October 4, 2022

ER 11.21, Carter Est Amoureux: The Kid Stays Out of the Picture

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

They actually filmed this in Paris. Seems like a lot of money to spend on just a few scenes

Summary: Carter is at the site of the clinic he’s funding, where construction has begun. Abby shows up and congratulates him for getting tenure. She thinks he should be more excited than he is. He notes that she only has a couple of weeks left in her internship and will soon be a resident. She feels like it went fast. She asks who Joshua was (since the clinic’s being named for him), and he tells her that was the baby.

Monday morning: Susan throws Morris into the deep end as he starts his new role as chief resident. On top of his work duties, he’s expected to host parties and happy hours (and fund them himself). Susan hands out contracts to the interns who will soon become residents. She tells Ray they’ll need to meet later to talk about his.

Sam and Luka have taken Susan’s advice and started couples counseling. In their first session, Sam does all the talking. When asked by the therapist, Meredith, why they came in, Sam says plainly, “I don’t think Luka and I should be together.” Hmmm, I’m pretty sure a lot of people in the audience agree. Including me. Sorry, Sam!

Neela, Pratt, and Chuny try to take care of a patient who’s yelling and thrashing around. To be fair, his hair got caught in some engine part and pulled off his scalp. Then when he tried to free himself, he injured his hands. Neela runs the trauma but forgets to order a medication, which means she might not quite be ready for her upcoming residency. Frank comes in to tell Pratt that a friend of his is there and wants to talk to him. The friend is Darnell, whose birthday party Pratt attended in the last episode.

Luka insists that he’s happy in his and Sam’s relationship, but she’s frustrated because he never talks about anything deep or shows his emotions. She never knows what’s going on with him. Meredith tries to get him to open up, but Luka just repeats that he’s happy. He doesn’t get why Sam isn’t. Everything in their lives is good, so she should be. That just frustrates Sam more. Meredith asks if anything in particular prompted them to start therapy. Sam names her pregnancy scare and expresses her relief that the test turned out negative. That seems to strike a nerve with Luka, though he barely reacts.

There’s a leak in the ceiling in the ER, and the patient it drips on is very unhappy about it. Abby and Neela dismiss him since he’s an alcoholic in withdrawal, but I think he has a legitimate complaint. They talk about how Jake’s still traveling to check out hospitals where he might want to do his internship. Then Neela wonders why Carter got tenure but Susan didn’t. Kem calls to talk to Carter, but he’s not around so Frank takes a message.

Neela asks if tenure is based on how much money someone has. Ray thinks Carter got it because of his donation for the clinic, which is more or less a hospital wing. Chuny figures they bypassed Susan, even though she’s well-qualified, because people like Carter, and because he’s a man. “Oh, put your bra back on, Gloria Steinem,” Frank says. Trip him, Chuny! Poke him in the eye!

Darnell is at County because his teenage son, K.J., needs to serve some community-service hours after getting busted for graffiti and marijuana possession. That’s not as bad as the stuff Pratt and Darnell did at his age, but they were able to outrun the police. Pratt is open to letting K.J. do his hours at County, and though he can’t grant permission, he’ll ask whoever can.

Sam tells Meredith that part of the reason she doesn’t want to have another child is because it wouldn’t be fair to Alex. Luka thinks Alex would like to have a bigger family. Sam spits out that he has one. Though the two of them were sitting close together at the start of the session, they’re now at opposite ends of the couch. Meredith plays peacemaker, telling Luka that the decision to have kids is difficult when one person in the relationship already has one.

Sam says she didn’t want a child the first time she got pregnant. Plus, she doesn’t get why Luka would want to have more kids after what happened to his first two. He’s not happy with her for bringing that up. Sam complains that he never talks about his family. Luka doesn’t think it helps anything to discuss them. She replies that they’re a huge part of who he is, and he won’t let her see that part.

Frank lets Carter know that Kem called again (of course, he’s as inappropriate as he can be without prompting a complaint to HR). A maintenance worker tells the ER staff that he took care of the leak in the ceiling, by which he means he put a bucket under it. The leak is from a toilet on the OR floor, and they have to wait for it to drain before they can fix it. It’s going to be another hour or two.

Carter calls Kem, reaching their mutual buddy Charles instead. He gives Carter bad news. Susan tries to get Ray to understand that while he has the potential to be a great doctor, his heart doesn’t seem to be in it. Once his internship is up, he should get a job that pays that bills and lets him work on his music. He shouldn’t sign a contract to work at County unless he’s completely sure it’s what he wants to do.

Carter tells Abby that Kem’s mother is in the hospital in Paris. He’s on his way to meet up with Kem there. After Sam and Luka’s session, he basically acts like they didn’t just cut their relationship wide open and leave it bleeding in the OR. (I thought a medical metaphor would be appropriate here.) That makes her madder than anything that happened in the session itself.

Tuesday morning: As Carter arrives in Paris, Susan tells Luka that Kem’s mother has meningitis. She’s also immunosuppressed from chemo. Oh, man, meningitis on top of cancer? That would suck. Neela complains about Morris’ new schedule, which has her working five nights in a row and Abby pulling two shifts back to back. Ray, however, gets every weekend off. Morris claims that there was no bribery involved, then hints that U2 tickets would help the others get better shifts.

Luka asks if it’s too late to give the chief resident position to Abby. Susan knows Morris isn’t “the sharpest shovel in the shed,” but he’s good with all the paperwork the job requires. Plus, it’ll keep him too busy to see a lot of patients. She likens it to community service. Sam gives Luka the silent treatment, and Jerry suggests that Luka buy her flowers. K.J. was approved for “volunteer” work, and Pratt tells Jerry to have him transport samples. Sounds like a very unfun way to do community service.

Pratt asks Neela if she studied antibiotics last night, since she forgot to order one for her patient the day before. He reminds her that she’s about to be supervising interns, so she needs to know her stuff. The two of them meet paramedics bringing in an eight-day-old baby with sepsis. In Paris, Carter goes straight to the hospital and uses his limited French to find Kem’s mother, Fabienne. Kem is shocked to see him, since her message about her mother wasn’t exactly an invitation for him to come. It turns out Fabienne’s condition isn’t as bad as Carter assumed. Also, Kem isn’t alone – she has a friend named Michel with her. Awkward!

Pratt, Neela, and Chuny work on the baby, and this time Pratt’s satisfied with Neela’s recommended treatment. He ducks out to take care of another patient and she easily slips into the role of running the case. At the admit desk, Jerry complains to Pratt that K.J. isn’t doing anything. Pratt clarifies that he didn’t volunteer to be there; he’s on probation. Jerry asks what he did, as if it’s any of his business. Pratt messes with him by saying it was second-degree murder. Morris believes him. Be dumber, Morris.

Abby presents a case to Pratt, who doesn’t respond or give any comment about her treatment plan. He tells Morris there’s no way the interns will be ready to supervise their own interns in two weeks. Kem chases down Carter, who’s decided to just turn right around and go home. She downplays the significance of Michal’s presence, saying he’s friendly with her mother. He and Kem dated, and she gets Carter to admit that he’s jealous. He asks if they’re sleeping together, then decides he doesn’t want the answer. Hey, Carter, remember Wendall? Remember sleeping with her? Yeah. Shut up.

Kem asks if Carter hasn’t been dating. She also calls him dramatic when he acts like he just wants to go home. She thinks it’s sweet that he dropped everything and flew to see her. Sweet, not a total waste of time and money? Carter’s all passive-aggressive until she invites him to at least stay for the night. Ugh, Kem deserves better.

The baby’s doing better but Pratt’s not happy that Neela used her umbilical stump for IV access. It’s not clear what the problem is. Kem and Michel drop Carter off at hotel and she makes plans to have breakfast with him in the morning. He snarks about Michel, and for some reason she seems to think it’s cute instead of immature.

Pratt pulls Neela out of the baby’s trauma room to slam her for placing an umbilical line without supervision. She tries to hold back her emotions as she says she’s done them before. He thinks it’s been too long, though. She reminds him that he told her to take initiative. He tells her she didn’t use common sense, and she needs to ask for help when she’s doing something she’s not familiar with. Neela starts crying, and though Pratt’s annoyed, he backs off a little. He tells her she got lucky this time, since the baby stabilized, but she needs to use her head.

Kem calls Carter early the next morning and makes him jump on a train. She makes up stories for the other passengers; all of them involve relationships that aren’t particularly happy or are doomed because someone’s dying. He asks what their story is. Instead of answering, she makes him close his eyes so he’ll see the Eiffel Tower when they come out of the train tunnel.

Wednesday morning: Neela tries to gather herself enough to go in to work. She meets up with Abby and Jake, who basically act like she has no choice but to go do her job. Morris wants to paint his office, but Susan doesn’t want to give up any of the money in her budget for it. Sam is still giving Luka the silent treatment, which is totally mature and professional and won’t tick off their co-workers at all.

Neela and Ray work on a stabbing victim as Rebecca and Birdie (R.I.P., Louise Fletcher) watch from the exam area. Even with Pratt looking over her shoulder, Neela works with confidence, and this time she gains his praise. Carter and Kem chat, getting the attention of a little girl. This just makes it clear that the one thing they’re not talking about is the child they lost.

The leak is at it again in the ER, and Abby has to move another patient out of its path. Susan decides they should close to incoming traumas until maintenance offers up a better fix than a bucket. As Abby and Jake start working on a patient named Arnold together, he mentions that he’s thinking about staying at County for his internship. Then stay! We don’t care! This is never going to last anyway!

Chuny tells Abby that Rebecca and Birdie are back, so Abby goes to talk to them. Rebecca was strangled, and Abby thinks she was attacked while they were panhandling. Rebecca says that Birdie saved her by stabbing her attacker. It turns out that Neela and Ray’s stabbing victim is Shelley, Rebecca and Birdie’s niece who took them in.

Kem takes Carter to a park she played in as a child when her family wasn’t in Kinshasa. They didn’t stay in Paris long because it was hard to be a biracial family (her father was Black and her mother is white). Speaking of biracial children, Carter notes that Joshua would be a year old now. Kem goes quiet, then says she’s going back to the hospital.

He stops her and asks what they’re doing. He still loves her and knows she still loves him. They talk for hours on the phone and tell each other everything. He makes her happy. Why aren’t they together? Kem notes that she didn’t like living in Chicago. Carter says they don’t have to stay there. She doesn’t want to take him away from his life there, but he’s willing to give up everything for her.

“Kem…we had a baby and he died,” Carter says softly. “It’s a tragedy that happens to people, and it happened to us.” It doesn’t have to define them – they’re stronger than that. They can even have another baby. Kem starts crying, then apologizes. She changes the subject again and leads him out of the park. Hey, Sam, does your therapist have any openings?

Abby asks Ray if he ever followed up on Rebecca and Birdie after he let them go home with Shelley. He says he called, but there’s only so much he can do. Carter goes back to the hospital with Kem and just stands there while she, Fabienne, and Michel chat. Fabienne comes up with an excuse for Kem and Michel to leave, then tells Carter that he’s giving up on Kem too easily.

She recognizes his bracelet, the one Kem gave him for Christmas that used to belong to her father. Fabienne says that life is about both joy and grief: “You can’t know real happiness until you’ve had sorrow to contrast it with.” Kem hasn’t learned that yet. Kem overhears and tells Fabienne to leave Carter alone.

Shelley’s not doing well, and Pratt determines that they won’t be able to save her. Ray realizes that he made a mistake that led to…some medical complication I don’t understand. While Susan makes calls about the ceiling leak, Abby and Jake rush to Arnold, whose breathing problems have gotten worse. Neela checks on Rebecca, who’s okay, and assures her and Birdie that Shelley didn’t suffer. Birdie’s shaken up and promises that she didn’t mean to kill Shelley. The sisters loved their niece.

Abby, Pratt, and Jake stabilize Arnold, and Pratt blames Abby for his decline. Susan, who’s a good teacher, unlike some people, turns it into a teaching moment. Abby figures out her error on her own, and Susan tells her it’s a common mistake that interns make. She’s sure Abby won’t make it again. Meanwhile, Neela forces Ray to tell Rebecca and Birdie that Shelley died because of his mistake, not because Birdie stabbed her.

