, which is supposed to increase the brain’s blood volume. He himself had one done in 1968.

The bleeder refuses to go to the hospital; he knew what he was getting into. Mark agrees to clean the wound and leave him alone. The bleeder’s wife smashes his computer, since that’s where he got the idea for the trepanation. The bleeder tells Mark he had to do something. Mark agrees again to just prevent infection and leave the weirdos to their weird procedures.

Babcock the anesthesiologist isn’t pleased that Doug and Jeanie are using general anesthesia on Sun during his spinal tap. He’s not happy that Doug is just making up his own rules. Babcock, where have you been these past five years? Lucy tries to present a patient to Carter, who diagnoses the man without looking at his history or talking to him. Lucy tries to tell him there’s something more, but Carter ignores her and tells the patient he has an STD. Lucy tells him the rest of the story, which indicates another illness. Carter interrupts her again when she tries to call him out for interrupting him.

Doug and Babcock try to talk to Anspaugh about their disagreement, which makes him resent his new position even more. Weaver prepares Lily and Chuny for their first trauma using the sternal saw. They’re expecting a gunshot victim whose heart could stop, requiring his chest to be cut open with the saw. Instead, they get a guy who was shot with a BB gun and could have walked into the hospital without help from the paramedics.

Lynette finds Carol trying to draw some of her own blood to find out if she’s anemic. Lynette offers to draw her blood and have it tested through the clinic so her name doesn’t have to be attached to the tests. Carol asks to have her hormone levels checked, too; Lynette guesses she’s worried about fertility issues. Anspaugh tells Mark that he’s rescheduled an interview with a doctor he hopes will be the ER’s next chief. Carter tells Mark that he wrote a student evaluation for Lucy but tore it up because he’s not sure it’s fair. Mark tells him to just evaluate her work.

The paramedics make themselves at home in the lounge, where Jerry, Yosh, and Connie are talking about their porn names. Yosh says Jerry’s criteria are for your drag name, at least according to RuPaul. Jerry chastises Rosales for taking a bunch of cookies, which Yosh brought in for hospital staff. Rosales calls Yosh the “cookie fairy,” which Connie takes offense to. Then Morales insults Jerry’s weight, as if that’ll make things better. Mark breaks things up before they can escalate.

Benton gives Elizabeth some instructions, trying to find the balance between talking to his girlfriend and talking to a colleague who works under him. He offers to cover her time in the surgical ICU so she can take a shower, but Elizabeth doesn’t want any special treatment. Anspaugh diverts her from her shower by asking her to scrub in on a procedure.

Sun’s spinal tap was negative, so Doug isn’t sure what’s wrong with him. Jeanie suggests taking Skye out of the room while Doug talks to Mrs. Everly, partly so Skye doesn’t have to hear all the medical talk and partly so Mrs. Everly will stop leaning on her. Skye wants to stay in the room, so Jeanie asks her to help put away some toys.

Elizabeth appears to need a nap more than she needs a shower, because she dozes off during surgery with Anspaugh. He sends her away to get some sleep. Carter has trouble with a diagnosis and asks Yosh, who’s using Lucy’s Palm Pilot-ish thing, if he can borrow it. He accidentally presses a play button and hears a recording of her practicing what she was going to say about their horrible relationship.

Mark hangs out with the paramedics, who present him with his own personalized EMT jacket. Then they haze him by strapping him to a backboard, which they all did as part of their training. This triggers something in Mark related to his attack, and he yells for them to free him. Back at County, Malik comes up with a unique, memorable porn star name: Satan Monroe. Jerry wonders whose mother’s maiden name is Satan.

Lynette asks Carol to help her with a patient named Maria who’s in a lot of pain from a possible ectopic pregnancy. Mark meets up with Anspaugh, Kayson, and the rest of the search committee to interview Amanda Lee for the chief position. They love her résumé and the work she’s done at her previous hospitals. Carter tells Lucy that if she’s so worried about him being adversarial, she can fill out her own evaluation. Lucy says the conversation she was working on had nothing to do with her evaluation.

Skye plays with a doll, the kind of toy she gave up when she became a big girl at the age of six. She feeds the doll with a spoon, just like she sometimes lets her brother lick her spoon. This makes something click in Jeanie’s head, and she asks if Skye ever gives Sun honey. Mark tells Anspaugh that Amanda is fine, though he’s not overly enthusiastic about her filling the chief role.

Carol and Lynette give Maria an ultrasound, which shows that the baby is most likely a girl. Carol feels a pang of jealousy over another woman’s pregnancy. Now showered and hopefully rested, Elizabeth tries to pump herself up for the last few hours of her marathon shift. Benton has changed his mind about meeting with Kotlowitz and asks Elizabeth to keep an eye on his service while he goes to see him.

One of Elizabeth’s discharged patients, Mr. Ramos, has returned with a wound infection and asthma attack. Elizabeth is less than pleased to have to…you know, do her job and treat someone. Jeanie’s theory is correct, and the honey Skye has been feeding Sun gave him botulism. He’ll be fine, but Jeanie’s worried about how much Skye has given up of her childhood to take care of him. Doug says it’s better than abuse and neglect, at least.

Mr. Ramos isn’t getting better, so Elizabeth decides to give him magnesium. Mark asks Carter about Lucy’s evaluation, which makes him think Carter has something personal against her. He asks Doug if he can spend the night at his (really Carol’s) place, since he clearly doesn’t want to be around the paramedics right now. Doug tells him he’s always welcome. Elizabeth gives Mr. Ramos magnesium, but it makes him worse. Thanks to Kit the nurse, she realizes she gave him 50% instead of 5%, which means…I don’t know, but it’s bad and he could die.

Kotlowitz tells Benton to talk to people who have been in his position and patients who have gotten cochlear implants. He has no respect for people who are anti-implant, since he doesn’t see deafness as a culture. He thinks people who disagree with improving their hearing are beyond reason and just lazy. Deaf people can function in the hearing world, but some of them don’t want to do the work required. They’re standing in his way. Kotlowitz then brings up Elizabeth, wondering if she’s seeing someone. Benton says he’s pretty sure she is.

Back at County, Elizabeth finally stabilizes Mr. Ramos, though he may have had a stroke. She takes responsibility for the medication error, though she’s sure she looked at the label before administering the magnesium. Lynette gives Carol her test results, which don’t indicate any hormone deficiencies. Carol says she’s been trying to get pregnant for a few months, but Lynette doesn’t think she should worry until six months have passed without a pregnancy. Maybe she and Doug should have more sex.

Weaver tells Carol that she went to examine Maria, but Maria’s about to leave. Lynette is shocked that she’s well enough to walk out after supposedly being in so much pain earlier. Maria admits that she just wanted to know the baby’s sex. Carol realizes she plans to have an abortion because the baby may be a girl. She confronts Maria loudly, saying that the ultrasound wasn’t conclusive. Weaver makes Carol back off, and Maria leaves, saying girls are just trouble anyway. Carol yells after her, wondering what’s wrong with her.

Anspaugh calls Elizabeth and Benton in for a conversation about her medication mistake. Benton admits to leaving Elizabeth unsupervised while he left on a personal matter, but Elizabeth notes that it wouldn’t have mattered if he’d been in the hospital. The good news is that Mr. Ramos’ condition may not be as serious as it could have been.

Anspaugh recognizes that Elizabeth is above the intern level she’s been placed at, but that doesn’t erase the hospital’s liability. He warns her and Benton not to discuss the situation with anyone. Elizabeth asks Benton if they can get together after work (and not discuss the situation), but he has to pick up Reese from Jackie’s. Plus, it would be better for Elizabeth to sleep.

Mark has his own discussion with Carter and Lucy about Lucy’s evaluation. Apparently she thought Carter wanted her to give her self-evaluation to Mark, while Carter thought he’d told her to give it back to him. Lucy says she put herself in his shoes and was as critical as she thought he would be. This mix-up about who should get the evaluation is another example of how Carter gives incomplete directions. Mark decides he’s done mediating and tells them to work things out by themselves.

Weaver has another shot at using her sternal saw, and everything goes perfectly. Anspaugh helps out, pleased with Weaver’s work. Amanda runs into Mark and tells him she felt like they didn’t connect during her interview. It made her worry that she wasn’t making her best case for herself. She asks to chat a while so she can give it another try.

Weaver tells Anspaugh that she felt stung when it became clear that Anspaugh didn’t want her to run the ER. Now, though, she’s happy to return to medicine and has no hard feelings. Anspaugh tells her he values their friendship and extends an olive branch, inviting her to have dinner with him and Amanda. Weaver isn’t quite there yet.

