July 10, 2018

ER 1.25, Everything Old Is New Again: Goodbyes, Both Spoken and Unspoken

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

Clooney should trademark that look

Summary: Carter’s asleep – drink! Malik wakes him up for a trauma, and since no other doctors are available, Carter’s somehow in charge. The 14-year-old patient shot himself in a suicide attempt and needs a crike, a procedure in which a hole is cut in his throat. Lydia is able to outline the steps for Carter, because nurses are awesome, but Benton arrives in time to do the actually cutting. When he learns that Carter was about to do it, Benton just chuckles. He remembers that this is Carter’s last day as a med student, and instead of giving him some advice or words of wisdom, he gives administrative instructions.

It’s raining when Carol wakes up on what’s meant to be her wedding day. Amazingly, the rain doesn’t annoy her. Chloe and Susie are staying with Susan, and though Chloe was invited to the wedding, she doesn’t feel strong enough to go. Susan thinks she is. At County, Mark encourages Doug to go see Diane and tell her how he feels. Doug thinks the breakup is for the best, though he feels bad for Jake. Benton tells Carter that he needs to fill out an assessment of their time together. Carter’s thrilled to get to write down his feelings about the rotation.

Mark tries to talk to his next patient, a drunk woman named Bonnie who would rather have a cigarette than any medical treatment. Carter gives Benton a horrible assessment, with some egging on from Haleh. Out of a possible 40 points, Carter gives Benton 16. He feels a little bad, but Haleh points out that Benton had to evaluate Carter as well, so he’s probably not going to get any kind treatment there.

Swift helps Mark with Bonnie, overruling Mark’s diagnosis and recommending conservative treatments. As soon as he leaves, Mark overrules his overruling. Doug and Carter meet with a preteen named Caleb who’s feeling sick after finishing chemo. Caleb’s annoyed at their concern, so Doug tells him they can’t rule out meningitis, which can cause irritability, because the irritability might just be from Caleb’s personality. (Basically: “Stop being a brat so we can figure out what’s wrong with you.”)

Benton runs into Jeanie, who claims she hasn’t returned his calls because she’s been busy. Also, he shouldn’t call her at home. She asks to meet him later so they can talk. Mark was right about Bonnie’s diagnosis, and instead of being offended, Swift praises him for making a tough call. Then he tells Mark that the hospital has been served with a wrongful-death suit over what happened to Jodi O’Brien. Mark is upset but not surprised.

Benton examines Susan’s patient, Thomas, who has end-stage AIDS. Since Benton has no bedside manner, Susan explains things to Thomas’ partner, Jason. An oncologist sees Caleb, admitting him for antibiotics. Carter has no responsibilities, somehow, so he offers to hang out with Caleb and his sister, Sarah. Caleb continues being irritable, so Carter gives him one last chance to be nice and ask Carter to stay. Caleb declines.

Thomas is declining, and Benton tells Jason that he may need surgery. Thomas’ mother has power of attorney and is on her way, but possibly not quickly enough. As Susan heads out to get ready to be Carol’s bridesmaid, Benton tells Carter that the person who was going to take the ER sub-internship went elsewhere. The slot is open again, and it’s Carter’s if he wants it. Carter excitedly accepts, then races to take back the assessment he turned in. It’s too late – Hicks already has it.

Swift tells Mark that he’s going to take Morgenstern’s recommendation and hire him as an attending. Mark wants to discuss it with Jen, but he’s grateful for the offer. At Doc Magoo’s, Benton laments to Jeanie that he didn’t get to say goodbye to his mother. She tells him that she likes him, but this is about Mae. Benton says they’d both like to think that. (This scene is really vague. I’m pretty sure she’s trying to say they have nothing connecting them except Mae, while he’s saying there’s chemistry there.)

When Susan gets home to grab her wedding outfit, she finds Susie there alone, and Chloe nowhere to be found. She’s left a note saying she went to buy cigarettes, which is such a deadbeat-parent cliché. Carter asks Hicks if he can get his evaluation back for some edits, but instead, Hicks offers to show him Benton’s evaluation of him. Surprisingly, Benton had nothing but positive things to say about Carter. Carter pretends he just filled out a negative review because he was upset about not getting the sub-internship. Hicks graciously allows him to retract his evaluation, as long as he fills it out honestly.

Thomas’ mother, Marjorie, sings a lullaby to her unconscious son. Benton recommends a procedure, but Marjorie doesn’t want Thomas to endure any further pain. Benton agrees to keep up the current treatment in hopes that it’ll work. Outside the room, Jason tells Benton that Marjorie made the decision Thomas would have made. He wants to take Thomas home to die, but Benton thinks he should stay so they can manage his pain. Jason says that Thomas’ loved ones have already said their goodbyes, but they’re still not ready to let him go.

Doug tells Caleb’s father that he seems to have an infection unrelated to his chemo. Carter comes back to try to befriend the kid again, this time succeeding with an offer to play Mortal Kombat. Susan has to take the baby to the wedding and hand her off to the Greenes, since Chloe didn’t come back in time. The wedding party greets Carol outside the church, and everyone’s ready to proceed…but Tag isn’t there.

Benton sits with Thomas, holding his hand and inevitably thinking of his mother. Carol finds Tag sitting by himself, worrying that she doesn’t love him as much as he loves her. She assures him that she wouldn’t marry him if she didn’t love him. She admits that he’s right, but she still wants to be with him. Tag doesn’t feel the same, so we have a runaway groom.

At County, Connie teases Doug that Carol and Tag must be hitched by now. I guess Connie didn’t get invited to the wedding? That sucks – Haleh and Lydia got to be bridesmaids. Jake comes by to try to fix Doug and Diane’s relationship, but Doug knows it’s unfixable. He admits that sometimes he hurts people without knowing why.

Now that Caleb has softened a little, Carter opens up to him: His own brother had cancer as a child and sometimes took out his anger on Carter like Caleb does on his sister. Carter knows he was just trying to mask his pain. As Sarah looks on, Caleb tentatively asks if Carter’s brother made it. Carter says no, but he had a different kind of cancer than Caleb does. Plus, it was a long time ago, and medicine is better now – and the kids are tougher.

The wedding is off, but everyone gathers for the reception anyway. Malik wonders what will happen to the food. When Rachel says she’s hungry, Mark decides it’s okay to raid the buffet. The bridesmaids and Jen are ready for the open bar. Doug goes to the church, where the non-bride is crying in a pew. She asks what’s wrong with her, and why she can’t fall for a good guy. Doug says Tag is boring, which makes Carol laugh. She confides that she’s afraid she’ll never be happy. He assures her that she will be, not even realizing that when she is, it’ll be with him.

Carter thanks Benton for teaching him over the course of the year. Benton tells him he’ll be a good doctor, possibly the first kind words he’s ever said to Carter’s face. The reception is going on as if the wedding actually happened, and when Carol arrives, she expresses her gratitude for having friends who care about her. She’s had a great year because of them. Everyone dances to “Tequila,” and it looks like the actors are really enjoying themselves. Of course, Doug can’t keep his eyes off of the non-bride.

Back at the hospital, Carter turns in the contents of his locker, ready for a summer off before he begins his sub-internship in the fall. Sarah tells him that she hopes one day she can make a difference in someone’s life like he did for Caleb today. Rolando encourages Carter to come back and visit sometime, unaware that Carter will be working there in the fall. He heads off as the busy hospital continues to operate without him.

Thoughts: One season down, 14 to go! Things are about to get a lot more interesting. (Two words: Kerry Weaver.)

I was expecting Marjorie to be hateful and judgmental, which would be an easy direction for the show to go with that storyline. I’m glad they didn’t.

The plot parallels in season 1 don’t hit you over the head like they do in later seasons. It’s nice.

The Carol/Tag breakup is so anticlimactic, but she really wouldn’t have been happy with him. He’s a jerk, though. If you don’t think it’s a good idea, call it off before everyone gets to the church.