On the way to the airport, an emotional Carter asks his cab driver to turn around. Jake tries to cheer up Abby about her mistake, then tells her he’s thinking of putting down County as his first choice for his internship. She doesn’t want him to pick it if it’s just because she’s there. Ray and Neela interrupt before things can get too awkward. Neela reveals that Shelley was making Rebecca and Birdie panhandle because she needed money for her drug habit. She got violent when they didn’t make enough money.

Morris joins the group and knocks Abby, Ray, and Neela for making errors. Speaking of people who suck at teaching and leading. Everyone goes off in different directions, including Jake, who doesn’t want to talk to Abby anymore. Carter’s cab gets stuck in traffic, so he heads off on foot in the pouring rain, because this is apparently a rom-com now. He races to Kem’s apartment and announces that he’s moving back to Africa. They can start over and do what they didn’t do before. He’ll wait as long as she needs, but he’s not going to live without her.

Thoughts: Ugh, Kem is a Manic Pixie Dream Girl now.

Sam, if you don’t want another kid, you can just say that. You don’t have to bring Alex into it.

Wish I had tenure and the money to fly to Paris at the drop of a hat, then just turn around to leave ten minutes later.

I take back what I said about Pratt being a good chief resident candidate. Don’t yell at people, Pratt!

May 17, 2022

ER 11.1, One for the Road: To Everything There Is a Season

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

Admittedly, I admire Pratt for trying to run someone else’s trauma while being treated himself

Summary: We rewind a little to just before the end of “Drive,” when an angry driver started shooting at Pratt, Chen, and Elgin. Pratt tries to escape him while Chen says helpful things like, “We’ve got to get away from him!” The guy keeps firing, eventually hitting Chen in the leg. He intentionally crashes into Pratt’s car (and another), and Pratt’s unable to keep control. He drives off the bridge and into the river.

Chen’s unable to move, and when Pratt tells Elgin to get out of the car, Elgin says he can’t feel his legs. Pratt decides to pull Elgin out, but Elgin can’t move his arms to take Pratt’s hand. Chen calls 911 while Pratt uses a flashlight to assess her and Elgin’s injuries. As the car sinks, Elgin says he doesn’t want to die. Pratt calmly frees Chen from her seatbelt, assuring Elgin that he’ll help him next. He thinks Elgin broke his neck. The front end of the car tips forward because of the engine’s weight.

At County, Morris is doing what he does best: eating and complaining. All the interns got to go on vacation, so he’s stuck working an overnight shift. Wah. You’re not drowning in a car. You can deal. Frank points out that he called in sick a bunch, so it’s only fair. Morris is disappointed to see that the attending on duty is Weaver, who most definitely won’t let him go early or, like, be nice or anything.

Pratt and Chen keep Elgin above water as the car continues sinking. Pratt plans to open a window so everyone can swim out, though Elgin isn’t going to be able to do that on his own. Unfortunately, Pratt’s spiffy new Chrysler has power windows, so they won’t open. Elsewhere, in some unspecified location, Sam and Alex stop at a motel for the night.

Pratt struggles to open a door but doesn’t have any luck. He’s starting to get more stressed, but he’s still pretty calm (much calmer than most people would be in this situation). Elgin remembers from his physics class that they need to wait for the water pressure to equalize. That means letting the water get even higher. The car fully submerges and hits the bottom of the river. The three wait until they can escape.

As Sam checks into the motel, Alex tells the clerk to call the police because she kidnapped him. Sam, leave him there and go somewhere tropical. You deserve a vacation. Pratt tells Chen to go underwater and open the passenger-side front door. She’s scared but she gets out and swims to the surface. As Pratt takes Elgin underwater, Chen gets help from a crew on a police boat. Pratt surfaces without Elgin, who got stuck on the door, and yells for help. The rescuers tell him to get on the boat while they send divers to get Elgin.

Carter wraps up a shift as Luka returns from trying to keep Sam and Alex from leaving town. Weaver’s annoyed that he left during his shift, even though he blames a family emergency. She tells him he can go home because she’s filling in for him. If he ever leaves in the middle of another shift, he shouldn’t bother to come back. Luka tells Frank to call someone in administration and tell them Sam no longer works at County.

Carter asks Weaver how court went. She just says it was okay. As he leaves, she joins Morris to deal with a new patient. A cop has dragged in a drug dealer he thinks tucked her stash inside herself when she was busted. And by “inside herself,” I mean exactly what you think I mean. Since the dealer (no name; I’ll call her Amanda after the actress playing her) doesn’t have any medical complaints, Weaver won’t agree to retrieve the drugs. She can’t do a pelvic exam without a patient’s consent.

Luka and Carter are heading out at the same time, and Carter asks what’s up with Sam. Luka says she left with Alex and he doesn’t think they’ll be coming back. Abby is finishing up her last nursing shift before starting her internship. Neela shows up, having driven back from Michigan after ditching her internship before it started. The cop (also without a name; I’ll call him DiMaggio after the actor playing him) bugs Weaver to help him with Amanda, but she continues to refuse.

Paramedics radio in about Pratt, Chen, and Elgin’s accident, which also injured people on the bridge. Weaver immediately regrets sending Luka home. She asks Abby to stay, though “asks” isn’t really accurate when Weaver wants you to do something. Abby will be staying. Pratt waits for news on Elgin at the river while Chen is taken off to the hospital. The rescuers have pulled Elgin onto the police boat but aren’t doing anything to save him. Pratt is upset to learn that he didn’t survive.

A woman brings in a preteen boy who stuffed LED lights up his nose. I guarantee this kid would be Alex’s best friend if they ever met. Abby can’t believe Neela left so soon after getting to Michigan. Neela offers to help when victims from the car crash start coming in, but Weaver tells her that since she’s not a student at County anymore, she’s not covered to work there. All she can do is observe.

Chen and Pratt are brought in next, and she IDs Morris’ patient as the shooter. Pratt insists on skipping a medical exam, but Abby won’t let him since he has a head injury. He’s stable while Chen is struggling to breathe. Pratt gives instructions for her care from his trauma room. Neela jumps in to tend to him, saying that since he’s a resident, no one will care if she kills him. Heh.

Morales the paramedic comes in snottily asking for a doctor. Um, they’re all busy, dude. Don’t act like they’re ignoring you because they’re slacking off. He reveals that Elgin isn’t dead after all – he still has a pulse. Neela’s sad to learn that Elgin was also involved in the crash. Weaver sends Abby to take care of him, giving her a 12-hour early start on her internship. Elizabeth joins her, proud that Abby gets to run the trauma.

Pratt gets cleared but needs a few stitches. Instead of letting Morris do them, Pratt wants to do them himself. Probably a good call. Chen isn’t doing well, and Pratt tries to join Weaver to take care of her. “Back off, Pratt, or I’ll check your rectal tone with my crutch,” Weaver says. Chen asks someone to call her father’s nurse and ask her to stay with him longer. As she continues declining, Chuny tells Weaver that Abby needs her. She leaves Elizabeth to take over Chen’s care.

Frank tells Weaver that Sandy’s brother, Eduardo, is on the phone and sounds upset. She thinks something’s wrong with Henry and orders Frank to find out if he’s okay. DiMaggio is in the process of getting a search warrant for Amanda, but Weaver isn’t intimidated. She blows off the mom of the kid with the LED nose and some other patient’s family member so she can take care of Elgin. Frank tells her that Henry’s fine but Eduardo wants to meet with her ASAP. Weaver has to blow him off, too. She and Abby disagree about some sort of treatment, which isn’t a great way for Abby to start her internship.

Pratt ends up letting Morris do his stitches after all. Weaver has gone back to Chen’s trauma room, but Chuny comes to tell her that Abby is giving Elgin a thoracotomy, a procedure that’s usually done by a surgeon and definitely NOT done by a baby intern. Weaver’s upset, but when Abby tells her that he had a bunch of blood in his chest, her actions are a little more understandable. Meanwhile, Neela leaves Elgin’s mom a message about the crash.

Morris finishes Pratt’s stitches, which he’s slept through. Morris thinks he was knocked out by the morphine he was given, but Pratt won’t wake up when Morris shakes him. He realizes Pratt’s head injury is worse than anyone thought. Amazingly, Morris proves that he knows how to do his job and he swings into action.

Abby’s attempt to save Elgin hasn’t worked, and there’s nothing Elizabeth can do. Lily comes to get someone to help Morris with Pratt, and all of Elgin’s doctors go with her. Neela stays behind and tells Chuny they should close Elgin’s chest so his mother doesn’t have to see him like this. Morris sends Pratt to surgery, and Weaver is surprisingly worried about his condition.

Carter goes home to get Kem so they can go out to dinner. She wants to stay in instead, and she appears to want to keep her distance from him. Back at County, Abby tells Neela that Pratt needs surgery and might have long-term complications. She starts to help Neela finish getting Elgin ready for his mom to see him, though Neela urges her to go home and get some sleep before she has to start her internship. Mostly, Neela doesn’t want her there asking questions about why she left Michigan.

Luka and Sam both have trouble sleeping, so he calls her, but she doesn’t answer the phone. Carter also has a sleepless night, his last with Kem before she goes back to the Congo. Elizabeth takes Pratt to the ICU after his operation and puts him next to Chen, who’s sad to see her ex in such bad shape. When Luka arrives for his shift in the morning, Weaver tells him that Pratt hasn’t woken up yet.

Frank tells Weaver that Eduardo has left two more messages. Dude, unless Henry is in actual danger, stop it. Two interns, Howard and Ray, arrive for their orientation. Only Ray will have a significant role on the show, so don’t get too attached to Howard. Abby’s a couple minutes late, but Weaver puts her to work instead of sending her to orientation (she already knows everything about the hospital anyway). She gives Abby a lab coat and says, “Welcome to County, Dr. Lockhart.” DiMaggio’s like, “Awesome, a new doctor to bug about Amanda.”

Luka tells a couple that their baby has botulism and will need a breathing machine for as long as a month. Her father sheepishly admits to giving her honey, which long-time viewers of the show will remember is a big no-no. As the couple fights, Abby asks Luka if he knows anything about a search warrant. He just tells her they’re not honoring it. When DiMaggio complains, Abby notes that there’s nothing in the warrant that says someone at County has to do Amanda’s exam. They can’t follow the police’s orders to do cavity searches; people will hear about it and stop coming to the ER.

LED kid is still waiting for treatment. Abby wonders when the batteries will die. She accepts the next patient the paramedics bring in, a man named George who has tonsil cancer. Who knew that was a thing? He’s bleeding and needs medical intervention to get it to stop. Haleh joins Abby, complimenting her new coat. Fortunately, George doesn’t get anything on it when he coughs up blood. Abby suggests a breathing tube and a transfusion, but George has a DNR. If he starts bleeding to death, it will just mean his time is up.

Alex tries to get attention by pretending he drowned in the motel pool. Sam, I’m telling you, ditch him. She suggests places they can go, but Alex only wants to go back to Chicago. When he refuses to get out of the pool, she jumps in fully clothed and pretends to agree that they’ll just stay there for the rest of their lives.

Abby wants to try to treat George with nebulized epinephrine, which could constrict his blood vessels enough to stop his bleeding. It would only be temporary, so George declines, though he’s shaken over having to make that decision. He’s getting tired from blood loss and worries that his death will be painful. Haleh promises that they’ll give him morphine if it is. George asks Abby to stay with him for a while, but as a doctor, she can’t do that anymore. Haleh says she’ll stay with him.

Pratt’s awake and not happy to have a tube down his throat. Chen gets a nurse to give him a pen and paper so he can communicate. The first thing he writes is, “I have a shift at 8 a.m.” Chen teases that he’s four hours late. (But the fact that he remembers his schedule and knows where he is and who she is are good signs.)