Roxanne visits Carter at his new place, ready to help him forget his horrible day with Lucy. He wants to teach her a bunch of stuff, but it’s not happening. Roxanne’s like, “How about we not talk about another woman while we’re trying to be romantic?” Carol, who also had a bad day, drinks some alcohol at home, because she’s not pregnant, so why not?

Benton picks up Reese, chastising Jackie for letting him play with a toy phone when he can’t hear. He admits that he feels like he’s in the middle of a battle and isn’t sure which side to take – implant or no implant? He doesn’t have anyone to talk to. Jackie suggests Elizabeth, and Benton doesn’t respond. Elizabeth takes a bath at home, finally able to take a moment to rest, but it won’t change the mistake she made and the consequences she might face.

Thoughts: Maria is played by Octavia Spencer. Amanda is played by Mare Winningham, who deserves a lot better than the junk she ends up with here.

It’s almost like having a doctor work 24-36 hours straight is a…bad thing. Like, maybe it’s…not safe? Is that a crazy thought?

I hope Sun grows up really muscular and intimidating-looking so no one teases him about his name. Actually, I feel like Skye would stick up for him and people would be too scared of her to go after him.

September 3, 2019

ER 4.16, My Brother’s Keeper: Too Much or Not Enough

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

Angst face!

Summary: Doug has spent the night working on Mark’s computer to finish a presentation. Mark is trying to quit smoking (again), this time with the help of a nicotine patch. He has Cynthia’s luggage, which was finally recovered after the trip to San Diego. She quit her job right after returning, so Mark hasn’t seen her to be able to return it. Doug tells him to take the luggage to the hospital so Cynthia can pick it up there instead of being forced to come to Mark’s place. Instead, Mark takes the luggage to Cynthia’s apartment, but she’s moved out. He mopes in his car with a cigarette.

At County, Weaver invites Doug to join interns’ rounds, but he’s not interested. She knows he’s presenting his research on PCA use (pain medication administered by the patient as needed), but she’s not sure he’s been thorough in his work. He’s convinced her that it should be used with pediatric patients, but there are still some issues with his work. Doug ignores her to chat with Mark but tells her she made her point. Carol pulls Doug away to treat a six-year-old who’s having seizures.

Doyle dumps some difficult patients on Carter, then leaves after working the night shift. Carter promises to have some difficult patients for her when she comes back in 12 hours. Lily gives Mark a patient with end-stage lung cancer, at Carol’s request; she’s hoping he’ll take the hint to quit smoking. Carter thinks he already has. Mark asks Jerry if Cynthia left a forwarding address, but it sounds like she just disappeared after picking up her last paycheck a few days ago. Jerry, who’s doing some spring cleaning, is delighted to find some Twinkies that are just a few years old.

Doug’s unable to figure out why his patient, Adrian, is having seizures. Paramedics have determined that he drank soda with something in it, but they don’t know what that something is. Elizabeth and Benton are flirting when Romano approaches them to announce that Elizabeth’s heroics in the collapsed building have been outlined in the newspaper. He follows it up by giving Elizabeth her six-month review, which isn’t as glowing as the article.

Adrian’s parents arrive at the hospital but are equally clueless as to what their son drank. There are photography supplies all over the house, which is probably what Adrian ingested, but without knowledge of what, exactly, he drank, Doug can’t treat him. Mark pulls Anna away for a John Doe who was supposedly in a motorcycle accident. He was sent over from another hospital because he’s uninsured, but Anna was told he just needed observation. In truth, he’s unresponsive for unknown reasons. Anna thinks the other hospital negligently dumped him on them.

Carter treats a man who appears to be homeless, though he claims he was about to take a flight to San Francisco to see his daughter. However, he doesn’t know where, exactly, she lives, and he doesn’t have her phone number. The man says it’s his own problem if he wants to fly across the country and have to figure out where to go.

Adrian’s patient wakes up but, like everyone else, doesn’t know what he drank. He says Eric gave it to him. He starts seizing again as Adrian’s father, Keith, flies out of the trauma room to interrogate another boy. The boy, Eric, runs off, and Doug corners him in the bathroom. Eric explains that Keith is his stepfather and Adrian is his half-brother. He claims not to care if Adrian dies.

Doug works his magic to get the boy to open up to him…as well as show marks on his arm that he claims are from Keith. Once Doug figures out what Adrian drank, he’s able to administer treatment. He promises the boys’ mother that they’ll take care of both boys.

Carter calls around to try to find out where his patient should go. He needs to be cleaned up before he can try to fly again, and Carter, Mark, and Carol all pass the responsibility around until it lands on Malik, who’d tried to avoid it in the first place. Anna determines that her John Doe has a subarachnoid bleed and should never have been transferred to another hospital.

Mark’s patient, Mr. Kyle, declines further treatment, knowing he doesn’t have much time left. His wife is reluctant to take him home, but Kyle doesn’t think he’ll be getting any better anyway. Elizabeth confronts Romano over her poor evaluation; he says she seems distracted. She came to focus on trauma surgery, but now she’s picking up pet projects. He invites her to join him on a study of a synthetic blood product.

Anna gets a neurosurgeon to come see her patient, but they can’t do much for him – he’s going to die. The neurosurgeon isn’t sure if he would have had a chance if he’d actually been treated previously instead of passed along. His only option is major surgery that might not have any effect. The only person who can approve that surgery is Dr. Mack, who’s currently in surgery.

Doug catches Mark smoking outside as he searches a Dumpster for some presentation materials Jerry may have accidentally thrown out in his spring cleaning frenzy. Doug says Adrian’s going to be okay, but his case falls under the category of Sometimes Being a Pediatrician Is Awful. Mark tells Doug that he went by Cynthia’s place, but she’s moved already. He regrets the way he handled the end of their relationship. All he can think about are her good qualities. Doug finds his presentation stuff and runs inside to yell at Jerry. Mark sees Kyle leaving and regrets his cigarette.

Jeanie and Scott discuss Days of Our Lives, which they’ve been watching together. Scott says that Jeanie’s prettier than Deidre Hall, which Jeanie says may be the nicest thing anyone’s said to her all year. (To be fair, it’s only March, and Al would say nice things like that if he were still in town.) He’s finished his last round of chemo, so next week he’d like to go to a movie instead of hanging out in the hospital. Jeanie reminds him that she has to work.

Eric and Adrian’s mother, Mary Jo, thanks Doug for saving Adrian, but she’s not grateful that the family has to talk to a social worker. She thinks it was an accident and Eric didn’t mean to hurt his brother. Doug says this was Eric’s way of lashing out because of Keith’s abuse. Mary Jo insists that no one’s abusing him. Eric’s out of control, and Keith just has to be strict to keep him in line. The burns on his arm are self-inflicted. Mary Jo starts yelling, and Mark advises Doug to avoid the men’s bathroom for a while. Oh, I’m glad we’re joking about his massive trauma now.

Anna and Carter are both on the phone, she trying to contact Mack and he trying to get information on his patient’s daughter. Mark is next on the phone, trying to track down Cynthia by using Carter’s story of finding a patient’s daughter. Scott heads home without saying goodbye to Jeanie.

Paramedics bring in a bunch of people who OD’d on a bad batch of heroin (though…is there such a thing as a good batch of heroin?). Anna recognizes one of the patients as Chase. Carter takes over his cousin’s care, though Anna and Carol don’t think he can be saved. He’s been unresponsive for at least 40 minutes, and Carol figures he’s brain-dead. Carter refuses to stop working.

Benton and Elizabeth go for a walk outside, discussing her evaluation. He advises her to overcompensate in any area where she’s received criticism. They run into Jackie, and Benton introduces Elizabeth to her as a “colleague.” He acts like he’s just showing her around the city because she’s from another country. Jackie notes that Benton isn’t usually so generous with his time. Elizabeth and Benton use “support” as a euphemism for “get naked together.” Jackie gets it.

Mark gets Cynthia’s phone number but chickens out before leaving a message on her answering machine. Carter worries that he pushed too hard in reviving Chase, but Anna says she would have done the same thing. He regrets not trying harder to get Chase into rehab. Anna notes that Carter couldn’t make him go if he didn’t agree. Chase’s parents are in Singapore, but Millicent and her husband are on their way. Anna tries to comfort Carter, who’s really shaken up.

Kyle is brought back in, and this time Mark wants to admit him. Anna’s patient’s son has been found, and he IDs his father as Tom. Anna tells him that Tom’s only hope is a surgery with only a slim chance of success. Carol drags Doug off for his presentation as Jeanie goes to the Anspaughs’ house to see Scott. She’s clearly become friends with the family, as Scott’s younger sister has spent time with her. Scott doesn’t want to hang out with Jeanie anymore, since she clearly was only friendly with him because it was her job. She still wants to be friends, and invites him to a movie.

