May 7, 2019

ER 3.21, Make a Wish: I Hope Carol Wished for a Less-Creepy Fake Baby

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 4:54 pm by Jenn

Yeah, this looks like a guy who’s ready to go back to his stressful job

Summary: Carter finds Benton before an ER shift to discuss their transplant case from the previous week. He’s starting to think he’s in the wrong place. He loves surgery, but he’s not completely satisfied. Benton doesn’t know what that means. Carter doesn’t like that surgeons don’t get to know their patients better.

Anna’s getting acclimated to working at County, and has undergone an extensive security check. Weaver says they’re beefing things up in the wake of Mark’s attack. He’s coming back to work today, and Weaver wants everyone to work together to give him a light load. Doug mentions that it’s Carol’s birthday, which annoys her, since he promised he wouldn’t. But he also told everyone last year, so it can’t be a secret anymore, right?

Jeanie and Al are fully back together and making out in her kitchen. He gets distracted by her microwave, complaining that she never let him have one. Back at County, Carla’s in labor, and Coburn can no longer do anything to stop it, even though it’s two months early. Time for Benton to become a father!

Mark arrives for his first shift post-beating. He has a cast on his hand and a huge, ugly bruise around his eye, which should put his patients right at ease. He meets Anna, who mentions that she’s kind of already met him, though he was unconscious at the time. Mark jumps in to help Doug and Carol with a trauma, but Doug urges him to take it easy.

Benton is a great birthing coach, if what you want in a birthing coach is a guy who ignores you to ask your doctor questions about your treatment. Coburn eventually tells him to shut up and be helpful. Security is adding cameras, bulletproof glass, and armed guards, which we know from future seasons will do absolutely nothing.

Mark thinks everyone’s overreacting. The better plan is to change how they deal with patients and families. Weaver isn’t convinced that a patient or family member was responsible for Mark’s attack. Mark points out that the ER is slow, and some patients have been sitting around for hours. Anyone would get mad enough to attack someone. Chuny hands him some charts, which he drops, and when he bends down to pick them up, he can’t hide that he’s still in pain.

Anna joins Coburn for Carla’s delivery, and Benton rolls his eyes over the fact that she’s just a resident. Despite that, Anna definitely knows what she’s doing, and doesn’t have any trouble taking charge when she needs do. In the lounge, Doyle offers Mark the opportunity to choose from a variety of weapons like pepper spray and stun guns. She admits that she keeps a gun in her car. She once used it to scare off a guy who tried to rob her at a drive-through. Mark decides to “pass on the armaments,” but Carter takes a look, and promptly gets pepper spray in his eyes.

Coburn and Anna deliver the baby, who’s not doing well (and also, the fake baby they use for this scene is really disturbing). Benton finds himself in the rare position of being helpless. Carol laughs as she washes out Carter’s eyes, and he complains about how lousy his life is going right now. He asks about her willingness to start her whole career over in med school. Mark comes in for a few moments, and Carter’s like, “I know I just maced myself, but Mark looks worse than I do.”

Carla’s distressed not to have any news on the baby, and it doesn’t help that her gurney is briefly parked outside a room where happy mothers are holding their healthy babies. Mark and Carter tend to a trauma patient named Harry who crashed his car in a suspected DWI. Carter doesn’t smell alcohol on the guy’s breath. Harry seizes, and Mark accidentally gets his broken hand caught under him.

Benton goes to the NICU to find out the baby’s treatment plan. The neonatologist, Tabash, fills him in, then tells him what he should pass along to Carla. Right now, they have to wait and see how he responds to his current treatment. Tabash asks the baby’s name, but Benton and Carla haven’t decided on that yet.

Doug tells Carol that their co-workers are throwing her a surprise birthday party. She thinks he’s joking, since he mentioned it earlier, but now he’s gotten an invitation and knows it’s real. Fortunately, since Doug knows Carol doesn’t like celebrating her birthday, he can get her out of it. The excuse they’re using: Carol’s having dinner with Doug. Carol calls it a trap, but Doug calls it a rescue.

Jeanie learns from Anna that Carla had the baby, who’s struggling. Anna says she’s worked on lots of preemies but never gets used to it. Randi mentions that Mark’s obsessed with treating patients quickly now, and Weaver says he just needs a few days to settle back in. Doug checks in with Mark, who thinks a week off work was enough time away. He gave the police a list of people who might have attacked him. He feels like he got a wake-up call and will now remember to use better bedside manner.

Jeanie goes to the NICU, where Benton tells her how bad off the baby is. Carla’s sitting with him but has asked Benton to stay in the hallway. Jeanie guesses that Benton hasn’t told his family or co-workers about the baby yet. She encourages him to reach out to his support system. She also tells him to stop standing in the hallway.

Carter and Connie treat a man named Lensky who has bad stomach pain. Weaver pulls Carter aside to report that Mark thinks Lensky’s waiting too long for a surgical consult. Carter and Weaver agree that he probably has a perforated ulcer, so Anspaugh will need to examine him. Doug and Carol need to treat a boy named Russell who broke his wrist, and Doug is willing to try to fix it without painkillers. Russell yells as soon as they approach him, so Doug changes his mind.

Benton tells Tabash that Carla will want to know all the possible outcomes for the baby. Tabash says all parents want that, but they can’t see the future. Benton is concerned with the baby’s eyesight, even knowing that’s not the biggest problem he could face. Carter tells Mark that he talked to Harry’s mother, who mentioned that he was going to a pre-employment screening for his new job. She also said she was relieved that the police didn’t find any marijuana on Harry. Harry appears to have drunk so much water to dilute his urine and clear out the pot that he gave himself water intoxication.

Thanks to the painkillers, Russell is much happier. He’d like his dad to be with him, but his dad can’t handle medical stuff and is staying out of the room. Russell says his father usually sings to him, so Carol volunteers Doug to take his place. Doug invites her to do a duet. For some reason, Doug opts for “Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah.” You know, every kid’s favorite song in 1997.

Anspaugh’s annoyed that Carter made him come to the ER for a consult he didn’t really need. Any senior resident should know this was a surgical case. Carter tells Lensky he needs surgery, but Lensky panics and tries to leave. Carter asks if something happened to him or someone else that has made him so opposed to surgery. Lensky confides that his father died during a gallbladder operation, a procedure the surgeon said over and over was simple. Now Lensky’s wary about trusting another surgeon.

Later, Carter tells Weaver that he tried his best but couldn’t change Lensky’s mind. He’s dreading Anspaugh’s disapproval. Weaver gives Carter some ideas of what he can do next. Before Carter can get too down about the situation, Haleh brightens his day with Harry’s labs. Carter was right about the water intoxication.

Mark meets with a detective who tells him all the leads he gave the police have been cleared. The detective is surprised that Mark isn’t happier about the news. Carter tells Mark that he was right about Harry, but Mark doesn’t really care. Tabash wants to give the baby nitrogen oxide, since it’s helped some full-term babies. There’s a risk of development problems, but sticking with the current treatment has its own risks. Benton and Carla need to discuss their options.

Weaver follows Mark outside, and he tells her he was wrong about all his possible attackers. He thought he was starting to piece things together, but now the police say it was just a random attack. For the first time in his life, Mark is the victim, not the person treating the victim. Weaver reminds him that they see those victims every day, and they can’t let themselves get overwhelmed with the thought that they could be in the same position. He says it makes them different from their patients, but Weaver thinks it makes them the same.

Carter tells Anspaugh that Lensky declined surgery, but Carter has discovered that he doesn’t need it after all. The ulcer has spontaneously sealed itself off. Anspaugh insists that Lensky needs surgery, but Carter found an article that says he can be treated medically. “You think this is about what he wants?” Anspaugh asks. Carter says yes, of course, but Anspaugh reminds him that surgeons cut.

Carter disagrees – if he can find a medically acceptable treatment that his patient agrees with, he should do it. Anspaugh is bothered by the fact that Lensky is refusing a necessary procedure, but it bothers him even more that Carter is helping him go against a surgeon’s recommendations.

Mark snaps at Lily, so yeah, Weaver, he’s getting better. As Carol and Doug head out for their dinner together, she learns that a temp clerk will be working at the admit desk that night. E-Ray won’t tell Carol why, like it’s a government secret. Mark runs into Nina, who wants him to meet with a counselor who specializes in PTSD. He denies that he needs that kind of treatment. He claims things are getting back to normal, and he doesn’t appreciate Nina being a shrink with him. So that near-relationship is definitely over.

Benton apologizes to Coburn for being so intense during the birth, but it’s not like this is the first time she’s had to deal with a father who wasn’t being calm. Carla’s doing fine, at least physically, and Benton thinks it’s time to let her know what’s going on with the baby’s treatment. Doug takes Carol home so she can change for their dinner, but it’s a trap after all – the surprise party is at her house.

Al surprises Jeanie at home with a garage door opener. He always thought they were dumb, but I guess since Jeanie got him a microwave, he felt the need to repay her kindness. Carol’s guests brought booze but no food, so that party’s going to be fun. Doug teases her about drinking milk straight out of the carton. He tells her he wanted to make up for all the lousy birthdays she’s had in the past.

Carter asks Weaver what he would have to do to switch from surgery to emergency medicine. Would he have to redo his residency? Weaver asks if he’s talked to Mark, but Carter knows better than to bring that up when Mark’s being so grouchy. On his way out of work, Mark gets nervous in the parking garage, thinking a guy walking by is going to attack him. He only feels safe when he gets in his car.

