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.

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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.

February 20, 2018

ER 1.5, Into That Good Night: If Anybody Had a Heart

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:49 pm by Jenn

I care more about this guy than I do about Mark

Summary: It’s 4 p.m., and Doug and Carter are continuing the show’s tradition of having doctors woken up at the beginning of the episode. Mark is on the phone with Jen, telling her he has to work and can’t meet up with her. Doug and Susan both tell him to go. They’ll probably regret that, since some accident victims are coming in. One is Sally, a woman who’s almost seven months pregnant, and another is the female gang member who hit her with her car. Sally’s injuries are minor, but she may be in early labor.

Mark meets Jen by the river and she tells him she’s been offered a federal clerkship in Milwaukee. He’s happy for her, even though it’s far away. She suggests that he transfer to a hospital there. Mark doesn’t want to give up his chief residency, so he thinks Jen should just commute. She points out that she’ll have less time with Rachel that way. Mark agrees to make some calls and look for a job in Milwaukee. Jen reminds him that she’s made a lot of compromises, so it’s his turn to do the same.

Sally’s baby is in distress, and when her water breaks, the doctors can no longer try to stop her labor. It’s time for her to go up to labor and delivery. Mark returns and tells Susan about the possible move to Milwaukee. Benton and Carter tend to the gang member, Ms. Suarez, who claims she hasn’t used any drugs.

Jerry’s amazed that the board is so light. He’s probably just jinxed it. Sally gave birth in the elevator, but the baby is premature and its lungs haven’t completely developed yet. Carter pulls Doug aside to ask about the possibility of an STD in a patient who feels a burning sensation when he urinates. Doug tells him how to do a test, then lets Carter know that he knows they’re not talking about a hypothetical patient. Yes, Carter hooked up with Liz, and he probably didn’t use a condom.

A cop wants to take Suarez in to the station; she stole the car she hit Sally with. Benton wants her to stay in the hospital, since she could have serious injuries, and he gets to overrule the cop. Susan’s on the phone with her mother when another trauma comes in. The patient, Samuel Gasner, had a heart attack, but the EMTs have already gotten him stabilized. He needs a heart transplant and has been on a waiting list for a while. He’s in town from Cleveland for a builders’ convention. Samuel passes out, but the doctors quickly revive him. For someone who needs a new heart, he’s in pretty good spirits.

Doug’s next patient is a girl named Sandy who’s having an asthma attack. Doug tells her mother they’ll need to get rid of their cat. Sally’s husband arrives and learns that the baby was born. Samuel’s EKG doesn’t say anything different than it usually does; he asks what he always asks: “Am I going to make it tonight?” His heart stops again and they shock him back into rhythm. He says he doesn’t usually have two episodes in one day.

Mark asks Benton if it’s too late for Samuel to have a heart transplant, assuming they can get him one. Samuel doesn’t think he’ll survive the night. Sandy, however, is doing better, but will need to start taking asthma medication. Susan tells Carol that Mark might move to Milwaukee, though she doesn’t think he’d be happy there. Carter sees Benton practicing tying one-handed knots and wonders if he ever goes home. Benton claims to be listening to Snoop Dogg, but he’s really listening to a cardiology book on tape.

Kayson examines Samuel as he talks about how weird it is to sit around waiting for someone to die so he can get a transplant. He jokingly asks if Mark will lend him his heart for the weekend. Samuel has a nine-year-old daughter and laments missing so much of her life so he could travel for work.

Carter asks Jerry if he’s received test results for his patient, “Car…tere.” Benton calls around for a heart for Samuel, but, as he notes to Mark, they can’t just pull one out of thin air. Ivan the liquor store owner is back with another gunshot wound, but this one was self-inflicted. He got a gun for protection and accidentally shot himself in the foot. He’s grateful that in America, you can get seen by a doctor without having to bribe one with vodka, like in Russia.

Susan asks Benton how hard it is to find a heart with type A blood. Apparently pretty hard, since Kayson and another doctor, Flint, are just happy not to be Samuel. Susan suggests putting Samuel on heart-lung bypass until they find a donor. Kayson says the stress would kill him. He has a transplant team on call, so if a heart becomes available, Samuel can be in surgery within 20 minutes.

