April 13, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 6, 2021

ER 8.9, Quo Vadis?: It’s a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World

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

I need you two to stop

Summary: Jackie has just dropped Reese off at County’s daycare after keeping him at her house for the night. Benton comes by to see his son, but he only gets to spend a minute with Reese before Shirley summons him to the ICU. Benton’s supposed to be off in five minutes, as if Romano cares. Then he gets paged to the ER. As they leave the daycare room, Jackie reminds Benton that Carla once said she wanted him to spend Father’s Day with Reese. He needs to tell the judge that at the custody hearing that morning.

Susan sent Millicent lilies, but she’s made a bad impression yet again, since Millicent is allergic to them. Carter notes that lilies are also for funerals, so that’s another mistake. Millicent is recovering from her broken hip and is more worried about Jill than herself (fortunately, Jill is also recovering, and Millicent gave her some money to head off a lawsuit). Benton comes to the ER, wondering why Elizabeth can’t do whatever it is he’s supposed to be there to do. Mark expositions that she’s been cleared to perform surgery again after all those patient deaths. Frank is skeptical that she didn’t do anything wrong.

Benton joins Luka and Gallant to try to save a woman who was shot. Elizabeth comes in to relieve Benton, who has to rush off to court. The patient is brain-dead, and Elizabeth tells her husband, Mr. Pruitt, that there’s nothing they can do for her. She mentions that Mrs. Pruitt has an organ-donor card. Mr. Pruitt says he guesses that’s what she wants.

Mark calls Elizabeth in to help him with a teenager named Rudy who was injured during a boxing match. They chat while working, and Mark asks Elizabeth to help Rachel with her math homework after work. (It’s that or the Revolutionary War, and it makes sense that Elizabeth, a Brit, would want to opt out of that subject.) Luka bugs Weaver about getting Nicole rehired, even though she was busted for stealing. Weaver reminds him that County has a zero-tolerance policy about theft. Plus, Luka didn’t screen her better before helping her get hired. Uh, I think that’s HR’s fault, but okay.

After spending a moment with Carter, doing their weird version of flirting, Susan joins Gallant to tend to a teen named Jorge. He’s Rudy’s brother, as well as Rudy’s boxing opponent. Their father, Mr. Escalona, lets Jorge know that Rudy will be okay. Jorge gets very stoic when his father comes in, sending up a red flag to Susan and Gallant that something strange is going on here.

Benton meets up with his lawyer, Ms. Prager, before the hearing, and she tells him to be as stoic as Jorge when people are testifying. Their judge, Alter, tends to favor the mother in custody cases, though that won’t be an issue here. Ms. Prager thinks Benton’s tie is showy, so her assistant gives Benton his own tie. Ms. Prager tells Benton not to get too emotional during his own testimony. Benton criticizes his new tie as the whitest one he’s ever seen. The assistant is like, “…It’s blue.” Ha, and also, that guy’s not white, but okay.

Carter and Abby tend to a woman who keeps having an allergic reaction for unknown reasons. (I don’t know her name, so I’ll call her Allegra.) She and her husband are in Chicago on their honeymoon. Abby and Chuny spot Nicole entering the ER, most likely to meet with HR and get officially fired. Abby suggests that Allegra has a latex allergy, but she hasn’t had any contact with latex recently. She and her new husband stopped using condoms when they got married. Meanwhile, Susan tells Jorge that Rudy’s unconscious but his vitals are good.

In court, Roger’s lawyer, Wharton, guides him through testimony about his closeness with Reese and his ability to maintain a flexible schedule. Unlike Peter, Roger has never needed or wanted to pass him off to someone else for childcare. Because…not having a flexible schedule makes you a bad parent who doesn’t want to spend time with his child? Having to rely on help makes Benton less of a father? Ugh. Roger also testifies that Reese has said Roger’s place is his home.

Elizabeth talks to Mr. Pruitt about donating Mrs. Pruitt’s organs, but he hasn’t quite accepted that they have to harvest the organs while her heart is still beating. He doesn’t get that brain death means death death, no matter which organs are still working. Elizabeth gives him some more time to sit with his wife and figure out what to do.

Abby mentions to Luka that she saw Nicole and is sure she’ll find another job. Luka says she might want to stop working now that she’s pregnant. Abby is surprised that Nicole wants to keep the baby. She’s even more surprised that Luka wants to help her raise the baby. She asks if Nicole actually took a pregnancy test, and if Luka saw the results. Luka gets defensive, which is fair, but also, Luka, you’re so dumb.

Mr. E. regrets letting Rudy get in the ring with Jorge, since some weak arteries in his head mean he could possibly hemorrhage. Mark tells Mr. E. that it’s actually a preexisting condition, and it’s fixable. Gallant thinks Jorge blames himself for his brother’s condition. Carter asks Susan and Abby if they’ve ever heard of someone being allergic to semen. He thinks that’s what’s going on with Allegra. A boy named Sean comes in with his foot stuck in a toilet. Well, that’s a new one. Sandy accompanies him in the ambulance and reunites with Weaver. Nicole’s back in the ER, and Abby manages to be nice to her for once, offering her some coffee.

Back in court, Cleo testifies that Benton is a wonderful father to Reese. Wharton asks about her relationship with Benton, which hasn’t been stable. In fact, they broke up a while ago and just got back together recently. What if Cleo and Benton break up again in the coming weeks, months, or years? I don’t know, Wharton – what if Benton dies, like Carla did? What if Roger dies? What if a giant asteroid hits Earth and we all die, except Reese? What then?? Have you thought about that??

Wharton asks about the incident where Reese got hurt while Cleo was watching him. He chastises Benton for letting Cleo take care of Reese when he was supposed to be in Benton’s care. Freaking A, are people not allowed to use babysitters in this guy’s world? Also, Benton’s lawyer sucks, because she’s not doing enough to object or mentioning that Wharton keeps interrupting Cleo when she tries to respond to his questions.

Abby gives Nicole regular coffee, probably trying to trick her into drinking caffeine to show she’s not really pregnant or doesn’t care about the baby. It doesn’t work. Abby offers to give Nicole an ultrasound, since she hasn’t had a prenatal exam yet or even confirmed that she’s really pregnant. She tells Nicole this isn’t the way to “get” Luka.

Abby has questions about Nicole’s father; at one point she said her father killed himself, but then she said he kicked her out when she was a teenager. Nicole clarifies that the father who kicked her out was really her stepfather. “I guess you have an answer for everything,” Abby remarks. “I guess everything is your business,” Nicole replies. Ooh, point to Nicole. Abby says she just doesn’t want Luka to get hurt. Nicole says she wants him to be happy. Abby tells her that a made-up life won’t accomplish that. If this is all real, great. If not, Luka’s smart enough to figure it out.

Weaver and Sandy chat a little about the night they met and how Sandy’s one of very few female firefighters in the city. Sandy says she’s like one of the guys. She hasn’t had her hand checked out, since she doesn’t like doctors. Oooh, Sandy, you’re about to like a doctor very soon. Rudy has stopped breathing, and Mark determines that the pressure in his brain has increased. As he’s trying to stabilize Rudy, Rachel calls to check in. Go away, Rachel. Mark and Gallant end up having to shock Rudy’s heart.

Luka thinks he has a solution to Elizabeth’s problem getting Mr. Pruitt to agree to donate his wife’s organs: Take her to the OR, turn off her ventilator, wait until her heart stops beating, and then get him to consent to the organ donation. After two minutes of cardiac arrest, they can remove her organs without any damage from lack of oxygen.

Elizabeth doesn’t see the point in rushing Mr. Pruitt. Luka tells her that this is the only circumstance under which Mr. Pruitt will agree to the organ harvesting. Elizabeth is annoyed that he gave Mr. Pruitt that option without consulting her. She’s the one who has to get consent, and she’s the one who has to do the actually harvesting.

Carter has a hypothesis he wants to test on Allegra and her husband. They just need an empty exam room (preferably one without a dead body in it). Mark and Gallant haven’t been able to revive Rudy, and Mark tells Mr. E. that they’re not going to be able to. He invites Mr. E. and Jorge to say goodbye before Rudy dies. Mr. E. praises his son for fighting hard and never giving up. Jorge gets distressed hearing Mr. E.’s goodbye message and yells at him to shut up.

Luka and Nicole take a walk by the water, and he tells her not to worry about working while she’s pregnant. Nicole doesn’t want to just lounge around and be a kept woman, even if it means Luka covers her rent. She has a friend who’s opening a café and needs help…but the café is in Montreal. She appreciates Luka’s generosity, but she’s ready to move on.

Luka asks to talk more after his shift, but Nicole says she’ll call him in a few days. He worries that she’s mad at him or thinks he’s mad at her. Nicole says that he talked himself into loving her, but this isn’t real. Luka tells her he made an OB appointment. Nicole says it’s not necessary – she’s not pregnant. She didn’t want to lose him, so she came up with a way to keep him around, but it was all a lie.

Susan and a patient hear some noises coming from an exam room, but Carter says they’re just from maintenance workers doing their job. Lies! The noises are Allegra and her husband banging. Carter tells Susan he’s “conducting a clinical trial.” She teases him for running a brothel. He argues that it’s not a brothel if they’re married. (Also, no money is changing hands. But still, I don’t think Weaver would care about the details if she found out what was going on.)

Mark gets Rudy’s labwork back and asks Mr. E. if he’s ever taken stimulants. Mr. E. says he’d never let Rudy take drugs. They found ephedra in his blood, and Jorge explains that it must have come from the power supplements Rudy was taking. Mark says the ephedra probably raised Rudy’s blood pressure and led to a blood vessel in his brain rupturing. Jorge tells Mr. E. that Rudy wanted to power up so he could make their father proud.

Mr. E. is upset that Jorge knew what Rudy was doing and didn’t stop him. Jorge notes that Mr. E. was always pushing Rudy, so he felt like he didn’t have a choice. Rudy was just a kid. Mr. E. says Rudy wanted to be a champ, but Jorge argues that that was what their father wanted. He’s done with boxing and letting Mr. E. press his children to excel. Mr. E. says Jorge was born with a gift, so Jorge ruins the gift by punching a wall and injuring his hand.

Jackie comes to the courthouse to give Benton some moral support. Benton tells her that Roger is making it sound like Benton calls him for help with Reese all the time, when he’s only asked for help a couple times. Jackie thinks they should bust Roger for perjury. She tells Roger to leave them alone and tell the truth. “Get your own family!” she yells.

Carter finds Susan in an exam room next to Allegra and her husband’s, and accuses her of listening to them have sex. Dude, if they’re loud enough to be heard in the ER, she didn’t need to get closer. Also, how long do they need to go at it for Carter’s hypothesis to be proven or disproven? I’m all for the scientific method, but this is overkill. Finally, the sex stops, and the two go check on the patient. Mark and Gallant walk by, and Mark asks what’s going on. Susan tells him to ask Carter. Gallant makes a face that says, “I know exactly what’s going on, and you two are very naughty.”

Mark and Gallant tell Jorge he’ll be in a cast for a few weeks. As Mark leaves to treat someone else, Gallant tries to assure Jorge that everyone has daddy issues. Jorge says it’s different for him, since Mr. E. is so old-school. He’s from Cuba and immigrated to the U.S. before his kids were born. He was a great boxer in Cuba, and when he tried to leave, his hands were broken. He pushed his kids to have what was taken from him. Gallant urges Jorge to talk to Mr. E. about his feelings on the situation.

Allegra and her husband weren’t able to…fully test Carter’s hypothesis. What, you mean they weren’t able to finish while in an exam room in a busy hospital where anyone could walk in at any time? Preposterous! Carter tells them to use condoms until they can test the hypothesis under medical supervision. Allegra wonders why she would suddenly develop an allergy to semen. Carter and Susan say it could be the result of having multiple sex partners. Allegra’s like, “Okay, yeah, that makes sense.” Her husband isn’t happy to hear that.

Paramedics bring in a 16-year-old who fell off a lamppost. A cop tells Mark and Carter that he and a girl were stealing street signs. Mark recognizes the patient as Andrew, then easily (and correctly) guesses that the girl is Rachel. The teens aren’t under arrest, but a cop wants to take Rachel to the police station to scare her a little. Mark approves. Meanwhile, Sandy returns to the hospital, having decided she wants a wound check after all.

Wharton questions Benton about his work hours and childcare arrangements. He notes that Jackie had trouble taking care of Reese right after Carla died, then brings up Jesse. Is Jackie stable enough to take care of a child when she’s still grieving the death of her own child? Is she taking psychiatric medication with side effects that could hamper her ability to take care of a child? Getting angry, Benton tells Wharton to start asking questions about his parenting abilities and how he’s taken care of Reese for years. There’s nothing more important to him than his son.

At the end of the day, Ms. Prager chastises Benton for blowing up on the stand. He doesn’t regret it, since he said what he had to say. The judge seems to be leaning toward Roger, so Ms. Prager tells Benton they need to do something to tip the scales toward him. Right now, his work hours are hurting him the most, so he needs to make some sacrifices to put Reese first.

The cop who busted Andrew and Rachel returns Rachel to the hospital after her little field trip of fear at the police station. Mark tells her that Andrew tested positive for marijuana, so he has some questions about whether Rachel has used pot, too. She’ll need to provide the answers in a cup. Rachel complains that Mark doesn’t trust her, as if she’s given him even one reason to trust her over the past five episodes.

Luka tells Abby that Nicole’s leaving town and there’s no baby. Abby very graciously doesn’t say, “I told you so.” Allegra’s back in the ER, having finished Carter’s research in a pickup truck. Looks like his hypothesis was right. Benton’s also back and being sent to the OR. Gallant talks to Mr. E. about arrangements for Rudy’s body, and Mr. E. expresses regret over his fight with Jorge. He doesn’t think Jorge understands his reasons for pushing his sons so much. Gallant says Jorge might surprise him. Mr. E. joins Jorge in the room where Rudy’s body is still lying, and the two hug each other and cry.