Carol gets a nice birthday cake with a ton of candles. The women at the party put rings around the candles, saying that’ll make Carol’s wish come true. If she’s wishing for what I think she is, it will. As she blows out the candles, Benton stands in the hallway outside the NICU, watching his son.

Thoughts: Yeah, a guy with a broken hand and busted ribs is exactly who you want taking care of you in an emergency.

I know it’s not as respected or whatever as being a doctor, and his family would flip out, but Carter should just be a nurse.

Maybe I need shorthand fro the phrase “Anspaugh is annoyed.”

’90s music alert: Better Than Ezra’s “Desperately Wanting.”

April 30, 2019

ER 3.20, Random Acts: Who Among Us Hasn’t Wanted to Punch Mark in the Face?

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

Nice makeup job here

Summary: Doug and Mark are playing golf, though Mark isn’t very good at it. Doug thinks he needs to play more, to really lean into that “all doctors play golf” stereotype. At County, Hicks tells Benton that he’s been invited to help out with a transplant operation. Benton nicely asks if Carter can help out, too. Al wakes Jeanie up on his couch; she spent the night after having a little meltdown. He tells her his medication has changed because of some resistance. She suggests new medications, but he’ll have to enroll in a study to get them. Jeanie offers to help him with that, though it’ll require her to talk to Greg.

At County, Carol is reading aloud from some story Jerry found at the admit desk. It’s trashy romance, and the characters are all based on ER staff. A psych patient causes a ruckus, telling Mark that chaos is his destiny. Benton meets Carla for a doctor’s appointment, and she tells him she’s no longer going to Lamaze classes with him, since he acts like a drill sergeant. Coburn’s running really late, so Carla tells Benton to go back to work.

Randi denies authorship of the story, since she wouldn’t produce something with so many typos. Mark spots Doug discussing golf with Anspaugh and wonders if he’s trying to butter up Anspaugh for work. Chuny and Randi say he’s trying to get an invitation for a golf game at an exclusive country club. Mark is supposed to go to a meeting at Rachel’s school, but he gets sidetracked by a patient.

Jeanie asks Greg if there’s an opening in the study Al wants to be in. Greg invites her to dinner, but Jeanie declines, and not for the first time. She admits that she’s looking for a study slot for Al, not herself. Mark oversees as Doyle stitches up a girl named Alyssa whose father doesn’t want Mark to leave his daughter’s care to a student. Mark promises that Doyle is capable of the job and can consult with a senior doctor if necessary. Mark and the dad bicker a little, but Mark leaves anyway.

Carter prepares a young man named Carl for surgery to donate a kidney to his sister, Jean. Jean jokes that she offered to trade her stereo for the organ. The siblings have a great relationship and are concerned about each other’s treatment. Chris Law shows up looking for Mark, wanting to discuss some paperwork.

Doug practices his putting while Carol continues enjoying the romance story in the lounge. Doug’s character is immediately identifiable as him. Anspaugh asks Doug to take care of the son of a country club member, noting that good treatment might lead to an invitation to play at the club. Carol asks to tag along as his guest, then says she couldn’t go, since the club doesn’t allow women, black people, or Jews. In denial, Doug says they’ve changed those rules.

Returning from the meeting at Rachel’s school, Mark runs into Chris in the hospital parking lot. He’s upset that his mother received a hospital bill, since Kenny didn’t survive. He blames the hospital for killing Chris, and he’s also not happy that they lost the body, so his funeral had to be delayed two days. No one’s paying the bill until the hospital apologizes. If they send another bill, Chris will have to fight someone, maybe Mark.

Mark shares the encounter with Doug later, and Doug suggests alerting security, but Mark brushes it off. While Doug tends to Peter, Anspaugh’s VIP patient, Benton and Carter assist with Carl and Jean’s transplant operations. Carter gets to take Carl’s kidney to his sister, which makes Benton nervous. Carter takes the task very seriously, makes the other surgeon laugh, and is allowed to scrub in for the transplant.

While talking to Peter, Doug gets curious about how often the boy falls down. He does a quick test that tells him something about the boy’s eyesight. Carol catches Weaver taking a peek at the romance story, where her character isn’t written very nicely. Carol tells her it’s not supposed to be taken so seriously. Then she gets the idea that Weaver wrote the story. Weaver says she didn’t.

Paramedic Pam rushes in with her grandfather. She stopped by to see him on her day off, and her recent training on stroke protocol makes her think he had one. Jean’s surgery goes well, but Carl starts to decline while his surgeon is closing up. Carol thinks Doug ran more tests than necessary on Peter, but an ophthalmologist confirms Doug’s suspicion that the boy has a genetic disorder that could lead to blindness.

Mark and Weaver tend to Pam’s grandfather, Ralph, whom everyone calls Gramps. Pam asks if they’re going to give him TPA, the usual treatment for a stroke. After she leaves to make a call, Weaver tells Mark that she thought this would happen – people who learn about strokes now think TPA is a miracle cure when it can actually make things worse. Mark tells her they’ll follow protocol, but he’s on the stroke team and Weaver isn’t. He promises he won’t administer TPA if Gramps isn’t the right candidate for it.

Jeanie preps Al for his interview for the drug study, though he doesn’t think he deserves her help. She tells him they’re friends, and this is what friends do. Mark tells Weaver that Gramps is a candidate for TPA, but Weaver still won’t sign off. Mark asks her to tell Pam about the risks and prepare her for the possibility that her grandfather will die. She should hear it from someone who isn’t going to push her into a treatment.

Carl is stabilized, and Benton and Carter are invited to a post-op debrief with the other surgeons. Greg asks to interview Al personally, which is a really, really bad idea. He digs into how Al contracted HIV and whether he’s living with anyone. He’s not, which is a strike against him, since the study requires a strict regimen. Al says his ex-wife is around to provide backup if he needs it; in fact, she’s back in his life. Greg tries not to die inside.

Pam agrees to the TPA, so Mark administers it. In the surgeons’ debrief, they go over the two operations to determine how they can perform them better in the future. Carter excuses himself to go check on Jean. Weaver, Jerry, Doyle, and Randi have decided that Carol wrote the romance story. Carol thinks Weaver’s trying to throw suspicion off of herself. Doyle says it had to be written by “an incurable romantic who is very warped.” Carol says she’s not warped.

Doug sends Peter and his parents off to a specialist, advising them to make sure he knows his condition isn’t his fault. Carol and Anspaugh both look on, impressed. Carol apologizes for accusing Doug of ordering unnecessary tests, but nowadays, he’s so glib that she’s never sure what’s real with him. Lydia passes by and congratulates Carol for writing a great book. Doug jokes that she stole the idea from him.

Carter tells Jean that Carl had some complications but is going to be okay. Carter’s going to see if the two can be put in the same room. Weaver introduces Doug to Anna Del Amico, a new resident doing an emergency pediatric elective before she starts work in a few months. Greg tells Jeanie that Al has been accepted into the trial. Now he knows why Jeanie has been resistant to going out with him. He thinks Al manipulated Jeanie into helping him get new meds. Jeanie admits that she doesn’t know if she still loves him.

In the bathroom, Mark runs into Jerry, who asks if Carol has ever expressed any interest in him. Jerry’s character in the romance story is portrayed in a very flattering way, and since Jerry thinks Carol wrote the book, he believes she’s into him. Mark asks if Carol’s ever said anything about him.

Jerry leaves, and moments later, someone emerges from a stall and attacks Mark. He slams Mark’s head into a mirror and throws him in a stall. Mark gets up to leave, but the attacker pounces again, pounding on Mark some more and stomping on his hand. Mark loses consciousness and bleeds on the bathroom floor.

Right outside, Weaver, Doyle, and Chuny discuss the story. Chuny doesn’t like how she was portrayed. She walks right by the bathroom door just as she and Weaver are wondering where Mark is. Carl and Jean are reunited, but Benton chastises Carter for missing the debriefing. Once again, Carter has focused on his patients’ well-being instead of the medicine. Benton gets a message from Carla, who called from Coburn’s office.

Doug heads into the bathroom and is shocked to find Mark unconscious and covered in blood. Anna helps him check Mark over. The two of them, Weaver, Lydia, and Malik rush him to a trauma room, chasing Chuny out after she gets emotional at the sight of her ex. Coburn tells Benton that Carla started having contractions, so she’s being admitted in hopes of preventing early labor (she has eight weeks to go). Carla tells Benton that she thinks she knows when the baby was conceived. He’s already figured it out. They agree that it seems like a long time ago.

Jeanie and Al are back at his place, wishing they hadn’t taken their previous relationship for granted. They won’t be doing that anymore. She kisses him, so it looks like Greg is officially out of luck. Things start getting more physical, and Al rushes out to buy condoms. She laughs, something he’s missed while they were apart.

Mark’s mostly okay, other than a broken hand, but no one knows who attacked him. Randi brings up Chris, and Doyle says a psych patient kind of threatened Mark. Anna goes to take care of one of Doug’s patients so Doug can stay with Mark. Weaver tells Anna it’s not usually this crazy in the ER, which is a total lie. She sends everyone off to do their jobs instead of waiting for news on Mark.

Weaver heads next door, where Gramps is doing much better. Weaver admits that Mark made the right call. Carol tries to calm Doug, who’s anxious about his friend. When Mark regains consciousness, Mark and Carol are with him and assure him that he’ll be okay. Doug jokes that he signed Mark up for a double shift that weekend. Mark just wants to know what happened.

Thoughts: Alyssa is played by Heather Matarazzo.

I found Anna boring in the show’s original run, but after rewatching her episodes, I like her.