A doctor Chuny calls the Grim Reaper comes to the ER to discuss organ donation with Tom. Anna wants to give him some time before they confirm that Tom won’t make it. Mack has now examined Tom and determined that he doesn’t have a chance. Her resident shouldn’t have told Anna that surgery was an option. Tom wants a second opinion, but Mack is the highest up the chain, so he’ll have to go to another hospital. That’ll be Tom’s third in a day. Anna asks why Mack can’t take a shot at surgery, but Mack knows it would be a waste of time. She shouldn’t have given Tom’s son any hope.

Carter tells his grandparents that Chase’s brain-wave activity indicates probable damage. This could mean anything from memory problems to a chronic vegetative state. The elder Carter (whose name is also John; we’ll call him John I) asks if Carter knew about Chase’s drug use. When Carter says yes, his grandparents question his decision to try to detox Chase on his own instead of sending him somewhere. They think they should have made the decision for Chase.

Doug gives his presentation at the med school, which Weaver catches the end of. Anspaugh seems at least a little impressed. Weaver asks about the randomization of the control group, a concern she’d brought up previously. Elizabeth tracks down her future husband, Mark, to ask if she can sign up for some time in the ER to get more trauma experience. She accompanies him to Kyle’s trauma room, where he’s been found unresponsive on the floor. Elizabeth finds a gunshot wound, and Malik finds the accompanying gun. Kyle shot himself to end his suffering, so Mark and Elizabeth decide to let him go.

The Carters want to move Chase to a neurology facility, but Carter tells Millicent he needs to be stabilized first. He wishes he could go back in time and change things. Millicent indicates that she knew something was going on, since she says that she assumed Chase would ask if he really needed help. Carter notes that Chase asked him for help.

Millicent wants to know if Chase ever told Carter why he started using. Carter says he probably just felt overwhelmed. Millicent says that her generation just embraced difficulties – they were defined by them. She knows Carter probably blames the family for Chase’s issues. He’s always been indulged by has seen it as oppression.

As Mark flushes his cigarettes, Doug and Weaver bicker over her medical decisions in a case she took on to let him go to the presentation. She knows he’s really upset because her questions pointed out a flaw in his research, which means he has to redo part of it. Doug accuses her of ambushing him, but she reminds him that she brought up the issue that morning and he blew her off.

Doug blasts her for leaving a sick baby in the ER to go undercut him in front of his superiors. Weaver says she wasn’t about to let him use PCA in situations where the research doesn’t support it. He asks if she’s now the self-appointed expert on the subject. Today, she didn’t help any kids, and in fact, could have almost killed one. Weaver responds with, “Screw you,” which isn’t going to make her look any more mature than Doug. Mark tries to play peacemaker, but Doug won’t like that, since Mark sides with Weaver.

Doug leaves the conversation when he sees that Adele is leaving with Eric. She explains that his rage has made him too hard to handle at County. He needs to be committed so his problems can be dealt with. Doug has to admit that Eric didn’t show any remorse when he admitted to poisoning his brother. Doyle arrives in the middle of a very tense ER.

Anna checks in on Tom, whose son still wants him to have the operation. Anna has to admit that she pushed too much to save Tom and was overly optimistic. Tom’s son says that a doctor at another hospital has agreed to do the surgery. That doctor happens to be the same neurosurgeon who sent Tom to County in the first place. Anna blasts him for being negligent because the patient didn’t have insurance.

Mark finally tracks down Cynthia and visits her at her very nice new apartment. She’s already gotten a new job, and says she needed a fresh start, which would have been hard to accomplish while still working with Mark. She must be doing well because her son is spending the night after not living with her for a while. Mark thinks he made a mistake breaking up with Cynthia, but she knows he doesn’t really love her. She feels she deserves better. At County, Carter continues tending to Chase. He was in complete control last week, but this week, he’s helpless.

Thoughts: John I is played by the late George Plimpton, which is A+ casting.

I love that Scott watches a soap. It would definitely give him and Jeanie hours of conversation material.

I also love that the Anspaughs are super-rich but have the same bathroom tiles my middle-class parents had for 25 years.

Carter and Anna should have gotten together! You know I’m right!

May 14, 2019

ER 3.22, One More for the Road: In Which Somehow, Miraculously, Carter Is Still Gainfully Employed

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

I guess the bandana is supposed to make him more intimidating?

Summary: It’s 4:12 a.m., but Mark’s defying our drinking game by not being asleep. He’s also not dressed, so thanks for that. He’s just sitting in a chair, watching the rain outside. Doug’s just arriving at work, and Anna’s there because she couldn’t sleep. She’s been staying in a hotel and needs a place to live. Doug recommends that she talk to Carol, who grew up on the side of town where Anna wants to live. Benton is still by the baby’s side, but he has to go get ready for a shift. Jeanie and Al are in bed together; he’s watching her sleep, and somehow, it isn’t creepy.

Carter’s waiting for Anspaugh when he arrives for the day, wanting to set up a time to talk later. Anspaugh has time now, and he gets annoyed when Carter tries to delay their conversation. Carter finally announces that he’s thinking about leaving the surgical program. Now Anspaugh’s more than annoyed. He reminds Carter that he entered into a contract – in exchange for training, he’s supposed to give his best effort. He can’t just run home to Mommy. If Carter says anything more about being in the wrong program, he’ll be out of the hospital altogether.

Mark goes into the bathroom where he was attacked; for some reason, the broken mirror hasn’t been replaced. Anna chats with Carol about living arrangements, saying she’s looking forward to living alone. She’s the oldest of eight kids, and the only girl. Their father was a mailman, so Anna’s used to not having money. The two examine a boy named Chuck who has pain in his hip.

Carter tells Mark that, despite the response he got from Anspaugh, he’d still like to leave surgery for emergency medicine. He’s missed the match for the year, but he hopes Mark can help him get a spot anyway. Mark suggests that Carter get Weaver’s help instead. Benton operates with Hicks, spacing out because of lack of sleep and his distraction over the baby. He gets paged and steps out.

Mark and Doyle take care of a man named Mr. Munder who felt chest pain while working out. He’s afraid he’s having a heart attack like his father did at his age. Doyle orders a bunch of tests, but Mark, who appears to be back to his normal self, at least professionally, tells her to start with prescribing aspirin. Weaver and Jeanie tend to an elderly man, Bert, who’s on a ton of medication.

Doug tells Carol that he’s applied to a Big Brother program and put her down as a character reference. He invites her to get dinner that night, but she already has a date. Chuny and Connie aren’t that impressed with the guy. Doug learns that Anna ordered some sort of test for Chuck and tells Carol to hold off on it until Doug can check him out.

Carla and Benton meet with Dr. Tabash, who tells them the baby’s brain appears to be fine. They still have to look out for possible negative effects from low oxygen. Chances are that the baby will be fine, but there’s still a small chance that he’ll have learning disabilities or other complications. Mark tells Doyle that he’s decided to buy a gun after all. Jerry gives him a message that a detective is coming by later with photos of possible suspects. Mark asks Doug for a prescription for painkillers (and we’re probably supposed to think that will lead to an addiction, but it doesn’t, so just ignore that).

Munder has more chest pain, this time definitely from a heart attack. Mark stays calm while taking care of him. Weaver calls Carter for a surgical consult on Bert, but further examination shows that the care his wife is giving him at home isn’t very good. Carter asks Weaver to talk to Anspaugh on his behalf, but Weaver doesn’t think there’s money in the budget to pay him. Carter laughs as he says he’ll work for free. Oh, Carter. OH, CARTER.

Anna goes looking for Chuck, but Doug has already released him. She confronts him for taking over her case, but he pulls rank. She tells him he can take risks with his own patients, not hers. Mark and Doyle continue tending to Munder as Carter determines that Bert doesn’t need surgery. He and Jeanie gently question Bert’s wife about his nutrition and exercise. Carter tells her that it might be time for her husband to go to a care facility. She’s not interested.

Paramedics bring in a teen girl who appears to have overdosed on drugs in the park. Carol recognizes her and tells someone to get Doug. Anna thinks Carol’s calling him in to take over another one of her cases, but Carol tells her that Doug knows the patient – it’s Charlie.

Mark looks through some mug shots to try to ID a guy the police suspect as his attacker. He doesn’t recognize anyone, but he picks one who might have been the guy. The detectives don’t confirm his identity, but it’s clear that it’s the wrong guy. One of the detectives offers to refer Mark to a victims’ group so he can keep working through his trauma. Mark would rather trash the doctors’ lounge.

Doug checks in on Charlie, then goes off to call her mother. Benton chats with Kit, a NICU nurse, while Carla holds the baby. Benton admits that they haven’t chosen a name yet, and Kit says she thinks it’s “safe” to pick one (in other words, the baby will live). Doug and Carol discuss Mark’s lounge tantrum, and how he left to run an errand when he was done.