Elizabeth hands Mrs. Pruitt off to Benton; her husband finally consented to the organ harvest, but he still needs some hand-holding. Benton doesn’t want to hold anyone’s hand, and since Elizabeth has been dealing with Mr. Pruitt all day, he tells her to deal with it. Elizabeth says he just wants to talk to the surgeon who will be doing the harvesting. Benton sucks it up and acts human, learning that the Pruitts have a young daughter, and Mr. Pruitt will now be parenting her alone. Benton blankly tells him he’ll have to do the best he can. Wow, that was almost like compassion! Good job, Benton!

Weaver tends to Sandy’s hand and makes small talk about her co-workers. Then Weaver takes a huge leap and asks Sandy if she’d like to go out sometime. We don’t find out Sandy’s response, but she does confirms that Weaver has read her right as a fellow lady lover. Rachel tested negative for pot, and Mark tells her he had to test her because he has to make sure she’s safe – that’s more important than not making her angry. Rachel, a typical teen, doesn’t want to hear it.

Benton starts Mrs. Pruitt’s organ harvest, turning off her ventilator and waiting for her heart to stop. Carter and Susan chat about Allegra and her husband – apparently there’s a way for them to have a baby that involves washing the husband’s sperm and then doing artificial insemination. Susan thinks it’s weird that they had sex in a truck, but it’s not as weird as when she once had sex on a Ferris wheel. Carter asks for more tales of Susan’s strangest sexual encounters. Guys, just kiss already. Oh, hey, they listened to me! Ew, no, stop. It’s weird.

Mrs. Pruitt’s heart is still beating after almost an hour, and she’s breathing on her own, so Benton can’t harvest her organs yet. He tells Shirley they’ll have to keep waiting. I guess there’s a metaphor here for how Benton also has to be patient and can’t rush the custody fight. But also, he could be stuck there all night, which means he has to spend more time away from Reese. So much for making sacrifices.

Thoughts: Sean is played by future Two and a Half Men half man Angus T. Jones. IMDb says Keegan-Michael Key is also in this episode, but I didn’t see him. And chances are you’ve seen Tom Wright, who plays Wharton, in something, but Magicians fans will know him as Santa. (For those who aren’t familiar with The Magicians, yes, I mean Santa Claus.)

“Quo vadis?” means “where are you going?” Not sure why the show thought the Latin was necessary.

The Nicole plot is so pointless. The show was able to land Julie Delpy as a guest star and this is the crap they give her?

Ah, yes, teens stealing street signs. I live near an exit 69, and that sign had to be replaced quite a few times when I was younger because people kept taking it.

March 23, 2021

ER 8.7, If I Should Fall from Grace: Plenty of Goofuses, Just One Gallant

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

Never fear, Gallant is here!

Summary: Med student Michael Gallant is reporting to County for his first day of work, and we are all the better for it. He finds a child’s glove on the floor and tries to turn it in to a lost and found box, but the ER doesn’t have one, since, as Haleh explains, someone stole it. Gallant is supposed to meet Carter at 8:00 a.m., but he’s so excited for his first day that he’s early. (We’ll also find out later that he’s in the military, where, if you’re not early, you’re late.)

Susan speaks to a patient named Fred who says he hasn’t been feeling like himself lately. It all started when a woman bit him on the neck. Susan tells him it’s a hickey. Gallant meets Mark while Elizabeth yells at Luka about a patient she thinks will need surgery. Luka notes that she doesn’t usually come to the ER until a patient’s labs are back, so she doesn’t need to be bugging him right now. Elizabeth tells Mark that she thinks Luka is just pretending he doesn’t need a surgical consult because he doesn’t want Elizabeth to do it, thanks to all of her recent patient losses.

Frank is annoyed that there aren’t any donuts in the lounge. Abby tells him they’re out of petty cash, though he knows they had $50 yesterday. Susan mentions having a patient who thinks he’s a vampire, and Abby calls him Count Fred, then asks if he’s alone in his exam room. She tells Susan that Fred is a vampire, in that he drinks people’s blood. Indeed, the two of them and Gallant find Fred drinking from a blood bag. Welcome to the show, Gallant!

Carter isn’t in any rush to get to County to meet his new student, since he takes the time to intervene in an argument between Millicent and her driver, Alger. She thinks he’s lying about a car not working so she won’t try to drive. Carter points out that she has a driver, so she doesn’t need to drive. Millicent doesn’t want a chaperone. As she gets up to ask him a question, she suddenly passes out.

Without Carter to guide him, Gallant is bugging Abby about sneaking him a couple of cases so he can get started at his job. Nicole has moved on from transporting supplies to learning to become a nurse’s aide, which amuses Abby. Luka calls both of them over to help him with a patient named Jeremy who was in a skateboarding accident. Gallant comes in to watch as Luka makes Abby teach Nicole stuff. Nicole doesn’t know how to do anything (fair, since she’s just starting her training), but Gallant is able to make a correct diagnosis.

Carter brings Millicent in, which gives Susan a chance to make a better second impression than her first one (not like that’s hard). Millicent insists she’s fine, but she briefly passes out again. Susan tries to reassure Carter that it could be nothing serious. Gallant is so eager to do something helpful that he asks Cleo if he can intubate Jeremy. Yeah, no, definitely not. Benton joins them and sends Gallant away, annoyed that Gallant is asking so many questions. You’d think Benton would be thrilled to have someone like Gallant there, since he’s basically the opposite of William White.

Nicole praises Luka for saving Jeremy’s life, then goes back to…whatever she was doing. Abby confronts Luka for letting Nicole be in the trauma room and do things she’s not qualified to do. Luka thinks Abby’s just mad because he likes Nicole. That may be part of it, but Abby also doesn’t want Luka to break the rules for his new girlfriend. By making Abby teach Nicole, he prevented Abby from helping him save Jeremy.

As Benton is heading to the OR to operate on Jeremy, a process server gives him a subpoena: Roger is suing for custody of Reese. A mall security guard named Hilliker asks Luka how Jeremy is; he’s the person who called 911 after Jeremy’s accident. Gallant notices that Hilliker is limping, and Hilliker explains that he twisted his ankle chasing Jeremy and his friends through the mall, trying to get them to leave.

Abby tries to treat a nun who insists on letting Carter change her bandage. Looks like she and her fellow sister have crushes on him. “What is it with you and nuns, Carter?” Haleh asks. I’m going to need more details on that. Carter’s too busy worrying about Millicent, so Abby says she’ll take care of the nun. She also has to clean up a patient who puked, so she decides this is the perfect time to teach Nicole the ways of nursing.

Elizabeth was supposed to operate on a patient, but the case was given to Dale. (Ugh, that guy. Fortunately, we don’t have to actually see him.) Romano tells her she’s not back on service today – they have to wait for the CDC to wrap up their investigation. The good news is that, while there was a criminal investigation, there was no evidence that Elizabeth deliberately killed anyone. Romano doesn’t think the deaths have anything to do with Elizabeth, but he has to follow the CDC’s rules. He thinks Elizabeth should enjoy her downtime by spending time with Ella and catching up on dictation.

Instead, Elizabeth confronts Kit while she’s drawing blood from a patient in the ICU. She thinks Kit was actually injecting something into the patient’s IV. Kit explains that the IV was clogged, so she injected something to improve the flow. Elizabeth doesn’t believe her until she finds the vial Kit used. Poor Kit. So underappreciated.

Hilliker chats with Luka about the years he spent as a police officer before becoming a security guard. Luka then goes to talk to Jeremy’s mother, Mrs. Norris, while Jeremy’s in surgery. When Hilliker follows, Jeremy’s friend Russ calls him out for chasing them at the mall. He accuses Hilliker of throwing a stick at them, which caused Jeremy’s wipeout. Hilliker says he just asked the kids to leave.

Mrs. Norris believes Russ, and there’s some yelling until Luka sends Hilliker back to his exam room. Gallant comes running back a moment later to report that Hilliker seems to be having a heart attack. While Luka treats him, Hilliker tells him that the kids were taunting him. Jeremy stole his hat and threw it in a fountain. Oh, well, in that case, Hilliker was totally justified in throwing something at him and putting him in the hospital.

Elizabeth starts reviewing charts and questioning doctors she’s worked with on her now-dead patients. One of them tells her that Babcock, the anesthesiologist, is really the person she needs to talk to. Benton and Romano wrap up Jeremy’s operation, and Romano notes that Benton seems to be in a bad mood. Benton doesn’t open up to him, of course. He goes to tell Mrs. Norris that Jeremy came through surgery, but it’s not clear if he’ll ever wake up.

Gallant takes his eagerness to Mark, who’s normally happy to have a new shadow but finds Gallant a little too intense. He asks Susan to save him. Susan says that at least Gallant seems nice. Mark says they all start out that way; then they turn into residents like Carter. Susan comments that she wishes they were all like him. Mark thinks she means that in a way other than professionally.

Carter tells Susan that it looks like Millicent has something called Shy-Drager, which as far as I can tell from some brief Internet research is a degenerative neurological disorder that eventually makes your whole body shut down. Yikes. He finally meets Gallant, but he’s not really in the mood to be a teacher right now. Abby takes pity on Gallant (and probably Carter, a little) by offering to find him a case to work on.

Elizabeth goes back to the ICU, this time to apologize to Kit and ask her about some patients. Once again, Babcock’s name comes up. Kit tells Elizabeth that sometimes Babcock will insist on removing a patient’s central line instead of letting a nurse do it. That sets off alarm bells in Elizabeth’s head.

Back in the ER, Gallant questions a patient who took some of her husband’s old penicillin. He demonstrates both medical knowledge and good bedside manner. As he’s leaving, another patient, Grace, suggests an underlying condition the patient might have. She’s a second-year med student, but not at County, so Gallant doesn’t appreciate her input. Grace tells Carter that Gallant is bad at taking patient histories, so they should test the patient for something he missed. Carter agrees.

He starts examining Grace, who thinks she’s coming down with the flu and wants some medication to keep her going. Carter learns that she’s in both med school and law school at the same time. Gallant meets Nicole, who tells Luka that Abby showed her how to bathe a homeless man. Luka seems to guess that Abby is punishing Nicole, so he tells her to shadow Malik or Haleh instead. Trust me, Luka, they’ll do the same thing.

Hilliker only had an anxiety attack, not a heart attack, and Luka lets Gallant give him the good news. Nicole follows him to Hilliker’s exam room, where they find him hanging from the ceiling. Gallant sends Nicole to get help, then uses a scalpel to cut through the belt Hilliker hanged himself with.

Carter tells Millicent that she has Shy-Drager, which affects her blood pressure and could lead to a heart attack or stroke. Most people who have it die within ten years. Millicent says she’s not sure she wants to live that long anyway, so she’s not bothered. She just wants to go home.

Abby finds Nicole crying in the ambulance bay and makes herself extend some kindness. She reports that Hilliker will be okay, thanks to Gallant, and Nicole shouldn’t let it bother her too much. Apparently people try to commit suicide in the ER all the time. How lovely. Nicole tells her that her father hanged himself, and she was the one who found his body. Abby asks if Luka knows about this. Nicole has never told him. She admits that she’s not sure she can handle this job. Abby tells her it’s not always this bad, and it’s okay for her to cry.

Elizabeth tells Mark that she’s found one commonality in all her cases: Babcock. She’s upset that he didn’t step forward when he found out Elizabeth was being investigated. Uh, how did the investigators not notice that he was involved in so many of her cases? Frank gives Mark a message from Rachel’s school: She was suspended. Yep, sounds about right.

Luka checks on Hilliker, who’s told Gallant everything. Gallant relays that Hilliker doesn’t want them to call the police, since he still has friends on the force. Also, Hilliker lost his wife last year. Again, not an excuse for what he did. Gallant tells Luka that Hilliker took the job as a security guard so he could help people. Dude, it doesn’t matter! He made a kid wipe out on his skateboard, and now the kid might be in a coma forever!

Carter tells Grace she’s rundown and should probably pick which career path she wants to take instead of trying them both. She tells him her parents will only pay for her to go to med school if she also graduates law school. Carter wonders why she doesn’t have health insurance, since her parents are both lawyers. Grace says she has a complicated relationship with them. Hmm, sounds familiar. Carter tells her to eat better, reduce her stress, and make sure she’s sleeping well. That’s pretty much impossible for Grace, so she asks for some halcyon. Carter doesn’t think that’s a good idea, but Grace talks him into it.

He then updates Susan on Millicent, who went home with Alger. Susan notes that they need to call the DMV so Millicent’s license will be revoked. Carter hasn’t gotten that far – he didn’t want to make Millicent’s life worse by telling her she can’t drive anymore. Plus, he doesn’t feel like he can call the DMV to rat out his own grandmother. Susan offers to do it for him. Abby calls Carter back to Grace, who passed out. Susan comes along to help and notices cuts on Grace’s arm.

Elizabeth tries to talk to Romano as he scrubs in for surgery, but Babcock is in the room, so it’ll have to wait. Benton meets Jackie at Doc Magoo’s to get some advice on what to do about the subpoena. Her friends from the courthouse said he shouldn’t fight it, in case it makes him look like has something to hide. He should get a DNA test and prove that Reese is his biological son. Benton worries that he’ll prove the opposite instead.

Elizabeth looks through Babcock’s lab (I guess he’s doing some side experiments) but doesn’t find anything incriminating. Babcock catches her, but she covers by saying she just had some questions about some cases. Then she pretends she got paged so she can leave. Babcock asks her to return the keys she took to open some things she shouldn’t have been looking through.

Carter and Susan question Grace, who says she self-harmed and had an eating disorder as a kid because of a difficult home situation. Carter doesn’t believe her and asks to look at her other arm. He thinks she has an infection from recent cutting. Susan questions how well she has her eating disorder under control. Grace doesn’t want to listen to any more accusations, so she starts to leave. Carter wants to keep her on a psych hold, since she could be a danger to herself.