Luka tells Abby that her doctor’s coat suits her. He gets a collect call as Neela invites Abby to get breakfast with her. Neela gave up her apartment to move to Michigan so she spent the night in the on-call room. Abby asks for an update on Pratt and Chen; Neela says Chen’s okay but she thinks Pratt is still unconscious.

Weaver’s back at court, which is where Eduardo finally gets in touch with her. She doesn’t want to talk to him, and Brooks tells him it’s not appropriate anyway. Eduardo makes the argument that his parents are retired, so they’re home all the time and can take care of Henry. He asks for two minutes to talk. We fast-forward to the outcome of that conversation: Weaver gets custody of Henry, but the Lopezes will take care of him when she’s at work and get to see him on holidays. After all that drama, everyone’s happy.

Abby is handling her caseload like a pro. Luka has ducked out of another shift and left her instructions to look after Ray and Howard. Isn’t there a chief resident to do this stuff? Thanks to that collect call from Alex, Luka is at the motel to try again to get Sam not to leave Chicago. Luka, is she really worth all this? You still barely know each other. I’m just saying, if you let her go, you might wind up with someone better.

Carter and Kem to the river to scatter the baby’s ashes. They’re not sure what to say to make the ritual special. Carter tells the baby he’ll always be in their hearts. Kem recites Ecclesiastes 3 in French (“To everything there is a season…”) and cries as Carter releases the ashes. He asks her to stay in Chicago, but she says she can’t. He tells her he wants to marry her, but even that doesn’t change her mind.

Amanda’s annoyed that she’s been kept at County for 18 hours, but Abby’s even more annoyed that she’s taken up a bed and required two court orders to deal with. Now the head of the public health department is coming to do her exam. This guy hasn’t done a pelvic exam in ten years, by the way, so it might not be pleasant. Amanda starts to realize that she’s overplayed her hand. Abby gives her the option of letting her do the exam right now instead. Cut to Abby delivering the drugs to DiMaggio after Amanda retrieved them herself.

Haleh asks Abby to sign George’s death certificate. He bled out about an hour ago. Abby’s upset that Haleh didn’t come get her, but Haleh says she was busy. Abby confirms that Haleh stayed with George and made sure he was comfortable. Neela brings Abby coffee and finally tells her about how she left her internship in Michigan. Abby can’t believe that after eight years of school, Neela has just one year of internship standing in the way of her becoming a real doctor, and she won’t take it on. Neela admits that she’s not sure she wants to be a doctor.

Luka bugs Sam about running away, and she reminds him that she never stays in one place for a long time. He tells her she can’t keep running away forever. Sam thinks she can. She has to, for Alex. Luka asks if this is the life she wants for her son or herself. She admits that she doesn’t know what else to do. He promises that he’ll help her with whatever she needs back in Chicago. Sam struggles to let people help her, but Luka thinks trying would be a better option than always being on the run.

Carter and Kem sit by the water until she has to go to the airport. They’re going to try a long-distance relationship, but she wants some time to herself. He gently asks for an answer to his sort-of marriage proposal from earlier, but he understands that she’s not ready to make that commitment yet. She’s emotional that their whirlwind romance came to this point after everything felt so right. Carter is willing to give her the time she needs to figure things out, but unfortunately, they’ll be thousands of miles away from each other while she takes it.

Thoughts: Ray is played by Shane West.

This episode is not to be confused with the similarly titled “One More for the Road.”

I guess all the good Samaritans in the city were at the scene of Linda’s crash because no one helps Pratt, Chen, and Elgin.

Imagine getting a role on ER and having to tell your family and friends that you play a woman who stuffs a bag of drugs inside herself.

After years of med school, it must be really cool to have someone call you a doctor for the first time. Probably also a little terrifying.

The Weaver/Lopez thing is ridiculous. All they wanted was time with Henry, so they took Weaver to court?? Unbelievable.

May 3, 2022

ER 10.21, Midnight: Just Bad Luck

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

You will want tissues for this

Summary: Carter and Kem are at their brownstone, opening baby gifts. Elizabeth sent a book called The American Way of Birth. Heh. Carter tells Kem not to let her OB, Dr. Ford, see it; the author thinks American OBs are greedy. Kem has her own criticisms about America’s technology-reliant obstetric practices, which don’t seem to help anything, considering the country’s horrible infant mortality rate. Carter thinks it’s at least better than the Congo.

They’re trying to pick out a paint color for the nursery, as well as brainstorm baby names. Carter likes the name George. Pros: the first president and the quiet Beatle. Cons: the current (at the time) president. Carter asks the baby if he would rather be born on the floor of a mud hut in Africa (shut up, Carter) or in a modern hospital in America. The baby doesn’t express a preference.

Steve returns to Sam’s apartment after taking Alex to school, and she confronts him for giving Alex a condom. Steve doesn’t see the big deal. Also, I think he wants it back so he can sleep with Sam. He tries to butter her up but she’s not in the mood. She asks him to stay with Alex that night because she has something to do. He guesses she has a date.

It’s the day before Abby, Neela, and Lester graduate med school. Pratt isn’t especially congratulatory, since all that means is they’ll be more responsible for their patients. Morris is…also there. Neela’s going to the airport at midnight to pick up family members from London. She has around 18 coming. Lester’s family’s coming, too, but no one cares about Lester. Abby’s mother and brother aren’t coming. She says they’re not that close: “We’re more like survivors of a particularly brutal carjacking than family.” The med students seem like more of a family, considering the way they trade off coming up with insults for Pratt.

Sam does, indeed, have plans with Luka that night, and she’s so eager to spend time with him that she doesn’t care if they actually do anything. They greet an ambulance bringing in an elderly man named Mr. Ferguson who’s altered and thinks the paramedics stole his watch. Frank is back at work and people are surprisingly happy to see him. He claims that he and his wife were getting on each other’s nerves anyway, but from what we saw of her and their relationship after his heart attack, I feel like they never annoy each other.

Carter’s hovering over Kem a little, wondering if she’s been counting the baby’s kicks. She hasn’t, since he’s very active, but she tells him she will so he’ll leave her alone. Neela’s concerned about Elgin, since a test shows he has a heart issue but he hasn’t made an appointment to discuss it or get treatment. She’s worried that his condition is worse than it seems. Pratt brushes her off since Elgin is too young to have the problems she thinks he might have.

Abby presents Mr. Ferguson to Luka while Mr. Ferguson presents his bare butt to us. Thanks, show! Luka confirms that Abby’s graduating the next day and asks if she’s gotten the results of her retaken boards yet. She hasn’t, which means she can walk in the graduation ceremony but won’t get her diploma until she passes the boards. In case you were wondering, Morris: No, we don’t care what you think about that.

Rachel shows up at the admit desk, looking for Elizabeth. Jerry recognizes her but Frank doesn’t. Carter rushes Kem to County, parking his Jeep in the ambulance bay and giving the keys to a security guard to move it. Neela tries to call Elgin but can’t reach him. Abby, like Luka, doesn’t think he’s as sick as Neela believes. Mr. Ferguson wanders by, fully naked, and Abby calls him “Larry Godiva” and asks Malik to take him back to his room. Steve sends Sam a bunch of ice cream sundaes, which she hands out to her co-workers.

Once she’s seen Rachel (and her boyfriend, B.J.), Elizabeth calls Jen to let her know she’s in Chicago. Jen had no idea since Rachel doesn’t live with her anymore. She and a friend got a place together. Who’s renting an apartment to two teenagers?? Lawson interrupts to talk to Elizabeth about a patient, then a date. Elizabeth keeps the conversation professional, but Rachel guesses they’re seeing each other. She and B.J. want to stay with Elizabeth for a couple of days while Rachel looks at Chicago colleges. Elizabeth is fine with that as long as they sleep in separate bedrooms.

Sam explains the sundaes to Abby and Neela: She was working in an ice cream shop at the mall when she and Steve met. Abby chastises Frank for eating ice cream so soon after bypass surgery. Sam talks about how hot Steve was when they were younger. He’d come pick her up at school in his Mustang and they’d go to an arcade or park somewhere. Her parents protested but Sam ignored them. Then, of course, she got pregnant.

Dr. Ford examines Kem, but sadly, as the two of them and Carter all figure out on their own, the baby has no heartbeat. Dr. Ford can’t pinpoint the reason and says they might never know what happened. Kem will have to be induced and deliver the baby. Carter can’t wrap his head around how Kem could be completely healthy and still have a stillbirth.

Neela bugs Pratt about Elgin again; he called in sick to work and she’s really worried about him. She wants to go by his place and examine him there. Morris: Stupid comment. Pratt doesn’t want Neela going alone, since Elgin lives in a rough neighborhood, so he agrees to go with her after his shift. (She has to buy him dinner in exchange.)

Weaver tells Abby to get control of Mr. Ferguson so he doesn’t keep walking around the ER naked. This is a stupid plot. Frank gets a call from security and tells Luka that his car alarm is going off in the parking garage. Morris invites Neela to go to dinner with him to celebrate wherever her match letter says she’ll be working next year. He’s sure she’ll get a good placement. Abby, however, is going to disappoint wherever she matched because she hasn’t passed her boards yet.

Kem is taken to a private room, and though the nurses tending to her are kind, that doesn’t help her feel better. It also doesn’t help that they’re on the OB floor and can hear other people’s babies crying. Luka goes to the garage, where Steve is waiting for him at his car. He tries to make small talk, but Luka wants to cut to the chase. Steve says he’s screwed things up with his family, but this time he’s going to fix everything. He doesn’t see a place for Luka in Sam and Alex’s life.

Pratt and Neela go to Elgin’s apartment and leave him a note since no one’s home. As they’re leaving, they run into Elgin, who’s coming home and doesn’t feel well. He hasn’t taken any of the medical advice Neela gave him previously, and she wants to run some tests. Elgin has to take care of his younger siblings, though, so Pratt tells him to come in another time. Neela doesn’t feel right about letting his long-term needs slide while he takes care of his short-term needs.

Luka wants to go to Abby’s graduation, which she’s so uninterested in that she might not even go herself. She’s not sure she’ll even get to practice medicine, so why go to the ceremony, and why have anyone she cares about there? Weaver pulls her aside to ask if she’s gotten her match list. Off the record, County put Abby in their top 20, so if she put them on her list, she’ll probably get to work there.

Abby guesses that Weaver knows she failed her boards the first time. Weaver says that if she hypothetically fails again, the intern program expecting her might hypothetically delete her from their list. That would hypothetically give her the chance to match with her second choice. Abby says then she would hypothetically lodge a complaint with the national board about that program’s chief of staff discussing something she shouldn’t.

Sam meets up with Luka for their date, but he says he’s too tired for it. She easily guesses that Steve is somehow involved. Luka tries to use Alex as an excuse, thinking he’s confused about Sam dating Luka while Steve is around. Carter offers to call Kem’s family in the Congo, but she doesn’t want anyone to know yet that the baby died. At Elizabeth’s, Rachel tells her that Dave called. She’s figured out that Elizabeth is dating two guys at once. Elizabeth finally asks why she’s really in Chicago. Rachel admits that she needs plan B, the morning-after pill.

Kem’s labor is progressing but she still has hours to go. She tries to remain stoic when Carter leaves for a short break; she obviously doesn’t want him to go, but she also doesn’t want to ask him to stay. He chats with an expectant father whose wife is having their fourth girl. Carter acts like he’s any other father in the maternity ward, just waiting for his baby to arrive.

Steve tries to seduce Sam again at her place, and she’s still not interested. She asks if he said something to Luka at County. Steve says he wants another chance with her, but she just tells him not to approach Luka again. Steve continues his attempted seduction, progressing to kissing Sam and telling her he loves her. She manages to keep fighting temptation to do something she know she’ll regret.

Kem is finally in active labor, and she and Carter tearfully welcome their son. Dr. Ford determines that the baby was so active that he accidentally tied a knot in the umbilical cord, which led to his death. There’s nothing Kem could have done to prevent it: “It was just bad luck.” Kem refuses to look at the baby. As Carter takes a break, Jack finds him in the hallway. Carter goes to him like a child and cries as his father holds him.

