May 14, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 23, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interestingly, Carla’s now fine with needles.

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

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

March 19, 2019

ER 3.14, Whose Appy Now?: DNR? NBD

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

Heh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 18, 2018

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

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

A nice, angst-free moment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 7, 2018

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

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

Hulda seems more fun than Linda anyway

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 3, 2018

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

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

Welcome to the madhouse, Susie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 12, 2018

ER 1.21, House of Cards: Handle With Care

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

“Google Earth. Always taking pics”

Summary: This show is seriously obsessed with people sleeping. Doug is in bed with Diane, and since he slept through his alarm, she wants him to get moving before Jake finds out he spent the night. But when Doug goes to use the bathroom, he runs into Jake, who knows he’s been there the past two nights. He also doesn’t care that his mother is in a relationship.

If you’ve missed seeing Benton be short with Carter and Chen, you’re in luck! Here he is, being short with Carter and Chen. The students are supposed to complete procedure books by the end of the day, and Chen’s isn’t done. She complains that Carter’s been there longer and has done more procedures, so he has an advantage. She’s especially mad that he’s already done a femoral cutdown.

Mark wants his patient to have an ultrasound in case he has appendicitis. Susan doesn’t think it’s necessary, since he could just have gas. Swift joins them and makes his own diagnosis: the flu. The stomach pain is from gas, and the ultrasound is unnecessary. Mark doesn’t appreciate being second-guessed.

Mae is ready to be released from the hospital, but Benton and Jackie haven’t told her they’re sending her to a care facility. Benton wants to be the one to break the news, but Jackie comes along so the siblings can provide a united front. Mae doesn’t take the news well, but she doesn’t protest like she’s done in the past.

Susan thinks Swift was out of line the way he jumped into her and Mark’s case, but Mark thinks he was right to stop them from running unnecessary tests. He knows Swift’s opinion of him isn’t going to change. The two are pulled in to tend to a new patient, and Susan allows Carter to insert a central line. Chen is again jealous. Doug examines a girl named Janette who probably has the flu, though her heart rate is a little fast. Her mother, Mrs. Ryan, worries about the cost of the tests Doug needs to run, since she doesn’t have insurance. Doug promises that they’ll work something out.

Mark and Carter examine a woman named Anita who has a bad cough. Mark suspects tuberculosis, but Anita isn’t forthcoming with details that might help him come to a conclusion. She finally admits that her daughter has also been sick. Mark wants to make her stay at the hospital, since she could be highly contagious, but he can’t force her. All he can do is give her medicine and advise her to take it. Anita seems nervous about her immigration status, but Mark promises they won’t ask any questions. She agrees to stay a little longer.

Susan and Carol try to keep straight faces while welcoming two patients, elderly sisters who were involved in a slow-motion car crash. The paramedic who brings them in, Zadro, says the only danger they present is to each other. Janette gets worse quickly, and Doug has to shock her heart back into rhythm. Carol examines one of the elderly sisters and realizes that one of them, Sari, has horrible vision, even with her huge glasses. She blames her sister, Shirley, thinking Shirley blinded her in the car accident. Then Carol realizes that Sari’s wearing the wrong glasses. Womp womp?

Haleh invites Carter to perform a pelvic exam that he can include in his procedures book. Carter’s already done plenty of those, but Haleh doesn’t care. Doug tells Mrs. Ryan that Janette has a heart condition and needs to be admitted. She’ll be fine, and someone from Social Services will help Mrs. Ryan apply for Medicaid. Susan encourages Mark to talk to Swift about his behavior earlier, but Mark still doesn’t see a point. When a pregnant patient comes in, Mark tells Susan to take her.

Carter’s patient, Mrs. Blum, has requested him personally, though he’s never met her. She explains that he treated her friend Barbara, who got pregnant a week after Carter examined her. Barbara thinks Carter was the key, so she told her friend to see him in hopes that she’ll get pregnant as well. Swift asks Mark why Susan’s examining the pregnant patient Mark was supposed to see. Swift knows about Jodi and wants Mark to present her case at a conference that afternoon.

Mrs. Salazar does indeed have TB, so Mark tells her to bring her family in to get tested. Mrs. Salazar says she’ll bring them tomorrow; she feels okay and wants to leave. Mark tries to tell her how serious her illness could be, and how worried he is about her kids. He tells her straight out that her immigration status doesn’t matter. Mrs. Salazar ignores him when he angrily tells her that she’ll infect anyone she comes into contact with if she leaves. Susan pulls him out of the room and points out that yelling isn’t going to make Mrs. Salazar want to stick around.