Gallant arrives as Grace gets agitated, insisting that the doctors are making too big a deal out of this. Carter just wants to help because he knows what it’s like to refuse it when you need it most. Grace sneers at Gallant for watching this unfold, since he wasn’t smart enough to make the diagnosis she did. Susan calls for a sedative, which just makes Grace more upset. Yeah, she’s totally stable. She begs the doctors to let her go, saying they’ll ruin everything. Instead, Carter lets Gallant sedate her.

Mark picks Rachel up from school, where she’s in trouble for threatening a girl she thinks is trying to steal Andrew from her. She says it’s not a big deal, though she’s been suspended with a threat of expulsion if there’s another offense. Mark tells her she can’t ride to school with Andrew anymore and she’s grounded for a month. Also, she has to do chores. She didn’t have to do chores already?? Come on.

Rachel complains that her father’s being too hard on her, when really, he’s basically doing the bare minimum of parenting. He tells her he sees all sorts of teenage girls at the hospital who wind up in horrible situations because no one cares about them. She’s just cursed with a father who actually cares.

Cleo finds Benton in the daycare room, playing with Reese. He tells her that Jackie suggested he take a DNA test. Cleo knows Carla claimed Reese isn’t Benton’s, and she tells him that, whatever biology says, Benton is Reese’s father. She invites them to have dinner at her house that night. Reese gets annoyed that they can’t go home, since Benton still has work to do. Reese asks for his other daddy instead.

Carter has apparently given Millicent the news that she’s not allowed to drive anymore, but she ignored him and has been driving around for a couple of hours just to stick it to him. Susan got Carter to call the DMV, but now he might have to report his own grandmother to the police. Susan offers to go to Millicent’s and wait with Carter to make sure she gets home safely.

Babcock has told Romano about Elizabeth’s snooping, so the three of them are now in Romano’s office to sort everything out. Elizabeth tries to play innocent, then decides to just put everything out there. Babcock is next to play innocent, telling Romano that Elizabeth’s dead patients shouldn’t have been considered eligible for surgery anyway.

Elizabeth points out that they all died from the same post-op infection. Babcock’s like, “If they hadn’t had surgery, there would be no post-op, and they wouldn’t have died.” Romano decides that until the health department wraps up their investigation, Elizabeth and Babcock will both be kept out of the OR. Both of them refuse to work with each other ever again. Romano kicks them both out of his office, hilariously sending them off with, “God is love.”

Gallant’s shift is over, but he decides to stick around and study. He goes to see Grace, offering her a book so she can study for an upcoming exam. She apologizes for taking out her problems on him. Since they’re both struggling with the same topic, they start studying together. Elsewhere, Benton gets swabbed for a DNA test.

While waiting for Millicent at her mansion, Carter tells Susan about his fentanyl addiction. He’s been sober for more than a year now. She asks to see the scar from his stabbing, which is such a bizarre way to respond to someone’s trauma. Carter recognizes that there’s some “adolescent sexual tension” between them and admits that he used to have a crush on her. She says she liked him, too, but he was a med student and he was a resident. Carter notes that he’s a resident now. He’s glad Susan came back to Chicago. Thank you, Millicent, for arriving just then, before anything can happen.

Thoughts: Grace is played by Bellamy Young. Russ is played by Dan Byrd.

My love of Gallant blinded me to the fact that his early eagerness could be kind of annoying. But Lucy was eager, too, and at least Gallant comes in with more skills than she did.

If you were hoping for a satisfying conclusion to Elizabeth’s plotline…sorry. We don’t get one.

Is it even possible to do med school and law school at the same time without only sleeping half an hour at night?

Carter and Susan never made sense to me as a couple, and I don’t know why they didn’t put him with Abby right away, since it was always obvious that things were heading in that direction.

March 16, 2021

ER 8.6, Supplies and Demands: My Two Dads

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

Seriously, guys, send Rachel back now

Summary: Benton is playing basketball with Reese at Jackie’s house before heading off to work. Jackie is surprised that Roger is going to be picking Reese up that afternoon for a family party. She says the cousin having the party isn’t Reese’s “real” cousin. Jackie, shush. Benton shuts her down, but Jackie argues that Reese must be confused to still have Roger in his life when they’re not really family anymore. Benton says he’s just giving Roger time to adjust to the changes – something Jackie should understand. She doesn’t appreciate that.

While driving to work, Elizabeth talks to someone on the phone in an attempt to help a patient she operated on. Rachel got her precious cell phone, and in exchange, she’ll be watching her baby sister that afternoon. Mark notices glitter on her cheek and asks if she’s starting a trend. Apparently it’s already a trend. Mark drops Elizabeth off before taking Rachel to school a little late. Rachel asks to be dropped off a few blocks away so no one sees her father’s minivan.

Susan has dragged Carter to a yoga class in hopes of helping him deal with the pain in his back. They talk through the whole thing, which I think is a no-no. He tells her that Millicent’s lab work has all come back fine, so aside from her fainting spell, she seems to be healthy. Susan asks about Carter and Abby, noting that there seems to be something going on there. He says they’re just friends. Susan thinks he doesn’t want to be Abby’s rebound after her breakup with Luka. Carter tries to hold a pose but ultimately falls over, taking Susan down with him.

The two head to County after the class, arriving just as a call comes in about an apartment fire. Supplies are moving around slowly since the person delivering them around the hospital is new. That person turns out to be Nicole, who of course got the job thanks to Luka. Abby is less than thrilled to have to see both her ex and his crush all day.

The patient Elizabeth was trying to help over the phone is Mrs. Wilson, the woman Elizabeth operated on in the previous episode. Elizabeth has to spend the day being shadowed by Carmen from County’s infection-control department. Mrs. Wilson’s daughter, April, doesn’t want her mother to keep suffering if it’s her time to go. Elizabeth promises to keep working on Mrs. Wilson, but a nurse notes that she has a DNR. April knows that her mother wouldn’t want to be placed on a machine, so she resists Elizabeth’s plans to help her. Elizabeth wants to proceed anyway.

Victims of the apartment fire start coming in, along with a firefighter who hurt his ankle. Luka and Abby tend to him as he semi-flirts with Abby. Mark examines a little girl while Carter treats her mother next door. Elizabeth comes to see if she needs surgery, and Carmen calls her out for starting to use her stethoscope without cleaning it after using it on another patient.

Once they’ve finished with the patient, Mark asks Elizabeth how Mrs. Wilson is. Elizabeth tells Carmen she wants some privacy while she talks to her husband, but Carmen has to watch Elizabeth at all times. Despite her annoyance with Carmen, Elizabeth is taking the situation very seriously and is desperate not to lose another patient. Mark reminds her that she can’t save everyone. Elizabeth would settle for just not killing everyone.

Abby tries to examine a man who insists on seeing a doctor. Abby promises she won’t be shocked by whatever he did to himself with scissors. She is, though. I’m going to go with…home circumcision. Susan examines a college student named Laura who first thought she had a bad hangover but now thinks it’s something else. Susan guesses she has the flu, which matches Stanley the med student’s diagnosis. Susan goes to talk to Stanley but instead tries to ease Carter’s back pain. She tells Stanley she agrees with his diagnosis for Laura, but he needs to sign up for patients so they don’t get seen twice.

Luka tries to explain the Nicole situation to Abby, who says it’s none of her business. Then she makes it her business anyway, commenting that Luka seems to be going out on a limb for her. Luka says he just got a friend a job; they’re not dating. Abby guesses that he’s also let her move in with him. He says he’s just trying to help her, but Abby notes that he doesn’t have to help everyone. Hmm, maybe Mark should repeat what he said about doctors not being able to save everyone.

Carter has overheard part of the conversation and asks Abby what her problem is with the situation. She tells him Luka has a new project. And no, she doesn’t care. Not at all. The percentage that Abby cares about this is 0.00. Mrs. Wilson is still declining, and when Elizabeth tries again to stabilize her, Benton reminds her that Mrs. Wilson has a DNR. Elizabeth just wants to use machines to support Mrs. Wilson until she can figure out what’s wrong with her. Benton tells the nurses to stop treating her. When Elizabeth grabs paddles to shock Mrs. Wilson, Benton tells her to look at April, who’s watching.

Abby checks on the flirty firefighter, who’s definitely interested in her, then goes with Benton to deal with the scissors guy, Rick. Indeed, he tried to circumcise himself. Since he got halfway through, Benton offers to either finish the job or just sew him up. Rick wants to ask his girlfriend her opinion first – she’s the reason he wanted this in the first place. She said she was a neat freak and didn’t want to date a guy with foreskin. As they leave the room, Abby asks Benton if she should call for a psych consult. “Nah, I just think he’s stupid,” Benton replies.

Luka tends to a guy named Wes who has a protein deficiency that keeps him from clotting. He’s supposed to get regular treatment, but he hasn’t been able to get to a hospital for it recently. He asks about food at the hospital, so Nicole offers to get him a sandwich. Susan tries to make small talk with Abby, admitting that Carter said she and Luka just broke up. Abby doesn’t really want to talk about her personal life, but at least she’s stopped resenting Susan for asking her to do tasks that are, you know, her job.

Mrs. Wilson has died, and Elizabeth asks a pathologist, Dr. Upton, to check her body for signs of infection. Dr. Upton tells Elizabeth that she disagrees with what others are saying about her. Implying that becoming a mother has affected Elizabeth’s work is “sexist crap.” Elizabeth notes that they live in a man’s world, so they have to put up with that. “Not until they perfect cloning,” Dr. Upton replies. That’s the spirit!

Rick’s girlfriend, Sara, has arrived, and she, like Benton, thinks he’s an idiot for trying to circumcise himself. She doesn’t care if he finishes the procedure or just gets sewn up. She pulls Abby out of the room and confides that she pretended she didn’t want to date a guy with foreskin because she needed an excuse to dump him. Oh, honey. Rick is going to send you his medical bills.

Paramedics bring in a college student named Andy who was unresponsive when his roommate tried to wake up him. The roommate tells Susan they went to a party the night before, and when they went to bed, Andy said he felt sick and had a stiff neck. Abby notices spots on Andy’s hands, leading Susan to realize that he has meningococcemia. Since it’s contagious, everyone will need to wear masks and gowns while treating him. They’ll also need to inform his college in case other students have been exposed.

Abby grabs Carter to help Susan out with the sudden emergency. Carter has finally given in to Stanley’s offers and let him try acupuncture on Carter’s back, so he’ll have to get the needles removed first. Susan realizes that Laura goes to the same school as Andy, so she may have meningococcemia, too. Laura was already discharged, so someone will have to find her and bring her back to the hospital for testing. Susan goes on the hunt, learning from Frank that Laura was looking for orange juice, so he sent her to the cafeteria.

Thanks to Nicole’s incompetence, Abby can’t find the supplies she needs. Carter gets impatient since Nicole can’t identify the tools he needs, but Luka tells him to go easy on her, since it’s her first day. Carter’s like, “I have a dying college student here, but yeah, we’ll wait a few minutes while Nicole digs through a box of supplies.” Laura’s not in the cafeteria, so Susan has to run around the hospital for a little while. She finally spots Laura leaving through the ambulance bay. Susan’s able to call outside to her and get her to stay put.

On his way to the OR, Benton takes a phone call from Roger, who’s complaining about Jackie. Benton tells Elizabeth that Roger is his new shadow. Elizabeth suggests that they introduce him to her shadow, Carmen. She apologizes for continuing to try to save Mrs. Wilson even after Benton told her she shouldn’t. He lets it go, knowing she’s stressed about becoming a mother. Elizabeth takes a little offense to that, but Benton adds that having Carmen watching her every move can’t help. Elizabeth asks if he’s ever seen her screw up. Benton thinks she’s just in a slump right now and shouldn’t doubt her skills. If he or Reese ever needed surgery, he’d come to Elizabeth.

Carter and Abby struggle to stabilize Andy, who must have a fast-moving strain of meningococcemia. Susan performs a spinal tap on Laura, who reveals that she kissed Andy at the party the night before, so…no contact tracing needed there. Next door, Andy flatlines, and Carter shakes his head to let Susan know through the window that he’s not going to make it. Stanley notices spots on Laura’s feet, which means she’s getting worse.

Luka goes back to Wes, who tested positive for opiates. He blames the pain from his condition, but Luka guesses he uses heroin, which isn’t exactly prescribed for pain. He thinks Wes uses the permanent catheter port in his chest to shoot drugs (also not exactly prescribed behavior). Luka tries to talk to Wes about rehab, but Wes isn’t interested and wants to leave. Luka still has to finish treating the cut on Wes’ hand, and Nicole is just now bringing his sandwich, so Wes decides to stay a little longer. Nicole points out to Luka that removing Wes’ port won’t stop him from using drugs.

Susan tries to reach Laura’s parents as Carter joins her to put her on a ventilator. Susan can’t believe she misdiagnosed Laura, but Carter thinks it was reasonable of her to think Laura just had the flu. They’ve already contacted Laura and Andy’s college, and all the students in their dorm will get antibiotics to try to head off any infections. County staff who worked on either patient will also need preventive meds.

The firefighter flirts with Abby again, then asks her out for coffee. She tells him she’s not available. He guesses she’s seeing someone, but Abby says she’s not sure. Hey, Abby? Yeah, hi. You’re not. You broke up with Luka, and Carter is totally interested in Susan now, so you’re single. Go out with the firefighter.

In case Elizabeth’s day wasn’t already bad enough, she has to operate with Dale. Ugh, this guy. Carmen is overly vigilant, and Elizabeth finally tells her to get out, since she’s driving everyone crazy. Carmen won’t leave, since she’s just doing her job, so Elizabeth threatens to call security. “Catfight pending,” Dale says. SHUT UP, DALE. Elizabeth gets summoned to Romano’s office, and she tells Carmen not to follow her.