A few hours later, Chen, Elizabeth, and Weaver discuss the news about the baby. Morris tries to be sympathetic but doesn’t sound like he actually cares. Neela takes her family on a tour of the hospital, keeping her cool when they come across a still-naked Mr. Ferguson. Abby! Do your job! I guarantee that the kids in the family will only remember this from their entire time in Chicago.

In Kem’s room, a nurse does the things normally done with a newborn – clipping a lock of hair, taking a footprint, etc. Kem still won’t look at the baby. Elizabeth asks Lawson to write Rachel a prescription for plan B and some other medications. Dr. Ford tells Carter that she wants Kem to stay in the hospital for the rest of the day as a precaution, but not in the maternity ward. She also wants Kem to hold the baby. If she doesn’t say goodbye, she’ll regret it for the rest of her life.

Elizabeth gives Rachel her prescriptions, as well as some birth-control pills. She explains that she got Lawson to write the prescriptions because Jen will inevitably find them, and Elizabeth doesn’t want to be connected to them. Smart! Rachel asks about Elizabeth’s two boyfriends, assuring her that Mark would be okay with her dating. He would want her to be happy. They both say they miss him.

Abby and Luka visit Carter, who appreciates their support but doesn’t want them to hang around too long. He also dismisses Jack, who won’t leave because he’s finally decided to be a good parent. Neela looks for Abby as their class gets ready to graduate, but she’s not there. Carter gently tells Kem that when they move her to another room, they’re going to take the baby away. He wants her to hold him. Kem doesn’t respond.

Luka is late to the graduation ceremony, which means he missed a speech from Molly Ivins, but he doesn’t know who that is, so whatever. Susan’s there, even though she’s a week overdue and is supposed to be on bed rest. Lester shows Neela the top of his cap, which has a greeting for his mom. Aw. Neela’s still looking for Abby.

Paramedics bring in Elgin, who has fluid in his lungs from congestive heart failure, one of the things Neela was worried about. Hmmm, maybe people should have listened to her. Abby arrives at graduation just seconds before her name is called. Trivia: Her middle name is Marjorie. Luka, Susan, and Sam give her a standing ovation. Neela gets her own from her family.

Jack finds Carter studying the lock of the baby’s hair. He says that when Carter’s brother Bobby died, he hated everyone’s platitudes (“there are no words,” etc.). He tries to remind Carter that the baby’s death was an accident. “The whole thing was an accident,” Carter replies. Jack reminds him that he and Kem love each other. Carter isn’t sure she’ll want to try for another child.

Luka and Susan congratulate Abby and invite her to get something to eat with them, but she turns them down. Luka spots Sam, who’s brought Steve and Alex with her, but keeps his distance. Abby calls Maggie and lets her know that she just graduated. If I were Maggie, I’d be mad that my daughter didn’t invite me to her big day, but whatever.

Carter goes back to Kem, telling her again that the baby is going to be taken away. They’ll never see him again. He admits that he doesn’t know what to say or do. The death was an accident; they didn’t do anything wrong. He loves her and wants to spend the rest of his life with her. Right now, though, they need to say goodbye to their son. Carter needs to figure out how to help Kem do that. He asks her to help him. Kem, who’s been silent every time Carter has tried to talk to her, finally sits up in bed and agrees to hold the baby. She cries over him as Carter just repeats that he loves them.

Thoughts: Dr. Ford is played by Blair Brown.

Thandie Newton and Noah Wyle are both excellent in this episode, dealing with really difficult material. It’s some of Wyle’s best acting on the show.

B.J. looks exactly like the kind of guy you’d expect Rachel to date, by which I mean the last guy you would want your daughter to be with.

When Sam and Steve met, she was 15 and he was 23. GROSS.

April 26, 2022

ER 10.20, Abby Normal: Real Live Doctors

Posted in TV tagged , , at 4:59 pm by Jenn

Julianne Nicholson, who plays Jordan, is also very good in “Mare of Easttown”

Summary: Weaver is meeting with Brooks in her office to discuss the visitation offer on the table for Henry. She’s justifiably upset that she’ll only get to see her son two weekends a month until custody is decided. Brooks warns her not to violate the order. Florina will be there to pick up Henry at noon, and Weaver needs to hand him over. Brooks agrees that this is a horrible arrangement, but until the trial is over, there’s nothing he can do.

At the airport to pick up Kem, Carter smiles at a little girl running to meet her dad. His face lights up even more when he sees Kem after weeks apart. At County, Neela’s made herself at home in the neuro lab and seems to know what Colin and Yuri are doing even better than they do. Abby’s still in her psych rotation, and she’s squeezing in some study time so she can retake her boards. Nelson advises her to choose TB whenever it’s an answer option.

Abby runs a group-therapy session, welcoming a new patient, George the flasher. One patient is missing and the others inform Abby that he killed himself. You’d think Nelson would have mentioned that to Abby ahead of time. The patients assure Abby that it had nothing to do with her. The rest of them really enjoy her sessions.

Monday: Weaver is in the middle of booking a flight when Elizabeth brings over some hand-me-downs. She notices Weaver’s suitcase, so Weaver says she’s taking Henry to see a friend in Seattle. Elizabeth asks if traveling to Seattle requires a passport now. Weaver says she lost her license and needed another ID. Elizabeth warns her not to do anything she’ll regret.

Abby does a psych consult on one of Morris’ patients, a guy who was found walking down Michigan Avenue with a sword. Um, he was practicing for the Battle Royale. Mind your own business. He only hurt a guinea pig. Jordan is brought into the ER with another seizure (well, a “seizure”). Abby stops Chen from giving her medication and tells her and Morris that Jordan has a conversion disorder. She wouldn’t meet with psych, so she’s not receiving treatment.

Her husband, Nick, tells Abby that she’s been having multiple “seizures” a day. Abby says she needs to see a psychiatrist. Nick asks to talk to “a real live doctor,” but she says any other doctor will say the same thing – Jordan won’t get better if she doesn’t talk to a psychiatrist. Nick doesn’t really respond, so Abby calls Nelson.

Elizabeth asks Abby if she’s talked to Weaver lately. She’s worried that Weaver is going to run away with Henry. She thinks Abby should talk to her about it. Abby says she’s sympathetic but not a close enough friend to talk Weaver out of it if that’s what she’s decided to do. Elizabeth implies that Weaver doesn’t have any closer friends.

Sam and Luka make small talk in the lounge, with Steve still the elephant in the room. She tells Luka he should be leaving soon, and also, they’re not sleeping together. Luka doesn’t have a response to that. Carter takes Kem to their new home, that brownstone he bought, which he’s fixed up pretty well. He’s gotten started on the nursery.

Weaver takes Henry to work with her since Florina will be picking him up there. Abby offers to come get her when Florina arrives, but Weaver doesn’t want to keep her from her work. She admits that she’s not sure she can hand her son over to someone else. Abby assures her that Henry will end up living with her permanently.

Nelson and Abby try to convince Jordan that her condition is psychological, not neurological. They want to admit her to the psych ward until they figure out what’s going on. Jordan’s understandably worried about that, but Abby notes that she could accidentally hurt her baby, Caroline, if she goes home without any treatment or explanation of what’s going on with her. Jordan and Nick agree that she should stay.

Nelson praises Abby for having the perception of a psychiatrist, the bedside manner of an ER doctor, and the sympathy of a nurse. Abby jokes that she has the whole package, minus the board certification. Florina arrives and asks Abby if she’s going to get Henry for her. Someone told her to look for Abby, and Florina thought it was because Weaver wanted to avoid her.

Abby tells Florina to stay in the waiting area while she goes to the lounge. Weaver and Henry aren’t there. The guy with Florina (who I assume is her lawyer) warns that if Weaver doesn’t give them Henry by the appointed time, she’ll be violating a court order. Abby really doesn’t care and even tells the guy to shut up. She heads outside and finds Weaver in the ambulance bay, showing no intentions of running away. She reluctantly gives Henry to Florina, who doesn’t say anything to her.

Wednesday: Carter and Kem have set up a lot of the nursery but will need to find room for the crib the ER staff sent them (though they already have one). Kem’s a little freaked out about having a boy, and about having a baby in general after so little time together. Carter’s pretty calm, saying they chose to have a baby together because they thought it was right. He invites her to meet Jack that night.

Ken and Abby meet with Jordan and Nick to discuss how their marriage is after having a baby. Ken asks if Jordan is worried about how her condition affects her ability to take care of her daughter. Jordan gets defensive when he implies that she might not want to get better. Abby gently says that some patients feel safer in a hospital environment. Jordan insists that’s not her and accuses Abby of believing that she’s faking her condition.

Later, Ken tells Abby that Jordan can have outpatient therapy, but if she doesn’t improve, he’ll have to file a report with the state saying she’s not a safe caregiver. Abby knows that’ll make things worse. She doesn’t think Jordan is abusive. Ken says he would do the same if she had, say, epilepsy and wasn’t being treated. Abby promises not to release Jordan until her condition is under control and she’s not a danger to Caroline.

Kem and Carter go to the Carter mansion, where she meets Jack for the first time. He’s friendly but not very warm since they’re about to attend a Carter Foundation meeting. There, Carter announces that he’s donating the mansion to Northwestern for use as a conference center and housing. The foundation was supposed to be for the arts, so this is a big departure from what Millicent and John I intended. The board isn’t happy.

After the meeting, Jack asks if Carter’s making all these changes in his life because he’s using drugs again. Carter just laughs him off. Jack turns down Kem’s invitation to have lunch with them. Carter reminds Jack that Millicent left him money and the house because she trusted his judgment in their use. Jack doesn’t think she would be pleased with what Carter’s doing with them. He says goodbye to Kem, adding that he’s looking forward to getting a wedding announcement from her and Carter.

Jordan and Nick’s neighbor brings Caroline by to see them while Abby’s trying to ignore George, who’s annoyed that a vending machine ate his money. George, buddy, be glad you’re not in jail for flashing teen girls. Jordan has a “seizure” while holding Caroline, and Nick decides she’s not getting better, so he should take her home. Abby and Nelson think that since her last “seizure” occurred when Nick was visiting, he might be the stressor triggering her condition. But he was there yesterday and she was fine, so Abby disagrees. She thinks Caroline is the trigger. Jordan tearfully tells Abby that she just wants it to stop.

Neela treats a teen named Elgin who burned his hands working at a burger place. Pratt, who knows him, comes by to say hi and Haleh shows him that Elgin’s blood pressure is really high. Pratt asks if Elgin is on drugs, but Elgin insists that he doesn’t use. Pratt doesn’t believe him and tells Neela to order a tox screen. She has to go back to the neuro lab, though, to do something with a mouse brain. Glamorous!

Luka runs into Sam and they make more awkward small talk. He’s still avoiding her because of Steve. Neela finds Yuri and Colin experimenting with ketamine, but not on a mouse – Yuri took it himself. They’ve been doing this for a while, hopefully not while they’re supposed to be working. Abby has a session with Jordan, trying to get her to talk about anything she’s keeping buried that might be causing her condition. Jordan won’t open up because Abby won’t share her own secrets.

Abby gives in and shares her struggles to follow through in her life. She always looks for an excuse to stop when things get hard because it’s easier to give up than risk being disappointed. This applies to relationship, family, and career. Jordan thinks Abby’s family must be proud that she’s in med school. It’s her turn to talk, but she won’t, so Abby calls it a day.

Jordan stops her by revealing that she had a baby eight years ago, before she met Nick. Charlie died of SIDS when he was two months old. Abby asks why Jordan never mentioned her son before – obviously it’s relevant information. Jordan disagrees, thinking that was just something horrible that happened to her years ago and isn’t related to her psychological disorder. Oh, Jordan.

Yuri is high and declaring his love for Neela. His heart rate starts rising so Neela makes him lie down on the floor. He has some sort of minor heart condition, and the ketamine has kicked it into overdrive, so Neela and Colin take him to the ER. Colin wants to keep the situation quiet since no one’s supposed to know about this side project. Pratt helps Neela stabilize Yuri in the middle of the ER, with no time to get him to a real bed. Yuri declines to be admitted and monitored so there won’t be a record of what happened.