 

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July 3, 2018

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

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

Welcome to the madhouse, Susie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 26, 2018

ER 1.23, Love Among the Ruins: Everyone Has a Big Decision to Make at the Same Time! What a Coincidence!

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

I know it’s the obvious caption here, but still: Same

Summary: Mark is…NOT asleep! He’s awake in the middle of the night, having stayed at Jen’s place even though she was resistant to let him. He talks about happy moments in their past, then tries to get romantic with Jen, who resists. Mark, let it go. You’re better off without her. At County, Jerry is in a much better mood than Mark, having been cast as Romeo in a production for the Shakespearean theater group he just joined. He recites the balcony monologue to Lydia, who isn’t impressed. Then Swift scares him with a mask and invites him to help wake up some sleeping drunks.

Susan and Malik tend to a cab driver who was mugged. Kovalev is also a matchmaker, hooking his passengers with each other. Div happens to be one of those passengers, so now Susan knows what he’s been up to since they split up. Swift chases out the drunks, offering them donuts as they leave, then tells Carter that he received his application for the ER sub-internship. This is the first Benton is hearing about it. Carter says he hasn’t made up his mind yet about whether he wants to focus on trauma or surgery.

Mark learns that Doug will be coaching Jake’s Little League team; Mark thinks this is a big step in Doug and Diane’s relationship. He hasn’t heard about the attending position he was supposed to get, and he’s not about to approach Swift about it. Benton complains about having to write a recommendation for Carter for the ER sub-internship, telling Carter to write something himself that Benton will just sign his name to. Haleh gives Benton a message from his student-loan service stating that he’s three months behind on his payments.

Susan sends Chloe off to appointments for the baby and some social services. Chloe demands lunch money, then offers to make dinner for her sister. Susan begs her not to. Carter stitches up Kovalev, who tries to find a woman for him in his matchmaking album. Carter himself can be included in the album for just $10. Carter declines, but Kovalev extends him a freebie in exchange for the medical treatment.

Carol complains to Tag that a woman getting married right after them at the same church wants to buy their flowers, since they’ll already be there. But since the flowers will be “used” by then, she’ll only pay a third of the original cost. All the wedding planning is getting to Carol, and the couple still has to write their vows. They run into Diane, whom Tag knows, and when she says she’s heard a lot about Carol, Carol wonders if she heard it from Doug rather than Tag. They chat about the wedding, and Carol invites Diane. Tag’s not happy, because now Doug will come.

As Mark and Susan treat a guy who drove his car into a tree, Diane gives Doug something he left in her bedroom while he was sneaking out to avoid being seen by Jake (which is dumb, since Jake knows he’s been sleeping there). They sneak a quick makeout session, which Carol sees. Mark and Susan’s patient, Donny, wrote a suicide note for someone named Amy, which explains why he drove into a tree. Swift joins the trauma and takes over when he disagrees with Mark’s ideas for treatment. Mark leaves, deciding he’s not needed.

Sometime later, Lily tells Susan that the Amy from Donny’s letter is on her way to the hospital. Susan thinks Lily tracked her down, but Lily says Amy called on her own. Doug chastises Mark for walking out of the trauma room, which will definitely hurt his chances for becoming an attending. Mark claims that he doesn’t care about the job anymore. Doug tells him he’s being an idiot. And when Doug thinks you’re being dumb, you’re definitely being dumb.

Benton is at the admit desk when a man comes in with a cut on his hand. Benton determines that he needs stitches and passes him on to Carter. Carter recognizes the man as Howard Davis, the father of one of his former classmates, and a member of the board of directors. Swift also recognizes Davis and makes sure he gets preferential treatment. Benton, not Carter, will be tending to Davis’ wound, though Davis asks Carter to tag along. Jerry quips that he hopes Davis didn’t hurt the hand he writes checks with.

A bunch of high school basketball players come in with their nun coaches; one of the girls is sick, and Doug suspects meningitis. All of the players and coaches will need to be isolated until the doctors can determine if they’ve also contracted meningitis. Amy arrives and hears that Donny is in a coma. Susan gives her the suicide note, and Amy tells her that Donny made his attempt in front of her house, hoping she would witness it. He took pills after their last breakup, but Amy was told that it was a cry for help. She didn’t think he would try again for real.

Davis chats with Carter about his son, who dropped out of college and now writes for Vanity Fair. Benton is bored but perks up when he learns that Carter used to do dressage. He had a white Icelandic pony! Named Marigold! Benton keeps a poker face but probably hasn’t been this happy in years. He’s probably trying to figure out how to work that into Carter’s recommendation.

The sick basketball player will be okay, but Doug and Carol want her teammates and coaches to take a preventive drug to make sure they don’t get sick as well. Because it can be harmful to pregnancies, the also have to take pregnancy tests. The head coach, Mother Lawrence, asks for exemption for herself and her assistant coach, Elizabeth, since they’re nuns, but she has no problem letting the girls take the tests.

Donny wakes up, but Amy leaves without talking to him. Carol teases that Doug must be loving the chance to examine a bunch of Catholic schoolgirls. Tag comes by to have lunch together so they can work on their vows, but Carol needs to keep working with Doug. Tag pulls a Mark and walks away, hurt.

Speaking of Mark, Swift asks if he has a problem with authority. Mark says only when that authority is undermining his judgment. He doesn’t like being treated like a med student when he’s a resident. Swift says he doesn’t act like it. Morgenstern talked him up, but Mark seems grumpy. Swift doesn’t treat Mark the way he does because he wants to, but because Mark doesn’t have his head in the game.

Amy’s still hanging around the hospital, and she’s willing to go talk to Donny, but she doesn’t want to get stuck taking care of him. She tells Susan that Donny has a lot of problems and always needs help. His sweetness has always kept Amy around, but she claims this will be the last time. She’s just afraid that Donny will try to kill himself again. It’s hard for her to walk away, but she can’t be responsible for his life. She gives Susan a note to give to Donny.

Doug’s shift is over, and he’s pleased to report that no one’s pregnancy test came back positive. Susan tries to call Chloe, admitting to Mark that she hates not knowing where her sister is. He tells her that he finally talked to Swift, who wants him to adjust his attitude. Benton gets another call about his loans, which makes Susan and Mark complain about their own. Benton remarks that Carter must be happy not to have to worry about loans. After Carter leaves, Benton tells Mark, Susan, Jerry, and Malik that Carter’s family is super-rich.

Haleh brings in two patients with pool balls stuck in their mouths. One did it on a dare; the other did it to show the paramedics what happened to his friend. Haleh names them Dumb and Dumber. Carol tells Lydia that she hasn’t been sleeping much because of all the wedding plans. By the way, the wedding is two weeks away. She asks if Lydia had any doubts leading up to her marriage. Lydia says no, but the marriage only lasted four years before her husband left. She can’t imagine Tag leaving Carol the same way.

Elizabeth asks to talk to Carol privately, revealing that she didn’t take the preventive medicine. She may be pregnant. A man runs in carrying his son, who (squeamish people, look away) fell on a hanger and got it embedded in his mouth. Doug goes to Jake’s Little League game, providing lots of good encouragement for the kid. Back at County, Mark and Swift determine that the hanger is close to some major arteries, so removing it will be tricky. It’s probably good that the boy’s father speaks little, if any, English and can’t understand when Swift tells Malik to find some bolt-cutters.

Elizabeth is praying in the hospital chapel when Carol comes to tell her that her pregnancy test was negative. Elizabeth admits that she’d kind of hoped it was positive. Her boyfriend wants to marry her, but she’s been preparing to become a nun for more than two years. She’s not sure which path God wants her to take. If she were pregnant, the decision would be made for her.

Wendy tells the boy’s father what the trauma team is doing as they do it. Mark and Swift work well together, with neither second-guessing the other or trying to take over. They successfully remove the hanger and send the boy to surgery to fix his wounds. Susan finds Carter writing his recommendation and reads what he’s written about himself. He’s conscientious and punctual, which Susan says makes him sound like a train conductor.