Frank has two messages for Benton from Jackie and Roger. He thinks they’re feuding. Benton says to let them, refusing to take the messages. Abby urges Sara to break up with Rick directly, since her indirect method obviously didn’t work. Benton tells them that Rick will be fine, and when he learns of Sara’s failed breakup attempt, he tells her to go finish the task right now. Abby argues that she should wait a few weeks. She once accidentally killed a boyfriend’s cat, then stayed with him for two more weeks. This should be worth at least three.

Romano has brought in a new investigator, Dr. Bain from the county health department. Nothing turned up in Elizabeth’s cultures, and Carmen doesn’t have a problem with her practices, but there has to be something going on that has led to so many of Elizabeth’s patients dying. Bain invites Elizabeth to come clean about anything she might need to come clean about, because she could be facing a criminal investigation.

Bain continues that all of Elizabeth’s patients were elderly and in marginal health. All of them died of post-op sepsis while under Elizabeth’s care. One’s family specifically asked Elizabeth to euthanize her. In a nutshell, Bain thinks Elizabeth might see herself as an angel of mercy, ending sick people’s lives so they don’t have to suffer. Romano immediately comes to Elizabeth’s defense and tells Bain the discussion is over.

Nicole is done with her shift and waiting for Luka. She tells Abby that she always wanted to be a nurse. The nurses were very kind to her at the hospital where her mother died. Luka can’t find Wes, and Nicole guesses that he left so Luka wouldn’t remove his port. Luka asks if she told Wes he was going to remove it, either purposely or accidentally letting Wes know he should take off.

At home, Elizabeth is greeted by loud music and a crying baby. Rachel’s on the phone and ignoring her sister. Elizabeth asks her to be more responsible and less self-centered. Rachel says that if Elizabeth is so worried about Ella, she should quit her job and stay home with her. The two fight over who gets to give orders and who has to obey rules in the house until Rachel storms out. Listen, Elizabeth, send her back to St. Louis now. Save yourself a lot of pain in the future.

Back at County, Susan is staying late, since she wants to be nearby when they determine Laura’s condition. Roger shows up to pick a fight with Benton – he was late picking Reese up, so Jackie wouldn’t let Roger take him. Benton says they need to rethink Roger’s visitation. Roger blames Jackie, and Benton reminds him that Jackie is Reese’s aunt. Roger replies that he’s Reese’s father.

Benton doesn’t like that, and he tells Roger it’s time for him to let go of his stepson. Reese only has one father, Benton. Roger announces that they both know that’s not true: Carla told him that Benton isn’t Reese’s biological father. Benton warns him to shut up. Roger accuses Benton of thinking he’s more important to Reese than Roger is. Benton tells him to stay away from him, Reese, and Jackie.

Carter and Abby go for a walk by the water, and she mentions that the firefighter asked her out. Carter seems supportive of any decisions she makes to date guys other than him. Abby has learned a lesson from Sara about not being direct and admits that she turned down the firefighter because she was waiting to see if things developed with her and Carter. Carter notes that she didn’t do much to move things forward between them.

She reminds him that he gave her an ultimatum. It wasn’t really an ultimatum, though – he just said he couldn’t keep being her friend if she was only going to talk about her relationship problems. Abby thinks that breaking up with Luka was a good indication that she was ready to be with Carter. He asks why she cares so much about what Luka thinks if they’re really over. Abby says they have a history after a year together. If Carter wants someone without a history, he’ll have to find a virgin. Carter replies that he can just settle for a girlfriend who isn’t so hung up on someone else. She tells him he doesn’t have to settle for anything.

Mark didn’t seem to deal with a lot of traumas at work today, but at home, he’s putting out fires left and right. He’s letting Rachel spend some time at Andrew’s so she and Elizabeth can cool off. Now he’s trying to reassure Elizabeth that she has nothing to worry about in any investigation that might take place. She admits that she feels guilty for her patients’ deaths and for taking it out on Rachel.

Mark thinks she was justified in being mad at Rachel for not doing what she said she would do. Elizabeth is worried that she can’t balance motherhood and work. Mark comforts her, promising that they’ll get through everything they’re facing. They have each other and their kids – that’s a lot. At County, Laura regains consciousness, making Susan hopeful that she’ll be okay.

Thoughts: Benton’s attitude while examining Rick is so funny. He stays completely professional, but when he first looks at the damage, he glances at Abby like he’s thinking, “Did you see this? Is he serious with this?” You can see he’s deducting points from Rick’s IQ through the whole scene.

I looked up Wes’ deficiency, which it turns out is a form of hemophilia. I don’t know why the show didn’t just say that. Anyway, it’s also called Christmas disease, after the first person diagnosed with it. What a horribly misnamed disease. “Ooh, Christmas disease – does that mean I get extra presents?” No, it means you’re at increased risk of bleeding to death. Fa la la la la la la I’m so sorry.

I want a spin-off starring Dr. Upton.

Rejoice with me, friends, because we’re almost done with Dale. He’s only in one more episode after this.

Brace yourself: I’m going to say something nice about Romano. He’s definitely a judgmental jerk, and it’s clear he thinks he’s better than all of his colleagues, but when Elizabeth’s ethics are called into question, he has her back. He knows she’s good at her job and that she has integrity. As annoying as he is, he recognizes his colleagues’ accomplishments and talents.

March 9, 2021

ER 8.5, Start All Over Again: Everyone’s Having a Horrible Day (Well, Maybe Not Rachel)

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

Things between these two are about to get really weird

Summary: Susan is reporting for her first shift back at County since moving back to Chicago. Weaver is coolly professional with her, but Malik and Haleh are happy to work with her again. Cleo hands over some patients from her night shift and watches closely as Benton and Susan catch up. Classic Cleo. She’s on her way out of County, though – she’s taken a job running a pediatric urgent care 40 minutes away.

The morning is a little chaotic at Mark and Elizabeth’s house, and Rachel’s presence doesn’t help. She rushes off to school with a boy named Andrew, who Mark knows nothing about. Susan jumps right back into things at County, trying to treat a guy named Mr. Ashman who accuses her of being a pervert just because she wants him to change into a gown. Mark’s a little amused.

Carter brings a couple of med students through the ER, “babysitting” them as part of his new position as chief resident. Susan tries to get Abby’s attention by calling her Nurse, since she doesn’t know Abby’s name. Carter introduces them, and Susan asks Abby to do some nurse-like things for her. Paramedics bring in a man named Howard who passed out unexpectedly. Carter takes the lead, even though Susan outranks him.

One of the med students, Mooney, tends to a patient with chest pain, giving him three sprays of nitroglycerin. He’s not supposed to get that much at once, and his heart protests the medicine. Luckily, Abby’s there to fix things. Susan tells Carter that the last time she saw him, he could barely start an IV, and now here he is, running traumas. Abby lets him know that Mooney gave the three nitro sprays all at once instead of over the course of five minutes. She cleaned up the mess, but Carter needs to keep a better eye on his students. You’d think he would have learned that lesson with Lucy.

Mark and Chuny rush a gurney out to a car in the ambulance bay, where a man named Alan is unconscious. Chuny finds bruising on the man’s body. Susan goes over the now-comatose Howard’s lab work with his brother while a maintenance worker does something loud to a light in the ceiling above them. This…couldn’t wait? Howard’s lab work doesn’t show what’s wrong with him, so Susan asks his brother if Howard has ever seen a psychiatrist. They narrowly miss being hit by something falling from the ceiling. Susan tells Howard’s brother that Howard seems to be faking his coma. She also promises to move him to a quieter room.

Benton and Weaver join Mark to take care of Alan, who apparently was hit by a car. His daughter, Tracy, says she didn’t see exactly what happened. Alan regains consciousness and murmurs something about her not seeing him. Tracy cries and apologizes, then runs out of the trauma room. It doesn’t take a detective to figure out that Tracy must have accidentally hit her father with her car.

Elizabeth chats with a patient named Mrs. Wilson and her daughter April while determining that Mrs. Wilson needs surgery. April asks if the operation can wait a few days, since her mother’s so weak right now. Elizabeth says that’s not a good idea. Mrs. Wilson asks if Elizabeth would recommend the operation for her own mother. That’s probably not a good question, considering Elizabeth’s tense relationship with her mother, but we won’t tell Mrs. Wilson that.

Susan grabs Elizabeth to talk about Mr. Ashman, since he’s insisting on speaking to her. Elizabeth thinks he’s a drug-seeking hypochondriac, and she doesn’t want to deal with him until Susan’s examined him. Susan is sure that Mr. Ashman will complain of post-op pain so he can go up the chain and talk to Elizabeth. She then asks Abby to do some more nurse-like things, which Abby doesn’t seem interested in, even though it’s, you know, her job.

Good news: Howard is awake. Bad news: His brother is beating him with the metal pole of an IV stand. Worse news: His brother isn’t his brother. He’s an enforcer for a loan shark. Weaver tells Tracy that Alan may need surgery for a pelvic injury. It had to have been sustained when the car hit him and crushed him against something. Tracy admits that she thought she was in reverse but instead drove forward and pressed him into a wall.

Abby asks Carter if Susan has always been so high-maintenance. Carter denies that she is. He totally has a crush on Susan, by the way. Elizabeth finally comes to the ER check on Mr. Ashman, but before she can start, she gets called to the ICU. Susan’s next patient is Amal, a teen with abdominal pain. She insists that she has to be home in two hours, no matter what.

Mark sends Alan to surgery with Benton, then talks to a cop who wants to find out if Tracy had been drinking before she hit her father. She hasn’t been arrested yet, so Mark is hesitant. He thinks she deserves a break since her father’s in bad condition. The cop is like, “Yeah, she put him in that condition.” Mark won’t draw Tracy’s blood, so the cop says he’ll find someone else to do it. Weaver compromises, saying they’ll draw Tracy’s blood once Alan is out of surgery.

Amal is pregnant, and though she wants to have an abortion, Susan thinks she should take some time and consider her options. Amal says that she has to be a virgin on her wedding day. If her parents find out she’s had sex, they’ll send her to their home country. Susan discovers that Amal has an ectopic pregnancy, which means she’ll need surgery immediately. Amal thinks her mandatory family dinner is more important, so she’ll risk a ruptured fallopian tube and possibly bleeding to death. Susan gets her to agree to stay while Susan handles another situation.

Luka meets Susan when they team up to tend to a woman named Mrs. Gadasco who’s having seizures. Susan is unfamiliar with the anti-seizure medications County stocks, so Luka tells her they have to come up with a plan B for what Susan wanted to do. Elizabeth is unable to revive the ICU patient she was summoned to help, and Romano notes that this is her third post-op death in a week. Not that he’s keeping track.

Back in the ER, Susan speaks to Mr. Gadasco about medications his wife might be taking. The couple only speaks Spanish, but Susan knows enough to communicate with Mr. G. She realizes that Mrs. G. accidentally overdosed on her medication because the label is in English. She was supposed to take a pill once a day, but “once” in Spanish is 11, so she took 11 times the prescribed amount.

Carter’s other med student, Stanley, grabs him and Abby to help with the patient Mooney almost killed. Carter lets Stanley shock the man, but Stanley forgets to say “clear” to make sure no one’s touching the patient during the shock. The patient’s arm shoots out and smacks Carter in a very painful, unfortunate part of his anatomy. Man down! Man down! The good news is that the patient’s okay.

Mrs. G. is still seizing, but Susan and Luka have used up all the medicine they have available to stop the seizures. Susan tells Yosh to call around to other hospitals to try to get more. Benton and Romano are scrubbing in for Alan’s surgery when Roger calls to talk to Benton. Alan starts crashing, so Benton has to keep Roger on hold. In the ER, Susan and Luka realize that they won’t be able to save Mrs. G. Susan volunteers to give her husband the news. Luka compliments Susan on figuring out what was wrong, not that it did any good.

Carter’s still in some pain, but he’s doing better than his patient who keeps throwing up. Stanley, who studied alternative medicine in Hong Kong, offers to try a muscle energy technique on Carter, but Carter would like to keep his distance from Stanley. Roger shows up in the OR while Benton’s operating, frantic because he doesn’t know where Reese is. Roger was supposed to pick him up from school; when he wasn’t there, Roger thought Benton must have gotten him. Did he…not ask the teacher who picked Reese up? Benton tells him to call Carla’s mother.

Mr. Ashman is feeling better, thanks to some water he drank. It was water provided by the woman who keeps throwing up, so that probably won’t last. Susan is upset to learn that Amal left and no on mentioned her departure to Susan. Abby points out that she didn’t say anything about Amal needing to stay. As Susan is trying to track her down, Millicent reluctantly comes to the ER. Her driver reports that she fainted. Susan doesn’t know who Millicent is and tries to send her to the waiting area. She’s embarrassed when she realizes she just blew off Carter’s grandmother.

As Elizabeth finishes Mrs. Wilson’s surgery and sends her to post-op observation, a woman named Carmen comes to speak to her from the hospital’s infection-control department. Elizabeth’s third patient death of the week has triggered an investigation, and Elizabeth needs to have cultures taken to see if she’s carrying an infection that she’s passing to her patients. Elizabeth says she doesn’t have time, since she has another patient to tend to. Carmen warns that Elizabeth’s surgical privileges could be revoked if she doesn’t cooperate. Plus, Romano and Anspaugh have approved the investigation.

Susan doesn’t know how to convince Amal to come back to the hospital, so Mark tells her to lie to Amal’s parents and say she needs surgery for an ovarian cyst. Susan hopes that Amal will just come back on her own. Weaver tries to show some sympathy toward Susan after Mrs. G.’s death, but her robotic nature makes it difficult. Frank interrupts the conversation to report that Tracy’s blood work is back, and she was just over the legal limit when she hit Alan with her car. Weaver asks Susan to do some of the nurse-like jobs on her own, since they’re short-staffed.