In the lounge, Doug amuses himself by playing wheelchair basketball, using Carter as a backboard. Carter explains to Mark that he lost a bet. Lydia has to remind Doug that he’s a doctor and has patients to take care of. Carter makes small talk with Mark about Milwaukee and Samuel. Mark’s never had a patient like Samuel before. He tells Carter to get some sleep while he waits for Benton to call it a day.

Doug advises that an elderly patient get x-rays after a fall, but she resists since she thinks she’s pregnant. Doug promises they won’t hurt the baby, then hands her off to Lydia, pretending the woman really is pregnant. Susan tells Div that she’s worried about Kayson being on her review board. Div thinks she should relax – Kayson “loses so many patients, he gets endorsements from funeral homes.” Susan’s a good doctor, and she shouldn’t be so concerned with what the attendings think of her.

Mark lets Samuel know that his wife’s on her way. Samuel’s extremely pale now and knows his chances of surviving are pretty slim. Mark tells him that without a transplant, he probably won’t live through the night. It’s 2 a.m. already, so that means he has very little time left. He invites Mark to call him by his first name instead of Mr. Gasner.

The cop waiting for Suarez has been standing around for hours; Benton finally tells him that she died. The cop doesn’t really care. Benton finally leaves, which means Carter can go home, but since he only has five hours before he has to be back on call, so he doesn’t see the point in leaving. Susan brings him in to observe an intubation.

Sally’s husband thanks Doug for taking such good care of his wife and baby, who’s supposed to be okay. A friend of Susan and Carter’s patient tells Susan that they were playing a drinking game. The patient, Daniel, had 15 or 20 tequila shots, as well as some beer. His blood alcohol is .832 and he needs dialysis.

Samuel’s wife, Elaine, and daughter, Sarah, arrive at the hospital. Mark tells Elaine that they only have a couple of hours to find a donor heart before Samuel most likely dies. Mark checks on Samuel, who starts to tell him a joke, then stops. He tells him that every decision you make in life counts, but then you die anyway. Cheery! Samuel cries, saying he’s not ready to die and leave his family. He asks to see his daughter.

Mark steps out to get Sarah, but has to take a moment to collect himself. Carol asks him not to tell her that she should be grateful to be alive. He says that’s not what he was thinking, but he doesn’t say what he was really thinking about. He calls around again for a heart, simultaneously telling Susan that he thought marriage would be easier. If he moves to Milwaukee, he’d have to be a junior resident. It’s a step down, but, as Samuel said, “it all counts.”

Sandy’s back in the ER at 4 a.m., and her mother admits to Doug that she didn’t get her the medication she needs. It costs $30, she doesn’t have the money, and Medicaid won’t pay for it for another week. Doug looks for a spare inhaler and medication samples that will hold Sandy over until then. Carter asks Jerry for his lab results again, and Jerry reveals that he put them on the bulletin board. A group of staff members have gathered around to see the results. Liz is back in the ER, picking her next doctor to hook up with: Kayson.

Sarah goes to see her father, completely aware that he doesn’t have much time left. She tearfully asks Mark why he can’t fix Samuel. He admits that they can’t fix everything. Sandy’s doing better, but Doug can’t find a spare inhaler for her, so she’ll need to go to a clinic the next morning. Her mother argues that she can’t take time off of work to take her there. Doug insists that it’s her only option.

Samuel’s time is almost up, and Elaine is with him. Mark and Carol try to revive him when his heart stops again, and their attempts at CPR allow him to tell Elaine that he loves her and Sarah. Susan checks on Daniel, making him promise that he’ll never drink this much again. She thinks he can spare the few million brain cells he’s lost.

Doug finds Mark playing basketball outside the hospital and asks to borrow $40 so he can run an errand. He tells Mark to go home, but I guess Mark didn’t learn the real lesson Samuel wanted him to learn, which is that he needs to treasure his time with his family instead of spending his spare minutes at the hospital.

Doug buys Sandy’s medication and inhaler and takes it to her building, which is full of people who, like Sandy’s mother, can’t afford to take time off of work to take their children to clinics. She promises to take Sandy in for treatment. Mark finally goes home and tells Jen that he’ll move to Milwaukee if that’s what she really wants to do. But now she’s okay with commuting, since she knows Mark would hate the move. Rachel comes in, happy to see her father, and the family snuggles in bed together.