Malik finds an article about Carter’s family, and he, Benton, and Jerry discover that Carter’s father’s net worth is $178 million. (Also, Carter’s father’s name is Roland here, but later it’s Jack, because first-season continuity on this show is awful.) Jerry wishes he’d been nicer to Carter. Jeanie comes by and asks Benton for help with a paper she’s writing for her classes to become a physician’s assistant (formerly nursing classes, because…well, first-season continuity on this show is awful). They may see each other later when they go see Mae.

Jake hits an inside-the-park home run at his game, but he misses touching first base when he rounds the bases. A kid on the other team notices, but Doug ignores him. When the umpire asks whether or not Jake touched the base, Doug says he did, so the home run stands. The kid on the other team yells that Doug is a liar.

After the game, Doug admits to Jake that he screwed up, and he has no excuse for lying. His father would have done the same thing, and since he’s the only paternal role model Doug has to draw from, Doug hasn’t developed great parenting skills himself. The two agree not to tell Diane what happened. On the plus side, at least Jake hit a home run.

Carter gives Benton his recommendation, which Benton signs without reading. Annoyed, Carter asks what Benton wants from him. Benton turns the question around on him, and Carter replies that he wants the surgical sub-internship. Then he’ll have a better chance of becoming a surgical resident, the best way he knows to challenge himself. Carter admits that he’s not sure he can hack it as a surgeon. Benton asks why he’s applying for the ER sub-internship if he wants the surgical one. Carter responds by ripping up his application.

Doug brings Jake back to the hospital to meet up with Diane. He claims he’s pleased that he’s traded in his bachelorhood for the life of a family man. The guys see Jerry leave in his costume, bidding them good morrow. Carol finds Tag working on his vows and asks to hear them. They say that Carol’s the only woman Tag has ever truly loved, and the only one he can see spending his life with. Carol likes them and promises that she feels the same way. Tag wonders why she isn’t sleeping well, if that’s the case.

As Doug and his new little family leave for the night, Benton goes by Mae’s room, running into Walt. Walt tells him that Jeanie just left and reminds Benton that she’s married. He knows Benton has a crush on her, since he starts talking like Barry White when she’s around. Walt makes Benton laugh by singing “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe,” but Benton’s feelings for Jeanie clearly aren’t a joke.

Susan’s on her way out for the night when she goes by Donny’s room and finds Amy with him, promising to stick around. There’s obviously a parallel here to Susan and Chloe’s relationship, and when Susan gets home and learns how irresponsible Chloe’s been all day, she says she’s done being a caretaker. She’s spent her whole life bailing Chloe out, and she’s done. Chloe needs to leave, and since she’s 34, she’s only enough to figure out where to go.

A woman from radiology, Melanie, comes to Carter’s for Kovalev’s films. She saw his picture in the matchmaking album and wants to go out with him. Carter’s so surprised that, no matter what Melanie says, all he can respond is, “Uh-huh.” Jen’s already in bed when Mark gets home, and though he plans to go read in the living room and give her some space, now she wants to get it on. (Maybe Walt can serenade them.) Rachel wanders in with a stomachache, so even though Mark and Jen aren’t going to be getting any closer tonight, at least their family is all together…for now.

Thoughts: Elizabeth is played by Amy Ryan.

Hey, Davis, having a kid who writes for Vanity Fair in his mid-20s is pretty impressive, whether or not he dropped out of Brown.

I’ll admit I’m a little disappointed that we didn’t see Doug trying to convince two nuns to take pregnancy tests.

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 5, 2018

ER 1.20, Full Moon, Saturday Night: All Night Long

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:05 pm by Jenn

Yes, please take me to County for medical treatment. They really seem to know what they’re doing there

Summary: Mark is lost in thought in a trauma room, remembering how he was unable to save Jodi O’Brien. Susan convinces him to take the night off; she’ll page him if he’s needed. Benton’s mother is still in the hospital, and Jeanie offers to sit with her while Benton finishes up some work. They agree to get dinner afterward, and Carter tries to invite himself along. Susan warns Carter that since there’s a full moon, things are about to get crazy. Right on cue, a patient high on PCP and strapped to a gurney breaks a window and trashes a trauma room.

Carter catches Chen sneaking a peak at his paperwork to see how his procedures measure up against hers. With Mark gone, Susan needs another doctor on shift with her, but no one’s available. Carol suggests Doug, pretending not to be bothered when she learns that he has a date with Diane. Susan and Carter tend to a patient named David who was in a car accident. Susan lets Carter take charge, and he does everything right. Chen volunteers to help out, not wanting to let Carter take on any cases without her.

Mark has dinner across the street at Doc Magoo’s, annoyed when another patron tries to chat with him. Mr. Travis, the driver who hit David, is uninjured and wants to apologize for the accident. Carter and Chen are still working on him, deciding that whoever completes more of his stitches gets to claim him as their patient. In the hallway, Mr. Travis collapses with chest pain. Chen and Carter see the commotion as Susan and Carol tend to him, and Chen ditches Carter to jump on the new, more interesting case.

The man chatting with Mark at Doc Magoo’s arrives and reveals that he’s a doctor, Willy Swift. Carol thinks he’s the moonlighter Susan called in. Susan is pretty casual and condescending with him; she thinks he’ll have trouble keeping up with the chaos of a night in the ER. They disagree about Travis’ diagnosis, but Swift doesn’t make a big deal out of it. And he could, because he’s not a moonlighter – he’s Morgenstern’s replacement, the new ER chief.

Carol, Malik, and Haleh draw straws to determine who has to treat a patient with lice. Carol loses, and Haleh says she’ll soon be able to put away her nursing scrubs. She figures that Carol will quit her job after she and Tag get married. Tag arrives just then, and he and Carol discuss some wedding details they haven’t solidified yet. Benton joins them, complaining that Tag didn’t tell him that Mae is being discharged. Her Medicare won’t pay for any more time in the hospital, so the family needs to discuss options. Benton is determined to take her back home.

As midnight approaches, rooms are filling up, but Susan knows the patients won’t stop coming. Tag brings Carol some music to listen to so they can pick a band. He recognizes Swift, telling Carol they played football together in college. Some frat guys come in with frostbite after being left in Lincoln Park without their clothes; Susan dubs them “popsicle pledges.”

Benton finds Mae restrained in her bed and promises that it won’t happen again. He’s mad that Jeanie let the doctors restrain her for trying to leave her bed. Jeanie admits that she’s the one who requested it. Benton tells her not to come back. Carter’s next patient, Arlena, thinks her abdominal pain is due to the moon, which has putting something inside her. Carter agrees that there might be something inside her, but he suspects it’s a baby. She wants to do his astrological chart. (For the record, Carter’s birthday is June 4th, 1970.)

Susan has a patient named Jimmy who can’t stop hiccuping. His fiancée thinks it’s related to their upcoming wedding. Carol and Tag discuss honeymoon destinations and china patterns, like, have they done ANY planning yet? The patient whose leg they’re casting is amused. Swift asks where Mark is, since he’s scheduled to work, and Susan lies that he went home sick.

Carter confirms Arlena’s pregnancy, but she thinks their “journey” together isn’t over yet. She senses that he’s conflicted and trying to find his way. He should follow his inner voice and fight against people who want to destroy him. Carol welcomes back a patient who went on the run so he could have a drink. Just as Susan’s starting to enjoy most of the male doctors being gone, a cherry bomb goes off in a trash can. She and Carol decide it’s courtesy of the popsicle pledges.

County gets a call to implement disaster protocol – there was a fire at a nightclub, and they’ll need to tend to patients with third-degree burns. Doug gets called in and has to leave Diane behind in bed. She offers him a spare key in case he gets the chance to come back, though he’ll have to leave before Jake gets up. Benton is also paged to the ER (he has a short trip to make, since he’s in his mother’s hospital room), but Mark doesn’t hear his beeper over the noise in the busy arcade where he’s playing a video game.