Doug has a patient who needs a procedure Carter hasn’t performed yet, so Carter gets to do something else to put in his book. He gets peed on by a baby for his troubles, but at least Carol, Doug, and the baby’s mother get a good laugh. Susan talks to a woman named Mrs. Gainsley whose husband made her come in because he thinks she has paranoid delusions. Her answers to Susan’s questions don’t indicate that she does, but that doesn’t keep Susan and Lydia from becoming concerned over the arsenal of weapons she’s brought with her.

Jeanie’s waiting with Mae for the ambulance that will take her to her new home. Benton promises his mother that she’ll like the facility, but she doesn’t want to talk to him. Doug thinks Mark will do fine at his conference, but Mark knows the doctors attending will be out for his blood. He gets even more worried when he learns that the conference room where the “interrogation” was going to take place was too small to hold all the attendees, so it’s been moved to the auditorium.

Chen’s day starts looking up when she hears Benton chastising Carter for giving a patient water when she wasn’t supposed to eat or drink anything. Carter’s mistake leads to Chen being rewarded with an invitation to scrub in with Benton. The auditorium is full, and it’s time for Mark’s interrogation. Despite the short amount of time he was given to prepare, Mark answers all the questions like a pro. Swift defends Mark’s skills, but Coburn won’t stop pressing him. Mark admits to his mistakes, saying he should have taken Jodi up to OB earlier.

After the interrogation, Swift tells Mark that eventually he’ll get over his feelings of guilt for what happened to Jodi. Mark wonders if he’s supposed to feel relieved once everything gets worked out. Then he tells Swift not to disagree with a diagnosis in front of a patient again. Doug gets Jake a bike, which seems inappropriate when Diane hasn’t even spoken to Jake about their relationship. But it’s Doug, so I probably shouldn’t expect better from him.

Mrs. Salazar has split, and though Lydia offers to reach her at home, Mark thinks she gave them a fake address. Susan enlists him to help take care of a patient named Mr. Smiley who crashed his car. Smiley is uncooperative and resists medical attention, but since he’s drunk, Mark gets to override him. Chen’s riding high on her great day and even offers to get Haleh coffee. In exchange, she asks Haleh to throw her some procedures.

Haleh sends Chen to insert an IV on a drug addict. Wendy determines that the patient needs a central line, a procedure Chen hasn’t performed yet. As Mark, Susan, Benton, and Carol finish up with Smiley, Wendy finds Chen finishing up her patient’s central line. She wasn’t supposed to do it, and definitely not on her own. Wendy’s worried that she’ll get fired (though she wasn’t in the room and didn’t know Chen was doing it, so she’ll probably be off the hook).

Chen thinks she’s done everything right, but she realizes that she left the guide wire in the patient’s chest. Swift and Benton have to get involved, and the patient will have to go to the cath lab. Carter finds out what happened and tries to talk to Chen, who runs off in distress. And that’s why you don’t compete with your colleagues in a profession where mistakes can lead to major complications and even death.

Carter later admits to Carol that he feels responsible, though she points out that he wasn’t the one who almost killed someone. Benton comes looking for Chen, telling Carter that Swift wants to talk to her. The patient is okay, but he could sue. Diane chastises Doug for getting Jake a bike when he already has one. He can’t just get Jake everything he wants. Diane thinks Doug is trying to go through Jake to win her over.

Mark and Susan go to Doc Magoo’s together, and he reveals for the first time that he and Jen are over. He’s worried about all the time he’ll lose with Rachel. Susan urges him to go to Milwaukee and try to smooth things over. Back in the ER, Doug, Carol, and Lydia work on a boy named Billy who was hit by a truck. It goes on forever, and I’m not sure of the point, other than to demonstrate that, while emotionally immature, Doug is a competent doctor. Afterward, Diane offers a peace offering in the form of pizza with Jake.

Mae is settling into her new home, looking at old pictures with Benton. She thinks he’s younger than he is and asks if he still wants to be a doctor. She tells him that his talent is God’s gift to him; what he does with it is his gift back to God. Mark calls Jen from the doctors’ lounge and tells her he wants to visit the next day. She puts him off until the weekend. Mark ends the call by telling Jen he loves her, but she doesn’t say it back. Susan goes home to a surprise outside her apartment: Chloe. She’s baaaaaaack.