Thoughts: Sally is played by Brenda Strong.

Carter, if you were too dumb to use a condom, please don’t become a doctor.

“Div, there are a lot of subjects that interest me, and believe me, your ex-wife tops my list.” Hee!

January 30, 2018

ER 1.2, Day One: Sleep, Eat, Sex, Repeat

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:43 am by Jenn

“Look at us up here on the roof, not losing limbs”

Summary: Susan is trying to sleep when Wendy wakes her to take care of a baby in respiratory arrest. After a few tense moments, Susan removes an earring from the baby’s throat and gets her breathing again. Everyone’s happy, and Susan gets to start her day with a win. Well, everyone’s happy except Carter, since Lydia let him sleep instead of waking him up for the trauma. Instead, he gets to take care of some German tourists with food poisoning. Rectal exams for everyone!

Haleh goes over some patients with Connie as Mark comes in for the day. Timmy sends Susan to see a patient with chest pain; Carter’s thrilled to get to help her and put off the rectal exams. The patient is less thrilled that he’s being seen by a “beginner.” Carter and his ridiculous hair give the patient a thumbs-up.

Mark and Susan chat with Doug, who hasn’t been to visit Carol in the eight weeks since her suicide attempt. They tell him things won’t get any easier, so he should just go. The three accept two car-accident victims via helicopter, and Benton meets them back downstairs to help out. Doug and Mark try to tend to a little girl, but she keeps yelling for her mother, the other patient. The drunk driver who hit them is also in the hospital, with seemingly minor injuries. The husband and father of the two victims also has minor injuries.

Carter has three more rectal exams to perform, but he takes a break to check on the man with chest pain, Mr. Zambano. As Carter’s with him, the man’s alarms start blaring. Carter can’t get any help, since the nurses are taking care of some commotion down the hall. He charges a defibrillator and drags it to Zambano, shocking him back into a stable rhythm. Carter’s both relieved and proud of himself.

Doug and Mark send their patient to surgery, assuring her that her father will be with her when she wakes up. Susan tells Mark that the father is okay, and the driver is doing great. Unfortunately, the mother only gets a “maybe” from Benton.

As they catch a quick lunch together, Mark tells Doug again that he needs to go see Carol, since they used to be close. He offers to tag along, but Doug hasn’t even committed to going yet. Mark thinks Doug blames himself for Carol’s depression, and he needs to forgive himself.

Carter and Benton tend to a store owner who was shot by a preteen trying to rob him. His injuries are minor, but he still needs surgery. Benton tells Carter to babysit him. The patient so grateful that he offers Benton cognac and cigars as a thank-you gift. Susan’s patient, Victor, is confused and agitated, so Susan tells Malik and Wendy to call for a psychiatric consult.

Carter presents a patient to Benton, reciting all the facts like he’s spent an hour studying it. Benton teases him by asking for the patient’s mother’s maiden name. Carter’s confused, and Haleh has to tell him that Benton’s kidding. Carter rattles off the tests and treatment he suggests for the patient, but Benton says those would lead to a malpractice suit; the patient may have thrombosis.

The drunk driver has a blood-alcohol level of .435, and Malik complains to the cop on the case that there’s no justice. The psychiatrist Susan summoned, Div Cvetic, doesn’t agree that Victor needs to be admitted to his service. His problems are medical, not psychiatric. Besides, there’s no bed for him in the psych wing. Susan disapproves, but Div won’t budge.

Mark and Malik’s next patient has a horrible sunburn, but only on the front of his body. He’s in too much pain to sit or lie down, so Malik suggests just propping him against a gurney. Jen suddenly arrives and announces that she passed the bar. Mark ditches his patient so he and Jen can make out in a bathroom. Jen wants to take advantage of their privacy to take things beyond making out.

Benton gives the drunk-driving victim, Mr. Ring, that his daughter will probably be okay, but his wife is going to die. He asks if they ever discussed organ donation. Mr. Ring is too distraught to answer the question, so Benton just comforts him while he cries.