A guy comes in looking for Charlie, saying he’s her friend, though Doug notes that someone who doesn’t know her last name probably isn’t that close of a friend. Doug says the guy, Tommy, can ask Charlie’s mom if he can see her. Tommy says Charlie’s mom won’t be coming to see her, since she’s in jail. In that case, Charlie will be turned over to the Department of Children and Family Services, her worst nightmare.

Weaver confronts Carter for not warning her that Anspaugh doesn’t support his move from surgery to emergency medicine. He won’t budge. Weaver would love to have Carter in the ER, but she’s not going to mediate his issues with Anspaugh. Charlie’s taken a bunch of drugs, and it looks like she has hepatitis. Anna has restrained her, but Doug asks to have them removed, since he knows Charlie won’t talk to him otherwise. Charlie refuses to go back to foster care; she wants to go stay with friends. Doug offers to get her into rehab so she can straighten out her life.

Al stops by to see Jeanie, letting her know he wants to cook her dinner that night. Weaver’s surprised to learn that they’re back together. In case it wasn’t clear that Mark is having some issues, he’s smoking now. Doug tells him he won’t write him a painkiller prescription. He needs to get help. Mark thinks Doug has no place to talk, since he’s never been through a trauma like this. Doug offers to listen if Mark ever wants to talk.

Weaver pages Anspaugh to the ER for a consult, since she couldn’t find Carter. This frees Carter up to meet with a social worker, dietitian, and physical therapist about Bert’s care. Jackie finds Benton in the hospital chapel and remembers how he used to run to church as a kid in hopes of looking like he was repenting after he’d caused trouble. Benton shares his fears that something will turn out to be wrong with the baby. Jackie knows he’ll love his son no matter what. Life doesn’t always go the way we want, but we deal with it.

Carter hopes to find a care facility where Bert and his wife can both live, even though she doesn’t need as much care as he does. Anspaugh calls Carter away for rounds, but the people Carter’s been consulting with object. He’s the one who’s been dealing with the couple, so he needs to stay on. Anspaugh gets more and more impatient, and though it’s rude of him to demand that Carter leave in the middle of the conversation, it’s nowhere near as rude as Carter yelling at him in the middle of the hallway that he’ll come when and if he can.

The nurses’ shift ends, and Carol gets prettied up for her date. Doug and Anna meet with Adele, who isn’t sure that Charlie’s telling the truth about the poor conditions of her foster home. It’s kind of a moot point, though, since Charlie has fled the hospital. As Mark is leaving, Doyle tells him that Munder is doing better and will be getting a pacemaker implanted. His wife thanks Mark for saving him. E-Ray comments that it must be great to save people’s lives.

Doug and Anna drive around looking for Charlie, whom Anna says reminds her of herself. Weaver doesn’t bother to hide her disapproval over Jeanie and Al’s reunion. (Maybe she’s a Greg fan, like me.) Jeanie says she’s happier than she’s ever been, but not because of Al – because of herself. She’s no longer afraid of living her life. She’s been in love with Al since she first saw him at the age of 16, and she knows he feels the same about her. Weaver just tells her to have a good night.

Mark falls asleep on an El train on his way home, waking up when some loud punks get on. They start hassling him for money, so he gets off at the next stop. They follow him, so he pulls a gun on them and chases them off. Doug and Anna have no luck finding Charlie; it sounds like she and Tommy have scored some good drugs and are holed up somewhere. Doug invites Anna to get something to eat, and she questions what, exactly, he has in mind. She asks how long ago he and Carol broke up. He says it was a long time, but Anna still doesn’t want to get in the middle of that.

Carter approaches Anspaugh as he’s leaving, trying to clarify that he has nothing against surgery or surgeons. He knows he could be competent at surgery, but not great. In emergency medicine, he could excel. He wants to spend time with his patients, and he knows he’s good at it. This is how he wants to make a difference in people’s lives. He asks Anspaugh not to make him give that up or waste his talents.

Anspaugh says he’s sometimes wondered if he made the right decision in becoming a surgeon. Carter’s 25 but feels certain about what he wants to do. He was able to get Bert and his wife into a nursing home together. Anspaugh tells Carter to find him in the morning so they can work out some arrangements. So Carter has won yet another round with Anspaugh. Meanwhile, Mark runs to a bridge and tosses his gun into the river. Money well spent!

Doug’s lurking in the shadows outside Carol’s house when she gets home from her date. He teases her about not letting the guy come in. She says it was only the third date. Doug does that cute smirk he always does – the smirk that made half of America fall in love with George Clooney – and then kisses her. She’s surprised, but when he leans in again, she welcomes him. Back at County, Benton holds his son for the first time.

Thoughts: Who calls a kid Chuck? Like, when he was born, did his parents say, “Let’s call the baby Chuck”?

If I ever even THOUGHT about raising my voice to my boss the way Carter does to Anspaugh, I’d either be fired or I’d be so ashamed that I would never be able to face her again. Carter is too gutsy for his own good.

Mark seeing the teens on the train and immediately panicking made me think of this.

Season 3 is done! Next up: Elizabeth, Romano, and actual character development for Benton.

April 23, 2019

ER 3.19, Calling Dr. Hathaway: Dale Edson? More Like FAIL Edson

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:09 pm by Jenn

Look at the way he looks at her! He’s totally still in love!

Summary: Doyle accidentally wakes Carter up (he’s asleep – drink!) when she stumbles over him in the doctors’ lounge. It’s a good thing she does, though, because he’s late for something. Mark thinks he’s getting the hang of parenting Rachel alone, since Jen is still gone, but he forgot that she has a Brownie meeting he was supposed to speak at. He offers to take her to Six Flags that weekend to make up for his parenting failures.

Carter makes it to rounds late and unfamiliar with the case Dale is presenting. So not only does he look inferior to Dale, but it’s all in front of Anspaugh. Doug and Carol meet up with each other on their way to work, and she tells him her MCAT results came in. She hasn’t opened them yet because she’s sure they’ll be bad. Doug grabs them from her, but before he can open them, Weaver tells Carol she did well. Incredibly well, actually. Weaver tells Mark he has to work on Saturday, so now the Six Flags trip will have to wait.

At Carla’s place, Benton helps her adjust to having gestational diabetes. At first it looks like she’s warmed toward him a little, but when he tells her he has to go to work, she cools again. Word spreads that Carol did great on the MCAT, but she reminds people that she hasn’t even applied to med school, so they shouldn’t call her a doctor yet. Jerry prepares a mouse trap, since he saw a rodent around, and Weaver tells him a lab animal escaped and there’s a big reward out for it (but only if its captured alive). Looks like this will be Jerry’s plot this week.

Carter’s been banished to the lounge for the day to practice laparoscopic procedures. He thinks Anspaugh has turned on him since Carter went behind his back with Bartok’s surgery. Yeah, no kidding. Carter shows Doyle how to use robot graspers to stack dice. Jerry looks for the mouse, Heidi, in an exam room where Jeanie’s trying to, you know, do her job. Her patient spots the mouse, but Jeanie loses patience and turns out the light to finish her procedure.

Doug sends Carol’s med-school dreams floating off into space when he tells her how much he had to borrow to pay for his education. He’s still paying off the loans. They tend to a baby named Joel who has a shunt in his heart and was found unconscious in his crib. His mother, Andrea, wants to stay in the trauma room; Carol lets her stay, but Doug gets impatient having to answer her questions.

Benton’s helping with a trauma when Jerry tells him Carla’s on the phone for him. Carter takes over the trauma with the idea to use a catheter to open an artery. He was inspired by a People magazine article he wrote about paramedics rescuing a girl from a well. The girl was fine; her puppy…not so much. Benton is so impressed that his praise for Carter might be described as “exuberant.” When they hand the patient off to Anspaugh, he chooses Dale to scrub in over, even after Benton says Carter saved the patient in the ER.

Doug still won’t answer Andrea’s questions, so she asks Carol for explanations. Carol finally removes her from the room and gently tells her what’s going on. Andrea’s only request is that Carol let her go back into the trauma room if Joel gets worse – she doesn’t want him to die alone.

Jerry and Wendy place some humane traps around the admit desk in hopes of catching Heidi. Mark’s next patient is Brenda, who got stuck on a bucket-turned-latrine while camping. Carol tells Andrea that Joel should be conscious again soon, then offers to get her food or coffee if she wants it. Doyle chastises Carter for letting Dale edge him out for surgery, not getting that surgery is all a game and Carter has to play a certain way. He hears Benton on the phone with Carla, about to skip out on his shift to go help her again.