Things are quiet when Doug arrives in the ER almost 30 minutes after he was paged. Swift reveals that there was no disaster; he just wanted to see how long it would take everyone to respond. Now he has a captive audience to go over some policies. Chen asks Carter to help her with her patient, who’s been groping her. The patient, Mr. Denardo, doesn’t appreciate being tended to by such young doctors, but it’s that or risk infection in his injured finger. Chen almost sets him on fire by combining a cauterizing tool with ethyl chloride.

Swift quizzes his staff on illnesses and procedures, stumping Doug with a question. Bob answers it correctly when she comes in to tell Susan that Mark’s on the phone for her. He’s finally answered his page and makes it to the ER and hour and 47 minutes after being summoned, as Swift is wrapping up. He recognizes Mark from Doc Magoo’s and mentions the lie Susan told about him having the flu.

Benton returns to his mother’s room and finds her on the floor next to her bed. Susan and Carter determine that Arlena is pregnant with twins, which Arlena says makes sense, as Carter’s a Gemini. One embryo is healthy but the other is ectopic and has to be removed before it ruptures. Arlena takes the news well, happy to be able to continue the other pregnancy.

Carol cleans up a patient named Talbot who claims to be a werewolf who needs to be placed in restraints until sunrise. He spooks her by growling at her. Carter hears him howling, and Carol advises him to lock the door when he goes to take a nap. Jimmy’s hiccups are gone, but they were caused by abscesses on his liver, so Susan needs to run some tests. She asks some questions that make Jimmy realize that she suspects that he has HIV. He claims that he hasn’t had unprotected sex with any men or prostitutes who could have given him the virus.

Doug and Mark discuss Swift, wondering if he’ll take Morgenstern’s recommendation to make Mark an attending. Doug can tell that Mark is distracted by the O’Brien case and encourages him to let it go. Mark can’t stop thinking about how Jodi won’t be around to see her son take his first steps in a year. Doug invites Mark to come home with him so they can talk, but Mark wants to be alone.

After taking care of a bunch of drunks and psych patients, the doctors get a trauma. Carter is pulled out of bed to help Susan and Carol give a patient chest compressions. Haleh tells Susan that a baby was found in a trash bag and is being brought in with hypothermia. (Hey, whoever’s responsible for this: Enjoy Hell.) Susan hands the baby off to Swift so she can go back to the other patient. Tag also joins the group, helping to restart the patient’s heart. Susan teaches Carter how to massage it so it fills. Once the patient is stable, Susan returns to Swift and the baby, who’s improving. Swift tells her to take a break now that things are under control.

Chen’s still taking care of minor patients, so Carter brags that he got to do an internal cardiac massage. The sun is already up when Doug makes it back to Diane, so he doesn’t have much time before he has to leave again. Jen finds Mark sitting on an El platform, the same place Doug left him hours earlier. Doug called her and sent her to talk to her soon-to-be-ex-husband. Jen reminds Mark that he’s human, so he can’t save all of his patients. She seems to think that having breakfast will solve everything.

Jimmy’s fiancée asks Susan if there’s a chance she could be sick, too. She confides that she thinks Jimmy’s keeping something from her. Benton goes to Jeanie’s house and meets her husband, Al. Benton admits that he can’t take care of his mother on his own, like he thought he could. He asks her to help him find a facility where she can get the care she needs. Susan and Carol congratulate each other on how well they rocked the full-moon shift. Carol asks Susan to be a bridesmaid, warning that she might not be as excited about the honor when she sees her dress.

Susan then finds Swift trying to fix a sink in a bathroom, since maintenance hasn’t shown up. He suggests that she apply to be chief resident and is surprised to learn that she’s only a second-year resident. He wants to make some changes to the chain of command in the ER. Carter claims he had a great night, and he calls in a radio request for Susan. The two of them and Carol end their shift by dancing to “Twist and Shout.”

Thoughts: David is played by a practically unrecognizable Adam Scott. Al is played by a different actor here than in later episodes, and this guy is handsome, but he’s no Michael Beach.

This episode is a good example of why I could never be a doctor: Any job that requires me to be awake at 2:30 in the morning isn’t a job I want.

Early episodes really had a lot of storylines that never got resolved, and too many patients to keep track of. Think of all the first-season patients whose fates are never known. There’s so much left open.

May 22, 2018

ER 1.18, Sleepless in Chicago: While You Weren’t Sleeping

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

Someone finally found an angle that makes Clooney look unattractive

Summary: Even though he’s carrying a jar full of someone’s bowel, Carter seems to be having a good day…or at least he is until he runs into Benton. Carter explains to Susan that Benton traded some shifts to spend time with his mother, and now he’s repaying all his favors. He’s been on call for the past 48 hours. Carol goes to see Tatiana and learns that her application to become a foster mother is being moved forward. She appears to have picked up more Russian, too. She asks if Tatiana wants to come live with her, and when she says she has a VCR, Tatiana is pleased.

Doug tells Mark he’s learned that Mark is going to be the next ER attending. Mark shares that Jen is spending another year in Milwaukee. He declares that if he can successfully throw his paper towel into a trash can, there’s still hope for his marriage. He makes the shot and gets to stay in his little world of denial a little longer. Susan treats a man with a rash he thinks he got from medication. Unfortunately, he’s taking a bunch of medications for experimental studies, so it’ll take some time to figure out which is the culprit.

Benton asks Hicks why he wasn’t given the bowel-removal surgery that morning, since he was the resident on call. Hicks isn’t about to let him operate when he’s been awake for 48 hours. Benton argues that he should have gotten the procedure anyway, since he’s never done one, while the surgeon who performed it has already done one. Hicks says it’s not a competition, which makes Benton ask why they keep track of all their procedures. She says it’s a record, not to keep score. He accuses her of keeping score anyway. Hicks tells him he can’t see any patients until he gets at least two hours of sleep.

Susan tries to enlist Mark to help her sort through her patient’s medications. He tells her to pass the case on to another doctor. Jerry relays a message to Doug from Diane, joking that she wants to go out with him. Benton blatantly ignores Hicks’ orders and goes to see a patient, brushing off Carter when he says there’s a free exam room for him to nap in. Mark shows off his interpersonal skills and gets a doctor to agree to take Susan’s patient.

Doug treats a girl named Bonnie whose mother says she burned herself on a radiator knob. Bonnie keeps saying that it was her fault. As they leave the exam room, Doug remarks to Carol that he’s never seen a radiator knob shaped like a star, the shape of Bonnie’s burn. Carol offers to call around to other hospitals to see if Bonnie’s been treated for burns anywhere else.

A restaurant manager drags in (literally) a man who had a seizure while eating breakfast. The manager leaves behind a card, wanting to make sure the patient pays for his meal when he’s able, since it was expensive. Mark, Benton, and Carter treat a trauma patient named Joseph Klein who fell down some stairs. He can’t speak because of previous surgery to remove his voice box. Carter does a good job of trying to comfort him.

Susan’s supposedly unconscious seizure patient isn’t showing any signs of having had a seizure. He opens an eye while she’s examining him, which makes her realize that he’s not as sick as he leads on. She doesn’t want to bother him, since he’s “busy having a coma,” but she’d like to know his name. Lydia finds a number of IDs in the man’s wallet, so they don’t know his real name. Susan gets him to “wake up” by telling him they’ll have to operate. She thinks he faked a seizure to get out of paying his bill.

Hicks comes in to help with Klein and repeat her orders for Benton to sleep or go home. Carter looks through Klein’s chart and learns that he has terminal cancer. He signed a DNR, which means the procedures they just finished performing to keep him alive were actually against his wishes.

Doug and Mark reprise their conversation about Mark and Jen’s long-distance marriage. They’re interrupted by a man named John Koch, who’s supposed to observe the goings-on in the ER as part of a project that hopes to build an ideal hospital. He also has a solution for Mark and Jen: They should move to Kenosha, Wisconsin, which is halfway between Chicago and Milwaukee.

Carter brings Klein a pen and paper in case he wants to communicate. Klein seems angry about his care, and at first he doesn’t respond when Carter offers to contact his family, but he changes his mind and asks Carter to call his son, Roger. Carol asks Lydia if she’d like to become charge nurse, since she’s cutting back on her hours to look after Tatiana. Lydia tries to withhold her judgment on Carol and Tag starting out their married life as foster parents.