Susan tries to go over Div’s head to an administrator, but the administrator agrees that Victor can be treated medically. An emergency alarm sounds by the admin desk, so Susan, Haleh, Malik, and Timmy rush to the bathroom to see who’s in distress. They soon learn that Mark and Jen accidentally hit the alarm while she was…um…giving him a physical, we’ll say. Everyone keeps it casual until they close the door, and Susan, Haleh, Timmy, and Malik all crack up.

Doug hears the story later and laughs at Mark’s embarrassment while they’re in the bathroom together. Mark knows he’ll never live it down, and though he’s able to laugh it off a little, he’s worried that he’ll get in trouble. The two realize Carter has fallen asleep in a stall and try to wake him. Mark succeeds by yelling, “Clear!”

The patient who flirted with Mark in the pilot returns with a rash and requests Carter as her doctor as soon as she sees him. Doug and Mark’s next patient, Mrs. Franks, is elderly and approaching respiratory failure. Her husband begs them to do everything they can for her. Susan finds Carter checking out the poison ivy on his patient’s butt, and decides she should stay and keep an eye on things. Carter’s completely professional, though, and doesn’t get that the patient is flirting with him.

Mark tells Mr. Franks that they don’t have a lot of options for his wife. She’s terminal, and if they put her on machines to help her breathe, she’ll probably never come off of them. The better option is to make her comfortable and let nature take its course. Mr. Franks tells him to put her on the respirator. Mark decides to do some more tests before they make a final decision. Mr. Franks wants the doctors to know that they have 13 grandchildren.

The drunk driver finally wakes up, but he doesn’t remember the crash. Malik tells him he killed a woman and put her daughter in the ICU. Benton and Carter’s thrombosis patient’s regular doctor comes to see him, disagreeing with Benton’s diagnosis. He accuses Benton of running unnecessary tests and showing off for Carter.

A bride started throwing up during her wedding reception, which was held at the same place where the German tourists ate. Wendy realizes that they should be expected a couple hundred more patients from the reception. Mrs. Franks is awake now, so her husband thinks she’s improving. Mark tells him it’s just because they rehydrated her. She guesses that she’s dying, and when Mark goes over her options, she grasps them better than her husband did.

The food poisoning has been traced to the potato salad, which not everyone at the reception ate, so only about 60 people have been brought in. The musicians from the reception have come in to play for the patients while they wait, which would probably be okay if they weren’t accordionists. Victor is brought in, having been found wandering down a street, still wearing his hospital bracelet. Susan tells Lydia to call Div again; if he doesn’t admit Victor, Susan will sign him in herself.

In the cafeteria, Susan asks Mark if Doug is finally going to see Carol. Then she teases him about his little rendezvous with Jen in the bathroom. Div arrives and yells at Susan for trying to admit a patient to his service after he said no. She admits that she went over his head, which just makes him madder.

Carter tells Benton that he thinks he was right about their thrombosis patient. Benton sarcastically says that he’ll be sure to tell the New England Journal of Medicine that Carter agreed. Benton, this is why no one likes you. The hospital turns into a reception hall, with patients and staff members dancing to the accordion music. Mark’s enjoying himself until Connie tells him that Mrs. Franks has died. Her husband sings “That Old Black Magic” to say goodbye. Doug has to fight back tears.

Home for a few hours, Mark congratulates Jen again on her success. She suggests picking up where they left off in the bathroom, even though they’re in their very visible backyard. He has to go back to work in a couple hours, so he says no. Jen realizes he’s never going to leave County. She says she needs him, and he assures her that he loves her.

Carter gets in his Jeep to leave for the night and is surprised to find his flirtatious patient in his backseat. She wants to go home with him. Carter immediately calls the police and has her arrested for stalking. Ha ha ha ha, no, he doesn’t. He takes her home with him. At her own home, Susan complains about being unable to get help for her patients. The person she’s complaining to is Div, and they’re definitely not just work colleagues. He warns that not everyone she deals with at the hospital will be as understanding as he was. Wait, he considers that “understanding”?