Mark and Haleh try to brainstorm ways to get the bucket off of Brenda. Her supposed husband, John, calls her by the wrong name, making Mark suspicious. He uses a can opener to cut a hole in the bucket, releasing the suctioning pressure and removing it. The patient Carter saved earlier, Gunderson, is now having a post-op allergic reaction, and Dale’s in surgery with Anspaugh, so Carter saves the man again. He’d like to talk to Dale about this right away.

Weaver wants to pull Carol off of Joel’s case to show her a more interesting one. Carol leaves Chuny to take over for her with Joel, asking her to bring in Andrea as soon as Doug says she can. Back at Carla’s, Benton gives her an injection, then offers to go grocery shopping for her, since she’s supposed to stay off her feet. Now Carla’s fine with him going to work and leaving her alone, but Benton calls in with claims of a family emergency so he can stay with Carla.

Carter stabilizes Gunderson, then tells Dale that he’s allergic to the antibiotic Dale gave him. Dale first says he didn’t take the patient’s history since he thought Carter did it. When Carter says he heard Anspaugh tell Dale to do it, Dale says he did, and Gunderson didn’t mention any allergies. But the portion of his file for allergies is blank, so Dale didn’t write down that he didn’t have any.

John and Brenda do something in a supply closet (no, not sex), which Mark hears the tail end of. Weaver basically makes Carol an honorary med student so she can teach her about doctoring stuff. Carol bows out pretty quickly when she realizes that Joel is doing poorly. Doug doesn’t want Andrea back in the trauma room, since he’s had to open Joel’s chest, but Carol brings her in. Unfortunately, she’s too late, and when Andrea gets back to the trauma room, Joel has already died.

Carol’s half upset that Joel died and half upset that she was with Weaver instead of Andrea when Andrea really needed her. Andrea’s now doing tasks like calling the mortuary and trying to figure out what to do with her son’s clothes. Carol thinks it would benefit her to see her son and hold him one last time.

Jeanie and Wendy spot Heidi in an exam room while they’re tending to a patient who suddenly wonders what kind of dump he’s in. Jeanie threatens to bring in her cat tomorrow. She feels something on her foot and realizes she’s stepped in one of Jerry’s trap. (Good thing they’re humane.) She has to go to a suture room to use wire cutters.

Dale brings Anspaugh to Gunderson’s bedside, where Carter explains his allergic reaction. Dale has altered the chart since their last conversation; it now says that Gunderson has no known drug allergies. Anspaugh says in that case, they couldn’t have known he would react badly to the antibiotic, so no one’s in danger of being sued. Dale’s in danger of having his face punched by Carter, though.

Carol lets Andrea hold Joel’s body, telling her to take all the time she needs. Brenda and John return to the ER, as John now has a button stuck up his nose. He claims he sneezed while wiping his nose on his cuff. Haleh notes that his cuff isn’t missing any buttons, but Brenda says he changed his shirt. Mark thinks he can solve this without a specialist. It takes him just a few seconds, but now he wants Haleh to call for a psych consult.

Jackie runs into Benton while he’s shopping for Carla and warns that he’s in for a lot of errands. Benton complains that Carla’s been more difficult than usual. (Ohhhh, just wait, buddy.) Jackie asks who Carla will depend on if Benton doesn’t keep helping her. Weaver has Carol assess a patient, then tells her she can perform an intubation. She does well, and Chuny teases that Carol is Weaver’s new pet.

Nina comes for John and Brenda’s psych consult, but they quickly explain their weird behavior. They’re clinic researchers studying creative problem-solving in ERs. Mark did an awesome job. The researchers say the study is being funded by some very high-up people, including some government officials. In fact, Mark could get some follow-up contact from Hillary Clinton. (Because she…needs information on ER problem-solving?)

Doyle finds Carter brooding by the river, and he tells her what Dale did. She can’t believe Carter didn’t tell Anspaugh that Dale changed the chart, which is both unethical and illegal. Carter says that they have to be team players, and he’s already hurt himself by his actions with Bartok. Doyle thinks Carter’s just scared.

Nina teases Mark that John and Brenda’s study could make him famous for being innovative. He admits that he’s having trouble in other areas of his life, like with Rachel. Nina can’t believe “Super Doc” is having problem keeping his commitments. Weaver needs the room where Andrea’s still holding Joel, but Carol stands up to her, wanting Andrea to take her time. Weaver tells her she’ll have to stop thinking like a nurse once she becomes a med student. Carol says she’s not a med student yet.

Anspaugh and Dale come to the ER for a patient Doyle and Carter are working on, and Doyle decides to do what Carter don’t. She urges Dale to tell Anspaugh anything he hasn’t mentioned yet about Gunderson. Dale just says he’s called Gunderson’s mother, which makes him look like a better doctor for worrying about Gunderson’s emotional care. Doyle gives him another chance to ‘fess up, but Dale keeps quiet. After he and Anspaugh are gone, Doyle slams Carter for also keeping quiet.

Later in the day, Carter encounters Dale in the lounge and calls him a liar. Actually, he calls him a “liar, liar, pants on fire,” because Carter is less mature than Rachel right now. Dale tells him to go to Hell, so I guess he’s not that mature, either. He thinks his “adjustment” to Gunderson’s chart wasn’t a big deal. Carter threatens to tell Anspaugh, which could hurt Dale’s career. Dale promises to help Carter out in exchange for silence, but Carter isn’t about to take any favors from him. He warns that if Dale ever pulls a stunt like this again, Carter will bury him.

Mark solves his Brownie problem by inviting Rachel’s troop to the hospital for a tour. Nina thinks this was a very creative solution. Mark asks her out, though it’s more of a group outing than a date; they’ll be bringing their daughters along. Andrea’s done holding Joel, and she’s very grateful to Carol for giving her this extra time. They pray over the baby’s body together.

Doyle admits to Carter that she can’t really judge his actions since she doesn’t understand the surgery game. He admits back that he might be full of crap. She encourages him to talk to Benton, since Carter trusts his judgment. She reveals a secret stash of beer in the lounge fridge, which is all Carter needs to put together the feelings he’s been developing for her and start to ask her out. “Not a chance,” Doyle says. (I guess Carter thinks she’s bi, or else he’s forgotten that the ex they ran into at the shooting range was a woman.)

Jerry’s annoyed with Jeanie for wrecking one of his traps. Jeanie tells him to take it out of his reward. But there may not be any reward – Wendy has accidentally squashed Heidi. Jeanie determines that the mouse is still breathing, and when she learns that there are thousands of dollars at stake, she decides it’s worth it to do a little work. She orders Jerry to being “mouth-to-mouse resuscitation.” (HA!)

Jeanie reveals that she once worked in a vet’s office. Once she gets a promise from Jerry that he’ll split the reward with her, she works with Wendy to revive Heidi. Once the mouse is okay, Jeanie heads off to get her reward – which she’ll be sharing with Wendy, not Jerry. She offers him 10% for being in the room while the women did all the work.

It’s nurses’ night at some restaurant, but Carol doesn’t get invited along. She’s annoyed that she spent the whole day being treated like a beginner. She’s good at her job – why does she want to change that? Mark and Nina take their girls bowling, and she clearly wishes the two of them were alone. They kiss, and Rachel doesn’t look too happy about her dad’s blossoming relationship.

Carla invites Benton to hang around after he’s made her dinner. She gets all juvenile and whiny when he says he has to go home and do some things for work. He said he’d be a part of the baby’s life and her pregnancy, but now he’s busy. As they fight, Carter shows up to give Benton some files and talk about Dale. Benton just brushes him off. Carol goes to nurses’ nights and tells her co-workers she’s going to stick to her current job. Everyone’s happy.

Thoughts: John is played by Harry Shearer. Brenda is played by Julie Hagerty.

Interestingly, Carla’s now fine with needles.

Mark gets the credit for creative problem-solving, but Haleh deserves some, too.

Weaver tells Carol to hold her breath while doing the intubation – if she runs out of air, she’s taking too long. If that were me, I’d focus too much on holding my breath and get distracted, or I’d rush before I passed out. Yet another reason I’m not a doctor.

March 19, 2019

ER 3.14, Whose Appy Now?: DNR? NBD

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

Heh

Summary: Mark starts out his day in the shower with Heather, so that date must have gone well. Nick the dog joins them, simply to remind us that he still exists. While kicking him out of the shower, Mark gets a call from a woman named Polly, whom he’s having dinner with that night. Someone’s playing the field! He tells Heather he has a staff meeting that night, so he can’t go out with her, but she gets him to change his mind.

Carter is stuck in limbo, unable to move on to his rotation with Hicks until Benton submits his evaluation. Malik accidentally injured Doug in a basketball game, and when Doug shows up to work with a cane, Weaver thinks she’s making fun of him. They immediately get to work on a boy who stopped breathing after choking on a little rubber ball. Doug uses a syringe to move the ball up into the boy’s mouth so Weaver can remove it without having to cut an airway in his throat.