Benton’s still not sleeping, and he wants Carter to sneak him any cases he can. Doug and Carol confront Bonnie’s mother, Sarah, for previous burns that Bonnie has been treated for. Doug’s angry, so Carol pulls Sarah aside to talk to her alone. Sarah admits that Bonnie touches herself “down there,” even though Sarah tells her not to. She gets three chances, and then she gets burned with a heated paperweight. Sarah didn’t mean to hurt her daughter, and she doesn’t think it’s a big deal, since her mother did the same thing to her.

The seizure faker discharges himself, gets dressed, and cons Jerry out of some petty cash while asking for change for the vending machine. Carter snags a patient for Benton, but Mark stops him before he can take the man to surgery, since Mark hasn’t examined him yet. Benton gives him the chance to confirm that the man needs surgery for a kidney stone, but Mark gets the last word by warning him not to pull that kind of crap again.

Koch sees the argument and tells Susan that that kind of territorialism is unnecessary and outdated. It’s rooted in patriarchy and the loudest person being declared the winner. Susan agrees, and we know she has a lot of experience trying to work within the patriarchy. Koch thinks the better idea is to see the patient as belonging to everyone.

Carol tries to keep Sarah from leaving by telling her that Bonnie needs to see a plastic surgeon. Sarah objects, so Doug finds an excuse for Carol to took Bonnie off by herself. This just leads to tears, and Sarah attacking Doug and having to be restrained by security while Bonnie cries for her mother. Benton loses out on another operation when his patient passes the stone just before he can be put under anesthesia, rendering the procedure unnecessary.

Carter chats with Klein, who he’s learned used to teach literature. He hasn’t been able to reach Roger, and Klein admits that they haven’t talked in 20 years. Mark runs into the seizure faker, who steals his wallet and is disappointed to only find six dollars inside. Susan, Mark, Jerry, and some nurses tease Benton by placing his patient’s tiny kidney stone next to the jar o’ bowel at the front desk. He’s not amused. Carol tends to Doug’s wound and tells him that she hopes Sarah can get straightened out with therapy so she can get Bonnie back. Doug has heard that Carol wants to be a foster mother, and he tells her he thinks she would be great at it.

Klein’s health is failing, and Connie tells Carter that he might not live through the night. Carter brings him some books, thinking the former literature professor would be interested in some classics. Benton slams him for “wasting time” sitting with a man who’s going to die instead of taking care of people who could live. Carter hates being told that surgery isn’t about caring for patients. Koch overhears the conversation and comments to Carter that modern medicine “dismantles the rituals of death.” We can do better. Carter makes a hilarious “who the heck is that guy?” face.

Mark tells Doug about Koch’s Kenosha suggestion, which Mark loves. He asks Doug about his potential relationship with Diane. Doug admits that he’s afraid to ask her out because he dated a friend of herself and things didn’t end well. The two of them receive two patients: a 16-year-old shot by a cop while robbing a store, and the cop who shot him. Benton has finally dozed off, though it was while he was stitching up a drunk man who’s also asleep. They both wake up when Benton is paged to help with the two traumas.

Doug, Benton, and Carol work on the robber, and as soon as he’s solved the most pressing problems, Benton goes next door to tend to the cop with Mark and Susan. He wonders why Carter isn’t there to observe. Benton stabilizes the cop, and Hicks comes in just in time to congratulate him on his good work. She thinks he got some sleep. Diane chastises Doug for getting into another altercation with a patient, though at least this time, he wasn’t the attacker. He takes the opportunity to invite her on a date. She says it’s not a good idea.

Morgenstern tells Mark that he’s moving to Boston and has recommended Mark for the attending position he wants. He’ll have to be approved by whoever takes over for Morgenstern, but his chances are good. Carter reads to Klein from Walt Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass,” which Benton will definitely not be happy to hear about. He has to stay late to finish his patient notes, and Benton has no sympathy. Carter tells him that Klein died a few minutes ago. Benton asks why he wants the surgical sub-internship – he doesn’t think like a surgeon. Carter asks if he believes that just because the two of them don’t think alike.

Carol visits Tatiana again, helping her with her English. A social worker has learned of Carol’s suicide attempt, and tells her that because it was so recent, it disqualifies her from being a foster mother. Diane changes her mind about Doug’s invitation (three hours later) and asks him out herself. Benton goes home to take over Mae’s care while Walt heads out to a vacation with the rest of his family.

Distressed about the news she’s gotten, Carol goes to Doug for comfort. She confides that she feels defective, even after all the work she’s done to heal herself. He assures her that it’s not her fault. Carol feels horrible that she has to break the promise she made to Tatiana to take her in. Doug says she was exactly what Tatiana needed. Carol tells him he’s the only person who feels that way. She asks if she can spend the night. Doug asks about Tag, and Carol says he never wanted Tatiana. Doug decides it’s better to take her home than let her stay.

Koch tells Susan about his project and invites her to join the staff of his hospital. She tells him she’s interested. Just then, two doctors from the psychiatric ward come to retrieve Koch (real name: Marty). He’s not building an ideal hospital that will revolutionize the world of medicine – he’s just a patient who likes to pretend to be doctors.

Jen surprises Mark at home and announces that she can’t keep living the way they’ve been living. He tells her they can compromise and all be together again if they move to Kenosha. Jen objects to both of them having to commute two hours. Mark will have to lose even more time with Rachel. She complains again about how Mark won’t make sacrifices when Jen spent years making them for him. He expects everything to happen on his time. Jen finally cuts to the chase: They’re not going to make it, and she’s done with their marriage.

Benton spends the night on the couch, not even waking when Mae calls out for him. When he’s finally conscious, he finds his mother at the bottom of the stairs, having fallen. He rushes her to the hospital with a possibly fractured hip. Benton finally got some sleep, and something horrible happened.

Thoughts: Bonnie is played by Alexa PenaVega.

Only Benton would say no to a boss telling him to take a nap.

I totally fell for Koch’s story. And now I’m uncomfortable that it took psych the entire day to track him down. But as we’ll see in the future, this isn’t psych’s biggest failing.

Listen to me, Mark: You’re better off.

May 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Mrs. Larson is played by Janel Moloney.

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

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

May 1, 2018

ER 1.15, Feb. 5, ’95: There Are Two Snakes in This Episode, and Mark Is Married to One of Them

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

Heh

Summary: Mark and Carter are in a speeding ambulance, on their way to an accident scene. A small plane missed its runway and hit a car, injuring the driver. Mark knows the patient is in critical condition, but he still takes the time to tell Carter everything he’s doing. Carter just whines that gas is leaking on his new coat. Once the patient has been rescued from her car, Mark and Carter start chatting about Carter’s eventual specialty. He hasn’t picked one yet, but his parents want him to go into cardiology.

There isn’t much room in the helicopter taking the patient to the hospital, so Mark goes with her, leaving Carter behind. There’s a dumb scene where one of the guys in the chopper can’t hear Mark over the engine, so Mark says he wants to have sex with the guy’s wife. (Ocean’s 11 uses almost the exact same joke, so I’m going to pretend Clooney stole it from here.)

Carter finally makes it back to the hospital, where Chen’s stressing out over a presentation she’s supposed to be working on. She complains that Benton works them too hard, so there’s no time for her to do anything else. Benton overhears and tells her she can switch to dermatology if surgery is too difficult for her. He then punishes her by assigning her to insert a Foley catheter in a patient.

Paramedics bring in a man named Jonathan who collapsed while playing handball. He thinks he’s having a heart attack, but Mark suspects a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot in his lung. Even though his EKG shows heart trouble, Mark still thinks something else is wrong. However, when Susan wants to run tests on Jonathan’s heart, he goes along with her plan.