Mark asks Susan to cover the last hour of his shift; Elizabeth is stuck in surgery and someone needs to relieve the nanny. Roger returns to the OR, having been unable to figure out where Reese is. Benton tells him to call the police. He wants to leave the OR to look for his son, but Alan is unstable and Romano thinks he’ll die if Benton doesn’t keep his hands exactly where they are.

Millicent insists she’s fine and she just got dizzy because she didn’t eat lunch. Carter thinks she might be depressed in the wake of her husband’s death. Millicent says she just misses him; she doesn’t need therapy or anything like that. She has a lot of things to do. Carter wants to keep her overnight so they can monitor her heart, but Millicent doesn’t want to put off her responsibilities.

Susan calls Amal’s house, pretending to be a school friend with a homework question. Her parents won’t let her come to the phone while they’re having dinner. Yosh reminds her that she still hasn’t told Mr. G. about his wife’s death. In a scene totally in Spanish, with no subtitles, Susan tells Mr. G. that his wife had a heart attack, and they tried for two hours to save her, but she died. Mr. G. is furious about the label miscommunication; his wife thought she was following her doctor’s directions. All Susan can say is that she’s sorry.

Elizabeth gets a bunch of body parts swabbed, sarcastically asking if Carmen wants a sample of her breast milk, too. Actually, Carmen does. As soon as Benton’s done with Alan, he brushes off Tracy and takes over the search for Reese. Weaver realizes that Amal left the hospital without Susan’s knowledge, and that Susan hasn’t been able to get her to return. Susan says she’s trying to protect Amal from her parents, so she can’t do much. She asks Weaver to trust her judgment. Yeah, not going to happen.

Benton makes some calls, trying to find anyone who might have gotten Reese from school. Roger complains that he has too many people on his list of approved caregivers. Better too many than too few, right? Anyway, Reese is fine, and it turns out he’s been with Jackie. Apparently Reese bit a girl at school (Reese, no!), and when the school couldn’t reach Benton, they called Jackie. She left Benton a message he didn’t get. So why didn’t someone tell Roger that Jackie had already gotten Reese when Roger went to the school?

Jackie’s surprised that it was Roger’s day to pick up Reese. They’ve been hanging out two days a week. Jackie says that Reese’s teacher wants to know if he’s having problems at home. Uh, yeah, his mom just died. Roger thinks Jackie is making a dig at him for not providing more stability. Reese wasn’t getting in fights when he lived with Carla and Roger. Benton suggests that Reese just stay with him for a little while.

Millicent has decided she’s given County enough of her time, so she’s leaving. Carter begs her to stay so they can make sure she’s not at risk for a heart attack or stroke. She refuses, so Carter asks her driver to check in on her later in the evening. Susan feels bad about not being nicer to Millicent, but Carter promises it’s okay. He complains that his grandmother never takes him seriously. Susan still hasn’t talked to Amal, and is going to give her a little longer to come back on her own. She’s starting to regret coming back to County.

The two of them work together to deliver a baby. The mother’s bed suddenly starts rising, so Abby thinks Susan accidentally stepped on a pedal that raises the frame. Instead, the mother’s amniotic fluid has leaked onto the switch and shorted out the electronics. The bed continues going up until it’s too high for the doctors to reach, so Susan grabs a ladder from the maintenance guy who was working on the lights in the trauma room. She and Abby joke that Carter used to be in the circus, so he’s very qualified to deliver a baby high up. Other than that, everything goes fine with the delivery.

Alan didn’t survive surgery, and Tracy is distraught at the thought that she accidentally killed her father. The cop adds insult to injury by trying to arrest her. Weaver asks him to let Tracy see her father’s body first, I guess so she can take that memory with her to jail. Rachel hasn’t called for a ride home from the party she went to after school, and Mark is starting to get that parenting a teenager takes work. When she gets home, she complains that her father wants to know things like where she is and who she’s with. She says it would be easier to keep in touch if she had a cell phone.

Amal finally comes back to County, having had to wait until her parents weren’t paying attention so she could sneak out of the house. Susan has to get Amal’s chart from Weaver, who’s on the phone in the lounge. Susan thinks Weaver is calling Amal’s house, so she hangs up the phone. Weaver was actually making a personal call in an attempt to find her birth mother. The lead she got from her PI is wrong yet again. Freaking A, Weaver, stop listening to that guy. He sucks.

Thoughts: Vondie Curtis-Hall (Roger) directed this episode.

They’re setting up Abby and Susan to be rivals, so I’m happy that that’s not what ends up happening. Other than Weaver’s relationships with her co-workers, the show is very good at establishing female friendships instead of perpetrating the stereotype that women are always competitive with each other.

I’ve always liked that Susan’s scene with Mr. G. is all in Spanish with no subtitles. The actors make the situation clear even if you don’t understand them. (Credit my high school Spanish classes for my ability to translate.)

March 2, 2021

ER 8.4, Never Say Never: Just When You Think You’re Out of the ER, They Pull You Back In

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

Susan’s back and I’m excited!

Summary: When we last saw Susan Lewis, she was leaving Chicago on a train. It’s only fitting that when we see her again for the first time in five years, she’s getting off a train. She arrives at County on a busy day, and there’s been so much turnover since she left that no one on call recognizes her. Frank even thinks she’s a patient. Luka barely acknowledges her, instead complaining to Abby that her “aquatic mischief” killed his angel fish.

Finally, someone recognizes Susan – a former patient named Ralph. She treated him after he was electrocuted while working on something in the hospital. While he’s made a full recovery, he now has trouble with static cling and says it’s ruining his life. Another patient tries to get some attention by flashing Susan, but she’s unimpressed. She looks down at his junk and sighs, “Is that all?”

After a while, the nurses recognize Susan and catch up with her. They also catch us up on some things that have been happening off-screen. Apparently Carol never came back to Chicago after she went to see Doug. She sent for the girls and they all live in Seattle now. You mean someone on this show got a happy ending? Amazing! Susan is surprised to see that Weaver’s still at County. Haleh tells her Weaver’s in charge now.

Weaver thinks Susan’s in town for a conference, but she’s actually interviewing for a job in the area and has stopped by to have lunch with Mark. Mark is currently trying to save a patient with Elizabeth, who knows he and Susan have kept in touch but didn’t know they were going to have lunch. Dude, Mark, you have to tell your wife that you’re having lunch with a female friend you once had feelings for. You especially have to tell your wife when that wife is Elizabeth.

Carter is examining a woman who has a lot of medical complaints and needs Carter to take care of all of them (and touch her in inappropriate places). Abby is still pressing him to sort out his future, and she thinks he should accept Weaver’s offer of shift work. Carter is instead eyeing a tenure-track position at Northwestern. Abby doubts that he wants to vault from that into teaching, even if it comes with job security. She thinks he would have already accepted the job if he really wanted it.

Chen asks Weaver if there’s anything she should know about an upcoming meeting with Romano and risk management. She guesses it’s about Paul’s death. Weaver says it’s normal procedure for the in-house legal team, and Paul’s family hasn’t filed a wrongful-death suit (yet), so she doesn’t need to worry. Chen is understandably concerned that, since Dave was fired, her job is also at risk. Weaver tells her Dave was fired for other reasons.

Carter and Abby treat a man who thinks he was bitten by a spider, which he helpfully brought with him. They think he was actually bitten by a flea. Nicole shows up, needing stitches in her finger, and really, really wants to see Luka. Carter guesses that Nicole is a sore spot for Abby and is amused by the situation.

He’s less amused when his patient releases the spider he brought in, since it’s apparently not dangerous. Carter goes looking for it at the admit desk and is under it when Susan sees him. He realizes she’s interviewing for the same job at Northwestern that he wants. She’s surprised that he’s not chief resident at County.

Weaver confronts Romano for not telling her ahead of time that Chen’s going to be interviewed by risk management. She wants to be present, but Romano says she needs to keep her distance. If Chen has nothing to hide, then Weaver has nothing to worry about. Weaver wears him down, though I think it’s more that Romano says she can come so she’ll stop bugging him.

Mark and Elizabeth are still working on their patient, so he ducks out to tell Susan they need a little more time before lunch. But Haleh needs him for another patient, so Susan decides to come back and hang out after her interview. Mark goes to treat a six-year-old named Kenny, who has a genetic disorder that patients normally succumb to as babies. He has a bowel obstruction, so Elizabeth determines that he needs surgery. His parents can’t handle watching him suffer anymore, and they ask Elizabeth to give him medication that will end his life.

Weaver gets Chen for the meeting, trying again to reassure her that there’s nothing to worry about. Elizabeth tells Kenny’s parents that he’s been given something for the pain, but not what they requested. They guess that Elizabeth thinks they’re horrible people. They’re just exhausted from having a child who needs around-the-clock care.

Abby assists Luka as he treats Nicole’s injury. She goes to get something from the next exam room and shares a quiet laugh with Chuny over Luka’s clear attraction to his patient. Nicole tells him that her boss fired her and threatened to create problems over her immigration status. Abby and Chuny silently mock her with fake tears. Very mature, ladies.

Price asks Chen questions about Paul’s care, and Weaver basically acts as her attorney. Price is curious about how Chen got involved in the case, since she wasn’t an attending at the time, just a resident (she’s been made an attending since then). Weaver says that she was given the authority of an attending while she finished up the last days of her residency. I’m not sure how that works, since Chen barely qualified to be chief resident, but okay.

Price says that if Chen wasn’t board-eligible to be an attending, she wasn’t technically authorized to approve the treatment Paul was given. That decision should have been made by Weaver. Weaver thinks the five days remaining in Chen’s residency aren’t enough to disqualify her from knowing the best course of treatment for the patient. Price asks where Weaver was, and Chen reports that Weaver wasn’t in the hospital. She paged Weaver three times and didn’t receive a response.

Weaver says she never got a page, and besides, Chen could have come to get her. Chen didn’t know where she was, but Carter did (though how was Chen supposed to know that?). Either way, Weaver blames the hospital – the cafeteria is closed in the middle of the night, so she had to leave to get a meal. Romano decides Chen’s part of the meeting is over and lets her go but asks Weaver to stay behind. Chen’s future is now in the hands of a woman who’s trying to cover up her own mistake.

Luka calls a lawyer friend to help Nicole with her visa situation. Abby silently judges him. Chen tells Carter that she thought Weaver was going to protect her in the meeting, but instead she protected herself. Carter thinks Weaver’s trying to protect both of them. He has a maintenance worker looking for the spider, which is definitely not that guy’s job. Make the patient look for the spider. Carter tells Chen that Weaver will have to defend Chen, since she was Weaver’s choice for chief resident.

Paramedics bring in a man named Mr. Warshaw who was impaled on a branch or piece of fence when he fell off his roof while trying to get free cable. Wow, instant karma, huh? Elizabeth sends Kenny to surgery, and his parents say they’ll wait in the cafeteria until there’s news. She has a brief chat with Benton, commiserating over how tired they both are because of their parenting responsibilities. Benton then goes to the ER to tend to Mr. Warshaw. For some reason, his wife has brought their young daughter into the exam room. Congratulations, you’ve just scarred your child for life!

Romano discusses Chen’s work history with Weaver and Price; Price thinks she shows a pattern of making poor decisions and needs to be fired before she kills anyone else. Weaver disagrees, then asks how big a deal it is that Chen wasn’t an attending when she treated Paul. Romano thinks she’s going to pin everything on Chen so her own errors don’t have to be brought up. Weaver asks how much support she’ll get from higher-ups if she doesn’t let the buck stop here. Romano says Paul’s family probably won’t be satisfied if she blames everything on Dave and pretends that’s why he was fired.

Mr. Warshaw is stable and ready for surgery, but he doesn’t want it. He wants to die, and he wants it to look like an accident. As Benton tries to convince him that his family needs him more than they need his life-insurance payout, Mr. W. jerks the thing he’s impaled on around to try to cause more damage. Dude, that’s not going to make it look like an accident. Benton has to pull some fancy move right there in the pre-op room to stabilize him before they can move him to an OR.

Romano brings in a photographer to take pictures of Kenny while Elizabeth operates on him. She’s annoyed that they’re turning him into a sideshow. Romano thinks Kenny’s parents are monsters for keeping him alive this long. What are they supposed to do, stop taking care of him? I think that’s called murder. Benton operates on Mr. W. while simultaneously trying to find someone to pick up Reese, since Joanie is having car trouble and can’t do it. He calls Jackie and leaves a message asking her to get Reese. She hears the message but doesn’t pick up the phone.

Elizabeth goes looking for Kenny’s parents after his operation, but they haven’t come to the surgical floor. Susan returns from her interview, which didn’t go well, not least because the interviewer asked her out. Susan, sue the hospital for harassment and retire like a queen! Mark tells her County is looking for an attending, so she should apply there. Susan notes that Weaver didn’t say anything when they talked that morning.

She notices Mark’s scar from his brain surgery, which he never told her about. He thinks he’s justified, since she never told him about her engagement. (She says it wasn’t really an engagement, and it’s over anyway.) Susan wants to move back to Chicago since Chloe and her family moved away from Arizona, and Susan saw no reason to stay. Elizabeth comes in looking for Kenny’s parents, but they’re not there. She shortly declines Susan’s offer of coffee, since she’s breastfeeding.

Benton is still trying to arrange child care for Reese while he operates on Mr. W. Without any other options, Benton has a nurse call Roger, who agrees to pick up Reese. Luka and Abby work together to treat a combative little boy named John Thomas who got hurt playing on his dad’s boat. His mother tries to bribe him into being good, but John Thomas won’t accept her offers. Finally she threatens to tell his father he was playing on his boat without permission. “I’ll tell Grandma you were playing with Daddy’s penis!” John Thomas yells. Luka’s amused and Abby almost loses it. The ice between them has finally been broken.

Elizabeth is still looking for Kenny’s parents and the maintenance worker is still looking for the spider. Weaver tells Chen that despite her efforts to oppose the decision, Chen is being put on probation for a year and might be suspended without pay for a month. Chen can’t believe her guide-wire mistake as an intern is being brought up all these years later. In addition, Chen has to step down as chief resident.