So of course, the two big questions are who attacked Mark, and who wrote the story? I think someone associated with the Laws had to be responsible for the attack. It’s too much of a coincidence of them not to have been. And I really don’t know who wrote the story, but I wish the show had revealed that.

April 16, 2019

ER 3.18, You Bet Your Life: Who Would Pick Al Over Greg??

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

Nope, wrong choice

Summary: Mark has been having a little trouble juggling parenting and work, now that Rachel’s staying with him, so he’s been late taking her to school for a few days. Rachel’s annoyed by that, and by her after-school arrangements to play with a girl she doesn’t really like. At County, Benton goes looking for Carla, who’s already been sent home. Coburn catches him looking at her chart and chastises him for violating Carla’s privacy. She already knows that Benton is the baby’s father. Benton asks about a test Coburn ordered, but she tells him to ask Carla.

Greg wants to make weekend plans with Jeanie, who’s in a bad mood because she found out her viral load has gone up. Plus, today would have been her and Al’s ninth wedding anniversary. Greg reminds her that she had the flu last week, which explains her increased viral load. It should be undetectable again soon. He wants to give her happy memories of her former anniversary by going away for the weekend.

Jerry has leased a new car, though Malik is surprised he could afford it. Anspaugh tells Mark that he and Weaver both applied for a teaching job, and though Mark is the better candidate, he hasn’t published any articles. He needs to find an interesting case and write it up soon. No pressure, but if he doesn’t, Anspaugh will look foolish for backing him to the hiring committee.

Carol’s reading over a textbook and thinking of all the questions she screwed up on the MCAT. Doug tries to cheer her up, but he can’t erase the fact that nurses don’t exactly have a glamorous job, and they have to take orders from younger doctors. Carter and Lydia treat a gambler named Bartok (though he prefers to call himself an investor, since he uses scientific methods to place his bets). Carter agrees to place a $5 bet. Bartok asks to keep his hat on, which is part of his “scientific” methods – he always keeps it on after he makes a bet.

Al comes by with flowers for Jeanie, but she doesn’t want to celebrate their horrible marriage. Now they’re both in a bad mood. Marks tends to a woman named Ida who has stomach pain and thinks she needs surgery. She’s already had five of them, but Mark thinks they might have been unnecessary. He thinks she has porphyria, which can be misdiagnosed as a surgical ailment. If Mark’s right, this could be the perfect case for him to publish.

Paramedics bring in an unidentified woman they found unconscious in a car near a cemetery. Mark confirms his porphyria diagnosis, foreseeing his case study being published in all sorts of newspapers. Haleh bursts his bubble when she realizes that Ida is a psych patient who likes having surgery. Benton tries to call Carla, then talks to Carter about Bartok; Carter wants to stick with him for the day to make sure he doesn’t get overlooked. Amazingly, Benton approves of this, even though it takes Carter out of the OR for the day.

The unidentified woman was found with a bunch of pills, including some for HIV, so Weaver and Jeanie guess that she OD’d. One of the pill bottles says her name is Suzanne. The staff isn’t sure about one of the medications she took, so Jeanie suggests calling Greg to help them out. She wonders what made Suzanne want to hurt herself.

While Jerry brags to someone on the phone about his new car, Weaver gets a call for “Dr. Markovic” from a cryogenics lab. Apparently he’s been making donations at a sperm bank, pretending to be a doctor, and has used the proceeds for his car. Jerry thinks it’s fine; women focus on the fact that he’s tall and has an IQ of 150, not on his fake medical credentials. Weaver doubts he has an IQ of 150 (hers is 145) and challenges him to take a test to prove it. If he doesn’t score a 150, she’ll bust him for lying.

The nurses find a wedding ring on Suzanne’s finger, but her address on her pill bottles is for a motel, and someone who works there says she lives alone. Suzanne has two pictures of a child in her car, and Greg finds the girl familiar. Suzanne regains consciousness and tells Jeanie the girl is her daughter. “I killed her,” she says.

Carter checks on Bartok, who has an intestinal blockage and will need surgery. Bartok’s scared, but Carter tells him the chief of staff will be taking care of him. Bartok asks for his phone so he can call his daughter. Carol is giving an injection to a patient when Doyle stops her, saying he needs an IV instead. The patient, a former Marine, doesn’t have a problem with a second needle stick.

Nina comes down to the ER to see Ida and flirt with Mark a little. She panics when she learns that Mark left Ida alone in her trauma room. See, Ida has a habit of eating things she shouldn’t when she’s been denied surgery, so she’ll have to undergo it anyway. This time, she’s eaten medical instruments.

Benton lies that Carla’s one of his surgical patients so someone other than Coburn will let him see Carla’s ultrasound tape again. Greg figures out that Suzanne’s daughter, Katie, was one of his patients, but she died of AIDS-related pneumonia last month. Jeanie realizes that Suzanne blames herself for Katie’s death because she gave Katie HIV.

Carter shows Bartok’s chart to Anspaugh, but Anspaugh thinks he’s too sick for surgery – he’s septic already. Carter thinks Bartok will have a better shot with surgery, but Anspaugh doesn’t want to take the risk, and probably not just because it’ll make the hospital look bad for losing a patient. Carter gives the news to Bartok, who thinks the doctors are just pushing him aside to let him die. Carter promised that he would be okay, and now he’s gone back on his word. Carter decides he can’t just let things end there.

Doyle needs to draw blood from the Marine, but she’s having a lot of trouble with it. Carol advises Weaver to help her, but Weaver thinks Doyle needs to learn sometime. Carol complains that nurses should be allowed to do this kind of procedure, since they know what they’re doing. Carter takes Bartok’s case to Hicks, who agrees with Anspaugh that it’s too much of a risk to operate. She admits that he could have a chance if they act quickly, and Carter says Bartok’s okay with just having a chance.

Mark sees all the stuff Ida swallowed on her X-ray and realizes this could be the unique case that will get him ahead. Thanks to some methanol she ingested, Suzanne is now blind. Jeanie tells her that her husband is on his way and asks if there’s anything Suzanne wants to tell him. Suzanne just says she’s sorry.

Jerry takes his IQ test while Weaver keeps an eye on him nearby. I don’t think the front desk is the ideal place for this test, and Weaver should probably be treating patients instead of reading and babysitting Jerry, but okay. Jerry attempts to ask Doug for help, but Weaver tells him it’s an IQ test, not a survey. Doug is called away to treat a teenage girl, Betsy, who had a gallbladder attack on her way to prom.

Suzanne’s husband, Roger, arrives and is pleased to learn that his wife is dying and is pain. She cheated on him, got AIDS, and gave it to their child, so this is what Roger’s been waiting for. Hicks and Carter operate on Bartok, though Carter’s the only person who thinks it’s worth it. Anspaugh interrupts to tell Hicks that he rejected Bartok as a poor surgical candidate. Obviously Hicks didn’t know that, so Carter went to Mommy when Daddy said no. Anspaugh is furious, and Carter will have to beg for his job at the end of the day. Hicks tells Carter to scrub out.

Mark wants to remove the surgical instruments from Ida through an endoscopy, but she refuses, still wanting surgery. Mark changes her mind by telling her how invasive and traumatic an endoscopy is. But before Mark can do the procedure, he gets called to Rachel’s school to pick her up. Benton shows Carla’s ultrasound to a neonatologist named Tabash, who tells him everything looks fine. He’s not happy to learn that Benton went behind Carla’s back to get more information.

Betsy needs to have her gallbladder removed right away, which means she’ll have to miss the prom. She’s willing to take antibiotics and risk getting worse if she can delay the surgery until tomorrow. Doug tries to negotiate with her so she can go to prom, then check back into the hospital as soon as it’s over. Betsy’s more stubborn with Doug, but it’s good practice for when he has to deal with his own teenage daughters.

Mark meets with Rachel’s teacher, who asks if she has any restrictions…because of her leukemia. Apparently she’s been telling her classmates that she’s dying of cancer. After a fight with a popular girl, Rachel is now on the outs with a lot of her classmates. Doyle and Carol take care of a patient together, but things get awkward when Doyle insists she can insert a central line and Carol doubts her abilities. Doyle snaps at her, so Carol says she’ll call a surgeon to do it.

Doug sends Betsy and her date, Jeffrey, to the prom in an ambulance. Betsy has to stay on an IV and isn’t allowed to eat or smoke, so I’m not sure how much fun she’ll have, but at least she won’t have to miss the dance. Carter meets with Anspaugh and Hicks, who are more than ready to terminate his residency. Carter has no regrets, since they gave Bartok another chance. He survived the surgery, which just makes Carter look like more of a hero.

Doyle wants to give her patient a medication that could harm his kidneys, but she ignores Carol’s warnings. Since Doyle is the only doctor in the room, the nurses have to follow her orders. Doug comes in and takes over, effectively ending the Doyle/Carol stand-off. Suzanne’s declining and thinks that Greg is her husband. She begs for his forgiveness, so Jeanie tells Greg to just say he forgives her. Greg resists, disappointing Jeanie.

Weaver scores Jerry’s IQ test and tells him he did horribly – worse than if he’d just guessed on everything. She forces him to call the sperm bank and change his profile. Mark returns with Rachel, and Weaver tells him she performed Ida’s endoscopy, which Mark had told Haleh to delay until he got back. Weaver wants to co-author a paper with Mark about Ida, entitled “The Woman Who Ate the ER.”

Doyle tracks down Carol and calls her out for her attitude and second-guessing Doyle’s orders. She doesn’t care if she’s younger than Carol – Doyle is the doctor and Carol is the nurse. Doug overhears, so not only has Carol been embarrassed by the icy student council president, but it happened in front of the hot captain of the football team.