Elgin’s tox screen was negative, and it doesn’t sound like Pratt found an explanation for his high blood pressure. Elgin tells him and Neela that he and his mother work different shifts to trade off caring for his four younger siblings. The kids’ fathers are no help. Elgin’s blood pressure is still high, but Pratt thinks he just gets nervous around doctors.

Neela’s concerned, but Pratt doesn’t care about her opinion since she’s spending more time in the lab than in the ER. Pratt brings up Gallant, thinking Neela should feel worse about how that whole situation turned out. His friend took a hit and Neela’s being wishy-washy about what she wants her specialty to be. If she doesn’t want to be a trauma doctor, fine, but she needs to decide because right now she’s just “taking up space.”

Monday (these time stamps are dumb): Abby meets with Jordan in her room, wanting to talk more about Charlie. She didn’t have any counseling after his death, and Abby doesn’t think she’ll get past it if she doesn’t talk to someone. She says Jordan’s mind is playing tricks on her, and there’s more going on than Jordan realizes. Abby offers her some medication that will help her open up about Charlie so Abby can determine if there’s something else Jordan has buried about him.

Yuri’s in trooooooooouble. Colin thinks their experiments are getting them closer to a breakthrough that will help them understand…something about the brain. Neela promises that she didn’t rat them out, and she doesn’t think anyone in the ER did, either. She likes the lab; she’s more comfortable there than in the ER.

Nelson won’t agree to the therapy Abby wants to try with Jordan since it’s not standard. Abby insists that something else has to be going on with Jordan. Nelson worries that giving her the drug will ruin the bond Abby’s developed with her patient. Plus, if she gets the dose wrong, there are serious risks. Abby has covered all her bases but Nelson still won’t give her permission. Abby reveals that she got another doctor to approve the treatment. She’s willing to go to great lengths to keep Jordan from losing Caroline.

Nelson, Ken, and Nick observe as Abby talks to Jordan while she’s on the medication, which basically sedates her while making her more open to talking. Abby asks Jordan about when she realized something was wrong with Charlie. Jordan says she’d had a fight with Charlie’s father, Jake, and he berated her for being terrible at everything, including parenting. He was abusive, and when Charlie started crying, Jordan worried that Jake would hurt him. Abby determines that Jordan accidentally smothered the baby to keep him quiet, and she’s afraid of hurting Caroline.

Elizabeth leaves a message for Weaver, who listens as she records it but won’t pick up the phone and talk to her. Elizabeth is really worried about her and offers her support. It’s a huge change from how much she used to despise Weaver. Back at County, Ken is pleased with Jordan’s treatment but has a new issue to deal with now – Jordan killed her first child. Abby insists that it won’t happen again, but the family will still be monitored until Jordan proves that she’s not a danger to Caroline.

Nelson has more praise for Abby, since she was able to get to the truth, no matter how depressing it was. He offers to help her study for her boards. She’s on her way to take them right now, though, so the next time we see Abby, she might be an honest-to-goodness, board-certified, “real live doctor.” And we’ll get to move on to a plotline that doesn’t involve dead babies! Yay! (Sob.)

Thoughts: Mark and Weaver didn’t get along but I bet he would be happy that Elizabeth gave her Ella’s old baby stuff. Bygones.

I can’t imagine having a baby with someone whose family I’ve never met. I also can’t imagine being Jack and not meeting my grandchild’s mother until she’s almost full-term.

I looked up amytal, the drug Abby gives Jordan, and the two most common result categories were for addiction and truth serum. So let’s keep that away from Yuri and Colin.

March 22, 2022

ER 10.15, Blood Relations: In Which Everyone’s Either Having a Baby or Being a Baby

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

I can’t imagine having a job where I have to hang out in here all day

Summary: It’s 4:57 a.m. and a woman named Vicki is going into labor. She tells her husband, Nolan, to get up so they can go to the hospital. She then goes to her kids’ room so they can take them to their grandmother’s house on the way to the hospital. But the kids (Clay and Shannon) don’t wake up, even when Vicki shakes them. She rushes back to her bedroom and tries to wake Nolan, who’s also unresponsive.

Elsewhere in Chicago, Sam and Luka are awake for a much different reason. She set an alarm so she could get him out of the apartment before Alex got up, but it didn’t go off, so now she’s trying to rush him out. It sounds like they’ve been practicing this routine for a while. (We find out later that it’s been a little over a month since they first hooked up.) Sam finds Alex in the kitchen, up early because he’s going to an aquarium with a friend. He sees Luka leaving the bedroom and looks at his mom like he has a few questions.

Chuck drops Susan off at County so she doesn’t have to walk back and forth from the El while it’s icy outside. They both seem happy about the baby, which she plans to give her last name. He asks when she’s going to introduce him to her father. Susan freezes, indicating and then revealing that a) she hasn’t thought about it, b) he doesn’t know about Chuck, and c) he doesn’t know about the baby.

In the ambulance bay, Susan runs into Carter, who’s working because he couldn’t sleep. Paramedics bring in Vicki and her family; she’s in active labor now. Carter thinks the others might have carbon-monoxide poisoning. Pratt tends to Nolan, who’s seizing, while Abby and Morris take the kids, who are conscious but sick.

Vicki asks about her family, and Carter explains that usually when a patient has their symptoms in the winter, they suspect carbon-monoxide poisoning due to an improperly venting heater. Vicki notes that she didn’t lose consciousness like everyone else did. Neela and Susan tell her that the baby’s blood pulled the carbon monoxide from her body and kept her healthy. Unfortunately, that could mean trouble for the baby.

Gallant helps Pratt with Nolan, taking over when Malik tells Pratt he needs to go deal with Morris. Morris doesn’t think he needs to draw Shannon’s blood, even though it’s protocol and Abby told him to. Meanwhile, Sam, Luka, and Alex take an awkward drive, since the adults are a little off-kilter about getting caught, and Alex doesn’t want to discuss their relationship.

Pratt and Gallant finally stop Nolan’s seizing, but Gallant thinks he should be sent to a hyperbaric chamber to get the carbon monoxide out of his system. Pratt wants to wait and see how he responds to plain oxygen first. He guesses that the baby’s distress over the carbon monoxide induced Vicki’s labor (only a couple of weeks early, fortunately). Gallant notes that that’s good – if Vicki hadn’t woken up, her family probably would have died.

Susan and Carter deliver the baby while Vicki wonders what her family did to deserve this. Susan tells Neela to deliver the placenta while she and Carter try to stabilize the baby – his heart is struggling because he was deprived of oxygen. At the admit desk, Weaver complains because Luka’s late. Okay, well, Jerry doesn’t care. Abby comes to ask her something, probably regretting it immediately because Weaver’s cranky (Henry has colic, Sandy’s working a long shift, and Weaver hasn’t had coffee yet).

The baby’s improving after intubation, but he needs hyperbaric treatment so he can receive extra oxygen. Vicki can’t hold him yet, but Susan lets her touch him. She tells Neela to accompany the baby to the hyperbaric chamber; she’ll be in there for a couple of hours. Neela isn’t thrilled, but there’s no time to object.

As soon as she gets to the chamber, the tech (no name; I’ll call him Patrick after the actor playing him) gives her a bunch of instructions about what she can’t wear or take in with her. Neela tries to back out but Patrick won’t let her. The chamber kind of looks like a smaller version of a subway car, but with just one long bench. With the sounds and various pressurizations, being in it probably feels like being in a submarine.

Susan takes Vicki to see her family, since she insists on being with them while she can’t be with the baby. The kids are okay, and though Nolan has stabilized, they don’t know yet if he’ll have long-term problems. Vicki tells the staff that the baby’s name is Samuel, and Susan agrees to let the people taking care of him know. Neela paces in the chamber, clearly feeling claustrophobic. Susan tells her the baby’s name is Samuel and asks how she’s doing. Neela lies that she’s fine.

Back in the ER, Elizabeth talks to Weaver about a patient, but Weaver’s having a hard time focusing. Elizabeth guesses that Henry has colic. Ella did, too, and she’s still exhausting Elizabeth now as a preschooler. Weaver notes that it must be hard for Elizabeth to parent by herself. She asks if Elizabeth has any “prospects.” Elizabeth mentions Dave and says he’s nice, but it looks like that might not be enough for her.

Sam arrives just as her shift is about to start and takes over a patient from Malik. The girl, Christy, has a sore throat, but it’ll take hours for her to get a strep test, which means her father may have to miss work at his new job. Luka asks Sam to come over that night, like, she’s working. Leave her alone. Weaver slams him for being late and tells him she’s taking money from his paycheck. Carter comments that at least she isn’t carrying a machine gun. He’s putting together a care package for Kem, with both prenatal items and things for her clinic. He can’t stop thinking about her.

Susan talks to Abby about her father as they go out to meet an ambulance. Her parents were married for 36 years, and Henry (oh, boy, two Henrys now) loved Susan’s mother until the day she died, though apparently he cheated on her a few times. The ambulance is bringing in a John Doe who’s bleeding but wouldn’t let the paramedics check his wounds. Behind him is another patient, and though Carter’s leaving, he stays when he realizes the patient is Chen’s father. She’s been taking care of him at home since he came back from China, but now he has pneumonia.

A woman named Florina brings a baby up to Sam’s triage window and says she needs to see Weaver. Sam has apparently been told to say that she’s not in. Florina says her daughter told her to ask for Weaver. Sam says the baby will be seen by a doctor, but she can’t guarantee which one. Florina tells her that Sandy and Weaver live together. Sam finally gets that this is Sandy’s mother, and the baby is Henry.

The John Doe is high on meth, but Abby isn’t able to find out why he’s bleeding. His test results show that his blood counts are normal. Gallant calls Susan in to help with a woman named Nancy who’s been feeling sick for a couple of weeks. She has five kids at home and no time to be sick. (The kids are her grandkids, whom she’s raising after finishing up with her own kids. Also, she’s only 42, so she probably hasn’t stopped changing diapers for 20 years.) Susan thinks she has a virus, but she tells Gallant to have Nancy screened for depression.

Nolan is doing much better, which means Samuel is the only family member still in unstable condition. Neela’s starting to panic more, so Patrick offers her Valium. She demands to be let out of the chamber, since the baby’s stable enough not to need her by his side. But as she’s undergoing the process to exit, the baby starts declining and she realizes he needs immediate care. She reluctantly goes back in, agreeing to stay until another doctor arrives. The process perforates her eardrum (which will grow back), so Neela’s day just keeps getting worse.

Chen is happy to have her father back in the States, since the hospital where he was being treated in China couldn’t get test results very quickly. Yeah, talk to Christy about fast test results. Her father has been depressed since his original surgery and the death of his wife. Pratt sees Chen as he’s passing by and learns that she’s been back in town for over a week but didn’t get in touch with him.

Neela manages to focus on Samuel until the next doctor, Olivera, arrives. The John Doe is stable, and Susan doubts he’ll be able to remember what happened to him after he wakes up from his medication-induced sleep. Abby’s sad because he’s someone’s child. Speaking of children, Weaver learns that Henry’s in the ER. Luka has checked him out and hasn’t found anything to be concerned about. He probably just has a cold, but Florina says he wouldn’t stop crying. She tells Weaver that Luka was very helpful.

Sam sees Christy still waiting in the waiting room, but without her father. She tells Sam he’ll be back after work. She insists she’s okay waiting by herself, but Sam takes her into the ER. Olivera talks Neela through an intubation, which she performs…not necessarily confidently, but while at least pretending she knows what she’s doing.

Susan calls her father to check in with him but has to hang up when Nolan asks for an update on Samuel. As she goes to get one, Gallant gives her Nancy’s lab work, which reveals that she’s pregnant. Nancy’s surprised since she’s on the pill, but she also takes St. John’s Wort, which can make birth control ineffective. Looks like Nancy’s in for a couple more years of diapers.