Doug finally goes to see Carol, but her mother, Helen (who isn’t played by the same actress who plays her later), tries to make him leave. Carol says he can stay and accepts the flowers he’s brought her. They only chat for a minute, since he’s too emotionally closed off to talk any longer than that. Back at County, Lydia wakes Benton, whose thrombosis patient is back in the ER. This time, Benton will get to do everything he wanted to before.

Thoughts: The administrator Susan tries to get to overrule Div is played by Tobin Bell, AKA Saw from the Saw movies.

Jen is the wooooooooorst. She’s not so bad in these early episodes, but later…gah.

Remember my game Spot the Doll? You can play it with this show, too. If there’s a kid in a scene and it’s not moving, it’s really a doll.

January 23, 2018

ER 1.1, 24 Hours: Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 8:48 am by Jenn

This show is brought to you by the color sea green

Summary: Dr. Mark Greene is woken by Nurse Lydia Wright at 5 a.m. so he can see a patient. He tells her to give the patient to an intern, but she tells him it’s Dr. Ross. Mark heads to the mostly quiet ER, where Doug Ross is drunkenly singing “Danny Boy” to himself. Mark and Nurse Wendy Goldman start to sober him up in an exam room as Doug tells Mark about a date who was surprised to learn how sexy a pediatrician could be.

Doug asks if Mark and his wife, Jen, have resolved their problems. He hopes Mark doesn’t leave the ER. Wendy asks Mark if Doug does this a lot; Mark says it’s just on Doug’s nights off. He goes back to bed, but Lydia wakes him again to ask a question. She wakes him for real at 6:30 so he can start his shift.

Dr. Susan Lewis and Dr. Peter Benton are also on duty. Desk clerk Jerry Markovic is done for the day and heads out with the shift change. Benton sees on the news that a building has collapsed, which means a number of patients will be coming in, and Benton will have lots of people to operate on. Mark gives instructions to his intern, then strikes them all so they can prepare for the mass casualties coming in.

As Nurse Carol Hathaway takes a patient, Doug wakes up hungover. Benton works calmly on his patient, with a better bedside manner than we will ever see again over the next six seasons. Despite his adventures the night before, Doug steps in to help, working with Nurse Haleh Adams. Benton tells a surgeon that he’d better save a patient’s hand, since he told the patient they would. The other surgeon knows that Benton would love to do the operation, but he’s only a resident, so he’s years away from being able to handle it himself.

Susan’s patient only has minor facial injuries, and also lets us know that it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and the hospital is called Cook County General. He asks if Susan’s married; she says no, since she’s a doctor. He starts to ask her out, but she shuts him down, saying that he wouldn’t want to fall on his face again.

Benton takes over Doug’s patient just before she starts coding. They work to shock her heart back into rhythm. Doug helps Susan with her next patient while Nurse Malik McGrath tries to get Benton to check out some more people. He’s still working on Doug’s patient, and is able to revive her. Mark tells the son of one of the victims of the building collapse that his father died. The son pounds on Mark a little, then breaks down in tears.

Once things have quieted down, the doctors go to a lounge to do paperwork and catch each other up on their patients. Benton complains that the nurses keep coming to the doctors’ lounge and drinking their coffee, but Mark makes him calm down. The doctors hope that their new medical students, who are starting that day, will be better than the last bunch.

Carol comes in with more paperwork, and Benton confronts her for being a coffee thief. She tells him to make more. Benton complains that they work 90 hours a week for very little money; they shouldn’t have to make their own coffee. Carol has no sympathy.

Mark rushes off to the cafeteria to see his wife, assuring Susan that everything’s fine. (Spoiler alert: It’s totally not.) Mark and Jen’s daughter, Rachel, is also there, being cute and eating grilled cheese for breakfast and showing no signs of the brat she’ll become in a few seasons. Jen asks if Mark is going to go to an interview for a job elsewhere; the hours would be better, allowing them to spend more time together. Mark doesn’t seem that excited about taking a job somewhere else.

Later in the morning, med student John Carter arrives in a tailored white coat, which the doctors quietly make fun of. Carter is Benton’s third-year surgical student, and Benton isn’t that excited about having to teach him. He gives Carter (and us) a quick tour and a run-down of things he’ll need to know. Despite being a third-year, Carter has never started an IV, which doesn’t help Benton’s impression of him.