Speaking of confrontations, Mark tells Rachel what her teacher said about her lies. Clearly she just craves attention from her father, and thinks being sick will do the trick, since he spends his days taking care of sick people. Suzanne dies, and Greg approaches Jeanie while she’s wrapping things up with the body. Jeanie brushes off his apology over not pretending to be Roger, but she’s not ready to go away with him for the weekend.

Carter visits Bartok post-op and tells him that while he’s going to recover, they had to remove so much of his intestine that he’ll never be able to eat solid food again. He can still drink and smoke, though, so he’s okay with that. Bartok asks how the horse he bet on did, but Carter doesn’t know. Bartok decides it doesn’t matter.

Jerry has retrieved Jeanie’s flowers and put them on the front desk, because Jerry has very low standards for things. Malik is now taking over his sting and is setting up an appointment at the sperm bank as “Dr. McGrath.” Benton finally goes to Carla’s place to tell her he wants to be a father to their child. She gives in and tells him to come back that weekend to help out around her apartment.

Carol tells Doug that Doyle’s right – she hates taking orders from someone younger. They come from the same neighborhood, and Doyle got through med school, but Carol can’t even get through the door. Doug tells her she can always get through his door. “Anything in a bra can get through your door,” she points out. He claims he’s reformed and raised his standards. He greets Betsy as she and Jeffrey return to the hospital, happy that he let them go to the prom.

Rachel falls asleep in the lounge waiting for her father to get off work. Haleh brings him a case that would be great for an article, but Mark’s in dad mode now and tells her to give it to Weaver. Hicks informs Carter that he’s on probation but somehow still has a job. She wanted to kick him out, but Anspaugh wants him to stay. This is his last chance, and he needs to remember that he’s not a law unto himself.

Jeanie goes to Al’s and apologizes for being rude about the flowers when he was just trying to be nice. He asks if she really thinks their entire marriage was a disaster. They agree that some things were good, and he takes responsibility for the bad ending. He doesn’t blame her for hating him. Jeanie says she doesn’t hate him, and she doesn’t want to be mad anymore. She admits that she misses him, then hugs him.

Thoughts: Nina, I don’t want to tell you how to do your job, but calling a psych patient a “fruitcake” isn’t exactly professional.

So do Rachel and Jen live in Chicago again? Rachel’s in school there, and Mark didn’t have to go far when he visited at Christmas, but I don’t think a move was ever mentioned.

Listen, I have nothing against Al. He’s fine. But…he’s not a better choice than Greg! Jeanie made a mistake.

April 9, 2019

ER 3.17, Tribes: Black, White, and Greene

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

Okay, let’s keep the child out of the ER

Summary: Mark, Doug, Carter, and Malik are playing basketball outside the hospital when an ambulance brings in a combative patient named Mr. Thomas. He OD’d on his son’s jimson weed tea, and the son is worried about how his father will react when he comes down. Carol is dealing with a college student named Lori who’s worried she’s pregnant. She got drunk at a party and may have hooked up with a guy named Mike, but it might not have been consensual.

Thomas, still high, admires his family jewels, which Weaver isn’t as impressed by as he is. Thomas wonders if Malik’s are prettier and grabs his butt. Whatever Malik gets paid, it’s not enough. Benton arrives outside, and Mark suggests that he and Doug play Benton and Carter in a game of two on two. Benton declines, because the idea of bonding with his co-workers has no appeal to him.

Once the basketball playing is over, Mark helps Lily wrangle a woman named Babs who’s either mentally unstable or on drugs. Thomas’ son has brought in the tea his dad drank, and Weaver is barely able to stop Jerry before he drinks some. Carol tells Lori that a drug screen shows she was roofied. Lori feels stupid for trusting Mike. She’s not sure they should call the police, since she’s not positive that she was raped. Carol calmly says they’ll finish her evaluation and see if there’s any evidence.

Paramedics bring in two gunshot victims from a drug deal gone bad. One is black and one is white. The black victim isn’t hurt too badly, so Mark prioritizes the white one. Doyle takes care of the black one, Kenny, assuring Mark that he’s not armed. Kenny’s brother, Chris, arrives and tries to find out who shot him. He’s furious that Mark is tending to the white guy, Brody, and seemingly ignoring Kenny. Mark says they’re taking care of both guys, and the hospital treats everyone the same.

Kenny starts declining, so Mark joins Doyle in working on him. No one will tell Chris what’s going on, so he turns to the only other black man in the room, Malik. Malik recognizes Kenny’s name and tells Mark he’s a star high school basketball player. Chris runs to the trauma room next door and asks Benton to come take care of his brother. Mark keeps working, asking someone to get security to remove Chris from the room, since he’s getting aggressive.

Carter chats with Babs, who’s now lucid. She tells him she’s had chest pain for a few weeks. Jeanie seems to have moved past her hesitation to sleep with Greg, because she’s gathering supplies and would like Weaver to write her a prescription for a diaphragm. She’s still nervous, though, and isn’t sure she wants to potentially expose Greg to HIV when they’re still at the beginning of their relationship. Then, without even knowing who she is, Jeanie meets Carla, who’s been brought in after a car accident.

Mark meets Brody’s parents and tells them he’s stable but will need surgery. Chris overhears the polite conversation and complains that Mark is treating the white family like their VIPs. Mark insists that, based on the initial exam, Brody was in worse condition than Kenny, so he was prioritized. Chris spits that when Mark saw Kenny, he just thought of him as “another shot [n-word].”

Mark joins the Brodys, telling them that their son was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and was an innocent bystander. But the Brodys have some information that turns the whole case around: Brody is often in the wrong place at the wrong time because he’s a crack addict. That means, while Mark assumed Kenny was a drug dealer, he was actually the innocent bystander.

Carol examines Lori and determines that she was raped. Lori jumps to the worst-case scenario, worrying that she’s contracted an STD. Carol has already called a counselor, and she wants Lori to call the police, at the very least to get Mike off the streets before he can attack anyone else. What’s worse, if he’s combining roofies with alcohol, he could kill someone. Lori asks Carol to stay with her, and Carol promises she will.

Carter calls the hospital that released Babs before she came to County and yells at them for dumping her because she doesn’t have insurance. Kenny’s basketball coach, Stan, comes to the hospital with some of his fellow players, who are upset about their friend being hurt. They’re pleased that Chris has already been there and is probably taking care of things.

Carla’s baby seems to be fine, but she needs stitches and an x-ray of her ankle. She confides in Jeanie that she hates needles and plans to have a natural birth. Chris and the basketball players want to be let onto the surgical floor while Kenny’s in surgery, but Jerry won’t give them access. He complains to Mark that “the natives are restless.” Connie accuses him of making a racist comment, but Jerry defends the use of the word “natives” because the guys are locals. Mark tells Jerry to watch his mouth.

Doyle says that the basketball players think Kenny was shot by someone who bet on the other team for a championship basketball game. Mark can’t believe that someone would be shot over a sport. Connie points out that people are shot over basketball shoes. Doyle suggests that Mark set the guys straight and tell them that Brody was a drug dealer. Mark notes that that’s a privacy violation, and the police need to take care of that stuff.

Rachel and Jen arrive with the news that Jen’s mother had a stroke in Florida. They’re heading down there, which means Rachel will have to miss school, as well as soccer practice. Mark suggests that Rachel stay with him instead. Jen doubts that Mark can balance work and parenting, but Mark insists that he can handle it.

Benton and Hicks operate on Kenny while they discuss Carter’s transfer to Hicks’ team. Benton claims not to have a problem with it, as long as it’s for Carter’s own good. Carter sees that Babs has an abnormal EKG and needs to be admitted for monitoring. She shouldn’t have been sent away from the other hospital. Lori leaves, grateful that Carol stayed by her side through her ordeal.

Jeanie chats with Carla, who’s definitely decided to let Benton keep his distance from the baby. She thinks that if he were to try to be a responsible parent, he’d spend the whole time wishing he were somewhere else. Weaver treats a ring bearer who swallowed his mom and stepdad-to-be’s wedding rings right before the ceremony. The bride and groom will have to wait until he passes the rings. The ring bearer thinks this is awesome.

Paramedics bring in a man named Mr. Brown who was hit by a car while crossing the street in a wheelchair. Weaver objects to a paramedic’s use of the word “handicapped” and suggests “person with a disability” instead. She quickly determines that Brown is drunk, and possibly high on something. He objects to having his stomach pumped, but Weaver ignores him.

Because Carla has A-negative blood, she’s also rh-negative, which could cause a problem with the baby if the father is rh-positive. Carla’s torn between getting stuck with a needle and asking Benton his blood type, neither of which seems like a fun activity to her. She opts for the less painful one, telling Jeanie that the baby’s father actually works at County. Jeanie’s stunned when she learns it’s Benton.

Carter tries to track down a cardiologist named Smith who treated Babs years ago. That’s like finding a needle in a haystack. A number of Kenny’s friends have come to the hospital and are hanging around the hallway, so Mark asks Malik to send them to the waiting area. Malik just loves having a white man ask him to talk to other black people so he doesn’t have to do it himself.

Rachel’s still around, waiting for a babysitter to pick her up, and asks why Mark isn’t taking care of Jen’s mother. He promises that she’s getting good care from the doctor where she lives. Another gunshot victim arrives, this one from the school playing Kenny’s in the championship. Doug thinks someone shot him as payback for Kenny. Mark locks eyes with Chris, who certainly doesn’t seem broken up about this.