Jackie goes by Benton’s place, where he’s been brooding since he heard that Carla’s pregnant. Jackie has heard the news, or at least guessed it for herself, and knows Benton’s the baby’s father. She calls him an idiot, then urges him to step up and be a father. He promises he’ll handle it. He goes to get ready for work, though he’s having pain in his abdomen.

Mark now has two dates tonight and can’t decide who he’d rather be with. Doug thinks Heather makes more sense since she has Bulls tickets. Mark decides to reschedule with Polly, though Doug thinks he’s taking a big risk dating two women at once. With Carol out on suspension, Haleh’s filling in as nurse manager, and realizing how hard the job is. The staff learns that a bunch of patients have come down with staph infections, so Greg wants to test everyone to see if one of the employees is spreading it.

Carter asks Benton for his evaluation, forcing him to sign it right that second instead of putting it off. Benton evaluates him as doing a satisfactory job. Then we’re back to Carter and Doyle competing, which was boring the first time around and hasn’t gotten any more interesting. Haleh tells them to work together, which appears to be a foreign concept. Each wants to put a chest tube in their new patient, but since she needs two, Weaver says they can both do one.

Benton’s in a lot of pain, so he leaves Weaver in charge of the two children. Greg tries to enlist Jeanie to help him find the staph spreader, but Jeanie isn’t interested in spending any more time with him than she has to. A teenager named Jad (…Jad? I don’t know) comes in with breathing problems due to cystic fibrosis. His girlfriend, Katie, tells Doug and Weaver that she thinks he has a DNR (which Jad confirms). They’re from out of state, so someone will have to call Jad’s doctor back home to find out for sure.

Mark and Haleh try to talk to a patient named Mr. Papion, but he’s too busy pacing and counting to three to give them any information. Nina the psychiatrist arrives and says she knows him as a regular visitor to the hospital. She gets him to stop his rituals by having him snap a rubber band around his wrist. Mark wonders if that kind of behavioral therapy will work on Rachel, as she’s started sucking her thumb again since Mark and Jen’s divorce. Nina jokes that she used electroshock therapy on her daughter when she started wetting the bed after Nina’s divorce.

Lydia learns that Jad’s doctor is a pediatrician, which goes against Katie’s claim that he’s 19. When she reluctantly admits that he’s 17, Doug suddenly has the right to give Jad whatever treatment he wants, such as the intubation he’s been fighting. Mark plays sick to postpone his date with Polly, but now there’s a third woman showing interest in him: Nina. He replaces his postponed date with Polly with a new date with Nina.

Doug asks Katie why she and Jad are really in Chicago. She says they stole his mother’s car and were on their way to Mexico so Jad could live out the last few months of his life on the beach. Jad’s mother, Norma, arrives and tells Doug that Jad doesn’t have a DNR. He’s ready to be extubated, but if he stops breathing, Norma wants Doug to intubate him again.

Jeanie has joined Greg’s investigation, because I guess she just couldn’t resist his charms. An IV drug user with multiple gunshot wounds is brought in, and a paramedic reports that he may have AIDS. Hicks oversees as Carter and Doyle finally work together instead of bickering. In fact, Doyle saves Carter a lot of trouble when she sees that his finger is near a bullet and warns that it’s sharp and could cut him, which would put him at risk for contracting AIDS. Carter thanks her by letting her do the fun part of the case.

While the nurses miss Carol and her organizational skills, Hicks compliments Carter and Doyle’s newfound teamwork abilities. They have to keep their hands in the patient while he’s moved upstairs for surgery. I think this is the equivalent of two sitcom characters accidentally getting handcuffed together. Weaver catches Benton giving himself an ultrasound and guesses that he has appendicitis. A quick exam approves this, and Benton is sent to the OR, not as a doctor but as a patient.

Chuny and Wendy discuss Mark in a mix of Spanish and English. Chuny’s fine with him dating around, since their relationship was just a fling. Apparently he’s really good in bed. Chuny, never discuss that again, I beg you. Mark tells Doug that he’s back to two dates tonight, after trying so hard to get himself down to one. Weaver has spoken to Jad, who asked to speak to a different doctor since Doug doesn’t want to consider his feelings. He thinks Jad is a mixed-up teen runaway who doesn’t get what signing a DNR really means. Weaver thinks Doug has a bigger problem with the situation than he should.

Hicks promises Benton that she’ll be in the OR during his appendectomy. Scrub nurse Shirley is amused that she gets to prep one of her colleagues for surgery. Greg and Jeanie can’t find a connection between the staff members and the staph sufferers (…sometimes I make my own fun), but he realizes that the patients’ charts all have the same handwriting. Jerry appears to be the culprit.

Hicks lets Doyle scrub in on the gunshot patient’s surgery, so she and Carter get ready together. He’s impressed that she recognized the bullet and kept him from touching it. Hicks informs them that plans have changed, and they’ll now be performing an appendectomy. Carter’s disappointed to be moved to something so boring, until he learns that the patient is someone he’s most likely been eager to cut open for years.

With only about three months left to live, Jad really doesn’t want to spend his last days in the hospital. Doug doesn’t care that he’s turning 18 in three weeks – he doesn’t get to decide what happens to him while he’s still a minor. Doug reminds him that Norma is trying to keep him alive because she’s afraid of losing him. Jad points out that he’s going to die either way. He’d like Doug to talk to her about letting go of her son.

Carol comes by to pick up a paycheck she’s going to spend on candles at Pottery Barn. Wasn’t she having money problems just a few episodes ago? Haleh continues to suck at math, leading to an overabundance of medical supplies that apparently can’t be stored anywhere but the ER. Greg and Jeanie oversee Jerry’s hand-washing technique, horrified that he doesn’t always wash his hands after using the bathroom.

Just before he’s put under, Benton learns that Carter will be his surgeon. I guess someone should have given someone else a better evaluation. Doug talks to Norma about Jad’s DNR, now willing to give Jad input on his own treatment. He at least thinks Norma and Jad shouldn’t spend Jad’s last few months alive fighting with each other.

Jerry’s about to page Nina for one of Mark’s patients when Polly shows up with elderberry extract to treat Mark’s supposed illness. Carter has Shirley put on “Ride of the Valkyries” as he prepares to start Benton’s surgery. The surgeons take pictures with him while he’s unconscious. Then Carter turns serious and gets to work.

Mark leaves Polly in the lounge while he takes Nina to his patient. Then he has to leave Nina to go to the front desk, where Heather has come by with their basketball tickets. She wants to chat, so Mark stashes her out of the way while he tries to keep her, Polly, and Nina from seeing each other. But Polly and Nina ruin things, revealing that they know each other, and that they both had plans with Mark for that night. Heather joins the group, and Mark’s completely busted.

Norma has signed the DNR for Jad, so when he has trouble breathing, Doug keeps him from being intubated. Benton’s surgical team dances and sings to their background music as they finish up the operation. Carter shows off his skills to Doyle, who…let’s just say she’s not as impressed as he wants her to be. But he hasn’t found out why yet.

Greg thinks he and Jeanie make a good team and should try going on a date again. Jeanie shuts him down, asking to keep things professional. Jad’s in respiratory failure, and when he stops breathing, it looks like that will be it for him. But Norma begs Doug to violate the DNR and intubate her son. Despite not being able to breathe, Jad is still conscious, and he gives Doug a pleading look. Doug ignores it and intubates him.

Jeanie stitches up a patient who remembers her from a stay in the hospital about a year earlier. He has AIDS and thought he was going to die last year, but the cocktail now being given to many HIV/AIDS patients has worked for him. He feels like a death-row prisoner who got pardoned by the governor.

Benton wakes up in recovery, imagining Hicks, Weaver, and Carter all announcing that they’re pregnant. In reality, Carter tells him he’s fine, and he even kept the appendix for him. Benton, still feeling the effects of the anesthesia, mumbles that he screwed up and never gave the kid a chance. Carter offers to call Carla, since Benton was talking about her. He teases that Benton also said he regrets treating Carter badly and wants to make it up to him. Benton doesn’t buy that, but he does laugh.

Mark apologizes to Nina for the whole triple-date thing, but she’s not interested in smoothing things over. She gives him a rubber band and tells him to snap it whenever he gets the urge to date three women at once. Now that she has hope that her future isn’t set in stone, Jeanie tells Greg she’ll go out with him again after all.

On his way upstairs to be admitted, Jad gives Doug the finger, which…fair. Chuny teases Mark for getting busted by his three dates, and since he still has dinner reservations with one of the women, he invites Chuny to join him. Carter tries to jump on the dating bandwagon and invites Doyle to hang out, but she already has plans. She tells him he can tag along if he wants.