Carter goes to see Chen at her house, which is actually her parents’ mansion. It’s full of people attending a catered party. She admits that she wanted the central-line procedure so badly that she didn’t care about the patient. She’s going to quit. Carter thinks she can get past this and become a great doctor. Chen doesn’t like being surrounded by sickness, though; she only likes the science part of medicine.

Carter tells her that when he was a kid, his brother was sick, and was in and out of the hospital. When Carter saw how the doctors treated him, he realized that’s what he wanted to be. Chen says that’s the difference between them – Carter cares about his patients, and takes the time to listen to them. She’s not looking forward to telling her parents what happened, and is wise enough to know she should wait until after the party, which is for their anniversary. She’s grateful that Carter came to see her.

Mark’s horrible day ends on a high note when Mrs. Salazar returns to the hospital with her children so they can be treated. At Susan’s, Chloe reveals that her boyfriend ditched her and sold her stuff. She still has Susan’s coat, though a kid in the car she hitched a ride in threw up on it. Susan wants her to see an OB (hopefully not Coburn), since she’s only seen a doctor once in her time away. Despite all the angst Chloe causes, Susan’s happy that her sister’s okay, and is ready to help her through whatever comes next.

Thoughts: ‘Bye, Chen! You served no purpose in these episodes, and you’re mostly just annoying when you come back in season 6. Congratulations on being a waste of Ming Na’s talents.

I thought the twist was going to be that Mrs. Gainsley’s husband was dead, so she really was delusional because she was talking to his ghost.

Coburn shouldn’t be asking any questions at Mark’s interrogation, since her department is to blame for not coming to the ER.

May 29, 2018

ER 1.19, Love’s Labor Lost: To Live and Die in Chicago

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

Go ahead and start crying now, it’s okay

Summary: Mark and Doug are tossing around a football outside the hospital when a car speeds up and a man is tossed out. As Mark tends to him, Benton is overseeing treatment of his mother. Mark quizzes Carter and Chen on what to do with his patient, but they’re too slow to answer, and the nurses are smarter than they are anyway. Haleh realizes that Mae doesn’t want to be undressed in front of her son, so she kicks Benton out of her trauma room.

Mark’s patient has a gunshot wound, and they send him to surgery once he’s stable. A doctor named Wilson is annoyed that Benton paged him to the ER, and even more annoyed when Benton tries to invite himself into the OR to observe his mother’s operation. Mark and Carter examine a man who tried to sand off one of his tattoos. He’ll need a skin graft to repair the damage, but that means replacing the tattoo with part of another. Carter congratulates Mark on becoming an attending, and Mark compares working in the ER to joining the circus.

As Benton waits impatiently for news about his mother’s condition, Mark meets Sean and Jodi O’Brien, a couple about to welcome their first child. Jodi appears to have a bladder infection but no other medical problems. Carter examines a man’s face, asking him to do things like track Carter’s finger with his eyes and press his face against Carter’s hand. He misunderstands when Carter says to show him his teeth, and ends up offering Carter his dentures.

Jackie and her kids come to the hospital to wait with Benton, who knows his sister’s angry with him for not taking better care of Mae. A man brings in his son, who he thinks is under the influence of something. His son was visiting him at the greenhouse where he works. Mark shares Jodi’s case with Carter and Chen, who confirm that she has a bladder infection. She just needs antibiotics. A woman asks Mark, Carter, and Doug to sign a get-well card for her, which I guess is supposed to be funny.

The boy from the greenhouse gets worse, and Mark realizes that his condition is related to the nursery where his father works – he has insecticide poisoning. Let’s hope his father apologizes for thinking he was drunk or high. Chen complains to Carter that everyone they see is sick and old, so I guess when she applied to medical school, she thought she would end up working at Cute and Fuzzy Bunny General Hospital. As they’re hoping that the rest of their shift will be calm, Sean runs in calling for help – Jodi passed out in the car.

Benton goes to Mae’s OR and tries to talk his way into scrubbing in. Wilson angrily kicks him out. Mark determines that Jodi has eclampsia, so she’ll need to be admitted. She starts seizing, and Sean watches helplessly as Mark and other doctors and nurses stabilize her. Fortunately, the baby seems fine. Mark tells Sean that eclampsia causes blood vessels to spasm, which leads to a lack of oxygen to the brain. They need to deliver the baby soon. Mark’s shift is supposed to be over, so Susan offers to take over Jodi’s case, but Mark feels bad about letting her go earlier and wants to see things through.