Chen asks if Weaver has to give up anything as punishment. Weaver says her actions aren’t being scrutinized here. This is just a temporary setback, and Chen will be able to keep moving forward. Chen asks straight out if Weaver had her pager on her the night Paul died. She knows Weaver isn’t sorry about the consequences Chen is facing – she’s relieved she’s not the one facing them. Chen tells her to go to Hell and announces that she quits.

Weaver gives the news to Mark, who’s annoyed that Weaver keeps firing/driving away employees. Weaver says she’s as angry about the situation as Mark is, but unlike him, she doesn’t have anyone to complain to. Mark tells her he wants to rehire Susan to take Chen’s place. Kenny’s parents have disappeared, and Elizabeth thinks the paperwork they filled out was all fake. They always planned to dump Kenny there and take off. Elizabeth is sympathetic, but Romano argues that being a parent means accepting all challenges that come your way.

Mr. W. didn’t survive, but all his wife can think about is why he wanted to get them cable so badly. Nicole returns to the hospital with homemade cookies for Luka to thank him for contacting a lawyer for her. She offers one to Carter, who says he would never touch Luka’s cookies. Carter is having more fun than anyone in this entire episode, and it only gets better for him: With Chen gone, he’s now the best candidate for chief resident. Weaver wishes she’d chosen him in the first place, and she admires how he’s handled his addiction and recovery. The spider interrupts the conversation, and Weaver kills it with her crutch.

Mark finds Susan’s old lab coat in a closet and gives it back to her. She’s hesitant to come back to work there, but Mark has basically already accepted the job on her behalf. Benton goes to Roger’s to get Reese, but he’s already in bed and wants to stay there for the night. Roger is happy to have him stay. Back at County, Dave makes his final appearance of the series as he cleans out his locker in the lounge. Weaver comes in but they don’t say anything to each other.

On the roof, Chen complains to Carter that she always knew Weaver was capable of this sort of thing, but Chen never expected to be one of her victims. She encourages Carter to take the chief-residency position; better him than someone else. Carter tells her she can take the open position at Northwestern. Chen asks him to promise that any sacrifice he makes for County is worth it. Elsewhere, Weaver goes to a lesbian bar but doesn’t interact with anyone except the bartender. It’s so lonely being a cold, robotic taskmaster!

Thoughts: Ralph has a sock stuck to the back of his uniform when he talks to Susan. He looks like the monster in Monsters Inc. who triggers a lockdown.

Dear writers: You’ve done the escaped-animal plot before. Cut it out.

This is also your third character named Kenny or Kenneth who’s a child with a genetic disorder. Maybe all Kenneths in Chicago are cursed. (Don’t forget Kenny Law.)

’00s music alert: “Everybody Got Their Something” by Nikka Costa

February 23, 2021

ER 8.3, Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic: Bleeding Hearts

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

The new and definitely-not-improved Rachel

Summary: Benton is leaving Reese with Jackie for the day, and Jackie looks a little shaky about taking care of a child, but Benton doesn’t have any other choices, now that Carla is dead. Carter’s over at his grandmother’s house, listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers (so we can get the episode title from one of their songs) before work. Millicent wants him to see a doctor about the back injury he suffered when he fell while running over to Doc Magoo’s. He says it’s an exacerbation of his stabbing injury.

Abby’s moving her things out of Luka’s apartment post-breakup. She grabs her jacket from the coat rack, which she accidentally knocks over, right into the new aquarium. She cracks the glass and water starts leaking out. As Mark and Elizabeth arrive at County, still struggling with sleep deprivation, Abby calls around to try to get a replacement aquarium. They’re pricey and she doesn’t know if she needs one for saltwater or freshwater fish. She spots Luka entering the ER and quickly hangs up.

The ER is full of patients, so Mark does some quick rounds to determine who can be discharged quickly. One of the patients is a kid with his hand stuck in a piggy bank, and Mark asks who’s sick, the kid or the pig. The kid doesn’t appreciate it but I think it’s funny. Weaver disapproves of Mark fast-tracking procedures and skipping all the details on people’s charts. Chen asks her a question about a patient, but instead of answering, Weaver takes the patient from her. This frees up Chen to take care of an abandoned newborn brought in by a paramedic named Niki.

Benton tells Cleo that Reese keeps asking to sleep with him; Reese says he’s having nightmares but won’t go into detail. Cleo feels bad for Reese, who must be confused about his mother not being around. Benton can’t believe that his son will grow up without a mother, and there’s nothing Benton can do about it. Dave tells Cleo he treated one of her patients, which makes her mad. She says she was waiting for a surgical consult, but Dave chastises her for chatting with her boyfriend instead of working. And when Dave thinks you’re slacking, you’re really in trouble.

Abby hides in an exam room while trying to avoid Luka, but instead encounters Carter. He stepped on some broken glass at Millicent’s house and is trying to remove a piece of it from his foot by himself. Abby tells him that she and Luka broke up, and Carter manages not to cheer out loud. When Carter leaves the room and Luka asks if he’s seen Abby, Carter sends him in the opposite direction to give Abby more time to hide out.

Carter joins Chen to treat the newborn, who was left at a church just moments after birth. They both have trouble inserting an IV to give the baby fluids, so Carter suggests inserting a line in her umbilical cord. He hasn’t done this since he was an intern, so Chen is hesitant and wants to get a more senior doctor. Carter insists he can do it.

Dave starts to ask Mark a question, but he gets distracted when he sees Niki down the hall. He follows her into an elevator, because Dave will follow a pretty woman anywhere if it means he can get some. She’s heard about him (more specifically, she’s been warned about him) and isn’t happy to be followed. She’s even less happy when the now-full elevator stops.

As Luka and Abby are finally forced to work on a patient together, Mark spots a familiar face in the ER: Rachel (now recast and slightly older). She took a train from St. Louis by herself, since Jen kicked her out. Chen and Carter keep working on the baby, noting that whoever delivered her tied off the umbilical cord with a shoelace. Chen thinks it’s time to ask Weaver for help, but Carter calmly inserts a line in the umbilical cord and is able to give the baby fluids.

The people in the stuck elevator are impatient to get out, but Dave stays calm, probably because he’s exactly where he wants to be. A patient named Eldon feels sick, but Dave tells everyone that if they all chill, everything will be fine. Eldon ignores him and vomits blood. Wow, Eldon, you found one of the few ways you could make this experience even worse. Good job.

The last time we saw Rachel, she was sweetly accepting her grandmother’s pearl necklace from Mark. Now she’s listening to loud music, talking about being a vegetarian, and complaining about her mother. She doesn’t go into detail about why Jen kicked her out, just saying Jen is crazy. Mark insists that they call Jen to let her know where Rachel is, though Rachel doesn’t think she’ll care. Elizabeth stops by the ER and is surprised to see Rachel. Mark just says she and Jen are having mother/daughter issues, which Elizabeth knows all about.

Eldon isn’t breathing, so Dave and Niki work together to revive him. Dave also keeps his eyes on the other passengers, making sure one of them keeps another from falling when she starts to pass out. Luka and Abby are also working together, keeping things professional but chilly. He tells her he’s sorry if he hurt her, and she says he didn’t. He just wants her to be happy, which she never seemed to be with him. Really? To me, she seemed happier with him than she ever did anywhere else. Also, I guess Luka’s allowed to brood but no one else is.

Dave and Niki continue working on Eldon, enlisting other passengers as nurses. Everyone’s pleased when Dave successfully performs a tricky procedure. Romano comes to the ER to bicker with Weaver over how Dave, Chen, and Carter treated Paul, the patient they failed to diagnose with Marfan’s. Weaver says it’s tricky to recognize, so it’s not the doctors’ fault that they screwed up. Romano reminds her that that’s why they have attendings. Weaver pretends she was just busy somewhere else, not across the street on personal business. Romano urges her to find a scapegoat if necessary.

The stuck elevator finally gets unstuck and all the passengers flee, other than Eldon. In other good news, Carter and Chen have stabilized the newborn. The woman who found the baby at the church comes by to see how she’s doing. She asks Carter to let her sister see the birthmark on the baby’s chest. She thinks it’s a sign of the Virgin Mary (it looks a little like a bleeding heart) and that it helped her arthritis. Chen thanks Carter for his help, and he says he’s available whenever she needs.

Abby didn’t have time to get the glass out of Carter’s foot before Chen needed his help, so she sits him down to keep working at it. She tells him about her mishap at Luka’s apartment, which she hasn’t mentioned to him. Carter advises her to replace the aquarium so Luka doesn’t think she broke it on purpose. Abby says she’s working on it but needs help getting a new tank into the apartment. Carter guesses that she means she needs his help, and he’s not on board. Abby reminds him that she removed glass from his foot, so like the animals in the fable about the thorn in the paw, he owes her.

Chen learns that Carter discharged the patient Weaver took from her, so she thinks Weaver didn’t trust her to treat the patient correctly. Carter reminds Chen that Weaver made her chief resident, so she must have some faith in Chen’s abilities. Chen thinks she only got the position by default.

Mark brings Elizabeth in to consult on a patient named Mrs. Tanzi who may have appendicitis. She has dementia and her health has deteriorated to the point where she can’t take care of herself or recognize her husband. He thinks she’s ready to die, so he wants to turn down the surgery Elizabeth says she needs. Mark is willing to agree, but Elizabeth isn’t.

Rachel interrupts while they’re discussing the patient, crying because Jen flipped out about her running away and threatened to send her to summer school. She thinks Jen hates her. Weaver goes looking for Dave, who’s needed to help with a trauma, and finds him with Niki in the back of her ambulance. They’re on a break, and they’re not fully clothed. Weaver tells Dave he’s fired. He tries to talk his way back into his job, but Weaver sticks to her decision. She erases his name from the patient board, and after she leaves, he writes it back in.

Mark calls Jen, who’s on her way to Chicago to retrieve her devil’s spawn. Mark spots one of his patients trying to leave before having his shoulder injury x-rayed. The patient says he saw the baby, so he’s going back to his rugby game. Mark’s understandably confused. Dave tries to get Mark to talk to Weaver on his behalf, but Weaver spots him and kicks him out again. Things get more hectic for Mark as Mr. Tanzi tells him that his wife isn’t in her bed. He’s worried that she wandered off. Mark goes to deal with that, telling Rachel to hush and Dave to talk to Weaver himself.

Cleo wraps up a loose end in a non-plotline when she learns that, after weeks of preventive treatments, she’s HIV-negative. She feels like she’s gotten her life back. Carter goes back to the baby’s trauma room, since she’s in distress again. He jokes to Chen that she might be worn out from performing miracles. He suggests that they repeat one of her blood tests. Weaver finds Mrs. Tanzi in the room and has a nurse take her back to bed. Chen discovers what’s wrong with the baby, and Carter gives her the credit for deciding to repeat the blood test, so Weaver will think she did something right. Weaver isn’t impressed, though.

Mr. Tanzi is surprised that his wife is suddenly better. Mark thinks that her appendix burst, which temporarily relieved her pain. He tries to talk Weaver into giving Dave his job back, noting that he’s not the first employee to have sex in the hospital (Mark himself has done that). Mr. Tanzi thinks his wife’s going to stay this lucid, so he changes his mind about her having surgery. Mark tells him her lucidity probably won’t last, but Mr. Tanzi wants her to be given every possible chance to stay alive.

After they leave the room, Weaver tells Mark that he’s not doing what’s best for the patient. Mark tells her that she’s free to take his patient away like she took Chen’s from her. Weaver argues that she was justified in firing Dave, considering his history of insubordination and disrespect. Mark tells her she can’t get rid of an employee just because they don’t get along. If she fired everyone she fought with in the ER, they’d have no staff.

Abby and Carter take an empty aquarium to Luke’s place, but Abby realizes too late that she left her key inside, so they can’t get in. She thinks a window might be open, so she makes Carter bend over so she can boost herself up on his back and reach the fire escape. It’s stuck, of course. She left the aquarium leaning against the building, and it starts to wobble and fall over. Carter rushes to catch it and leaves Abby dangling from the fire escape.

Jen is in Chicago now, and Mark sits her and Rachel down in the lounge to make them work things out. He thinks they’re both to blame for the breakdown in their relationship – Rachel needs to be more responsible and Jen needs to work less. Jen says they’ll figure things out when they get home. Rachel refuses to go back to St. Louis with her. She storms out, and Jen asks Mark to help them, but he has to go do his job.

Paramedics bring in a young woman who was hit by a car. Witnesses said she was already lying in the crosswalk before she was hit. Benton notices that she has a severed umbilical cord, and Haleh sees that she’s missing a shoelace. Looks like we found the mom of the miracle baby. Over at Luka’s, Abby and Carter have set up the new tank, but as they’re leaving with the old one, someone rings the doorbell. It’s the police.

The doctors stabilize the miracle baby mama, Anna, who claims that she doesn’t have a baby. In fact, she says she was never pregnant. Mark brings the baby into her trauma room and tries to get her to face reality. Anna finally admits that she left the baby at the church, thinking God would protect her. Chen says He did, and some people even think the baby is a miracle.

Carter calls his lawyer from the back of a police car, though Abby notes that they haven’t been charged with anything yet. She wonders what they would even be arrested for – “aquatic mischief?” Luka arrives and Abby starts worrying that he’ll press charges. Instead, Luka tells the police to let them go. Carter urges Abby to talk to him, but she wants to put that off.

Mark prepares to send Rachel back to St. Louis, telling her she can call him any time. She asks if she can stay in Chicago and live with him. She guilts him by saying she wants to get to know Ella and spend more time with Elizabeth, who’s a great role model. Mark seems open to the idea, even though it would be a huge change for Rachel.