Paramedics bring in a woman named Clara who was stabbed multiple times. “It was the drugs,” she says. Her husband is right behind her, also having been stabbed. Luka tends to a patient and blows off a man who’s going around the ER, asking for spare change. Christy’s hanging out there and gets scared when the man approaches her, then gets understandably upset when he coughs on her. Luka tells Sam to find Christy a room to wait in. Also, he still wants to hang out that night. Sam, however, wants to take a break. Things are moving too fast, and she wants to keep it casual.

The two join the teams taking care of Clara and her husband. Abby wonders if the John Doe is responsible for their stabbings. After all, he was hallucinating and covered in blood. Elizabeth comes to see if Clara needs surgery, but Susan doesn’t seem to think she’ll survive long enough to get to the OR. Elizabeth checks in on Clara’s husband next, realizing that he’s being taken care of only by men (Carter, Luka, Pratt, and Gallant). To be fair, Clara’s only being taken care of by women – Susan, Abby, and Sam. Anyway, Clara dies as the John Doe is taken away by police. A cop reveals that the John Doe is Clara’s son.

Neela finally gets to leave the chamber, and even though she struggled the whole time she was in there, a tech tells her she did great. As she’s going through the procedure to exit, Patrick and Olivera realize she’s suffering from some side effects and needs to wait another hour before she can leave. At this point, Neela’s probably willing to let her lung collapse if it means she can go outside.

As Elizabeth is taking Clara’s husband to surgery, she runs into Lawson by the elevators and tries to make small talk. If exchanging long, hard-to-pronounce medical terms is flirting, that’s what these two are doing. Lawson starts to move closer to Elizabeth, but Weaver steps between them, putting out her crutch to press an elevator button and cluelessly blocking Lawson from making a move. He asks Elizabeth out anyway, and Weaver is a little taken aback when she realizes what she stepped in the middle of. She gets on an elevator with Elizabeth, commenting that she thought Elizabeth was dating Dave. “I am,” Elizabeth says with a smile.

Back in the ER, Susan realizes she never gave Samuel’s family an update about him. She decides to take Vicki to see him. Jerry’s working on something computer-related but won’t let Luka see it. Sam tells Luka that Christy tested positive for strep. Without a parent’s consent, they can’t start her treatment. Her father returns right then and Luka slams him for leaving her at the hospital alone. Sam thinks he’s overreacting, since she can relate to a struggling single parent.

Susan takes Vicki to see Samuel, who’s doing a lot better, though he’ll need another round of treatment the next day. Vicki says they didn’t plan to have a third child, but she’s grateful they did. Susan checks on Neela and chastises her for not having someone replace her in the chamber. Neela’s face: “I didn’t know that was a bloody option, and also, I’m going to get so drunk after my shift.”

Alex gets dropped off after his aquarium trip and Sam suggests that they have a talk. He guesses it’ll be about her and Luka having sex. Alex doesn’t think there’s anything to discuss. He’s fine with it. Vicki’s family is doing so well that Nolan and the kids are already being released. Susan can’t believe what a busy day they’ve had, all before lunchtime. Jerry calls Carter to the admit desk to see the project he’s been working on. He set up a web cam, got the consulate in the Congo to set up their own, and has arranged a chat between Carter and Kem. Susan’s jealous that Kem’s belly isn’t as big as hers.

Pratt checks in with Chen, trying to cheer her a little by pointing out that at least she gets to admit her father to a hospital with a staff she knows. He asks how long she’s going to take care of him on her own. Chen insists that he’ll get better. Pratt clearly wants her to accept that that’s wishful thinking, but Chen says she was asleep in a hotel when her mother died alone. She’s not leaving her father.

Neela’s finally done with the chamber, and she runs through the hospital to get outside the second she can. Susan and Chuck go to a bar to meet up with Henry. She tells him all her news at once, but he’s watching a hockey game and doesn’t seem to be paying attention. He just asks if the couple is going to get married. Chuck says that’s what he wants, if Susan will agree. “About damn time,” Henry replies.

Thoughts: They probably shouldn’t let Morris work with kids. Shannon’s crying for her mom and he’s like. “Not now.” Where’s Doug when you need him? Or Weaver? Or Gallant? Or…you know what, anyone but Morris would be better here.

Shout-out to Nancy, because I can’t imagine raising three kids, then raising THEIR kids.

I give Sam a lot of credit for prioritizing Alex’s feelings over her desire to date, especially since the person she’s having to give up is Luka.

I keep forgetting to post about this: Amanda Lee finally got her man.

March 15, 2022

ER 10.14, Impulse Control: The “Kem and Carter Show” Finally Goes on Hiatus

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

TFW you give a guy the Heimlich and suddenly HR has a bunch of questions

Summary: Alex is complaining to Sam about the family of the friend whose house he’s spending the night at. Yeah, I bet they don’t like you, either. He asks if she’s going to spend time with Luka on her night off from parenting. Sam send Alex off with his friend, who tells him his sister’s hot. At County, Abby is on a med-student shift, trying to present a patient to Weaver. Weaver thinks she should have taken a better history and done a better workup on a teenager who seemingly only has an ankle injury.

A guy named Arnie comes down from HR so he can determine how the ER can be happier and more cooperative. Abby suggests more money and fewer hours. Weaver tells Susan that this is part of a “Romano lawsuit settlement,” which has something to do with a nurse, a complaint of a hostile work environment, and a dog with a hat. Arnie tells Frank and Susan that his job is to halt possible bad situations before they escalate. Frank thinks that’s pointless, considering where they work.

At the triage desk, Sam gets annoyed with Morris when he accidentally squirts ketchup onto her files. He offers her a fry, then starts choking on the ones he’s stuffed in his mouth. Sam gives him the Heimlich and goes right back to work. Morris goes right back to stuffing his face. Scott Grimes calls his agent.

Over at the Carter mansion, Carter has the day off and has a bunch of stuff planned for Kem around the city. Back at the hospital, Abby complains to Susan about Weaver making her job harder. Morris comments on Susan’s pregnancy because he, like Cordelia Chase, has never heard of tact. Frank asks if Susan’s going to get married or have her baby out of wedlock. Abby tells him to shut up, nicely saving me the trouble of doing it. She is curious about Susan and Chuck’s status, though. Susan says he wants to get remarried.

As Arnie asks Susan if she’s often touched at work without her consent, Sam pulls Abby away to see a patient named Miguel. Sam comes up with a great way to explain Abby’s job without making Miguel think she’s unqualified – as a student, she’s “studying the latest medicine.” Miguel hurt his knee in a fall and says he just needs Vicodin. Pratt tells Abby to move things along instead of taking in-depth histories like Weaver told her. Sam nicely defends Abby. Arnie wants to talk to Sam about what happened with Morris, but she says it wasn’t a big deal.

Kem and Carter go ice skating, her for the very first time. He tells her that his grandfather used to rent out an entire rink for him, his brother, and their friends. Neela does a pelvic exam on a 16-year-old named Layla who’s experiencing some bleeding. She alerts Luka to some trauma, and he gently tries to determine if Layla was raped. Sam joins the questioning, and they learn that Layla’s engaged to a college student, and sometimes their sex gets rough.

After they’re done, Luka invites Sam to have dinner with him at a patient’s restaurant that night. He expects to bring Alex, too, but he’s at his sleepover. Gallant enlists them to take care of a patient named Gus who was in a car accident. He thinks he blacked out, which may be connected to a heart attack he had two years ago. He’s worried about how damaged his brand-new Hummer might be.

Weaver tells Luka and Sam that Gus will need to be moved from his trauma room because there are some other car-accident victims who need care. Gus doesn’t realize that the victims – a mother, father, and son – are hurt because of him. The mother, Kathy, asks about her family, revealing that she also has a daughter. Morris says the paramedics didn’t bring her in. That makes Kathy frantic, thinking her daughter’s dead.

Sam joins Weaver and Neela to tend to Kathy’s son, Ethan, whose neck is broken. Sam’s shaken because he makes her think of Alex. Carter takes Kem to his favorite street in Chicago, a neighborhood full of old brownstones. He reveals that he bought one and wants to live there with her. Millicent left the mansion to him, but he doesn’t want to live there.

Abby makes some calls to find out where Kathy’s daughter is. Morris continues being an idiot by telling Kathy that there were two fatalities at the scene of the crash. Kathy rushes to the next trauma room and finds her husband, Paul, who needs surgery. Next she finds Ethan and is horrified to see how the staff has to treat him to stabilize his injured neck. Luka gently tells her how bad Paul’s injuries are, and Kathy asks Sam for more information on Ethan. Kathy guesses that her husband and son are dying, and she asks who will die first.

Carter and Kem go to lunch at the hotel where his grandparents and parents got married. (No, this isn’t a prelude to a proposal.) Abby continues making calls about Kathy’s daughter, Beth, while helping Weaver and Sam. Haleh comes to get Sam so she can continue tending to Layla. Sam tries to trade some patients with Haleh so she doesn’t have to take care of Ethan anymore, but Haleh declines.

As Arnie tries to question a nurse about some comment someone made (the nurse fully doesn’t care about this), Sam tells Layla that she’ll need to hold off on having sex for a few weeks. If her fiancé, Dean, really loves her, he’ll understand. Layla confirms that he loves her, but Sam notes that sometimes you can love someone and not realize they’re hurting you. Layla says Dean doesn’t mean to hurt her.

Last night, Layla and Dean went out with a couple of his friends and hung out in a park. He likes to show her off. By that, Layla means that he likes to let his friends watch them have sex. Sam asks if they ever do more than just watch. Layla admits that they do. Abby comes to get Sam for something, so Sam reluctantly has to leave Layla in the middle of their conversation.

Abby hasn’t had any luck finding Beth. Paul is in really bad shape, and Ethan is also struggling. Miguel comes to his trauma room to ask for his pain medication, because he can’t wait five minutes while the staff tries to help a little boy who’s in much worse shape than he is. Sam thinks the care they’re giving Ethan is just going to make him suffer more.

Carter and Kem check into a hotel room, because why have sex for free at home when you can do it a few blocks away for a lot of money? They talk about their baby and their hopes for his future. Carter would like him to either be a professional baseball player or a doctor who cures cancer. Kem says she could get used to this high-class life. Carter tells her he won’t rent out an ice rink for their son.

Luka gives Sam Layla’s test results, which show that she’s pregnant. She gives Layla the news, and the girl is ecstatic. Sam tells her to give the situation more thought before she decides to raise a child with a guy she’s with at 16. (Remember, Sam was also a teen mom.) Layla might not still want what she wants now in five or ten years.

Miguel is still demanding his pain meds, and Pratt is annoyed that he hasn’t been discharged yet. Then DO IT YOURSELF. Sam tells him that Abby is waiting for some test results. She finds Gus outside the trauma rooms, watching Susan and Gallant as they try unsuccessfully to save Paul. Gus says his Hummer probably saved him from Paul’s fate. Sam tells him that his ridiculously large car caused the accident. He passes out and Sam and Luka revive him.

Abby finally learns that Beth is at another hospital, but she can’t get any details about the girl’s condition. She tells Kathy she’ll get Beth transferred to County. Lab results show that Miguel has tuberculosis; he was diagnosed 15 months earlier but didn’t complete his therapy. He’s been coughing, so he’s probably contagious. Pratt finally completed his discharge orders, so he and Abby run through the hospital to find him before he leaves. Sorry, elevator full of people Miguel was just with! You probably have TB now!

Sam calls Alex to tell him he doesn’t have to go to the sleepover if he doesn’t want to. Then she realizes she never showed him how to use the voicemail on his cell phone, so he won’t get her message. She hears Dean yelling at Layla, insisting that she terminate her pregnancy. He’s not even sure the baby’s his. He’s brought a friend with him, and as Sam kicks Dean out, she asks if the friend is from his “gang-bang squad.” Dean says they didn’t make Layla do anything she didn’t want to. If they did, she wouldn’t still be saying she loves Dean.

Sam starts to call the police, but Dean grabs her hand so she can’t pick up the phone. She tells him to let go, but he doesn’t. He says that Layla is “just a stupid little slut.” Sam twists his arm behind his back, then thrusts her hand into his nose. Once he’s on the ground and no longer touching her, she calls the cops. Arnie and Luka see the whole thing. Luka’s face says, “Holy crap, I’ve never seen anything like that in my life.”