An ultrasound shows that the baby’s okay, and Sean and a now-conscious Jodi start discussing names. Mark talks Carter through how they evaluate unborn babies and determine how healthy they are. The baby’s heart rate is 140, exactly in the middle of the healthy range of 120 to 160. Mark calls Janet Coburn, the head of obstetrics, to fill her in; she’s at another hospital and won’t be at County for another hour. Mark tells her he’s comfortable delivering Jodi’s baby.

He then tells the O’Briens that everything is good, and he thinks they should do a trial of labor. Jodi agrees, wanting to deliver naturally rather than undergo a C-section. The OB resident, Drake, has to go back to his floor, but Mark still feels good about delivering the baby. A few hours later, Jodi’s dilated five centimeters and is in good spirits. Jodi and Sean have made lists of potential names, and when Mark sees that Jared is on both lists, he suggests that they agree to it.

Just as Mark is about to call OB to find out when Jodi can go up, Sean comes to tell him that the baby’s heart rate is down to 90. Mae is out of surgery, and the staff continues to treat Benton as her family member instead of a doctor. Jackie thinks that something like this was going to happen sooner or later. Jodi has reached the part of labor where she’s annoyed with her husband and just wants drugs. She feels much better after getting an epidural. She’s now eight centimeters dilated and getting much closer to delivering.

45 minutes later, OB still hasn’t come to take Jodi upstairs. Mark decides they’ll have to deliver the baby in the ER. The epidural is wearing off, so Jodi’s yelling at Sean again. She labors for a while and doesn’t make any progress, so Mark sends Carter to OB to drag someone down to the ER. Everyone in the department is busy, so it’s on Mark again, with help from Susan, Carter, Carol, Chen, and Lydia.

The baby’s shoulders won’t come out, and Sean, frustrated by how long the delivery is taking, snaps at Mark. Eventually, Mark announces that they’ll have to push the baby back in and perform a C-section. Sean isn’t convinced that Mark knows what he’s doing, but Mark tells him they don’t have time to wait for another doctor. They move Jodi to a trauma room, making Sean stay outside.

Jodi starts seizing again, so they intubate her. Things get hectic, but Mark calms the room by telling everyone to take a deep breath. He calmly gives instructions and orders a nurse to get someone from OB. Then he performs the C-section, trying to remember how to do it. Jodi begins bleeding as the baby is delivered, unbreathing. Sean watches from outside the room, both his wife and his son’s lives at risk.

Mark puts Carter in charge of stabilizing Jodi’s aorta as he helps Susan, Carol, and Lydia resuscitate the baby. The whole room is tense, but finally the baby starts to improve. Coburn finally arrives, and Mark tells her all the steps he took to help Jodi and the baby. She’s upset that his surgical methods were so sloppy. She complains that he didn’t tell her he was in over his head, as if he didn’t call OB 15 times and send two people to get help.

Poor Sean is still outside the trauma room, waiting for news, when the baby is taken to the neonatal ICU. Coburn takes charge of Jodi’s care, sending Mark to talk to Sean once her bleeding is under control. Mark tells Sean that the baby will probably be okay, and that Jodi is stable. He sends Sean off with the baby, since there’s nothing he can do for Jodi.

Coburn continues to blast Mark for his mistakes, including but not limited to missing Jodi’s preeclampsia, underestimating the baby’s weight, and missing a blood clot and placental abruption. Mark points out that the situation was a mess, so he had a lot to take care of. If it wasn’t for him, Jodi would be dead and the baby would have suffered brain damage. Susan tries to calm Mark, saying that Coburn’s just trying to cover for her own missteps. But Mark blames himself for everything that went wrong.

Still more is going wrong, as Jodi is deteriorating. Mark wears himself out trying to save her, but Coburn decides there’s nothing they can do, and she declares Jodi dead. Mark continues chest compressions, determined to save Jodi, until Susan silently convinces him that Coburn’s right. Mark goes straight to the nursery, and we see but don’t hear him giving Sean the bad news.

Mark goes back to the ER and stands over Jodi’s body before it’s taken away. Carter tells him that he thinks what he did was heroic. It’s morning when Susan and Mark leave the hospital; she tries to convince him to go get breakfast, but he tells her he has a bunch of things to do. He gets on an El train alone and lets himself cry.

Thoughts: Sean is played by Bradley Whitford. Jodi is played by Colleen Flynn, who also played Colleen in “All Things.”

Whitford and Flynn do a great job of making you believe they’re a couple who’ve been together for years. It must be difficult for actors to fake that with someone they’ve just met. Here, their performances make Jodi’s death even more devastating.