Carol’s patient, Mr. Conally, has been having bad headaches. Also, he thinks he’s dead. Susan and Mark realize that he was right about Jonathan’s condition, and Mark needs to remove the embolism in the ER. Carter asks to observe, and Benton’s only too happy to have an excuse to get rid of him and Chen for a while. He then criticizes Haleh for not following his exact orders on a case. She tells him if he’s having a bad day, he shouldn’t take it out on her.

Morgenstern walks Mark through Jonathan’s procedure, which goes perfectly. Doug and Carol tend to a teen named Harold who was bitten by his pet pit viper. He’s not sure if the snake is venomous, but he’s brought it with him in case anyone wants to take a look. Unfortunately, the snake is now missing from Harold’s bag. Doug and Carol try not to run screaming from the room. Susan chastises Mark for disagreeing with her while they were working on Jonathan. She thinks he’s disrespecting her.

A woman named Grace is brought in from her hospice center, where she’s been living after ending treatment for breast cancer. She asks Mark to let her die. Carol gathers some staff members to reveal the new crash carts she’s been trying to snag for a long time. Doug wanders through the area with a golf club, looking for Harold’s snake.

Chen asks Benton for a break so she can work on her presentation. Benton’s unimpressed, but not any more impressed when Carter says he’s already finished with his. They meet up with Haleh, who has a new patient for them but won’t write down anything Benton says. She tells him she’s not comfortable taking his orders, so he should write them himself.

Grace is in a lot of pain, and Mark isn’t sure he can stop it. Morgenstern tells him that oncology discovered that Jonathan has a polyp. If he hadn’t had the embolism, it would have gone undetected and caused a lot of trouble. Morgenstern is impressed with Mark’s work and wants him to become an attending at County when his residency is over.

A 12-year-old named Yummy (…I don’t know) is brought in with multiple gunshot wounds. Carter is shocked to learn from paramedic Doris Pickman that he was caught in a gang battle, and was armed with his own weapons. Grace asks if she can go back to her hospice center, since there isn’t much more the ER can do for her. However, she’d have to come back later for more pain medication, so she’s not sure if she wants to leave.

A boy wanders through the ER, pulling a gun on Bob when she tries to get him to leave. He finds Yummy’s room, where they’ve just pronounced him dead. Benton tells the boy he’s too late. The boy points his gun at everyone, then runs off. Carter’s the only person who seems to think this is an unusual experience.

Carter, Chen, and Benton attend the seminar where the students will be making their presentations. Carter’s well prepared, talking about how to treat a certain type of fracture, but Benton’s clearly bored. Chen’s even better prepared, using a projector and passing out booklets full of handouts. Suddenly Carter feels like he didn’t do enough.

Grace dozes, asking for her daughter. A caregiver tells Mark that Grace gave up custody to her ex-husband when she entered the hospice to die. Grace wakes up and again asks Mark to kill her; she can’t take the pain anymore. Susan’s next patient is a hockey coach who, unlike Jonathan, definitely has something wrong with his heart. Carol’s annoyed that the new cart she put in the trauma room earlier isn’t there anymore.

Doug visits Diane in her office, sensing that she doesn’t like him. He goes off with Jake to play basketball. Benton has learned his lesson and writes all his orders down for Haleh. She nitpicks his abbreviations, then tells him he should insert the patient’s IV and nasogastric tube himself. Benton plays along.

After Susan stabilizes her patient, Mark makes a peace offering by asking what he should do for Grace. He knows that if he gives her a little more morphine, she’ll stop breathing. Susan won’t tell him what she would do in his position – why should she help him when he wasn’t there for her? Mark argues that this is a professional situation, not a personal one. He admits that he misses their friendship.

Carter complains to Chen that she showed him up with her presentation. He desperately needs a good recommendation from Benton so he can get a surgical internship. Chen is surprised – she’s seen plenty of residents and knows he’s not up to it. She admits that her mother is the chief of surgery at another hospital, which makes Carter think she has a leg up. Chen says her mother won’t help her, and didn’t even want her to go into medicine. Carter stops listening to the conversation when he finds Harold’s snake in a supply cabinet.

Grace is now asking for someone named Billy in her sleep. Mark has a hard time leaving her alone to go work on another patient. Carol, Doug, Carter, Connie, Bob, and Lydia sneak up to cardiology in search for their missing crash carts. There’s a lot of running and hiding, including in the women’s bathroom. A woman hears them giggling and checks under the door of the stall most of them have piled into, but somehow, only Carol’s feet are visible under the door.

Connie and Bob snag the carts, but on their way to the elevator, Carol spots a doctor named Dunphy who’s in their path. Doug knows her and uses his charm to distract her. Lydia comments that he’s remarkable. Carol tells her that’s why they slept together on the first date. He rang her doorbell, and the next thing she knew, they were rolling around on her kitchen floor. “I gotta start dating again,” Lydia says.

Susan tells Mark that the hockey coach is going to be fine. Grace, however, has died. Susan guesses that Mark helped her along. He’s a little bit in shock over his actions, but she doesn’t judge him. She also seems to be back on good terms with him. Benton complains to Carol about Haleh’s behavior, asking her to change their schedules. Carol refuses, since Benton’s on all the time, and rescheduling Haleh would mean she never works. She reminds Benton that Haleh’s been a nurse for 20 years, so she knows what she’s doing. Nurses, not doctors, make the ER run smoothly.

Mark goes home and tells Jen that Morgenstern offered him an attending position. She’s upset that he accepted without discussing it with him first. Oh, like she discussed her job decisions with him ahead of time? Jen may spend another year in Milwaukee, which means they’d be in a long-term marriage longer than expected. She’s upset that she put her plans on hold for six years while Mark finished med school and went through his internship and residency. Now she wants things to be about her.

Carol checks on Mr. Conally again, asking if he’s still dead. He is, but his head feels better. Benton finally makes it home, where Jeanie is finishing up her first day taking care of Mae. She thinks she can help Mae with her mobility. Though the work wasn’t easy, Jeanie likes Mae and wishes she’d known her before her health started to decline. For some reason, we end the episode with Benton doing dishes.

Thoughts: Mr. Conally is played by Bobcat Goldthwait.

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least five episodes that will need this new “hospital security is a joke” tag.

I really, really need to know the background for Yummy’s name.

Benton’s dumb enough for ticking off a nurse, but he’s incredibly clueless for ticking off Haleh.

It’s weird when we see parts of the hospital other than the ER. They’re so quiet and empty.

March 13, 2018

ER 1.8, 9 1/2 Hours: You Win Some, You Lose Some

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

Me, quietly: “Kiss…kiss…kiss”

Summary: Someone may have stolen Benton’s salad from the work fridge, which means someone’s about to get yelled at. Susan’s having a bad day herself; her car isn’t working, and it’s Chloe’s fault. She had to hotwire it to get to work. Div gets on Jerry’s case for handing off a patient without a chart (though really, that seems like a legitimate complaint). Mark is out for the day, so Doug is in charge. Benton’s shocked that Mark has taken a day off.

Haleh reminds Benton and Langworthy that the announcement for their fellowship will be coming today. Benton is nervous about it. Doug is already annoyed with the amount of work he has to do, so he wants to make Mark come in, no matter how sick he is. In reality, Mark isn’t sick at all, or at least if he is, he self-prescribed sex with Jen as a treatment method.

A police officer has brought in a woman named Jamie who hasn’t said anything about what happened to her. She tells Carol she shouldn’t have gone with the friend of a friend she was with; what happened to her was her fault. She has a hard time believing Carol when she says everything will be okay.

Susan chastises Div for snapping at Jerry for something so minor. Div doesn’t think the encounter was that big of a deal. She reminds him that he also snapped at a cashier at Starbucks that morning. He tells her she’s wasting his time and leaves to do rounds. Susan still can’t get someone to fix her car, but Carter knows someone who can help. In return, he wants her to help him get in on a surgery.

Michael, a 17-year-old high school wrestler, is brought in unconscious. Benton and Susan are unsure why he’s having heart trouble. Haleh spots Mookie coming in late and yells at him. He asks how much doctors make, and she says $30,000 a year. If he wants to become one, he’ll have to get used to being overworked and underpaid.