Mark handles the trauma while he squares away arrangements for Rachel. Because single parents can have it all! Brown has used a bunch of drugs, and he asks if Weaver is going to bust him for “wheeling under the influence.” He thinks he’s justified in taking drugs because he’s paralyzed. She guesses that he’s not doing physical therapy after the gunshot wound that put him in the wheelchair. She tries to counsel him about adjusting better, but Brown isn’t interested in that, or in rehab.

Kenny’s doing poorly in surgery and will most likely never be an athlete again, if he even survives. Jeanie comes by to pull Benton aside and ask his blood type. She tells him Carla’s in the ER with minor injuries, and she wants him to share his blood type. Benton doesn’t know it, so Jeanie will draw some to find out. The newest gunshot victim is stable, and Doyle wonders if the game will be canceled. The staff guesses there will be more victims.

Mark tries to smooth things over with Chris, telling him that Kenny was injured during a drug deal but wasn’t involved. The rival player shouldn’t have been targeted since Kenny wasn’t shot on purpose. Chris balks at being accused of arranging the shooting, but Mark just wants him to spread the word so no one else tries to get revenge. Chris thinks he’s being profiled. Mark yells that he sees gunshot victims every day, but Chris doesn’t care, since Mark has never seen his brother bleeding to death in the ER.

Carter finally tracks down Babs’ former doctor and records, which let him know that her EKG hasn’t always been abnormal, so it’s a good thing she’s in the hospital. Benton gives Jeanie his blood sample, wondering if he should swing by the ER and see Carla. She didn’t say she wanted to see him, so he heads back to surgery. Mark asks Malik to tell Kenny’s family he’s still in surgery so they can have an update. Malik is again annoyed to be Mark’s messenger.

Weaver tells Mark about Brown, still interested in getting him into rehab. Then Mark heads to another trauma, as a fourth gunshot victim has come in. Weaver lies about Brown being motivated to get sober so she can get him a bed in rehab. Hicks comes to collect the latest trauma patient, and Doug praises Carter for saving him. She gives them the bad news that Kenny died in surgery. She apologizes for keeping Carter in the ER all day, but he’s not unhappy about it.

Doug examines two Little League players who collided during the game. Their fathers start arguing, so Doug sends them out of the room, telling them not to let their sons become rivals off the field. Mark asks Malik to come with him when he tells the Laws that Kenny died. Malik finally puts his foot down and reminds Mark that he’s a nurse – if he’s scared, he should call security. Mark goes to the waiting area alone and tells Chris that his brother died.

Carla’s started laboring, so Coburn has to give her an IV to give her medication to stop it. Jeanie offers to do the needle insertion, knowing Carla hates needles. Weaver tries to convince Brown to check into rehab, offering painkillers if he’ll try it for a few days. Brown accepts. Jeanie calms Carla by telling her to imagine a happy place. Carla won’t share where that place, since “it’s X-rated.” Heh.

Rachel’s sitter hasn’t arrived, so Doyle offers to take her to Doc Magoo’s for dinner. She’s still in the ER when the Laws and Kenny’s friends walk past, mourning Kenny. Rachel asks if Mark took care of Kenny like her grandmother’s doctors are taking care of her. Doyle says he did. Mark asks Haleh if she thinks he made racist assumptions when Kenny first came in. Haleh diplomatically says that black and white people see the world in different ways. White people often say certain things don’t have to do with race, but for black people, everything has to do with race.

Babs has a heart attack, so Mark rushes to help Carter, who stabilizes her. Coburn gives Carla an ultrasound, quizzing Jeanie on the procedure. They determine that the baby is a boy, which makes Carla happy. Mark beats himself up for thinking Babs was on drugs, as if he hasn’t made enough mistakes today. He tells her she’ll be fine, thanks to Carter. “Never shoulda smoked that crack, huh?” she responds.

After their day of saving gunshot victims, Hicks tells Benton that she has space for him on her team of general surgeons. Instead of being ambitious and seeking a tough specialty, he should focus on healing people. At first it looks like he’s going to decline, but he accepts. This means he’ll be working with Carter again, which amuses him.

Worried that putting off tending to Kenny led to his decline, Mark has talked to the surgeons, but there’s no way to know for sure. He admits to Doug that he does make assumptions based on race, and he tries not to act on them, but…you know. Racism. Doug says Mark is the least cynical person he knows.

Brown goes back on his deal with Weaver, leaving the hospital without checking out rehab. Weaver predicts that he’ll be back. Lydia’s like, “Yeah, he’ll be back to get drugs.” Mark tells Malik that he was right to call him on his behavior today. Appeased, Malik rejoins the basketball game. Benton goes to see Carla, who’s asleep, and watches the tape of her ultrasound, getting his first glimpse of his son.

Thoughts: Brown is played by Clifton Collins, Jr. Thomas is played by Richard Fancy.

Carla: still enjoyable for now. It’s weird.

Mark’s bedside manner in this episode is as faint as his hairline. He’s usually much better than this.

October 23, 2018

ER 2.15, Baby Shower: Regular-Baby Baby Mamas

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:52 pm by Jenn

For the record, Abraham Benrubi is only one inch shorter than Scottie Pippen

Summary: Benton is in bed, but he’s not asleep, so don’t drink. He rides an exercise bike while going over the steps of a surgical procedure. He scrapes frost off of his car window, but the car won’t start. When he gets to work, his procedure has been canceled, which leads him to ask Hicks if there’s a problem. Since he left Vucelich’s study, he’s been underused. Hicks points out that with Vucelich, Benton had a ton of stuff to do; now he has to wait for the schedule to catch up with him.

Benton passes the time by doing some paperwork before he’s paged to the ER to try to save a man who jumped on the El tracks. He takes over the case from Mark, obviously eager to prove that he’s still a good doctor. Mark quips that when he’s done taking this guy to surgery, he can come back to the ER and help all the other patients by himself.

Susan was looking forward to sleeping in, since she doesn’t start work until 11, but Susie didn’t get the memo. Moments later, a woman named Mrs. Pearline buzzes Susan’s intercom to say she’s there to do a home inspection for Susie’s adoption. Susan’s place is a mess, and she’s tired from working late the night before, but if she doesn’t agree to the visit now, she’ll have to go back on a waiting list for a long time.

Doug still has the Bulls tickets his father gave him, not wanting to trash good seats just because they came from Ray. Jerry tells Doug and Carol that Scottie Pippen was at the hospital the day before with a kid from his tutoring program. Doug doesn’t believe him. Jerry shows him the autograph Scottie signed, but Doug thinks it’s a fake because he doesn’t know how to spell Pippen. No one else on staff saw Scottie, so no one can back up Jerry’s claims.

Connie’s heavily pregnant, working her last shift before going on maternity leave. She’s overdue and will be induced in a few days if nothing happens. Doug teases that an elephant’s gestation period is two years. Carter’s planning to ask Benton to rewrite his letter of recommendation for Carter to get a fellowship that only has six open slots for 90 applicants. The original recommendation just says that Carter has “put forth a consistent effort.” Carter’s obsessed with this application and plan, but he stops when Harper asks how long it would take after intercourse for a pregnancy test to turn out positive.

Connie brings down some laboring women, announcing to the ER that the sprinkler system on the OB ward is going off, so everyone needs to be moved to other parts of the hospital. So be prepared for the staff to deliver a bunch of babies through the whole episode. Benton assists with his patient’s surgery, though the other doctors think he’s a lost cause. One tells Benton that he’s free to do anything he wants surgically since they’re now looking at a teaching exercise – there’s nothing left to save.

Mark tends to a mother named Christy, who will need to be helped along in her delivery. Jerry tells Chuny to back him up on his claim that Scottie Pippen was in the ER yesterday. She jokes that Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman were also there, and she, Connie, and Jerry in a basketball game. Coburn comes to assess the situation with all the laboring women, though Weaver says the ER staff can handle it. Coburn is skeptical, since Mark is one of those staff members. She quickly takes over with Christy.

As Harper draws some of her own blood for a pregnancy test, Doug tells Christy that her baby is healthy. Coburn tensely gives some instructions as she heads off to take care of more women. She changes her mind and stays when Mark realizes that Christy has a surprise second baby coming. She never knew she was having twins, despite having an ultrasound months ago. The second baby is breech, but Mark calmly handles the delivery, never letting Christy see that this could be a complication. Everyone’s happy, both for Christy and for Mark.

Susan makes it to work, stressed after what she thinks was a disastrous home visit. She asks Mark to lie when a social worker comes in to do work-site interviews. Mark’s next patient, Monica, wants to be induced, but since the ER doesn’t have enough monitors for everyone, they need to wait until she labors naturally. Monica’s not happy about this. Susan meets her next patient, Tina, who’s only 13. Her mother can’t be reached, but the couple who will be adopting her baby are there with her.

Harper brings in a patient to share Tina’s room, a woman named Ms. Clark who’s straight out of The X-Files – she thinks her pregnancy is the result of an alien abduction. Apparently Mulder and Scully won’t take her calls, though. Harper sends Ms. Clark’s bloodwork to the lab, adding in her own vial for a pregnancy test. Susan sneers to Lydia about a father who’s being supportive of the mother of his child; she thinks men like that give women false hope that guys like him actually exist.

Carter joins Benton in the ER to kill some time observing before his interview. He asks Benton if he had time to do another draft of his recommendation letter. Benton says he only did one draft, but Carter has lost his nerve and doesn’t ask for another. A doctor brings in some med students to watch Benton “raise the dead,” as he’s still trying to save his patient. Benton just says that he knows how to fix the man, so he’s doing his job.