Chen does nothing in this episode. I don’t even know why she’s in it.

May 15, 2018

ER 1.17, The Birthday Party: And Benton’ll Cry If He Wants To

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 5:08 pm by Jenn

Still not in the top 10 of weirdest things to happen in the ER

Summary: It’s the middle of the night, but Doug’s awake, and not in bed with the woman he hooked up with the night before. He doesn’t even know her name (though she doesn’t know his either, so they’re equally pathetic). He leaves, saying he has to go to work, even though it’s 4 a.m. Things are slow and Doug’s not actually on duty for a while, so he goes to the lounge to do paperwork. Carol’s still around, since she didn’t want to leave Tatiana. Doug tells her he’ll keep an eye on her while Carol gets some sleep before her morning shift.

Benton’s asleep on Jackie’s couch but wakes up when his nephew, Jesse, comes into the living room. Jackie reminds him that it’s their mother’s birthday, and there will be a party that night. He tells her he’ll have to rearrange his schedule but promises to be there. This is easier said than done, as he can’t find someone to change shifts with him.

Carter faces off with a patient who has poured gasoline all over himself and is threatening to light a lighter. Carter thinks he’s bluffing and warns that he’ll just set off the sprinklers, soak himself, and be embarrassed. The guy calls Carter’s bluff right back, saying there’s no sprinklers in the hallway. Carter starts to take the situation seriously and attempt to approach the guy and get his lighter. Benton ends the stand-off by spraying a fire extinguisher while Lily grabs the lighter.

Doug’s patient is a little boy who stuck his head in his father’s taxidermied tiger. His father blames his multiple viewings of The Lion King. Doug will have to remove the tiger’s jaw with a bone saw to free the child. His father objects, since the tiger’s been in his family for decades. Susan and Mark’s patient is more critical; she’s a frequent visit named Rene who often comes in looking for Demerol. They have to pump her stomach, and it’s not the first time.

Carol talks to a social worker named Mrs. Brown about Tatiana’s options, which aren’t great. There’s a children’s home/hospice that will take her, but that doesn’t sound appealing. Carol sadly watches her leave. Benton treats a man who lost a finger while boning a fish. His co-workers brought in a big crate of fish, which Chen and Carter will have to look through to find the missing finger. At least it’s on ice, which will give it a better chance of being reattachable.

Mark tells Rene’s father that she’s stable after overdosing on a mixture of drugs. He suggests that the family send her to in-patient treatment, which her father says didn’t work last time. Chen and Carter search the fish while discussing which sub-internships they might pursue for next year. Carter’s contemplating staying in the ER, though Chen warns that there’s only one spot. Benton unofficially gets to make the final decision. Chen has already applied. She also finds the missing finger.

Doug and Benton work on a little boy who might have a spinal injury. Another boy comes into the trauma room, covered in blood, and says, “I killed him. I killed Drew.” Doug determines that he isn’t injured, just in shock, but the boy, Kyle, says he shot his brother. Carol and Lydia tend to a man named Mr. Thornberg who’s in the late stages of lung cancer and is altered mentally. Susan and Mark play rock, paper, scissors to determine who takes the case. (Susan loses.)

On the phone with Walt, Benton promises again that he’ll be at the party. Carter overhears and thinks it’s Benton’s birthday. He asks about his chances for getting the trauma sub-internship; since 12 others have already applied, Benton puts his chances at 1 in 13. Mark’s like, “You’re aware that that was a really dumb question, right?” After Benton leaves, Carter tells Mark that it’s his birthday. Mark mentions that it’s also Rachel’s birthday. Carter thinks they should throw together a party. Mark advises him to work with Lydia on that.

Drew and Kyle’s father, a police officer named Thomas, has arrived, and Doug has to tell him that Drew needs surgery and might not live. Thomas keeps telling a crying Kyle to be quiet, but he eventually sits down and hugs him. He guesses that the gun Kyle shot Drew with was his service weapon. Carol and Lydia chat with Mr. Thornberg’s friend, who met him at church and started taking care of him since he doesn’t have a family. She says it felt like the right thing to do.

Rene’s boyfriend, T.J., is now with his girlfriend, and is trying to argue that she didn’t mean to hurt herself. Rene wants to go home with him instead of checking into a treatment center. Rene’s father knows there’s no use in arguing. Hicks learns that Benton wants to change shifts and calls him on rearranging his schedule a number of times recently. It’s not forbidden, but it upsets a balance Hicks and Morgenstern want their residents to experience. Benton starts to tell her that his mother’s sick, and she suggests that he take a break from the program and rejoin next year if necessary. Benton isn’t about to do that.