Carter consults a book to try to figure out what’s wrong with Michael. Benton doesn’t appreciate the effort. When shocking Michael doesn’t work, Benton decides to do a procedure with a catheter. Susan’s a little uncertain about that, but it’s successful and Michael is stabilized. Doug continues struggling with paperwork, wondering how Mark gets everything done – is he a machine?

Oh, ha ha, it’s supposed to be a sex joke. Thanks, writers. Mark and Jen are still getting it on; Jen seems energized by how great her job has been going. She never understood before why Mark enjoys his work so much. He admits to feeling guilty about staying home “sick,” but Jen thinks he’s earned it, since he didn’t take any sick days the year before. They ignore the phone when Doug calls to order Mark to come in. Since Mark has covered for Doug a bunch, Jen thinks Doug owes him this.

Carol continues talking to Jamie, who confirms that she was raped. Carol assures her that, since she said no, she did all she needed to show she was resisting. They need to do a rape kit, taking evidence for the police so they can arrest the rapist, Todd. Jamie thinks people will believe he’s innocent.

Haleh tells Benton that he’s now Mookie’s supervisor, so Mookie has to do everything Benton says. Benton’s first assignment: clean out the fridge. After someone takes pictures of Jamie, Carol and Lydia finish her rape exam. Soon, though, Jamie regrets moving forward with charges. Carol promises that she’ll get through this and move on. Carter’s guy fixes Susan’s car, thinking the two of them are dating. Doug calls Mark again and easily unravels the lie Mark told to get out of work. Instead of being mad, Doug is amused.

Carter finds Michael exercising on his gurney, as if he didn’t have to be shocked back to life just hours before. Carter mentions that he was also a wrestler in school. He’s figured out that Michael isn’t eating so he can stay in the right weight class. Michael doesn’t want to let his team down. Carter encourages him to tell Susan the truth so she can admit him. If Michael keeps starving himself between matches, he’ll die. Doug’s patient, Ben, also isn’t eating, but it’s because he has a sore throat.

Walt brings in Benton’s mother, Mae, who sprained her ankle. She has some mental issues because of a previous stroke, and when she hears Carter’s name, she tells Benton that she thinks his family used to own their family. Awkward! She doesn’t hold a grudge, though, as she invites Carter to Thanksgiving dinner. Benton quickly shuts that down. He wants Carter to tend to Mae, but Carter wants to go do whatever Benton’s going off to do. Benton shuts that down as well, telling Carter to make sure Mae eats something, since she never eats enough. Is that the theme for the episode? What’s up with that?

Haleh gets the announcement about the fellowship winner and shows it to Doug, Susan, Jerry, and Lydia. Benton sees it next and tries to hide his disappointment – Langworthy won it. He pretends that he didn’t expect to win, since he’s a year behind Langworthy. Mark and Jen take a bath together, discussing their schedules. She admits to having some insecurities about Mark’s relationship with Susan. Back at the hospital, the police bring in another patient, a man who’s yelling about wanting to be let go. Susan thinks he’s depressed and possibly suicidal, so she has Div paged.

Langworthy calls Benton out for ignoring her, so he tries to fake graciousness about losing to fellowship. She thinks he wanted her to lose if he couldn’t be the one to win. Langworthy wants to help Benton become a better surgeon, but he’s not interested. She thinks he has a problem losing to a woman, and he wants to sleep with her so he won’t feel so threatened. Langworthy leans in like she wants to kiss him, and Benton seems to lean forward as well. Then he tells her that not only has he never wanted to sleep with her, he’s also never fantasized about it…unlike her, apparently. She doesn’t believe him.

The yelling patient, Mr. Randall, has stopped yelling, but he’s definitely depressed, as Susan guessed. He lost his wife and son in a car accident. Div is less than sympathetic, saying that self-pity isn’t the way to go. Randall attacks him, so Div has him committed for 72 hours. Randall goes back to yelling. Susan can’t believe that Div had a sad drunk committed, especially when he didn’t do a full psych exam. Div continues to be unsympathetic, then changes the subject to ask Susan to dinner.

Lydia tells Carol that Jamie’s exam turned up multiple types of pubic hairs, which means she was with multiple men. Carol wonders how much of what Jamie said was the truth. Jamie said there were other guys there; she starts sobbing and says she’s just now remembering everything that happened. Carol tries to comfort her.

Ben stops breathing, so Doug has to intubate him. Benton finishes stabilizing his patient, with help from Nurse Lily Jarvik, then goes next door to assist Doug. He takes over the case, ticking Doug off. Later, Doug tracks Benton down outside and accuses him of trying to prove something because he lost the fellowship. Benton says Doug was taking too long and could have harmed the patient.

Doug argues that he had a choice in the procedure to perform. After a few moments of silence, Benton admits that he should have let Doug make the call. Doug reminds Benton that he lost a fellowship, not a patient. Benton confides that he did horribly in the fellowship interview. Doug thinks he should be happier about the fact that he saved just saved two lives in five minutes.

Carol brings in a cop to take Jamie’s statement, but Jamie has taken off. Mark and Jen’s day of sex is about to end, since Rachel’s on her way home. She takes a call from someone at work, ignoring Mark when he encourages her to get off the phone quickly so they can hop back in bed. So, to sum up: Jen thinks her job is more important than Mark’s.

Jerry introduces Doug to a new ER aide, Bogdanilivetsky. Doug will never be able to pronounce that, so he dubs her Bob. Susan secretly signs Randall out of psych; he’s much calmer now, having sobered up. He claims he sustained the cut on his head when he walked into a door. She tells him his 72-hour commitment has been canceled and he can go home.

Benton stops by Walt’s garage and admits that he’s taking the loss of the fellowship hard. Walt thinks it’s harder for Benton to lose because he’s used to winning. He has a hard shell and doesn’t let people in, just like his father. But Walt thinks he’s “basically a good guy,” so it’s nothing to worry about.

After work, Carol runs into Jamie across the street from the hospital. Jamie’s boyfriend doesn’t believe that she was raped and doesn’t want her to come home. She blasts herself for not fighting Todd harder. Carol reminds her that she said no, which was also she needed to do. She needs to see this through, or it’ll never end. Carol gives Jamie her scarf, then walks her back into the hospital so she can give her statement to the police.

Thoughts: Jamie is played by Brigid Brannagh.

I’m honestly surprised that Benton didn’t make Carter clean out the fridge.

When Carter wrestled, was he in the super-ultra-mega-lightweight class? I mean, he has zero muscles.

The difference between Carter and Benton is that, after they both hear that Susan needs a car repair, Carter actually does something to help while Benton does nothing, even though his brother-in-law is a mechanic.

March 6, 2018

ER 1.7, Another Perfect Day: Living Arrangements

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

This wouldn’t be a bad date, if it were…actually a date

Summary: For once, we don’t start the episode with someone being woken up. Instead, we open with Jerry abandoning the front desk because he’s trying to do a bunch of things at once. A patient named Patrick answers a ringing phone, talks for a few moments, then hangs up. Benton tells him to go sit somewhere else, but Patrick, who appears to have developmental delays, doesn’t listen. He spins around in Jerry’s chair, then falls off.

In the lounge, Carter makes a phone call about an apartment. Doug nabs a free bagel, then puts it back in the basket when Carter tells him Tag brought them in. Haleh tells Benton that a stabbing victim is coming in, so Benton gives Carter some instructions to help out. Benton mentions an interview he has that afternoon about the fellowship he and Langworthy both want. He thinks Carter believes Langworthy will get it, but Benton thinks he has a chance.

Benton runs the stabbing victim’s trauma, making the decision to create a surgical airway in the ER (AKA a crike), despite Haleh and Connie’s hesitance. Benton does everything confidently but calmly, and Morgenstern praises him for his success. Since Benton’s fellowship interview is just hours away, this has to be good for his chances.