As Connie passes through the ER, Weaver, Lydia, Jeanie, and Chuny talk about some beet soup at Doc Magoo’s. The story going around is that it’s inducing labor in pregnant women. Weaver says there’s a scientific basis; a lot of plants contain an ergot derivative that makes the uterus contract. Jeanie tells Susan that one of the laboring women, Leah, may be using crack, so they need to pay extra attention to her.

Mark delivers Monica’s baby as she tells her husband he’ll be having the next one if he doesn’t get a vasectomy. Connie has a short temper with Monica’s screaming, but when they deliver the baby and realize she weighs about ten pounds, Connie tells Monica to scream all she wants. The baby isn’t breathing, and as Doug tends to her, he guesses that Monica developed gestational diabetes during her pregnancy. Mark is again calm with the mom.

Susan and Jeanie talk to Leah, telling her they’ll have to run a tox screen on her since she has a history of drug use. Leah is annoyed that Jeanie told Susan about her past crack abuse. She insists that she’s clean and has learned from the mistakes she made when she was younger. Doug has revived Monica’s baby, and Monica is now super-friendly and happy. She kisses both Doug and Mark, declaring her love for them.

Carter meet some of the other candidates for the fellowship he wants, quickly realizing that they’re much more accomplished than he is. Susan tends to Tina, who’s struggling a lot with her labor. The adoptive father worries that she’s depending on him and his wife too much. They’re adopting her baby, but not her.

A woman named Anna arrives in labor, but what’s one more baby delivered in the ER? She tells Mark that she has breast cancer but had to stop treatment when she found out she was pregnant. She only has a few months left to live. Mark asks someone to page Coburn, but Anna resists. She calls her OB on a giant cell phone that looks funny even for a mid-’90s piece of technology.

Doctors keep rotating in and out to assist Benton as he continues his marathon surgery. He thinks there’s no harm in trying everything they can. A doctor tells him that the patient’s mother is a nurse at the hospital, so at least one person will be grateful if Benton’s work is successful. Leah’s tox screen comes back negative, so Jeanie apologizes for suspecting that she was using. A friend of Leah’s comes to visit, and Jeanie reluctantly lets her stay.

As Weaver tells Jeanie that something odd came up in Ms. Clark’s bloodwork, Tina is rushed away to deliver. Mark loses his cool for the first time all day, telling Anna (who’s also a doctor) to stop giving instructions and just focus on delivering. Then he tells the nurses to do exactly what Anna said. Weaver summons Harper to Ms. Clark’s room, asking why she ran a pregnancy test on a woman who appears to be nine months along. Harper can’t hide her joy when she hears that the pregnancy test came back negative. Labs confirm that Ms. Clark is also not having a baby, just a lot of gas.

As Jerry chats with a man about cigars, Scottie arrives to thank him for his help the day before. Jerry asks him to stay put while he runs off to find a witness. He chooses Mark, who’s in the middle of delivering Anna’s baby. Jerry runs back to the desk to get Scottie and bring him to Mark, but he’s already gone. “Is he kind of a tall guy?” Wendy, clearly not a sports fan, asks.

Susan coaches Tina through her delivery, telling her she’s doing better than a lot of adult women. Leah asks to use the bathroom, declining when Jeanie offers to accompany her. Jeanie gets suspicious and follows her, watching as Leah pauses in front of the bathroom door instead of going on. She gives Jeanie some drug paraphernalia, brought to her by her friend. She admits that she used drugs a little during her pregnancy and is frustrated that she’ll never get clean.

A man who was working on the sprinkler system was electrocuted, so the ER staff finally has a different kind of patient to work on. Anna has delivered a healthy baby but is now sad to remember that she won’t get to spend much time with her daughter before her impending death. So that’s depressing. Mark and Doug check in with another new mom, Leslie, the one with the super-supportive partner, Harris. Susan wants to clone him, and Leslie and Harris say that might be possible someday, since they’ve already used modern technology to conceive their baby.

There’s only one mother left who’s close to delivery, which means the ER staff has delivered nine babies to eight mothers, with very few problems. Coburn lets Mark know that she’s pleased with his work. Christy’s husband arrives after spending the whole day trying to find a replacement for his bus route. Doug happily introduces him to his new sons, and he promises that today will be the last time he’s not there for them. Doug is sure he’ll be a great father. Leah’s the last mom to deliver, and though the baby seems fine now, Leah’s drug use could have lasting effects. Doug tells her she’ll probably be allowed to keep the baby, though he’s clearly not thrilled about that.

Carter does his interview with Hicks and some other doctors, having to do a trick with a magnet, a knot, a string, and a coffee can while he answers questions about surgical procedures. He screws up the trick, and Hicks asks what he would do if he made a mistake like that in surgery. Carter simply says that he would prepare the damage and proceed. Hicks likes that answer. Another doctor admits that the trick might not actually be possible; what’s important is his temperament. That combined with his academic achievements, board scores, and letters of recommendation are what they’re looking at.

Vucelich gave him a glowing recommendation, but Carter’s worried about Benton’s. The doctors are pleased that Carter survived working with Benton, but they’re even more pleased with Benton’s words of praise. The final question in the interview is why Carter wants to be a surgeon. He pauses, then says that when he sees people who are sick or injured, he knows he can fix them, so that’s what he wants to do. Sounds like Carter isn’t too different from Benton after all.

Connie learns that Leslie had beet soup at Doc Magoo’s the night before. Lydia, Chuny, and Susan giggle to themselves, then put on poker faces when Connie looks at them. The ER staff realize that Leslie and Harris aren’t the perfect couple they thought – they’re actually with other people. Specifically, Leslie and her partner used Harris as a sperm donor so they could have a baby. Harris and his partner will be the baby’s godfathers. Susan knew she was right about the situation being too good to be true.

Benton’s finally done with surgery, and the patient’s alive, for now. Carter brings him dinner and thanks him for setting the bar high for him and being a good example. Now that Tina’s seen her baby, she’s not sure she can go through with the adoption. She doesn’t think taking care of a baby is as hard as everyone says. Plus, her mom will help her. You know, the mom who’s been out of contact all day and is just now arriving to be with her daughter. The adoptive parents are devastated, realizing that their plans aren’t going to work out.

Doug goes to see Ray, surprised that he’s at such a nice hotel. He’s even more surprised to learn that Ray owns the place. Doug returns the Bulls tickets, saying he’s no longer playing along like he and his mother did when Doug was a child. He’s not going to let Ray get away with dropping in, giving him presents, and disappearing again. A father sticks around for his kids’ childhood, and Ray never did, so he’s no father. Ray says that Doug and his mother deserved better.

Doug mentions that he helped deliver a bunch of babies today. Ray starts to tell Doug about the night he was born – he and Doug’s mother were at a cabin (a cabin that the bank later took back, Doug notes) and had to skate across a lake to get to the hospital. Doug, unlike his father, decides to stick around for this story.

Connie clocks out of work, annoyed that no one’s around to say goodbye, since she’ll be gone for a while. She heads across the street to Doc Magoo’s and orders beet soup. Just then, a bunch of her co-workers burst out of the kitchen to throw her a surprise baby shower. Mark jokes that after Connie has some soup, they can go back across the street and deliver her baby. Meanwhile, Doug and Ray play foosball together at the hotel, spending more time together than they have in years.

Thoughts: Christy is played by Nia Long. Anna is played by Lindsay Crouse.

“What kind of soup should our diner serve, along with sandwiches, burgers, and pie?” “…Beet?” “Oh, yeah. Definitely beet.”

One of Carter’s competitors for the fellowship is named Andrea Zucker. Is that a nod to Andrea Zuckerman on Beverly Hills, 90210? This Andrea is also from California.

Dear everyone: If a friend brings you drugs while you’re in the hospital to have a baby, get new friends.

July 17, 2018

ER 2.1, Welcome Back Carter!: Kerry Weaver Has Entered the Building

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

Look how normal and non-threatening she looks. Don’t be fooled

Summary: For once, no one’s asleep at the start of the episode, since it’s the middle of the day and everyone’s out and about in Chicago, going about their lives. Then a gang member opens fire. A woman is shot trying to shield her young son. Mark tries to save another shooting victim as a police officer attempts to get information on the shooter. Everyone wants to know where Susan is as they run around, tending to all the victims. Susan’s with a man who needs to have his heart monitored, and she has to leave him to help out with all the traumas.

The woman from the street comes in, worrying about her unborn baby. Her toddler seems fine, but he’s obviously upset about the whole thing. Benton asks where Carter is. Carter happens to be stuck in a big traffic jam, having just returned to Chicago from his summer vacation. He ditches the cab and makes a run for it, carrying all his luggage and souvenirs with him. He knows he’s in for some yelling for being late.

Jerry’s trying to hold down the fort at the front desk, taking calls while trying to ignore a woman with bipolar disorder who won’t stop talking to him. A woman named Harper Tracy introduces herself and her buddies as the new third-year med students, there to meet Mark. When he learns that the students know how to take medical histories, Jerry puts them to work. Meanwhile, Mark and Benton send the pregnant woman off to deliver her baby.

Carter finally makes it to the hospital, and Jerry sends him to the OR. Morgenstern is inexplicably back, telling Mark that, now that he’s an attending, he has more responsibilities. He needs to go to a staff meeting, meet with the med students, and handle more problems on his own. Mark is also in charge of the schedule, which will benefit Doug; Mark quickly offers him a graveyard attending shift and the extra money that comes with it. There currently aren’t any pediatric patients for Doug, but Jerry has reserved a Scandinavian flight attendant for him. Doug appreciates it.