Elizabeth operates on Mrs. Tanzi while Babcock talks about how mentally incompetent the patient is and how they shouldn’t bother trying to save her. Shut up, Babcock. Elizabeth is so sleep-deprived that she falls asleep during a lull in the procedure. She denies it, saying she was just resting her eyes. Babcock is skeptical, of course, but so is Shirley, and when Shirley’s worried, we should all pay attention.

As Benton is scrubbing in to operate on Anna, Jackie shows up with Reese. She can’t bring herself to spend time with Reese because he reminds her of Jesse. Benton tells Romano he’ll find someone to look after Reese while he operates, but Romano tells Benton to go spend quality time with his son. When Benton’s back is turned while he’s picking up Reese, Romano signs to Reese, “Take care of your father.”

Chen finds Dave moping in the ambulance bay and tries to assure him that Weaver will back down once she’s not so mad at him. Of course, she’s always mad at Dave, so… Dave thinks they’re right to be on the hot seat for not saving Paul. Dave was so intent on saving the patient that he didn’t look closely enough at his x-rays to see what the real problem was. Chen says that Paul’s death just means Dave is a real doctor. Medicine is the only thing Dave’s ever been good at, and he doesn’t want to give it up.

Abby and Carter go to her apartment, talking about a time she borrowed a car without permission (so, stole) to buy Wham tickets. Her upstairs neighbors are fighting, and the woman next door to Abby suggests that someone go up and talk to them. (This is possibly setting up a plot later in the season, but it doesn’t quite hold together, so it’s kind of pointless.)

When Elizabeth is done with Mrs. Tanzi’s surgery, Mark asks how she would feel about letting Rachel move in. He’s sure she would help out around the house and provide free babysitting. Elizabeth figures that Mark has already told her she can stay, so her opinion doesn’t really matter. Except we all know Elizabeth is the boss in this relationship, so if she said no, Mark would listen. Anyway, Rachel gets to stay, and we’ll all suffer the consequences.

Dave is finishing up his shift, and Weaver isn’t happy about it. He knows that if she really wanted to fire him, she would have to go through review and disciplinary committees, which would inevitably refer him for counseling instead of terminating him. Weaver points out that he has five letters in his file for unprofessional behavior and has been counseled for those five instances. He’s also failed two rotations. She might not be able to fire him outright, but she can make sure he can’t work in the ER anymore.

Dave thinks Weaver has it out for him because he doesn’t suck up to her. He knows he goofs around, but he’s also a good doctor. He thinks this is about her not liking him, not his performance. Weaver confirms that she doesn’t like him – he doesn’t respect his co-workers or the hospital. He thinks he’s a cowboy about medicine, but he can’t back it up. He makes mistakes that kill people.

The writers decide to throw in a dab of character background in some of Dave’s last minutes on screen: He tells Weaver he needs the job because he has a child to support. This is news to her, since he’s never mentioned being a father. Dave notes that she’s never asked about his personal life. Weaver repeats that he’s fired. He rants that she’s sad and cold-hearted, and no one likes her. The ER is so important to her because she has nothing else in her life. He ends the fight by calling her a “Nazi [gay slur I won’t repeat].” And thus Dave ends his last speaking appearance by losing all the sympathy he’d been building up.

Thoughts: Don’t cry for me because Dave is leaving. Rejoice with me because soon we’ll have Gallant.

’00s music alert: Cake’s “Short Skirt/Long Jacket”

“Too broken to fix?” “It was more like a crack.” Those familiar with later seasons of the show might agree that this exchange about Luka’s aquarium is a metaphor for his relationship with Abby. Okay, I’ll stop talking like an English major now.

Mark calls Dave and Niki’s romp in the ambulance an “unauthorized physical.” Funny, when Mark and Jen got caught doing the same thing in a bathroom, I said she was “giving him a physical.”

February 9, 2021

ER 8.1, Four Corners: What You Think Is Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 20, 2020

ER 7.7, Rescue Me: Mark and Elizabeth Both Have Unexpected Thanksgiving Guests

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

You’re not helping, Elvis singer

Summary: Benton and Reese are singing and signing “The Wheels on the Bus” together so we can start out the episode on a happy note. Then it gets sad really fast, because Jackie gets up and we’re reminded that her son just died. It’s Thanksgiving, and Benton was planning to spend it with Cleo (so that’s back on), but he’s willing to cancel if Jackie wants him around. She tells him she’s not cooking a big dinner, so he should go to Cleo’s.

Over at Mark and Elizabeth’s new house, his neck is still bothering him from the hockey game. Yes, that’s why. He’s made Green’s eggs and ham for breakfast (okay, that’s cute), but Elizabeth isn’t hungry. Mark is planning to make non-Thanksgiving food for Thanksgiving, though there will be pumpkin pie. A man comes to the door with a letter for Elizabeth and wishes her a happy Thanksgiving. That’s not going to happen – she’s being sued for malpractice.

Abby drives Maggie to the bus station as Maggie asks to stay through the holiday weekend. She admits that she lost her job and Eric isn’t talking to her, so she can’t go back to Florida. Abby is out of sympathy; she’s given Maggie money, and that’s as far as she’s going to help her right now. Maggie says she loves Abby as Abby drops her off, but Abby doesn’t say it back.

Benton takes Reese to County with him, and Cleo and Reese sign with each other cutely. She’s looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner with her family; Benton will meet her parents for the first time. He assures her that Jackie’s fine with him going since she doesn’t want him around. At the admit desk, Weaver complains that Carter and Chen are late; the rain is no excuse. Before Weaver leaves after a night shift, she checks in with Legaspi, who’s tending to an anxious man carrying a live turkey. Legaspi compliments Weaver’s new look (she got contacts).

Abby tells Weaver that Maggie is on her way home, then apologizes for the chaos Maggie caused in the ER. Weaver says there’s nothing to apologize for, since Maggie’s sick. Abby then catches up with Luka, and they both start to invite each other to dinner at the same time. They figure Doc Magoo’s will be the only place open on Thanksgiving, so Abby suggests that she cook.

Paramedics bring in a man who was hit by a car while riding his bike. As Abby and Luka are taking care of him, Maggie shows up in the ER. She says she can’t leave Abby. Even when she gets sprayed with the patient’s blood, she stays put. Carter stitches up a man named Mr. Florea who’s been in three times already this week, wanting pain medication. Carter offers to refer him to a pain clinic. Florea doesn’t like being pegged as an addict by someone who can’t know anything about his pain.

A woman comes in looking for Luka’s patient, Jim, and Maggie offers to show her where he is, since the staff is busy. If Jim’s neck wound is any indication, he’s not doing well. The wound is so bad that Luka is able to pull a piece of gauze right through it. When Abby leaves to get some supplies, Maggie tells her that the woman she’s brought over is Jim’s wife. The woman (she never gets a name; I’m calling her Dara because the actress playing her was Dara on General Hospital in the ’90s) says she’s not his wife – she’s the driver who hit him. Maggie tells Abby she’s not leaving until they talk.

Romano blasts Elizabeth for screwing up Patterson’s surgery, which has now put the hospital at risk. Patterson walked into the hospital with back pain and will now be leaving in a wheelchair. A jury isn’t going to like that. Elizabeth says she thought it went fine. She’ll talk to Risk Management and make sure Romano is protected. Romano tells her not to discuss the case with anyone, then heads off for a long weekend.

Jim is, indeed, in really bad shape, and Luka determines that they can’t save him. Happy Thanksgiving, Jim’s family, and also Dara. Luka gets the fun job of telling Dara that she accidentally killed someone. Maggie hands Dara’s baby to Luka while she comforts Dara. Yes, it’s horrible, but at least we get to see Luka holding a cute baby.

Abby’s started smoking again, thanks to her stress over Maggie, and Luka joins her on a smoke break. Abby asks if it’ll ever stop. She claims she means the rain, but she obviously means the chaos Maggie brings into her life. Luka says it has to stop eventually. Carter continues to refuse to give Florea anything stronger than over-the-counter meds for his pain, even though Florea says he’s suffering.

Chen’s mother shows up in the ER, and Randi sends her to the waiting room until Chen’s available. She joins Maggie there, and they chat about having daughters who work in the ER. Maggie realizes that the elder Chen’s daughter is “the cute one – pregnant!” This is the first Chen Sr. has heard that she’s going to be a grandmother. She invites her daughter to Thanksgiving dinner that night, but Chen can’t face her entire family. Carter overhears the conversation and gives her an excuse to leave.

Cleo pages Benton to the ER to tell him that Debbie, a patient he operated on last year, has come in. Her breast cancer has spread to her spine, and she’s in a lot of pain. Her pharmacy doesn’t carry narcotics anymore because of a bunch of robberies, so she wasn’t able to fill her morphine prescription. Debbie’s oncologist is away for the holiday, so she came to the hospital. Benton prescribes her some medication, but if she needs more, she’ll have to come back to the hospital tomorrow. Cleo suggests admitting her for pain control, which Benton agrees to.

Elizabeth tells Mark that Romano is going to handle everything related to the lawsuit. Mark notes that he’ll just protect himself, not Elizabeth. He has a friend in Risk Management who could give them some advice. Elizabeth feels bad for dragging Mark into this, but he notes that they’re getting married, so they share problems now.

Maggie’s still in the waiting room, sitting with a woman named Judy who’s serenading the ER with Elvis’ greatest hits. The current song is “It’s Now or Never.” Carter’s in a bad mood and thinks Randi should be working harder. Abby won’t talk to Maggie, and she’s sick of Maggie just sitting there, so she asks Randi to get security to kick her out. Carter thinks she’s going too far.

Judy moves on to “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” before Abby hushes her so she can finally talk to Maggie, though it’s only to tell Maggie to go back to Florida. She ditches Maggie again to help Elizabeth, Chuny, and Lydia with a hospital pharmacy tech who OD’d in a supply room. He’s combative, so Elizabeth decides he should be given medication to paralyze him so they can intubate him. When she tries the intubation, she starts feeling dizzy, then nauseous. Abby takes over the intubation as Maggie looks on proudly.

Florea’s scans show that his pain is real, thanks to a huge clot. Carter learns that he left the hospital and races to catch him before he can get on an El train. Florea has already collapsed by the time Carter finds him, so Carter calls Randi and tells her to have a gurney sent to the station. When they get Florea to the ER, Chuny refuses to agree to Carter’s course of treatment without running down a checklist. She thinks that Florea’s status indicates that he can’t safely have the treatment. Carter says he’ll do everything himself.

Randi tells Benton that the pharmacy tech who OD’d was secretly cooking meth in the basement pharmacy. Wow, hospital security is worse at their jobs than I thought. Cleo tells Benton that Debbie’s HMO won’t approve her admission to the hospital. Benton says that they’ll have to release her, but Cleo points out that she’s not well enough to take a bus home, then back to the hospital. Benton won’t fight the HMO, and Cleo says Debbie would be better off without insurance, if they’re just going to place restrictions on her care.

Mark asks Benton how Jackie’s doing (not great, Mark!), then asks Randi how long Maggie will be in the waiting room. Randi says they’ve started a pool; her guess is three days. Luka joins Carter to treat Florea, telling him to stop the treatment for his clot since he hasn’t gotten a head CT. Carter refuses, knowing that Florea won’t survive to have surgery if he stops the treatment. Luka pulls rank, but it doesn’t matter, since Carter has just stabilized Florea. Of course, that doesn’t mean his brain will function properly.

Mark stitches up a woman who cut herself while chopping celery for stuffing. As she blabbers about stuffing, Mark starts looking unwell. He leaves the room, ignoring everyone who talks to him, and goes to the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror. He makes a few faces and sticks out his tongue, then washes his face. It looks like he was temporarily unable to talk.

Lydia invites Abby to Thanksgiving at her place; she’s already hosting 30 people. Her secret to serving so many people is giving them takeout on fine china. Maggie tries again to get Abby to talk to her, following her out of the ER into the rain. Maggie says that she always worked hard to take care of Abby and Eric, but Abby says they took care of her. Plus, she only worked hard to provide for the family while she was taking her medication. Maggie says she can see a lot of herself in Abby.

Abby tells her that when she was a child, she prayed every night that Maggie would take her lithium. She and Eric never knew what to expect – would Maggie be manic or depressed? When Abby was ten, Maggie was so upset that she visited her father that Maggie chased her around the house with a knife. Maggie begs Abby to see her as a person instead of her disease. Abby can’t get past the fact that she was only ten and had to hide from her mother. Maggie reminds her that she didn’t choose to be sick. Abby replies that she never tried to get better.

Weaver’s the only person on the show who’s having a good day. She’s so happy, she’s singing in the shower. Back at the hospital, Mark talks to a doctor about his suddenly inability to talk and his head and neck pain. The doctor gives him an MRI. Meanwhile, Chen gives Elizabeth a pregnancy test and confirms the reason Elizabeth hasn’t been feeling well all day. Mark’s news is much worse than Elizabeth’s: He has a brain tumor. He’ll need to talk to a neurosurgeon as soon as possible.

Weaver’s happy because her Thanksgiving plans are dinner with Legaspi. Fun fact: At one point in time, Weaver was married. The women have a great time together, drinking wine and laughing. Not having a great time: Mark, who heads home for dinner with the knowledge that there’s something in his brain that shouldn’t be there.

Carter offers Abby help with Maggie, but Abby knows how to handle this. She knows that Maggie will just promise to go back on her medication, then not do it. She chastises a patient for smoking in his bed and tells him to go outside to smoke. He notes that it’s raining and he has pneumonia. Abby smells something in the room other than smoke. As Maggie is asking Carter to talk to Abby for her, something explodes in Abby’s patient’s room. Carter runs in to get her. Luka takes over care of the smoking patient as Carter examines Abby to see if she’s hurt.

Chen gathers her courage and goes to her parents’ house. Her mother thinks her father will be okay when he learns that Chen is pregnant. Chen has always underestimated them. Chen asks if her mother will still love the baby if the father is black. The elder Chen’s face says no. Chen says that’s why she didn’t tell her parents she was pregnant. She leaves.