As they pass Carol, Benton mentions that “she goes with an orthopod who used to be a Big 10 tackle and looks like King Kong.” (Who says “goes with”?) Then he takes five seconds to teach Carter how to start an IV. Carter tries to take notes on everything Benton says, but he’ll never be able to remember it all. Benton introduces Carter to Dr. David Morgenstern, the head of the ER, warning that he eats students for lunch. Morgenstern says that Benton is one of the best residents at the hospital, and Carter’s lucky to learn from him.

Benton takes Carter to a suture room to stitch up a woman’s hand. Meanwhile, Doug meets his own student, Tracy Young, who seems immune to his charms, somehow. Wendy calls Benton away, so Benton leaves Carter to finish with the woman by himself. Tracy is much more confident with her first patient, though she could use some help with bedside manner (that’s where Doug’s charms help). They determine that their young patient has an ulcer, most likely because of his super-type-A mother.

Benton checks on Carter, criticizing him for taking so long with the woman. The woman is pleased with the work and asks when she should come back to get the stitches removed. Carter makes something up. Susan does some labwork, then gives Carol some instructions for a patient. Carol is clearly a higher-up, as other nurses come to her with questions. She also used to date Doug, and obviously regrets that they’re not still together.

Carter’s next patient is Officer Martin, who accidentally shot himself in the leg. Carter tries to start an IV but is hopelessly incompetent. Officer Martin asks how often Carter has done this before. “I’d hate to tell you how often I’ve done this before,” Carter replies. Officer Martin complains about his wife, who he was fighting with when the accidental shooting occurred. Officer Martin needs some anger management, and his wife should probably move out.

Mark and Carol tend to a man who had double vision when he woke up. Since he doesn’t have any other symptoms, Mark doesn’t want to waste the patient’s money by calling in a neurologist. He should just go home and come back if the double vision returns. The man accuses Mark of refusing to treat him because he’s black. Since Mark appears to be Jewish, at least according to the patient, he should be more sympathetic to discrimination. Mark tells Carol to call neurology and bill the patient for the consult.

A cab driver runs in and announces that there’s a woman in labor in his cab. Mark grabs Carter to help him bring the woman in from the snow. Carter has to put his hand between the woman’s legs to hold the baby in before they get to a trauma room. Doug comes in to help, but the baby comes so fast that Mark is the only one ready to deliver it. Carter just stares at the miracle of birth, amazed. Benton tells Carter to go back to his actual job; the ER doctors can screw things up on their own.

An x-ray tech takes a long time with Officer Martin’s x-rays, only telling Benton what he already knows. Mark’s next patient has an injured ankle and only wants to know if he gets workers’ comp. Mark thinks he should be glad he’s still alive, unlike the next patient over. Doug diagnoses a young boy with an ear infection, and the boy’s mother comments to Haleh that Doug is handsome. “He knows it,” Haleh remarks.

Carter asks Benton for his next patient, but Benton tells him he can go have lunch. Carter says he’s fine and wants to keep working. Benton tells him not to be a hero – it may be a while before he gets to have dinner, so he should eat when he can. Tracy is shocked to see that a crack dealer in the ER is just a kid. She has to call security in case the dealer’s rival gang members come in to finish him off.

Just as things are getting hectic in the ER again, Mark announces that he’s going off to an appointment. He meets with a Dr. Harris, who has a job opening in a private practice that will pay Mark tons of money. Harris thinks that the ER is for young doctors. Mark will be much happier going to conferences around the world and working in a calm, nice-looking facility. Mark still isn’t that enthusiastic.

It’s 3 p.m. and the snow has turned into rain. Mark returns to Cook County, where Doug asks about his interview. He also wants to know about the rumor that Mark hooked up with a technician. Doug knows it’s not true; Mark is faithful to Jen. Mark adds that he’s also too tired to cheat.

Susan leaves her patient, Mr. Parker, to take a phone call from a guy named Paul. He wants to go out; she thought they broke up. She goes back to Mr. Parker with bad news: There’s something in his lung, and it might be bad. Susan doesn’t want to say anything definitive, but Mr. Parker wants a straight answer.