Carter gets a call back about the apartment, but it’s not available anymore. He tells Jerry that he’s been living at home, but his father things he’s a freeloader. Jerry says he found a place through a patient. When an 85-year-old man died of a heart attack, Jerry grabbed his apartment. Benton learns that his fellowship meeting has been pushed back a couple hours. Haleh tries to assign him a patient, insisting that he take the case when Benton tries to hand it off to Carter. After she leaves, Benton overrules her. Jerry adds his own case – a man in his ’90s who lives in a nice neighborhood.

Mark sleeps in a little, and when he wakes up, Jen isn’t in any rush to see him off to work. Back at the hospital, Susan and Carol tend to Patrick, who has minor injuries from a fall but didn’t hurt his head because he was wearing a helmet. He’s excited that he gets to have an x-ray taken of his arm, and that he’ll get to keep the picture.

As they leave, Carol comments that the patients are sweeter than the guys she dates. Susan confirms that she’s been going out with Div; she thought it was a secret, but everyone’s seen them having lunch together all the time. Carol tells Susan that Div is taking her out for her birthday tonight and wants her to wear a black dress she owns. Susan asks if Div put it in the hospital newsletter. “The bulletin board,” Carol teases. “I will kill him!” Susan exclaims. “…After dinner.”

Doug asks Jerry if Linda’s been around, but she hasn’t. Carter goes to see the patient Benton gave him, a teenager who goes by the street name Slice. The cop who brought him in, Al Grabarsky, is less interested in Slice than he is in Lydia. He goes out to chat with her while Slice uses some sort of tool to try to pick his handcuff lock.

Malik tells Susan that a motorcycle rider hit by a truck is coming in, but when she goes to greet the ambulance, she instead gets ambushed by a bunch of nurses and doctors wanting to wish her a happy birthday. They give her flowers and blown-up gloves with faces drawn on them. While everyone’s distracted, Carol and Tag slip off to the roof to make out. He wants them to move back in together (I think she moved out after her suicide attempt), but Carol’s been hesitant to agree. She wants to move slowly and make absolutely sure that’s the right decision. He tells her that if she has a problem with their relationship, she needs to deal with it.

Doug goes back to Jerry to ask again about Linda, who still hasn’t called. Mark finally makes it in, pretending he had car trouble. Doug knows better, but he thinks it’s nice. Al is still chatting with Lydia, showing her pictures of his dogs. When Haleh learns that Slice (real name: Mookie; I’d use a nickname, too) is still in the ER, being seen by Carter instead of Benton, she gets mad. Slice is equally mad when he learns that, as an intern, Carter isn’t getting paid to stitch him up.

Susan tells Div that he shouldn’t have said anything to Doug about their date; Doug is apparently a big gossip. Malik approaches to talk to Div about a patient, but it’s the third time Malik has brought him up, and Div is fed up. He claims not to have time to see the patient, though he has time to chat with Susan, so… This is early-season Malik, so he says nothing. Later-season Malik wouldn’t put up with this crap, and Div’s just lucky he didn’t snap at Haleh, or he wouldn’t have a head anymore.

Carol summons Doug for an incoming trauma case, a 12-year-old boy pulled from the lake after a boat collision. Like Benton, Doug runs things calmly but decisively, and Carol is right in step with him. Even when the boy’s heart stops, the two keep their cool and send the boy off to surgery in just a couple of minutes. Left alone in the ER, the two compliment each other, moving closer and closer together until they kiss. Doug apologizes, but Carol says he wasn’t alone in the act.

Patrick’s ready to go home, but he wants to come back and visit sometime. Doug sees Carol and Tag talking like nothing just happened. Jerry tells him that Linda hasn’t come by, but Doug has almost forgotten who that is. Mark wishes Benton good luck on his interview, but Benton no longer seems confident about it. Haleh then confronts him in the men’s room for passing off his patient to Carter. Benton asks if he’s supposed to mentor every gangbanger who comes in. Haleh says she’s never asked him to do so before. She’s known Slice since he was a sweet little kid, and she’d like him to go back to being that boy.

Mark has a patient who’s in a coma, but Mark can’t figure out why. Carter does some brainstorming with him and figures out that the man might have had a seizure. That with the man’s fever leads Carter to guess that he has meningitis. Carter’s never done a lumbar puncture before, so Mark gives him the opportunity.

Benton runs into Langworthy before his interview, for which he’s changed into a suit. They laugh over the candidate who’s currently being interviewed, agreeing that he’s incompetent. Since Langworthy has surgery to perform soon, Morgenstern lets her do her interview before Benton. Mark talks Carter through a successful lumbar puncture, calling it a champagne tap. Connie explains that that means Carter’s resident has to buy him a bottle of champagne. Mark says the nurse is supposed to do it.

Mark then goes across the street to Doc Magoo’s to meet Jen. She has a meeting that night, so she’ll need the car to go back to Milwaukee. She’s worried that she’s not up to her job and will blow this great shot. They go through their schedules, trying to figure out when they can see each other again, now that Jen and Rachel are spending most of their time in Milwaukee. Mark tries to assure both of them that they’ll make their new living arrangements work.

It’s finally time for Benton’s interview, but his résumé isn’t as impressive as the fellowship team would hope. The interview is over faster than it took Doug and Carol to stabilize the boy after the boat collision. Jerry leaves for the day, giving Lydia a note to give to Carter about a possible apartment. She tells him there are a couple available in her building, too. Haleh tells Benton that she’s hired Slice for a program that will allow him to do community service and stay out of juvie. Benton will be his supervisor, whether he likes it or not.

Linda finally shows up, so now Doug has someone to flirt with and take his mind off of Carol. He and Susan take a couple digs at each other about their personal lives. Chloe arrives to be annoying again and try to get Susan to come to a club with her and her latest boyfriend. Mark gives Carter a bottle of champagne to celebrate his first great LP, and Lydia gives him Jerry’s note and the info that there are two other possible places for him to live in her building. Carter says it’s the perfect day.

Not for Susan, though, as Chloe and her boyfriend have passed out in the lounge. Susan asks what they’re on, but Chloe says they just drank vodka. Susan confronts her sister for stealing her TV and VCR. Chloe says Susan’s just like their parents, always criticizing her. Susan says she was treated the same as her sister; she had to prove herself just like Chloe did. Chloe starts screaming about how Susan doesn’t have to worry about getting a job and finding place to sleep like she does. She puts her hand through a window and starts screaming more.

Once Chloe’s calm (probably through the magic of drugs) and getting stitched up, Div sits down with her to talk through her problems. Susan decides not to stay for the conversation. Outside, Mark finds Doug playing basketball, and they talk about Linda, who Doug thinks might be too “perky” for him. Lately, he’s been more attracted to withdrawn, confused women. Div tries to cheer Susan up, but she’s not longer in a mood to celebrate her birthday.

Benton praises Carol for how well she and Doug took care of their trauma patient together. She finds Doug and tells him the boy will be fine, then announces that she told Tag she would move back in with him. Doug wants to know when she made this decision. Carol says their kiss was an accident, but Doug says there are no accidents. “Thanks for letting me know,” he says coolly.

Susan’s up on the roof, sneaking a cigarette, when Carter comes up looking for someone to share his champagne. He tells her she’s not the only person with a crazy family. (Oh, Carter. Your family’s not crazy. They’re just super-rich WASPs.) Carter says he comes up to the roof a lot to get a break from Benton. But thanks to Mark, he’s finally had a good day. Susan encourages Carter to call the doctors by their first names, though he notes that she calls him by his last name. Carter asks about Chloe’s boyfriend, joking that he was going to ask her out. Susan tries out calling him John, but it doesn’t sound right to her. They end their very different days with a drink.

Thoughts: Patrick: “Knock knock.” Carol: “Who’s there?” Patrick: “Patrick.” Carol: “Patrick who?” Patrick: “…Me! Patrick!” Can he stay?

Men everywhere, please take note of Al’s flirting methods. You can’t go wrong with dog pictures.

You have to feel a little sorry for Tag. I  mean, imagine having to compete with Doug.

I assume Langworthy was going to be a love interest for Benton, but something fell through, so they brought Jeanie in for him later instead.

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