Dave shows up in the episode with eight minutes to go, just so he can learn that ether from the meth lab caused the explosion. The pharmacy tech who OD’d is one of the meth cookers; they were transporting the ether in IV bags, and one got mixed in with the regular bags and sent to a patient’s room. Wow, imagine the lawsuit if someone had actually been hooked up to that. It would have made Elizabeth’s lawsuit look minuscule. Carter examines Abby, who has some chest pain but insists she’s fine. The smoking patient will also be okay. In addition, Florea’s CT was normal, so Carter’s risk paid off.

Weaver and Legaspi have started sharing meaningful stories from their pasts with each other. They’ve been at the restaurant for so long that it’s starting to close. Legaspi notes that this is their second meal together, which some might consider a date. She confirms that Weaver knows she’s gay. Weaver quickly says that she knows, and she has no problem with it. She has gay friends. Weaver has friends? Huh. Okay. Legaspi admits that she thought Weaver had a crush on her. After all, Weaver keeps paging her to the ER. Weaver says she’s straight and just likes spending time with Legaspi. Really, she’s straight. Super-straight. Nothing other than straight.

On the way to dinner, Cleo invites Benton to open up to her. Benton says he’s upset that Romano docked his pay for punching Dave after Jesse died. Cleo thinks he’s right to be mad, and that Dave deserved the punch. She also thinks Benton should be madder about the fact that Jesse got pegged as a gang-banger because he’s Black, which is probably also the reason Debbie isn’t getting the care she needs.

Benton says she needs to stop teaching people how to be Black. Huh? She’s complaining about racism. Is Benton projecting? Cleo tells Benton he needs to face reality. Debbie’s pharmacy is in a Black neighborhood, which is why it keeps getting robbed. Benton notes that Cleo grew up in the suburbs, so she can’t know about Debbie’s problems. Excuse me?

Benton continues that he knows who he is and doesn’t have anything to prove. Who said anything about having to prove something?? Cleo’s saying that their Black patients don’t get the level of treatment that their white patients do. It has nothing to do with Benton! Cleo asks if that means she does, since her mother is white. She calls off Thanksgiving dinner with Benton by getting off the train before their stop.

Abby has a cracked rib and a slight concussion but is otherwise fine. She walks right by Maggie, who’s still in the waiting room, then stops and lets Maggie catch up with her. The mom-drama cycle will continue. Elizabeth meets Mark at home and announces that she’s pregnant. Mark tells her that’s great news, then keeps his own news to himself.

Thoughts: Yet again, a medical professional on this show has an unplanned pregnancy. Do these people know anything about birth control?

Benton’s bedside manner in this episode is ten times better than Carter’s. That’s scary.

The woman who hurt herself cutting up celery has learned what I already know: Celery ruins everything.

October 13, 2020

ER 7.6, The Visit: Mommy Drearest

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

She’s heeeeeeere…

Summary: Things in the ER are moving in slow motion, for no apparent reason. I think it has something to do with Luka’s whole deal. Anyway, things get back to normal in time for Luka, Benton, and Dave to start helping a patient who’s lost his hand. He’s a drug dealer, and Dave doesn’t have much sympathy for him. Fortunately, Benton has no patience for his lack of sympathy.

Carter’s at an AA meeting but is doing a crossword puzzle instead of giving the current speaker his full attention. Abby’s also in the room and notices. Back at County, Dave jokes about shooting Romano and using the patient’s hand to frame him for the murder. Benton still has no patience for him. He tells Dave to be respectful of both Benton and the patient when they’re working together. Dave also needs to call him Dr. Benton – definitely not Pete.

At the end of the meeting, Carter asks someone to sign his card indicating that he was there. Abby chastises him for not listening. Carter says he was, and besides, he’s been to plenty of meetings, so it’s not like this is a new experience. Abby urges him to share something in a meeting. She also thinks he might get more out of a group for drug addicts instead of alcoholics. Carter makes it clear that he’s just fulfilling his obligations and isn’t there to, like, better himself or anything.

Abby heads to work as Chen gets ready to go home. Chen asks if Abby and Luka are still dating, then wonders if he’s okay. Abby says he’s fine. Things are calm in the ER, which Mark says is a sign that things will get crazy at the end of the shift. Weaver tells Frank to call security to kick a homeless frequent flier out of a storage room where he’s fallen asleep. Frank volunteers to do the kicking-out himself, but Weaver stops him when he picks up a stick to help him.

Mark needs to leave at 6:00 for something personal, as he reminds Weaver. We will hear about this a lot in this episode. Abby asks Luka if they can have lunch together, and he agrees, if he has time. A woman named Maggie comes to the ambulance bay with a bag of food, telling Chuny she’s looking for her daughter, who works there. Chuny hands her off to someone else while she helps Luka with a patient, a seventh-grader named Theresa who had a bad fall. Luka sends her father, Mr. Ruiz, out of the room, then tells Theresa she needs x-rays, so she needs to let him know if there’s any chance she’s pregnant.

Chen meets with an adoption caseworker to discuss possibilities for her baby. The caseworker says that many women of Asian descent change their minds about placing their children for adoption. They’re at a playground, and Chen thinks the caseworker has brought her there to try to convince her that children are awesome. The caseworker asks Chen if the baby’s father has given up his parental rights. Chen says she doesn’t want him to have the baby, but the caseworker says he has rights.

Weaver finds Maggie in the lounge, making coffee to go with the bagels she’s brought in for the staff. Malik manages to grab a bagel before Weaver shuts down the breakfast buffet. Maggie tells her she’s there to see her daughter, Abby. Abby’s currently with Elizabeth, who’s examining a man named Patterson who hurt his back while surfing. Frank comes in to tell Abby that her mother’s there. Abby denies that she could be there, since her mother’s in Florida. She humors Frank by following him to the admit desk, but when she sees Maggie, she tells Frank she has no idea who Maggie is.

Luka wants to perform a neurological exam on Theresa, so her father goes to call his work and let them know he’ll be late. Theresa insists she’s fine, but Luka finds bruises on her back that definitely don’t look fine. Frank keeps putting Maggie off, telling her that her daughter will be out to see her as soon as possible. He’s just delaying her until someone from the psych department can come speak to her. In a second delay tactic, Luka and Weaver conspire to keep Theresa in the hospital longer than necessary until police can get there. Luka thinks Theresa’s father is abusing her.

Maggie is done serving breakfast and is now cleaning up in the lounge. Weaver wants to talk to her about her claim that her daughter works there, but Maggie, who’s talking a mile a minute, has trouble focusing on a single topic. Weaver tells her that Abby says Maggie isn’t her mother. Maggie goes looking for Abby, yelling her name through the halls. Weaver tells Frank to call security and contact psych again. Meanwhile, Abby calls her brother Eric to ask why Maggie’s in Chicago. Abby can’t deal with her right now.

Elizabeth tells Patterson that he needs surgery and shouldn’t wait until he gets home to have it (he’s in Chicago on business). Patterson doesn’t want surgery, so Elizabeth suggests an outpatient procedure she can perform that afternoon. Weaver follows a still-yelling Maggie through the halls until a security guard finds them and tries to calm her down. Finally, Abby comes clean and confirms that Maggie’s her mother.

Elizabeth, Mark, and Dave treat a teen with a gunshot wound. Eagle-eyed viewers will recognize him as Benton’s recently aged nephew, Jesse. Abby asks Maggie if Eric knows she’s in Chicago. Apparently she just left home, probably not even telling her boss she wouldn’t be coming to work. While Maggie goes to get her things from the lounge, Weaver confirms with Abby that Maggie has bipolar disorder and is clearly not taking her medication.

Mark’s evening plans come up again, and Elizabeth promises that nothing will delay her from being off work by 6:00. They’re heading to Wisconsin for a little getaway. Jesse starts declining, but Dave is thrilled because he’s learning so much from treating him. Well, I’m glad you’re enjoying Jesse’s poor health.

Cleo is the first to realize that Jesse is the patient when she runs into Jackie in a waiting area. She races to the OR where Benton is operating and brings him to Jesse’s trauma room. Dave is cavalier about his “gang-banger” patient, so Benton elbows him out of the way to take over tending to Jesse. Cleo informs the doctors that their patient is Benton’s nephew.

Abby asks Luka for a chat, but she’ll have to wait until he doesn’t have a patient demanding his attention. Carter has just arrived at work and is happy to talk. Romano pulls Elizabeth from Jesse’s trauma to ask why she’s doing endoscopic surgery on Patterson instead of the procedure he really needs. Romano thinks she’s cutting corners so she can leave work by 6:00. Elizabeth glares at him, then returns to Jesse, who’s not doing well. Benton wants to pack Jesse’s head in ice to preserve his brain function. Dave is highly skeptical, but Mark is willing to give it a try.

By the waterfront, Abby tells Carter all about her mother. Her father left when she was a kid, and Maggie would do fun, exciting things with the kids that they didn’t realize at the time were just her being manic. Then, of course, she would get depressed, leaving Abby to take care of herself and Eric. Maggie won’t take medication because she enjoys her mania so much. Abby knows she’s not strong enough to deal with Maggie again right now.

Cleo tells Jackie that Benton is working with a trauma team to take care of Jesse, but he’s in bad shape. A girl named Kynesha arrives and tearfully asks Jackie if Jesse’s okay. Jackie kicks her out, ordering the girl to stay away from Jesse. Back in the trauma room, Elizabeth keeps an eye on Benton’s mental state as he tries desperately to save his nephew. It’s clear to everyone else in the room that they won’t be able to, but they don’t tell Benton to give up.

Mr. Ruiz is angry that Luka has kept him and Theresa in the hospital for so long. Finally, a detective arrives to talk to Mr. Ruiz about Theresa’s bruises. Mr. Ruiz is understandably offended that the detective and Luka would accuse him of beating his daughter. Benton has convinced himself that he can stop Jesse’s bleeding, but eventually he realizes there’s nothing he can do. Elizabeth gently indicates that he needs to stop. Benton fights back tears, then goes to see Jackie, who can tell just from looking at him that he doesn’t have good news. She screams in devastation.

It’s time for Chen to tell the baby’s father that…well, he’s the baby’s father. She’s never mentioned his name, but as many viewers had already guessed, it’s Frank. (Not Frank the desk clerk. That would be too weird.) She apologizes for not telling him about her pregnancy sooner, then announces him she wants to place the baby for adoption. He seems surprisingly unconcerned about all of this.

Mark has a headache, which he thinks is from taking a hit while playing hockey. Spoiler: Nope! He reminds Elizabeth that they’re leaving at 6:00. WE KNOW. Dave worries that Benton heard him trash-talking Jesse before he knew Jesse was Benton’s nephew. Mark’s like, “That’s really not my problem.” A boy named Vinnie comes in looking for Theresa but doesn’t go to see her.

Elizabeth does Patterson’s procedure, keeping one eye on the clock since it’s almost 6:00. Babcock the anesthesiologist says there’s some fluid leaking from the site of the procedure, but Elizabeth says it’s just from the irrigation fluid. Legaspi comes to the ER to talk to Maggie about not taking her medication. Maggie says she doesn’t like how she feels on lithium, so she’s taking Prozac, an antidepressant. That could trigger a manic episode, so Legaspi offers to write her a prescription for something else.

Abby wonders if she’ll actually take it. She gives Maggie some money so she can take a bus back to Florida. Maggie cries about being sent away, since she wants to be there to support Abby through her divorce (which happened a year ago). Abby chastises her for acting crazy and embarrassing Abby at work. Next Maggie will get depressed and Abby will have to worry about her hurting herself. Maggie stomps out crying.

Dave finds Benton alone with Jesse’s body and apologizes for not being more respectful of Jesse. Benton warns Dave to get away from him. Instead, Dave says that he just thought Jesse was some gang-banger. Benton hits him, and they end up in a brawl that has to be broken up by other staff members. Dave says he was just trying to apologize. Well, you suck at it.

The detective tells Luka that Theresa swears her father hasn’t hurt her. That means she can’t be taken out of her home. Luka gives it another try, asking Theresa what really happened that morning. She sticks to her story that she fell. Luka tells her that sometimes people who love us hurt us. It’s a sickness they need to get help with. He informs Theresa that she’s pregnant, and she says she knew this could happen. The baby’s father refuses to use a condom, which leads to fights, which lead to the abuse. Don’t worry, the baby’s father isn’t Theresa’s father – it’s Vinnie.

It’s after 6:00, so Elizabeth is gone for the night when Patterson starts experiencing severe back pain and numbness in his legs. Romano examines him and realizes he’s leaking spinal fluid. That’s probably not good. Elizabeth and Mark have just checked into their hotel room when she gets a call about Patterson’s complications. So much for a quiet weekend away.

Back at County, Benton cleans up Jesse’s body instead of letting a nurse do it. Cleo joins him silently. Abby’s heading home for the night when she finds Maggie crying on an El platform in just a summer dress, no coat. Maggie apologizes for ruining everything in her kids’ lives. Abby gives Maggie her coat and promises she doesn’t hate her. Looks like it’s back to the mom-drama cycle for Abby.

Thoughts: Maggie is, of course, played by Sally Field. Patterson is played by Alan Dale.

Dave’s lucky he keeps his job as long as he does, after his behavior in this episode. Remember how Romano joked that he had his fingers crossed when he took the Hippocratic Oath? Dave probably just mumbled it. Stop judging your patients and just make them better, dude.

Shouldn’t Frank be more shocked to realize he got his one-night stand pregnant? He acts almost like he was expecting this. The Frank we saw in “Under Control” would, at the very least, ask Chen how she was feeling.

Once again, Cleo demonstrates her willingness to help out wherever she’s needed, and without being asked. I like that she goes to talk to Jackie while Benton’s working on Jesse, since Benton can’t be the one to comfort her. And this is while Cleo and Benton are barely on speaking terms. She could have just let someone else deal with Jackie. Instead, she sucked it up and showed Jackie some genuine compassion.

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