She finally tells him that, with his history, he could have cancer, but he shouldn’t jump to conclusions until he’s had more tests. Then she tells him that he probably has six months to a year to live, if that. Mr. Parker thinks this is a good time to take his wife to the Bahamas. He thanks Susan for being straight-forward, then remarks that at least now he doesn’t have to quit smoking. He starts to cry, but Susan tells him that, in her job, she’s learned that nothing’s certain. He hugs her, then leaves. Susan takes a moment to collect herself, then goes back to work.

A nicely dressed woman named Mrs. Raskin tells the desk clerk, Timmy, that she needs medical attention. He directs her to Mark, who hesitates to take care of her hangnail, since it’ll cost a lot of money. Mrs. Raskin is wearing a fur and wouldn’t be out of place in Millicent Carter’s circle of friends, so she doesn’t care. She’s very familiar with Mark and even knows that Jen is studying for the bar exam.

There’s another shift change, and Jerry and Nurse Connie Oligario come in as some other nurses head out. Carol takes something from the drug lockup before leaving for the night. Carter stitches up the foot of a teenager who’s upset that she crashed her father’s new Cadillac. When her dad arrives, at first he’s just happy that she’s okay, but when the news sinks in, he’s pretty angry. Carter makes a great “if I sit very still, they won’t know I’m here” face.

Benton criticizes Carter’s speed again, telling him that since it’s St. Patrick’s Day, they’re going to have a lot of people to look after. One of them is a little boy who swallowed a key. His mother is more concerned about being locked out of the house than she is about the fact that her kid ate something that wasn’t food. Doug and the kid giggle at her.

Carter questions a patient who denies that she’s pregnant, even when Carter warns that she could have an ectopic pregnancy that could require surgery. He takes the case to Benton, who gets the girl to admit that she’s had sex. He agrees with Carter’s assessment that she has an ectopic pregnancy.

Mark and Susan have coffee, and he complains about Jen’s expectations of him and how often she laments the little time they get to spend together. Mark gets paged, and the two return to the ER, where the staff is practically silent. Doug is shaken, wondering how this could happen “to her, of all people.” An ambulance arrives with “her” – it’s Carol, and she’s unconscious from an overdose.

Lydia asks why she would overdose, but Mark chastises that they don’t ask that about any other patient who overdoses, so they can’t ask it here. Mark and Susan work on Carol as other staff members, including Doug, watch. Mark finally notices and has Malik close the curtain around them so they can have some privacy.

Morgenstern is called in, but he’s not sure if they should keep trying to save Carol. Mark thinks they have to keep working, if just for the morale of the unit. Morgenstern tells him everyone’s looking to him: “You set the tone.” They all feel guilty and angry and scared because one of their colleagues is in the ER, but they need to take care of her, then take care of everyone else. He repeats that Mark sets the tone and will need to get the unit through this crisis.

Doug can’t believe that, after a day when she seemed so normal, Carol would try to kill herself. Mark tells him to go get some coffee, but Doug has a hard time making himself leave. Meanwhile, Benton takes on a patient who was stabbed, but Carter struggles to keep down his lunch. Mark notices him going outside for fresh air and follows him. Unlike Benton, who’s spent the whole day telling Carter to move faster, Mark tells him to take his time.

Carter apologizes for getting sick and emotional, but Mark says he shouldn’t be sorry. There are two kinds of doctors: those who get rid of their feelings and those who hold on to them. It’s more important to help the patients than think about their own feelings, but it’s not easy to keep them inside. Sometimes it’s enough to make Mark want to quit. He tells Carter again to take his time recovering, then reveals that Benton got sick all the time in medical school, so Carter shouldn’t take any crap from him.

Once he’s better, Carter finds Benton and tries to make small talk. Benton says not to worry about what just happened, but he shouldn’t make a habit of it. Susan talks to an administrator about Carol; she thinks Carol took the right drugs to get the job done, so she knew exactly what she was doing. No one had any idea that she was suicidal, even her fiancé. The administrator worries about how the hospital will look now.