Carter scrubs in to assist with Benton and Coburn’s emergency operation on the pregnant woman. Coburn quizzes Carter on anatomy and isn’t impressed with his lack of knowledge. She notes that that reflects poorly on Benton. Doug meets the flight attendant, Hulda, who hurt her ankle when she slipped on a little bottle of vodka. She also has an earache, possibly from all the “going up and coming down.” Doug thanks whatever forces are at work here that he’s single.

Mark doesn’t have much time to spend with the med students, so he sends them to an exam room to read medical texts. He asks Susan to find Harper and have her rejoin the group. The two discuss the new opening for chief resident; Susan doesn’t have time to step up. She suggests a doctor named Jane Pratt. Mark checks in on Susan’s heart patient, who has to stay in the ER for a little while longer, since there’s no bed open in cardiology. He’s not getting much rest, with all the yelling and chaos.

Benton and Coburn deliver the baby, who had the horrible luck of being shot while still in the womb, but who is otherwise fine. The nurses gather for a quick staff meeting, run by Carol. Though the nurses complain about some of the things they’re chastised for or qualifications they need to meet, they clearly respect Carol and understand that she’s just the messenger. They also can’t complain too much about having to complete hours doing ambulance ride-alongs when Carol has to participate as well.

To add to the chaos of the ER, some maintenance guys are there to fix the AC. Jane Pratt is interested in the chief position and lets Mark know. She’s heard that Kerry Weaver, a doctor at Mt. Sinai, also wants the position, but Jane thinks she’d be better at the job. Carter withstands his inevitable browbeating from Benton, who reminds him that anytime he looks bad, he makes Benton look bad. He beat out 15 others for this surgical sub-internship, so he’d better show that he earned it.

Mark meets Loretta Sweet, a patient with a rash on her thighs. It’s not serious, probably just a minor allergic reaction, and the treatment is pretty basic. (This scene is pointless and just establishes a character we’ll see a few more times.) Carol greets an ambulance and starts tending to a man who was found unconscious.) The paramedics who brought him in, Shep Shepard and Raul Melendez, stick around to help Carol and some other nurses until a doctor can be found. Carol determines that the man’s airway was obstructed and clears it.

Carter tries to study for an upcoming operation, but it’s difficult with nurses coming in and out, and a drunk patient yelling next door. Susan invites him to show Harper how to start an IV, thinking Carter will find her attractive. Harper’s still with the bipolar patient, Mrs. Constantine, finding it hard to take a history from a woman who’s manic and talks about anything and everything. Still, Harper is able to diagnosis her with cellulitis. Carter shows her how to start an IV, already a better teacher than Benton ever was (though Harper’s also a better student than Carter ever was).

Carol’s patient came in with his son, Noah, and Carol assures the boy that his father will be okay. He’ll have to stay in the hospital for a while, so Noah needs someone to look after him. Noah says his father never stays in the hospital, so it’s not a problem. Carol determines that Noah has had to call 911 for his alcoholic father a number of times in the past. She’s impressed that the kid, who’s only about nine, knows how to fix a broken VCR. (If anyone reading this asks me what a VCR is, I quit.)

Harper tracks down Mark and tags along while he and Susan check in on the heart patient. The AC still hasn’t been fixed, and now there’s dust falling from the ceiling over the front desk – hopefully not asbestos, as Susan fears. Carter hands out souvenirs from his trip to…wherever he went. He gives Jerry a voodoo doll, and when Benton comes by, cranky as usual, Jerry says that Carter should have saved a doll for himself. Carter did, and it might even work on Benton.

Jeanie is now working at County, but she and Benton are stiff around each other, barely speaking. Carter gives Doug a figure he calls the god of fertility. Carol teases him, not realizing that in three years, she’ll want it to work. Carter thinks he’s ready for his next surgery, but the procedure has been cancelled. Now he has to assist with something he hasn’t studied for. Carter takes out his frustration on his Benton doll.

Mark goes to a management staff meeting, nominating Jane as the next chief resident. Morgenstern notes that she and Mark are very similar; he should pick someone who would complement his weaknesses. Carol backs up Mark’s pick, but Morgenstern is leaning toward Weaver. Mark agrees to meet her, unaware of how much his life is about to change.

A doctor named Neil complains about Doug’s time in the ER; pediatrics shouldn’t have to pay his salary if he’s always in the ER. Morgenstern points out that the ER can’t afford to pay for Doug’s fellowship. Coburn says she likes Doug, but he’s “a bit of a cowboy.” Neil says he’s arrogant and undermines Neil’s authority. He threatens not to sign off on his fellowship renewal. Morgenstern will have to find the money to keep him on.

A man carries his unbreathing brother, Jimmy, into the ER. The only available treatment room is the one the AC guys are currently working in. Harper hasn’t joined her fellow med students, so Susan allows her to observe. Mark mentions to Carol that he didn’t realize how much management talks about the residents. Carol gleefully asks if he wants to know what they used to say about him. She adds that Morgenstern has a point about Jane.

Doug thanks Mark for his extra shifts, since he needs the money for car payments. Mark remembers that Doug knows Weaver from his residency and asks if she would make a good chief. Doug’s response isn’t promising: “You ever see Cuckoo’s Nest?” Carol’s patient wants to leave, as Noah predicted, and he’s not pleasant about it. She lets him throw a tantrum until he’s coughing so hard he can’t stand. He’s just made her point that he’s unable to leave the hospital. She suggests that he get sober so Noah will have a father he can be proud of.

Jimmy isn’t doing well, and the AC guys are causing more problems than they’re fixing. Lydia tells them to come out of the ceiling already. One of them falls on Jimmy’s gurney, apparently smacking him hard enough in the chest that his heart goes back into a stable rhythm. Carter has now embarrassed Benton in front of another surgeon, and Benton is only going to give him one more chance to show he’s not completely incompetent. Carol tells them that the gang shooter has now been shot and is being brought in.

The infamous Dr. Kerry Weaver comes to the hospital, confident that Mark is going to hire her as chief resident. The shooter arrives, and for the first time all day (well, second, if you count starting an IV with Harper), Carter proves useful. It only lasts for a minute, as he soon starts to feel sick. Once the patient is stable, Malik teases Carter about the smell in the room, causing him to pass out.

Jimmy’s stable and will be okay, though Susan decides not to give his brother details on how he was stabilize. The shooter doesn’t make it, and Benton tells Carter to sew him up. He needs to be there at 5 the next morning for surgery. Carol tells Shep and Raul that the shooter didn’t make it, then asks if she can do her ride-along with them next week. Both guys say yes, and Shep is especially looking forward to it. Doug teases Carol about that.

Susan complains to Mark that her cardiac patient still hasn’t gone to cardiology. She tells him he needs to do something about the length of time it takes to transfer patients. Benton has heard that Mark hired Weaver and thinks it’s a good idea. Susan’s surprised that Mark didn’t pick Jane, and then didn’t tell her he didn’t hire Jane. Mark snaps that it was his decision. He’s trying to leave for the night, but Jerry reminds him that the med students are still waiting for him.

Mrs. Constantine has stabilized, and she’s grateful to Harper for her kind treatment. Her son brought her cello to her, and she wants to thank Harper with a musical performance. Mrs. Constantine plays beautifully, bringing peace to the ER for the first time all day. Along with Chuny, who works in the ER now, Carter helps clean up the shooter’s body. Carol finds him later and acknowledges that he had a tough day. He tells her he did a pediatric rotation at another hospital over the summer, then spent a few weeks in St. Bart’s. MUST BE NICE.

Mark makes his train to Milwaukee with moments to spare, so that’s still going on. Chloe and Susie are still staying with Susan, but they have a good routine going – Susie goes to daycare while Chloe takes classes, and the three spend the evenings together. Chloe has gotten over her earlier hesitance with the baby and is doing well in the parenting department.

Benton and Jeanie’s awkwardness with each other at work is just a smoke screen – they’re sleeping together. She leaves just before midnight, trying to get home before her husband gets off work. Jeanie and Benton have progressed to the “I love you” stage of the relationship, or at least Jeanie has. Peter just goes back to sleep, which means the writers lulled me into a false sense of security – they fooled me by not starting the episode with someone sleeping, then ended it that way.

Thoughts: Harper is played by Christine Elise.

Laura Innes (Weaver) was originally only supposed to be in six episodes. She wound up appearing in almost 250.

Benton gets a turkey sandwich, but isn’t he a vegetarian? Oh, right, early-seasons continuity. Not important.

June 19, 2018

ER 1.22, Men Plan, God Laughs: Unfixable

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

Hi. I’m back for no reason

Summary: Maybe we should have a drinking game where we drink every time an episode starts with someone sleeping. This one does, so drink! Mark wakes up for work at 5:45, sharing his bed with medical journals instead of his wife. Benton complains to a doctor at Mae’s new facility about how she’s not mobile enough. The doctor doesn’t think Mae is ready for the mobility Benton wants her to have. She has to remind him that Mae broke her hip and won’t heal overnight.

Susan calls her mother to help with Chloe’s health insurance, now that she’s back in Chicago. Rolando the desk clerk isn’t organized enough for Swift’s liking, and he blames a cold, so Swift tells him to go home. Paramedic Doris Pickman brings in a man who was caught in a metal press, and Doug enlists Carter to help him with the trauma. Benton joins in as well, climbing on the patient’s gurney to put his dislocated hip back in place. This saves the man’s leg, and may be the only thing Benton has control over in his life right now.