Haleh screwed up with the nurses’ timecards, so they don’t get their paychecks. For some reason, they don’t stage a coup and have her replaced with someone else. Doyle takes Carter to a shooting range, which they’re enjoying until she spots her ex. Carter’s surprised that the ex is a woman, which explains why Doyle is able to resist Carter’s charms. He accidentally shoots an exit sign instead of his paper target.

Chuny turned Mark down, so he ends up taking Doug to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Really, this is the longest, most stable relationship either of them has had with anyone, so it makes sense. Jeanie and Greg’s second date goes much better than their first, though she tries to back out of getting coffee. She admits that she’s afraid of liking him too much. He kisses her, which makes her emotional, since no one’s kissed her in a long time. She asks if he’s afraid, and instead of answering, he kisses her again.

Thoughts: Lots of recognizable guest stars in this episode, three of them from X-Files episodes:

Seriously, though, Jad? Who’s named Jad?

Mark and Nina should have been a thing. Then we wouldn’t have had to put up with Cynthia in season 4.

December 18, 2018

ER 3.1, Dr. Carter, I Presume: Who Wouldn’t Want This Inexperienced Doof in Charge of Their Medical Care?

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

A nice, angst-free moment

Summary: Carter arrives for his first day as an intern at 5:45 a.m. on July 4th. Basically the only thing that’s changed is that now he has a locker and a white coat. He’s in for a ton of hard work, but Susan thinks he’s up for it. He meets his fellow interns, who include Dale and Dennis Gant. The group then meets their supervisor, Dr. Melvoin, who tells them all the places they have to be and when. They won’t be sleeping much this year, and they have no idea what they’re in for. Also, Benton is their boss, and they’ll never be able to please him. So…things are going to go great!

A little over an hour later, Benton arrives for work, running into Jeanie. She reveals that she tested positive for HIV. Benton hasn’t gotten his results back yet, but they’re due back today. Jeanie lets him know that she’s going to tell Mark her news. Benton doesn’t know what to say. Doug and Mark play handball in a park and talk about how Mark has been going on dates. So apparently things with Iris didn’t work out.

Benton quizzes his interns on some stuff, settling on Dale as the most competent of the group. He barely acknowledges Carter’s existence, only paying attention to him to assign him to the ER for the day. Chuny tells Lydia she heard a rumor that County is closing down because of budget cuts. Carol, who is inexplicably back after quitting in the last episode, is worried that she’ll lose her income.

Susan interprets Carter’s assignment to the ER as a sign that Benton trusts him. Lydia isn’t so sure that Carter should be responsible for surgical assessments. Mark and Weaver discuss administrative stuff, which she’s more than eager to revamp. She has a new method for keeping track of patients’ conditions while protecting their confidentiality. Carol hopes she’s kidding.

Carter’s first patient as a real doctor is an annoyed woman with abdominal pain. He doesn’t see the need to give her a close exam, since she’s had abdominal surgery before and most likely just has adhesions. Benton stops by and chastises Carter for taking so long and letting more patients pile up. Carter says that his patient needs surgery, so it’s not like he was slacking off. Behind his back, Lydia shakes her head. Benton makes him do the rectal exam he was trying to get out of doing.

Carter complains loudly about the new board, and of course Weaver overhears. He goes to a trauma room to do a procedure on a patient, getting eyerolls from Susan and Mark when he calls a nurse “nurse” instead of using her name. He has trouble with the procedure, accidentally nicking the patient’s lung. Benton takes over, so Carter sulks out of the room. 12 hours into Carter’s first shift, Susan looks over travel brochures for tropical, exotic locations. Everyone’s having trouble with Weaver’s new board procedures except Benton, who simply read and memorized Weaver’s notes.

As he gets a message that his test results are in, Jeanie goes to County’s HIV-AIDS clinic to get started on her treatment. She chats with a man in the crowded waiting room who advises her to get treatment someplace where no one knows her. He was a surgical tech at a different hospital, and when management found out he was sick, he was given awful assignments. It’s not legal for an HIV-positive worker to be fired for his or her status, but management can make their lives miserable however they want.

Benton’s test was negative, though it’s hard to tell because he doesn’t make any facial expressions when he gets the news. It’s only clear he’s okay when Carter asks if he is, and Benton says yes. Everyone’s excited for a staff July 4th party that afternoon; Mark tells Doug that they’re playing softball against some paramedics. A nurse calls out, and Carol begs for someone to fill in since she’s supposed to play in the game. Haleh teases that she can always quit again. Lily offers to stay a little late if Carol comes back early. Carter asks her to bring him back a bunch of food.

Melvoin warns Carter that he’s in for a lot of victims of violence tonight. Carter realizes that he’s covering both the surgical floor and the ER on his own. That seems like a great idea for a guy who became a doctor just weeks ago. Benton goes to a barbeque at Jackie and Walt’s house, happy to be healthy. Jackie thinks he’s less interested in spending time with family than he is in hanging out with an old friend of his, Carla Reese. And by “old friend” I mean “woman he used to hook up with.” She’s still interested in him.

Weaver asks Jeanie if she ever got tested for HIV after Al tested positive. Jeanie lies that she’s negative. Jerry pitches for County at the game, but no one’s happy with his performance. County’s losing 17 to 3. Carol spots Shep, who’s moved out in the wake of their breakup, and has seemingly already found a new girlfriend. The players pause for some fireworks, wondering who’s in charge at the hospital.

That would be Weaver, who’s overseeing a trauma with Carter. He finally gets some sleep, but Haleh wakes up at 3:05 a.m. to ask if she can give a patient some Tylenol. Moments later, she asks about feeding a patient. This appears to be a game the nurses play with doctors who need to be knocked down a few pegs. Connie continues the game by paging Carter to the ER, then having everyone pretend they weren’t responsible for the page. Weaver tells him to apologize immediately for whatever he might have done to earn the nurses’ wrath.

Carter’s brand-new coat gets bloody, so he ditches it to go help Weaver and Carol with a patient named Jim. He’s an alcoholic who makes frequent appearances in the ER. Malik tries to get Carter to go somewhere, and Carter gets annoyed with him and snaps at him. Jim gets revenge on Malik’s behalf by throwing up all over Carter.

Carter then has to run to the surgical floor and try to figure out how to treat a post-op patient who’s doing poorly. His two options for treatment are both risky if Carter’s wrong about the patient’s problem. Carter wakes up the attending, Dr. Karubian, who remains in shadows in a dark room as he gives Carter orders and tells him to go away and shut up.

Weaver pages Carter back to the ER, which is quickly filling up. Carol asks him if he wants dopamine for a patient. “I don’t know! Somebody call the doctor!” Carter yells. Carol reminds him that he’s the doctor. Just as things start calming down, Gant shows up, wanting to lend Carter a hand. They’re stitching up a patient when Carter hits the 24-hour mark on his shift. They head off for another breakfast and humiliation session with Benton.

Benton is just arriving, and tells Jeanie that he tested negative. She asks if he’s told anyone about her status. She’s decided not to tell anyone. Benton isn’t sure he can keep this a secret, even if it means that Jeanie’s personal life would be out there for everyone to know about. Weaver dumps more administrative stuff on Mark, who decides he’s done trying to deal with her nightmare board. He tells everyone they’re going back to the old way of doing things.

Randi gives Doug a bunch of messages from someone named Gretchen who keeps calling for him. Mark, Susan, and Carol tease him, asking what kind of bimbo he’s going to bed with now. He surprises them by saying that Gretchen is in mergers and acquisitions at a bank and is a Rhodes Scholar. Haleh and Connie tell Lydia that they’ve tamed Carter, who tries to make up with the nurses by bringing them donuts.

Gretchen comes to see Doug, and he tries to keep her away from his friends so they won’t find out that she’s not who he said she is. It’s too late, though; they already figured he wouldn’t date a Rhodes Scholar. Seconds after they make dinner plans, he calls and leaves her a message canceling.

At 7:55 p.m. on July 5th, Carter is probably starting to feel like he should just live at the hospital. He and Mark are enjoying some sparklers when Carter gets paged to the ER yet again. Mark offers to take the patient so Carter can take a little break. He has two hours left in his monster shift, and Mark knows he’ll survive it.

Thoughts: Gant is played by Omar Epps. Dr. Karubian (well, his voice) is played by David Schwimmer.

Welcome to the season of the Doug/Carol reunion slow burn. Be patient – it’s worth the wait.

It looks like County’s softball team is called the Scrubs. Heh.

August 7, 2018

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

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

Hulda seems more fun than Linda anyway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 3, 2018

ER 1.24, Motherhood: Cue “The Circle of Life”

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

Welcome to the madhouse, Susie

Summary: Susan’s asleep, so drink! Chloe wakes her up to announce that she’s going into labor. Well, really, she’s been in labor for a while; her contractions are now just two minutes apart. Susan quickly gathers her things including a giant boombox, and they rush to County. Susan hands her sister off to Carter, who isn’t very helpful with the Lamaze breathing. By the time Susan has put on a gown to help out with the delivery, the baby is already crowning.