Mark wants to admit a patient, Mr. Larkowski, who has an ulcer and pancreatitis. Larkowski starts crying, thinking that Mark is trying to sugarcoat his real diagnosis. Mark assures him that he doesn’t have cancer. Larkowski doesn’t seem to hear him, so Mark says firmly that he’s okay – he just needs to stop smoking and drinking. Larkowski’s more upset about that than he is about being terminally ill.

Doug treats a baby who fell out of his crib, according to his babysitter. Doug tells her that the baby was beaten, so he’s calling the proper authorities. The babysitter worries that she’ll get in trouble. Mark treats a woman who burned her legs when she accidentally spilled hot water she was pouring into the sink. She tries to flirt, but Mark stays professional. Lydia witnesses the whole thing and gives some great “you have to be kidding me” faces.

Benton’s next patient was supposed to undergo an operation for an aortic aneurysm next month, but it’s leaking. He needs immediate surgery, but no one’s available to do it. Benton tells Susan to call Morgenstern in; Benton will get things started. Susan reminds him that, as a resident, he’s not qualified, but Benton knows the patient will die if he doesn’t go to the OR immediately. He admits to the anesthesiologist that he’s scared, but he thinks he’s the patient’s only chance at survival.

Just before it’s time to scrub in, Benton sticks his head into another OR and announces that he’s operating next door and would like some help when the surgeons are done. They think he’s joking. Benton gets started, and though the bleeding and beeping alarms indicate that things aren’t great, he keeps his cool and repairs the leak. Morgenstern and another doctor are on their way, and Peter comments that now he has all the help he wanted before.

While working on a patient, Mark stops and says he can’t give up working in the ER. Lydia tells him Jen is on the phone, and he tells her to say he’ll call back. Benton and his thrown-together team take a break while waiting for Morgenstern, and Benton’s about to start jokingly reflecting when Morgenstern finally comes in. He blasts Benton for the ugly incision he made on the patient, then takes over. Benton starts to leave, disappointed not to be acknowledged for his life-saving measures. Morgenstern then praises him for doing the right thing. Benton quietly celebrates with a fist pump in the hallway.

Doug’s patient’s mother has arrived, and she’s annoyed that Doug hasn’t given the baby anything that will calm him down. She blames the babysitter for the baby’s skull fracture, but Doug knows the sitter isn’t responsible for that or the other injuries the baby has sustained in the past. The mother also denies responsibility, but Doug has seen enough abuse to know she’s lying. He yells at her for beating a child, then takes out his anger on Tracy. He assures the sitter that the baby will be okay, and that she did the right thing.

Benton finds Susan in the lounge and asks after Carol, who isn’t doing well. A young cop brings in a man in diabetic ketoacidosis, and is proud of himself when Mark says he probably saved the man’s life. Jerry, unimpressed: “What do you want, a medal?” After tending to the patient, Mark realizes he didn’t call Jen back. He decides to wait until the morning.

Benton checks on the man he operated on, who’s doing well in recovery. The patient’s wife is grateful that Morgenstern came so quickly and saved her husband. She wants to thank Benton, too, but he pretends he only helped out a little. Doug apologizes to Tracy for yelling, and she invites him to get coffee. It’s safe to assume that they end up in bed together after that, but we never see her again, so who knows?

As Carter finishes his day of doing stitches by doing more stitches, Susan falls asleep while listening to a call-in radio show. A caller is complaining about how much doctors charge for their services. Susan just rolls her eyes. Benton goes off to get some sleep in an empty room, while Carter decides that the chairs in a hallway are comfortable enough. Mark asks Lydia for another 6:30 wake-up call, just like that morning. It comes before he knows it.

Thoughts: I make no promises about recapping the entire series, since it’s 15 freaking seasons. But I’ll see what I can do.

Mr. Parker is played by the late Miguel Ferrer, George Clooney’s cousin. Carter’s pregnant patient is played by a very young, unrecognizable Shiri Appleby, who also plays Daria in season 15. Officer Martin is played by Troy Evans, who later plays Frank Martin. Officer Martin’s first name is Jonathan, but I think we’re supposed to assume that he and Frank are the same character.

Most people probably know this, but Carol was originally supposed to die. The audience liked her character, so the writers saved her.

Speaking of likable characters, Benton is more likable here than at any other point in the series. And he’s still kind of annoying here.