Lydia summons Benton to an exam room where two sisters are writhing in their beds. Carter and Malik are there for the big reveal: Carter has hired belly dancers for what he thinks is Benton’s birthday. Other staff members gather for the entertainment while Doug and Carol tend to a little girl who fell off a balcony onto her driveway. Doug remarks that it’s a “tough day to be a kid.”

Later in the day, Carol and Tag look at a church for their wedding; she declares that she hates it. She’s obviously just in a bad mood because she’s worried about Tatiana. She wants to do more to help the girl…like adopt her. Tag asks how much time Tatiana has left; he doesn’t want to adopt a child and then spend years watching her die. Carol is able to look past that, just wanting to help. But she assures Tag that he’s not a bad person for not feeling the same way.

Carter’s convinced that Benton is lying about today not being his birthday. Mark tells Susan that he has a patient who’s celebrating his 60th anniversary. She says her longest relationship was 60 weeks, and she doesn’t think she’ll ever get married. As Diane comes to the ER looking for Doug, Jeanie shows up and asks Benton if he can give her a ride to Mae’s party. Her husband can pick her up afterwards. Benton didn’t realize Jeanie was married, since she takes off her ring when she works with her physical therapy patients. He tells her he may not make it to the party after all.

Doug checks out a boy named Billy who may be anemic. He blames Billy’s diet, which has left him malnourished. Billy’s mother, Mrs. Larson, has four kids and has to rely on food stamps. In the winter, some of her money has to go to heat, so there’s little left for food. Doug has Lydia give her the names of some food banks and shelters, though Mrs. Larson doesn’t want to go to one. He tells her sternly that Billy’s teeth are rotting, so she needs to get him food wherever she can.

Malik tells Doug that the girl who fell off the balcony is stable, but Malik found a footprint on her back. Doug speeds off to the waiting area to confront the girl’s father, Wilson, who Doug thinks is abusive. Malik and Jerry have to restrain him before Wilson becomes the ER’s next patient. Doug has to cool off outside, but Mark doubts that Wilson will press charges; he has bigger things to worry about, now that he’s being investigated for child abuse. Doug refuses to apologize, and Mark says he doesn’t need to, but he’ll probably have to go to therapy. He adds that Diane’s still waiting around for Doug.

Carol stops Mr. Thornberg from smoking, but he figures one more cigarette won’t do any additional harm. I mean, he might ignite his oxygen tank, but okay. Police accompany a white supremacist into a trauma room after he was stabbed. Benton, Malik, and Connie are all there to tend to the man who has a death threat against people of their color tattooed on his arm. Lily wonders how he feels about Asians.

Doug finally makes it over to see Diane, who, let’s be honest, is totally turned on by his attack on Wilson. Carol and Jerry leave for the night, giving instructions to Rolando, the next desk clerk on duty. Jerry remarks that he doesn’t think they lost anyone today, though the verdict is out on the white supremacist. Benton and Hicks are about to operate on him, which means Benton has an excuse to keep avoiding the multiple phone calls Jackie has made.

As Carol goes to see Tatiana in her new group home, Mark goes home for Rachel’s birthday party, which is full of screaming girls. Jen’s ticked, but she got help from a co-worker. Then Mark gets ticked when he learns that Jen bought Rachel a Super Nintendo after he thought they agreed not to get her one. He has another present for Rachel, though it’s one Susan asked him to pass along. Jen announces that she’s accepted the offer to extend her job in Milwaukee. Since Mark made a decision on his own about his job, she feels like she could do the same.

Benton makes it home too late for the party; Mae’s already in bed. Poor Jeanie has to sit there and watch Benton and Jackie be passive-aggressive with each other. Benton laments that he missed the party to save the life of a man who would love to see him dead. Back at the hospital, Malik wakes Susan and tells her that Rene’s back, having overdosed again. Susan wants to keep the zero-deaths streak alive, so she works hard to save Rene while her father waits outside the trauma room, a place he’s become familiar with.

Thoughts: Mrs. Larson is played by Janel Moloney.

Jesse must get aged later on, because he’s only four here, but in season 7, he’s closer to 14 or 15.

Ving Rhames looks so much like Mos Def in this episode that I did a double take.

April 24, 2018

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

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

Soooooo awkward

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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