Miguel isn’t happy to be kept in the hospital for the treatments he was supposed to have had months ago. Sam is put in timeout, but she’s more worried about the fact that Alex didn’t call when he was supposed to than she is about consequences for hitting Dean. Pratt wants Miguel to be placed in isolation and restrained if he won’t agree to stay for treatment. Abby thinks that’s overkill, and if word gets out that this is how they treat patients with TB, no one will come to County for treatment. She wants to talk Miguel into agreeing to get treatment at a clinic.

Sam is finally ready to talk to Arnie about stuff he’s been bugging her about all day, but now he wants to stay far away from her. Weaver tells her that Arnie wants her fired. She knows about Sam’s record of incidents at previous jobs. The only reason she was never fired before was because she preemptively quit. Sam says she’s a good nurse, and if Weaver doesn’t want her at County, she’ll find a job somewhere else.

Weaver guesses that’s what she says every time her job is in danger. As Dean leaves with Layla, glaring at Sam, Weaver tells Sam that she has a problem with impulse control. Sam thinks she was justified this time, considering what Dean and his friends did to Layla. Weaver says she probably set the hospital up for a lawsuit. She’ll have to talk to the director of nursing tomorrow. Sam just wishes she’d hit Dean harder.

Carter and Kem end the day with a drive to the airport so she can go back to the Congo. He was probably using the day’s activities to try to convince her to stay in Chicago, but he understands why she wants to go back to Africa. Abby counsels Miguel about the importance of completing his treatment. Pratt tells her to just call the cops already to force him to stay. Miguel agrees to take his medication, but he won’t go to the TB clinic every day like he’s supposed to. When Abby can’t get him to stay, she has security detain him. Arnie watches as a guard tackles Miguel.

Carter, Kem, bleh. He doesn’t want her to go, but she goes anyway. Luka determines that a heart arrhythmia caused Gus to black out and crash his Hummer, but the impact knocked him back into a stable rhythm. In other words, the crash may have saved his life. Cool, I’m sure Kathy will be thrilled to hear that. Ethan has declined, despite looking okay earlier, and Sam and Weaver are unable to stabilize him. Weaver tells Kathy that it would be best to stop trying to revive him.

As he’s leaving the airport, Carter stops and runs back inside. Gus tells Luka that his first heart attack made him so sick, he felt dead. Kathy tells Sam that she never thought she would have a family. She always thought having kids would mean her life was over. When she got pregnant, Paul was excited. Gus tells Luka that his wife helped him get back to his life. Carter tries to buy a ticket so he can go back to the gate and see Kem. He shells out $9,000 for a first-class ticket to Tokyo. Freaking A.

Gus continues that his Hummer cost $10,000. Dang, man, you could go to Tokyo for that amount! His wife supported his decision to buy it because she thought he deserved it. Kathy says she’s fantasized about having a night to herself, without her family. Now she can. She worries that she made this happen. Gus wonders why he was the one who was spared. Luka, who knows exactly how he’s feeling, says he needs to believe there was a reason he lived.

As Carter goes through security to get back to Kem, Kathy tells Sam that Ethan wanted ice cream that morning, even though it’s winter. Carter’s too late to get to Kem, and he cries at a ticket counter. Abby takes Beth to Kathy, who clings to the one family member she has left. Sam starts tearing up over Ethan. Kem finds Carter and gives him a last goodbye hug.

Abby and Sam run into each other at the mini-mart, where Abby’s buying yogurt and hamburgers, the only things Susan can stomach right now. Sam can sympathize with how hard it is to be pregnant. She asks how Abby’s handling juggling her studies and her nursing shifts. She thinks Abby’s switching careers, but Abby explains that she’d planned to go to med school for a while and got “sidetracked.”

Sam says the last thing she remembers wanting to be was an international spy, when she was 15. Then she got pregnant and went for something more attainable. She was in denial about her pregnancy, and at first planned to have an abortion, but she didn’t have the money. She was too young to get a job as a waitress, so she worked at Baskin-Robbins to make the money. Abby asks if Alex’s father went with her for the procedure. Sam says he was at a gig.

The first time she went to the clinic, she pretended not to be there when they called her name. The second time she went, she was too far along to terminate. Now, when she looks at Alex… She doesn’t finish, but I imagine that she’s thinking she can’t believe there was a time she didn’t want him. Abby reveals that she had an abortion and spent the procedure looking at a Strawberry Shortcake calendar.

Sam helps Abby take her and Susan’s food back to the hospital, then heads out for the night. Luka catches up to her and they start chatting about Alex and his sleepover. Luka tells her for the first time about his own children. Layla interrupts, wanting to talk to Sam, so Luka leaves. Inside, Abby presses Miguel to sign an agreement to complete his treatment. When he refuses, Pratt reveals that they know Miguel is undocumented, so he shouldn’t do anything to risk getting himself arrested.

Carter’s late for his shift because he’s reenacting the end of some dumb romantic movie, so Weaver’s stuck at County instead of going home to Sandy and Henry. Abby has her sign off on Miguel’s admission, and Weaver praises Pratt for doing a thorough history and catching that Miguel has TB. Pratt tells her Abby made the discovery, but Weaver’s already walking away, and Abby says it doesn’t matter.

Arnie has a lot of things to discuss with Weaver about what a disaster the ER is. Weaver blows him off, then tells him not to come back. She doesn’t care that she’s violating the terms of the settlement. Carter finally arrives, and though Weaver’s annoyed that he’s late, she seems to get that it was hard for him to say goodbye to Kem. (Also, she’s proud of the work Kem is doing in the Congo.) She cheers him up by showing him pictures of Henry.

Sam goes home to spend the night alone and depressed about her horrible day. Luka’s also alone, so when Sam comes over, he agrees to go get something to eat with her. But they don’t get that far, because neither of them really wants to go out. They want to get naked. And that’s what they do.

Thoughts: Gus is played by J.K. Simmons.

Marin Hinkle, who plays Kathy, does a lot of comedic roles, but she’s really good here with a very emotional storyline.

I’m starting to wonder why I found Sam so annoying on previous viewings. She’s awesome!

I love Weaver taking a moment to show Carter baby pictures. Not only does he need a boost, but it shows that despite her prickliness, she’s just like every other new parent.

’00s music alert: Dido’s “Here With Me”

March 8, 2022

ER 10.13, Get Carter: Tagalongs

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:59 pm by Jenn

Sam, like me, wants to know when we’ll be done with “The Kem and Carter Show”

Summary: Elizabeth sends Ella off to a play date and birthday party with a friend before going to work. She chats a little with the friend’s father, Dave, who’s taking the kids to an aquarium. That sounds a lot more fun than the difficult-to-pronounce operation Elizabeth will be performing. At County, Kem tags along to work with Carter, wanting to spend the day observing activities at the hospital. Weaver says it’s okay, though she thinks Kem would prefer a shopping spree. Why do people keep suggesting that for her?

Weaver reminds Frank to make sure everyone gathers at 9:00 for a dedication. He jokes to Carter that they’re renaming the hospital after Romano. Kem starts shadowing Sam, who, like Weaver, thinks she should find something more interesting to do. She should go to the aquarium with Ella! Gallant arrives with an ambulance, doing one of his twice-yearly required ridealongs.

Abby goes to ask Frank about some labs and finds him in pain at the admit desk. He thinks he’s having a heart attack. She starts to help him, but it turns out he just has indigestion from his breakfast pierogies. Carter tries to enlist Luka to help with a patient, but Luka (who looks awesome in a suit) isn’t working. Weaver complains that Susan is late for work because she was asleep. She asks Susan to take charge of the ER until the hospital finds a replacement for Romano. Susan appreciates the offer but turns it down because she has something else to deal with in her life: She’s pregnant.

Luka joins Carter after all before going to give a lecture to med students about making medical decisions without tests. Carter suggests that Kem sit in on the lecture. Luka and Sam bicker over whether the patient needs certain tests; she says yes because it’s protocol, he says no because the patient isn’t that injured. Sam ends the argument by telling Luka to save his lectures for the med students. Oh, just kiss already.

Frank gathers everyone for the dedication, where Weaver gives a little speech about how generous Romano was. The hospital is opening a center for LGBT health care and naming it after Romano. Abby and Pratt are amused. As soon as Weaver has uncovered the name plaque, which includes a horrible picture of Romano, she drops her formal, this-is-all-for-show demeanor and sends everyone back to work.

Pratt was supposed to talk to someone in risk management, but he missed the appointment, so Weaver arranged another one. Abby thinks the eyes on Romano’s plaque follow you when you move. Carter thinks his prosthetic arm is going to hunt Weaver down and strangle her. Elizabeth comes down too late for the dedication, which Carter calls “post-mortem payback.” Pratt flirts with a nurse (who, to be fair, started it), then joins Sam to take care of a patient whose friends tied him to a toboggan and sent him down an icy hill. Since the patient might have a spinal injury, Pratt wants to bring Carter in.

Gallant goes out on another ambulance run, but there’s a domestic dispute in the apartment they report to, so the paramedics want to wait for police backup before they go in. Kem questions Frank about patients’ records and how many people leave without getting medical attention. He’s not helpful, so she turns to Weaver instead. Carter saves both of them by sending Kem to Luka’s lecture.

Elizabeth asks Weaver if Romano really left a donation for the hospital to establish an LGBT center. Weaver says it was up to the hospital board to decide what to do with the money, and they chose an underserved community. Mm-hmm. I’m sure Weaver didn’t influence that decision at all. Back at the apartment building, the police arrive and find a couple in the middle of a fight. It’s not clear who the aggressor is.

Luka gives his lecture to a bunch of students who either aren’t interested or don’t know their stuff. Probably both, actually. Pratt works on the human toboggan, Doug, who explains that his injuries and hypothermia came from an initiation for his hockey team. Carter joins Pratt and disagrees with his assessment that Doug might have a spinal-cord injury. He thinks his lack of sensation is from the cold and he doesn’t need an MRI. Pratt overrules him after he leaves, telling Sam to order an MRI.

A risk management rep named Bob finds Pratt and asks him questions about Martin’s case. Pratt takes full responsibility for his mistake, but that’s not the problem – the hospital is going to have to shell out a lot of money because of that mistake. Once Gallant and the other paramedics are done with the feuding couple, Gallant hears a kid crying in a closet. A bullet flies through the door and a cop draws his gun. Gallant gets him to back off as he opens the door and reveals a scared kid with a gun he accidentally fired.

Luka’s lecture turns into a discussion between him and Kem about billing and savings. She thinks hospitals should scare a scanner so the patients don’t have to pay more to make up for the loss of money when fewer scans are performed. Carter asks Sam how Alex is, since the last time he saw the kid, he’d given himself stitches. Carter thinks Alex will become a brain surgeon one day. “Or a grave robber,” Sam replies.

Luka complains to Carter that Kem derailed his lecture. Oh, boo-hoo. She made a reasonable point. Kem is now talking to Neela, who tells her there’s a three-month wait to be seen in a clinic, which is why so many people come to the ER for routine health care. She goes to tend to a couple of kids who have a bad cough, as does their mother, Mrs. Lemonier. Since she has a French accent, Kem talks to her in French and learns that she’s from Haiti. Kem thinks the family has whooping cough.

Carter asks Kem how the lecture was, and she says Luka’s a great teacher. That cracks him up. He sends her to the infectious disease lab as Gallant and the other paramedics bring in the wife from the domestic fight. Neela and Kem chat about Neela’s experiences in America and how much people eat and drink here. Carter tends to the wife from the domestic fight, then checks on the son, Rudy. Gallant says he’s fine physically, but a little shaken (I think Gallant is, too).