Susan and Nurse Chuny Marquez deliver while Carter tries to find the right cassette to play. He fails, so Susan and Chloe provide their own soundtrack, singing the Beatles’ “Blackbird.” Mothers everywhere curse Chloe for having such a fast, easy delivery. Everyone else watching rolls their eyes, because the baby is gigantic and at least three months old.

Susan shows the baby off to Carol, still stunned that she delivered her own niece (and on Mother’s Day). Carol hopes to start trying for a baby soon after she gets married, though right now she’s just trying to get through all the preparations. Tag’s family is in town and driving her crazy. As they run up to the roof to meet a helicopter, Mark tells Carter that he’s been picked for the ER sub-internship he applied for. Carter hasn’t heard back about the surgical sub-internship yet, and needs to accept or decline the ER one by the end of the day.

Doug arrives at work and tells Rolando that there’s a horse in his parking spot. Rolando isn’t sure if that necessitates a call to security. Susan and Carol tend to a man named Josh who fell unconscious after mixing ammonia and bleach to clean his kitchen. In the trauma room next door, Mark, Carter, and Benton tend to a teenager named James who was impaled on rebar. Hicks comes by to help, so Mark goes over to check on Susan and Carol, who have things under control.

A scout mother named Dolores brings in some sick kids she’s diagnosed with giardia from contaminated water. Doug gets puked on. Mark checks out a girl named Joanie who appears to have the flu, but he wants to do a spinal tap to make sure she doesn’t have meningitis. Benton operates on James, actually letting Carter do some stuff for once. Benton even seems to be in a good mood, at least until things start going south for James.

Diane comes by to invite Doug along while she and Jake go house hunting. She tells him that, depending on how things go, Doug may one day get an invitation to live with them. Cue Doug’s internal screaming. Benton sends Carter off to do some charts and labs, allowing him to scrub in on another operation later if he does all the work. Then Benton has to tell James’ mother that he didn’t survive surgery. Happy Mother’s Day, James’ mom!

Carol fights with Tag over the phone, disagreeing with his insistence on having dinner with his mother three nights in a row. When she hangs up, she tells Mark and Susan that their wedding caterer canceled and the bridesmaids’ dresses are late. Mark summons Carter into the lounge to ask if he’s made a decision about the ER sub-internship. Carter turns it down, thinking he’ll get the surgical one. Mark says that people look down on medical doctors while surgeons get all the praise. But he thinks Carter will excel in any specialty.

Susan and Chloe’s mother, Cookie, comes to see her new granddaughter. She is…not very maternal. Chloe and baby Susie are supposed to move in with Chloe’s parents when they get out of the hospital, but Cookie was under the impression that they’d have more time to get ready. She starts badmouthing the baby’s father, which Susan decides is her cue to leave.

A girl named Kaitlin was playing in a mother-daughter softball tournament when she was stung by bees. Her mother, Mrs. Sandburg, thinks Kaitlin’s allergic, since she herself is allergic. Doug decides not to have a lengthy discussion with her about genetics. Carter stitches up a woman who passed out after drinking too much at a Mother’s Day brunch. Joanie doesn’t have meningitis, but Mark is concerned that her heart murmur might be worsening because of an infection.

Linda invites Doug to have drinks with her and her mother, or, when he turns down that offer, meet up with her afterward. She’s impressed when he resists the temptation to cheat on Diane. Benton, Susan, and Connie receive a patient who may have had a heart attack. Carter’s allowed to intubate the man, but Susan has to lend a hand. Cookie pops in to talk to her daughter, who’s a little busy. The trauma is soon over when the doctors find out what’s obstructing the patient’s airway: his dentures.

Carter’s next patient is supposed to be a very old woman named Ada who cut her arm. Unfortunately, she’s no longer conscious, and possible not even still alive. While various people run around in the background to tend to Ada, Cookie tells Susan that Chloe and the baby can’t come home with her. Susan will have to help her make other plans. Susan’s upset that her parents have changed their minds after promising to help. Cookie finally admits that she doesn’t want to take care of another child after parenting her own.

Carol and Susan take a break together, lounging in beach chairs on the hospital roof. They decide that while Tag honeymoons in Paris, Susan and Carol will go to Hawaii. They’ll leave Chloe and the baby with Tag’s family. Susan might even stay in Hawaii forever. Their fantasies end when Susan gets paged back to the ER, where Chloe’s giving the baby a little tour. Doug finds her and tells her she should wait a while before taking the baby around lots of people.

A man bursts into the ER with a woman named Nina who overdosed on drugs. Chloe is drawn to the sight, most likely remembering her own struggles with drugs. She asks Connie to take the baby back to the nursery. Joanie needs a valve replacement, and Mark tries to reassure her mother, Mrs. Lafferty, that it’s a routine procedure and nothing to worry about.

Carol and Susan return to work, still wearing their sunglasses from the roof. Susan finds Chloe crying on a staircase, overwhelmed by all the bad things she’ll have to protect her daughter from. After all, their parents couldn’t keep Chloe from getting into trouble. Chloe thinks she’ll feel better when she finally gets home. Susan decides not to tell her that she won’t be going to their parents’ house.

As Hicks tells Benton that a decision has been made about something – a decision Benton doesn’t agree with – two female gangbangers come in, one with a gunshot wound to the head and one with stab wounds. Rosario, the stabbing victim, insists that she’s fine and demands that the doctors let the other woman, Angelina, die. She probably will, as she’s so badly injured that Mark wants to see if she’s an organ donor. Just then, a third woman storms in and screams at Rosario for cutting off her ear. Malik has to tackle her and drag her out.

Jerry comes in to tell Benton that Mae’s nursing home is on the phone with an urgent call. Carter takes a moment to worry about him. Hicks then tells him that he hasn’t received the sub-internship. Once their traumas are done, Doug teases Susan, calling her Big Susie (since the baby is now Little Susie). He also praises Malik for his tackling skills. Malik tells Mark that the woman brought Rosario’s ear with her. Fun!

Benton races to Mae’s facility and learns that her heart stopped that afternoon. Using language similar to what Benton used when he told James’ mother about James’ death, the doctor tells Benton that Mae has died. Jackie and her children are also there, and Benton finds his sister sitting in their mother’s room, where her body is still in her bed. After a hug, Jackie leaves Benton alone to have some private final moments with Mae.

Mark and Doug are both at work late (Mark’s waiting for Jen to come in from Milwaukee), so they play some basketball. Doug is uncertain about moving in with Diane, and asks if Mark knew when the time was right to make that decision with Jen. He figures that if he’s not sure, he’s not ready. Mark asks if Doug’s lack of readiness has anything to do with Carol’s upcoming wedding. He shoots a basket, saying that if he makes it, Doug’s ready, and if he doesn’t, Doug isn’t. We don’t get to see what happens.

Susan gives Susie her first astronomy lesson, pointing out some constellations. Carter comes by to meet the baby and get some feedback on his decision to turn down the ER sub-internship. Susan says it’s too late, since Mark has already offered it to someone else. Jen arrives at the hospital just as Joanie’s condition deteriorates. Poor Jen has to wait while her husband saves a little girl’s life. How sad for Jen! Her life is so hard!

Diane goes by Doug’s house and sees him with Linda. He insists that nothing happened, then says that he’s just having a bad reaction to her suggestion that they move in together. He tells her this won’t happen again, but Diane thinks it will. Joanie has stabilized enough for surgery, and the surgeon is just as reassuring as Mark was. Carol and Jen eat pizza and compare pre-wedding disasters. Jen claims that Mark wanted a big wedding but she didn’t. When Mark finally joins them, Jen pretends to be understanding about the delay, but we all know she’s mad.

Jeanie comes to the nursing home, where Benton is still finishing up making arrangements for Mae’s body. He notes that he’s used the language Mae’s doctor did many times, about how they did everything they could to save Mae, but he’s never had to hear it himself. He thought he would be better prepared. Jeanie takes his hand as he gets emotional over his inability to fix his mother. Then the hand-holding turns to kissing. Back at County, as Benton mourns a death, Susan celebrates a birth, singing “Blackbird” to her new niece.

Thoughts: This episode was directed by Quentin Tarantino. Yeah, you read that right. Dolores is played by Kathy Griffin, so I’ve officially hit my yearly limit of having to watch her in things.

Want to feel old? Little Susie would now be 23.

I wonder why they killed Mae off so quickly. Did they realize that her story was too much of a burden on Benton? It was the inevitable ending for the plot, but it came on so fast.

Next page