When Mark makes it in to work, he tells Susan that he wound up not going to see Jen after Susan encouraged him to. She warns him to get on Swift’s good side, but Mark plans to leave early so he can go to Milwaukee. He confides that he’s not sure things are going to work out. Carter’s studying for the boards, even though they’re four months away. He hopes to get a surgical sub-internship, though Susan thinks Mark will recommend him for one in the ER. Carol and Doug scare Carter by telling him that the boards’ failure rate has gone up.

A teenager named Katie went to work with her mother at a naval base and pulled off her earmuffs at the firing range, temporarily deafening herself. Doug checks her over, asking the mother why there’s a naval base on Lake Michigan anyway – “who’s going to invade? Canadians?” Mark checks out a baby named Henry whose lips turn blue when he eats. His father, Leonard, blames himself, since heart problems run in his family. Mark detects a murmur in the baby.

A manic patient named Mrs. Dibble tries to engage Susan in conversation until Malik takes her back to her room. Susan tells Mark that she appreciates that her brain creates the right balance of chemicals. She complains about Chloe’s poor habits as a guest and says she won’t let Chloe derail things like she’s always done before. Swift asks Mark to meet with him at the end of his shift for a joint commission survey, but Mark says he has personal business. Swift asks when residents started having personal business.

A girl named Samantha fell off a wall at school and is unconscious. Benton can’t figure out why her condition is deteriorating when she gets to the ER. Diane wants to close Doug’s file over the incident where he attacked an abusive father, but that requires Doug to go to a therapy session, and he’s resistant. She wears him down, partly because she’s doing her job and partly because she likes Doug.

Susan’s next patient is a doctor named Strong who wants pain medication for a back problem. Susan wants to finish his workup first. Benton and Carter realize that Samantha’s coma wasn’t caused by a head injury but is a result of diabetic ketoacidosis. Haleh offers to pass the case along to Doug, but Benton wants to stay in charge. As Doug gets a phone message from Linda, who’s been out of the picture for a while, Carol tells Mark that she and Tag want Rachel to be their ring bearer. Mark says he’s not sure where they’ll be in May.

Chloe arrives for an appointment, and Susan works hard not to gripe at her sister for wearing her clothes and breaking her blender. Mark, Haleh, and Wendy treat a drunk, combative patient named Reicher and give him an endoscopy. Using a camera to look into his stomach, they see that he has an ulcer. As Mark leaves the trauma room, he runs into Mrs. Dibble, who’s more stable but is feeling low now. She says she doesn’t think anything good will ever happy again. Mark can relate.

Samantha’s stabilizing but hasn’t been taking her insulin. Haleh again offers to pass the case on to another doctor, since it’s not surgical, but Benton still wants it. Rolando calls for a replacement, now thinking he has the flu. Reicher’s wife arrives and reveals that her husband lives on the street. She’s brought him some clean clothes, but she doesn’t want to see him. She just wanted to know if he was alive.

Connie shows Susan some of Strong’s test results, and Susan sees that he signs his name Dr. Lyle Strong, M.D., a redundancy a real doctor wouldn’t make. She makes up a diagnosis, then busts him for providing urine with chicken blood in it in an attempt to score pain meds. Connie suspects that Strong got his self-diagnosis from a medical textbook. Before the interrogation can continue, he runs out in just his gown and shoes, passing Jerry as he arrives to replace Rolando.

Henry may have a hole in his heart, and his father, Mr. Offenbach, still blames his genetics. Mrs. Offenbach is pretty calm about the fact that her eight-week-old needs an operation. Mark assures Mr. Offenbach that his son’s condition isn’t his fault. Jake asks Doug to help out with coaching his Little League team, and Doug easily agrees. Linda shows up, inviting Doug to celebrate a deal she just closed, and Jake pays very close attention to her flirting. Doug declines the offer and assures Jake that just because Linda flirted doesn’t mean he returns her affections.

Jeanie comes by to chat with Benton, inviting him to grab dinner with her during a break. He hesitates, possibly because she’s married, and possibly because he’s Benton and doesn’t like to socialize. He examines a teenager named Charlie who’s been having a weird feeling in his arm and leg. He still feels a little sick from a recent flu, and fell a couple days ago. Benton passes him along to Doug, and as Benton leaves, Charlie remarks that he’s nice. That’s probably the first time someone’s said that about him, and it may be the last.

Susan’s annoyed that Chloe isn’t taking her pregnancy more seriously, but she can’t help laughing at the thought of their mother becoming a grandmother. Samantha’s awake now, and Benton reveals to her mother that she hasn’t been taking her insulin. Samantha’s angry that she’s sick and could be facing unfair complications like blindness. Benton says that pretending she doesn’t have a serious illness won’t get her anywhere. She needs to accept that things are the way they are. He tells her flat out that if she doesn’t take her insulin, she’ll die. I bet Samantha doesn’t agree with Charlie that Benton’s nice.

Doug examines Charlie and determines that he needs an MRI. Charlie doesn’t get why he needs to have his head scanned when his leg is the problem. Away from Charlie, Doug tells Malik to make him a priority and bring Benton back to the case for a consult. Coburn gives Chloe an ultrasound and confirms that she’s having a girl. Chloe still wants to name the baby after Susan. She’s thrilled, but Susan is much more reserved.

Benton gets Charlie’s MRI back as Doug goes to his therapy session with a doctor named Murphy. He pegs Doug as “a reasonably normal guy with sloppy impulse control.” The next time he wants to take out his anger on someone, it needs to be in a bar, not the hospital. Doug can’t believe that Murphy is telling him it’s okay to hit someone. After asking Doug to promise never to attack someone in the ER, Murphy says he’s free to go. Doug asks to talk about his other problems, so Murphy recommends therapy.

Carter asks Mark about the ER sub-internship, even though Mark isn’t sure his recommendation will do him much good right now. Charlie has an aneurysm pressing on his spine, and he needs immediate surgery. The requisite surgeon won’t perform it, but he knows a doctor at another hospital who will. Mark treats a woman’s dog bite and seems confused when she says she’s going to tell all her friends to come see him when they have medical emergencies.

Dyer, the doctor Charlie needs, is out for a run, so Benton makes Carter hand over his car keys so Benton can go hunt him down. Carter thinks that Benton’s going above and beyond for his patients because he can fix them while he can’t fix his mother. Doug thinks Carter’s been taking too many psych classes. Mark tells Doug that his dog-bite patient may have been hitting on him. Doug agrees, saying that Mark’s been moody, and “women like to save moody men.”

A man comes in with a gunshot wound, and his mother tells the trauma team to let him die. She calls him the devil as Carol removes her from the trauma room. Doug takes over for Mark so he can make his train to Milwaukee. The patient’s mother tells Mark that her son is a killer, so saving him is a bad idea. Mark’s like, “I guess my day could be going worse.”

Diane tells Doug that she’s fine if their relationship doesn’t work out, but she’d like to know what kind of future they have so she can be prepared for the possibility of Jake getting hurt. Doug just says he hopes they’ll be together for a long time. Mark passes his patients off to Susan, then nervously goes off to see his wife. Yeah, I wouldn’t be in any rush to go see her either.

Swift’s looking for Benton, who’s still out looking for Dyer. Carter tells him Benton’s in surgery and gathers up the charts Swift needs. Jerry thinks Carter’s trying to suck up so he’ll get the sub-internship. As Benton finds Dyer, Swift grabs Carter to come help out with a woman named Leslie who was struck by lightning. He lets Carter run the trauma, which he does confidently. He credits Benton, Mark, and Susan for being good teachers. When he won’t say which is the best, Swift praises his diplomacy.

Dyer accepts Charlie as a patient, and Benton sees him off to Dyer’s hospital. Charlie has guessed that something is really wrong with him, and Benton is honest with him about the seriousness of his condition. Charlie could die, but Benton promises that he won’t. (In later seasons of the show, that would mean he definitely would, but it’s season 1, so we just never find out what happens to him.)

Benton returns to County, where Swift compliments his work with Carter. Carter has finished Benton’s charts, letting Swift believe that Benton did the work himself. Benton thanks Carter, who asks him to repeat himself, just because he wants to hear the words twice. Chloe has gone on a shopping spree and brings all her new baby things to the hospital to show Susan. Susan’s upset about all the money Chloe spent using her credit card. Chloe points out that she’s going to be someone’s mother. If their mom could do it, she can, too.

Mark spends a little time with Rachel, then tries to talk to Jen, who doesn’t want to get into it. He tells her that he needs to have more time with his daughter. He offers to move to Milwaukee, even if he and Jen are really over. He doesn’t think he’ll get the attending job anyway. Jen is noncommittal and hesitates before letting Mark spend the night.

Benton and Jeanie have dinner together, talking about their parents’ embarrassing behavior at their graduations. Benton is trying to come to terms with the fact that Mae will never get better, and that there’s nothing he can do about it. He thanks Jeanie for helping him through everything. Jeanie tells him that he seems able to get through anything. Benton says he used to think so.

Thoughts: Mrs. Dibble is played by Debra Jo Rupp.

I am, ultimately, a Carol/Doug shipper, but I like Diane a lot. Her sass with Doug is exactly what he needs in a girlfriend.

I appreciate Malik’s attempt at humor when he’s moving Charlie and jokes that they drop a lot of people, but..probably not the right audience or time.

Rachel: “3 plus 3 is 6. And 4 plus 4 is 8. And 6…Daddy, I don’t have any more fingers.” Hee.

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.