Next Carter checks in with Doug and learns that Pratt sent him for an MRI. Sam won’t let him take out his frustration on her. She complains to Abby and Chuny that she’s tired of the doctors thinking the nurses work for them. Chuny says the patients think the same way. Sam complains about Luka, too, and Chuny teases Abby about their past relationship. She also calls Abby the “ER slut.” Oh, really, Chuny? She’s a slut for dating two doctors in five years? Shut up. Also, you dated Mark and slept with Luka, so if Abby’s a slut, what are you? Lester comes up to ask Abby if they’re still on for that night. Sam and Chuny laugh, and Abby tells them they’re studying together. She notes that Chuny has no place to talk. Chuny tells Sam that Luka “gets around.”

Kem talks to an infectious-disease doctor and asks if she can visit the hospital’s AIDS ward. The doctor tells her that 15 years ago, they had a whole floor of AIDS patients. Now they just see a few inpatients in general medicine. Kem isn’t used to a hospital where patients with complications from AIDS are treated and discharged so quickly. The doctor shows her the outpatient clinic, but there are only about a dozen people, and none of them are nearly as sick as Kem’s patients in the Congo.

Back in the ER, Carter confronts Pratt over sending Doug for an MRI. Pratt says he was trying to be thorough. Carter reasonably says that the next time Pratt disagrees with his orders, he should talk to Carter instead of going behind his back. Neela presents another patient, Mr. Morgan, to Carter, who again disagrees with Pratt over an assessment. He thinks Pratt is trying to hand off Mr. Morgan so he doesn’t have to do a procedure on him. He guesses Pratt is nervous because of what happened to Martin. When Carter says he’ll do the procedure himself, Pratt steps up.

Kem finds Carter and tells him the doctor she spoke to in infectious diseases was nice and helpful, but she’s way behind getting the results he’s gotten with his patients. A nurse invites Pratt to hang out with her and some colleagues that night, but he’s not having a great day and just wants to go home after his shift. Chen calls just then from China and gives Pratt some bad news.

Elizabeth comes to the ER looking for a surgical patient and is annoyed to learn that a doctor named Lawson took him for a different procedure without telling her. Neela grabs Pratt to help with Mr. Morgan, who’s getting worse, so Pratt gives the phone to Elizabeth and tells her that Chen’s mother died. Kem takes Carter to see Mrs. Lemonier, who has another child at home with her mother. The grandmother is sick but doesn’t trust American doctors, so she wouldn’t come to the hospital. Kem asks Carter to make a house call. He says no, so she gives him puppy-dog eyes until he asks Gallant to make an ambulance run.

Carter then joins Pratt, Neela, and Sam with Mr. Morgan. Pratt knows what’s wrong – the exact complication he was worried about – so Carter tells him to fix it. Pratt does, then storms out to take care of patients he’s allowed to make decisions about. Well, first he’s going to mope in drug lockup for a little while.

Carter goes looking for both Kem and Pratt, and Frank jokes that they could be together. Yeah, Pratt wishes. It turns out Kem went with Gallant and the paramedics to get Mrs. Lemonier’s mother and baby. (They needed a translator.) It’s a good thing they went because the grandmother is really sick and reported that a number of people in the apartment building are, too. Carter’s annoyed that Kem could have exposed herself to illnesses that could affect the baby. Well, then you probably shouldn’t have brought her to the hospital at all.

Pratt gets pulled in to help Carter as Sam tries to deal with a frequent patient named Louie. Instead of letting her give him a shot, he picks her up. Sam yells for security but Abby quickly defuses the situation by threatening to call Louie’s mother. She even gets him to apologize to Sam. Apparently you just have to give Louie a piece of gum before you give him a shot. Sam’s more amused than annoyed. Abby wants to make sure Sam doesn’t think Luka is a player – he’s a good guy. Sam says she’s not looking for a relationship right now, though she wouldn’t say no to regular sex.

As a man comes in with an injury he thinks came from a bullet (how can you not be sure about that?), Sam tells Gallant that Rudy’s mother will be discharged the next morning, so DCFS will put Rudy with a foster family for the night. Gallant suggests that they just let Rudy stay with his mom. Sam knows that’s not protocol, so Gallant comes up with an excuse to admit him.

He tells Rudy he can stay, and no, he can’t have the gun back. Rudy’s upset that he no longer has a way to protect his mother from his father. His dad likes to turn out the lights so Rudy doesn’t see him hurting his mother. Gallant tries to promise that Rudy’s father won’t come back, but Rudy knows he will, because he always does.

Carter and Pratt are unable to save Mrs. Lemonier’s mother, but Carter assures Pratt that he did everything right with her treatment. The possible gunshot patient was accidentally shot by his wife, who mistook him for an intruder. Carter realizes the bullet traveled up his femoral vein and is now up by his heart. He’ll need surgery to remove it before it gets into one of his lungs.

Carter tracks down Pratt and tells him that he once worked a shift where seven patients died. When Pratt first came to County, he was arrogant and reckless. His confidence has been rattled, but he shouldn’t try to play it safe if that’s not what’s best for his patients. Bad things will happen, but they need to keep doing their jobs. Pratt did what he thought was best for Martin. He needs to stop feeling sorry for himself and keep working.

While Carter is bugging Kem about not eating lunch, Sam takes him to a hall full of patients from the Lemoniers’ building. Kem spread the word to them about whooping cough and invited them to get vaccinated. Elizabeth returns to the ER for another surgical patient, but again, Lawson took him upstairs already. Elizabeth is annoyed that she stayed after her shift for an operation that someone just stole from her.

She goes to the OR to confront Lawson, who not only stole her patient but didn’t present him with all his options before starting a procedure. Once Lawson (who’s British and kind of handsome) is done, he tells Elizabeth she can have the patient back. She’s at a loss for words and doesn’t know how to respond to this guy who’s so charming about taking her cases.

Doug thanks Pratt for treating him – he’s doing much better and isn’t paralyzed. Pratt finds Rudy with his mom, distressed because she’s sedated and won’t wake up. Rudy blames himself for her injuries because he didn’t protect her. Pratt tries to reassure him, saying a few things similar to what Carter said to him. Things happen that we can’t control, so we just do our best.

Carter and Sam administer vaccines while Kem translates their instructions to the French-speaking patients. Carter enlists Luka to help, telling him that Kem enjoyed his lecture. Apparently she was the only one. Weaver comes across the impromptu vaccine clinic and objects to it. Kem gently stands up to her, and when Carter jumps in to help, Weaver tells him Kem’s doing just fine explaining herself. She allows the vaccinations to continue but announces that no one else is allowed to go to Africa. Heh.

Paramedics bring in a patient who needs a procedure Carter worries Pratt might not be comfortable doing. But Pratt’s confident that he can do it since Luka taught him. Carter remarks to Luka that at least someone listened to him. Elizabeth goes to pick up Ella after the birthday party and ends up chatting with Dave while the kids finish the movie they’re watching. He’s nice and funny, and he has wine, so it’s not a bad way to end the day.

Gallant returns from an ambulance run with dinner for Rudy and a flashlight so he doesn’t have to worry about the lights going out again. Luka and Sam wind up on the same El train on the way home, and he apologizes for being kind of a jerk that morning. They’re standing close because the train is crowded, and she gets bold and kisses him.

Carter meets up with Kem at the mini-mart across the street, where she’s bought a ton of junk food. He throws a bunch of it out. Dude! I’m overruling Weaver here – go back to the Congo and learn about not wasting luxuries. Anyway, Kem seems to be the only character who had a good day, and she wants to come back to County tomorrow. Carter says no way, because Weaver threatened to fire him if he brought her back.

Thoughts: Bob is played by Sterling K. Brown.

I like how Sam shuts down anyone trying to drag her into a disagreement with someone else. When Carter’s annoyed that Pratt disobeyed his orders, she says it’s not her job to make residents listen to attendings. Haleh would totally approve of her toughness.

I would love for someone to tell Pratt what Carter was like as a newbie, just so Pratt doesn’t start believing Carter is better than him or anything.

February 22, 2022

ER 10.11, Touch and Go: Pratt’s Disregard for Authority Is a Pain in the Neck

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

Yeah, yeah, fairy-tale romance, whatever

Summary: Carter’s asleep – drink! He wakes up alone in a very nice bed in his family’s mansion. Kem got up early, since she’s still on Congo time. The housekeeper complains to Carter that she insisted on cooking eggs. Chill, housekeeper. Kem is adjusting to being a self-sufficient woman in a house of excess, where everything is taken care of for you and you have your choice of six sets of glasses in the morning. Carter thinks she’ll get used to it in no time.

He has to work, so he offers to have someone take her on a shopping spree. Because that’s what Kem wants to do – spend lots of money on stuff she doesn’t need, then go back to a third-world country where women are still getting their drinking water from a river. She steals his socks so she can slide on the polished floors. When did Kem turn into a Manic Pixie Dream Girl? Why isn’t she talking about how many AIDS patients they could house in just the foyer of the mansion?

At County, Abby’s shift is supposed to be over but she’s still finishing up. Weaver complains that Susan called in sick but didn’t sound that sick on the phone. Frank and I both guess that she’s love sick and spending time with Chuck. He offers to call in an attending to take Susan’s shift, but Weaver says Carter’s coming back. That seems like news to Abby.

Morris…whatever. Abby asks Weaver to sign off on a miscount of Valium so the night nurses can go home. Weaver won’t do it, even though they’re only missing 10 milligrams. Gallant’s allowed to leave, though, since it’s slow and he’s just an intern. I feel like saying someone can go home because it’s slow is just jinxing things. Paramedics bring in an elderly woman from a nursing home, and Sam looks down her nose at them for not being more respectful of a possibly dead woman.

Gallant goes home to see Valerie, who’s been in Chicago longer than I would think a teacher could stay during the school year. He’s surprised to find Pratt there. Looks like someone got over his hesitance to hook up with a woman with MS. Gallant asks how many times Valerie has had Pratt over to have sex in Gallant’s bed. Yikes. Pratt leaves, deciding at the last minute that kissing Valerie goodbye in front of her angry brother is probably a bad idea. Gallant just tells Valerie to wake him at noon so he can take her to the airport.

Back at County, Abby’s basically being held hostage until the night nurses can account for the missing Valium. Luka tells Weaver that his last day of work will be January 18th; he’ll be heading back out with the Alliance de Medicine Whatever. She tells him to submit his resignation and she’ll take it to whatever committee approves that sort of thing. She adds that County needs Luka just as much as the Congo does.

Pratt arrives late, and Luka guesses it’s because he was with Valerie. How does Luka know and Gallant doesn’t?? Luka’s patient, Mrs. Webster, is elderly and has dementia, so when she declares her love for Pratt, he just says thanks. He butts heads with Luka on some patient until a man and his family come to share good news with Luka: The kids finished therapy for an illness Luka diagnosed and now get to come home. The father says Luka will be their only doctor from now on. Luka declines to admit that he’s not going to be in the country much longer. Neela comments to Pratt that patients seem to really like Luka.

Pratt asks her, Lester, and some unnamed other med student a question that none of them knows the answer to. Abby doesn’t know it, either. Carter and Kem arrive, and Sam, who hasn’t met Carter yet, thinks they’re patients. Once she finds out who he is, she’s friendly. Chuny, Haleh, and Malik are even friendlier as they welcome Carter back and meet Kem. He announces the pregnant by telling the staff that Kem has an appointment with an OB upstairs.

Pratt also greets Carter and manages not to flirt with Kem in front of her boyfriend. Carter sends her up to his appointment, then takes the next patient brought in, a man named Larry who was in a car accident. His 19-year-old son, Martin, was driving and crashed because his father passed out. Martin wears a neck brace for ankylosing spondylitis, a disorder that causes spinal vertebrae to fuse.

Luka’s happy to see Carter back, and he joins him and Morris to work on Larry. Morris proves he knows at least one medical thing, which is enough to impress Carter. Luka mentions Kem, whom he never met while he was in the Congo. Carter’s happy to have access to technology he didn’t have in Africa. He goes next door to help Pratt, Sam, and the med students with Martin. He’s having trouble breathing and might need to be intubated. Carter tells Pratt to have an anesthesiologist come in to help. Pratt complains about how Carter and Luka have both changed their ways because of their time in Africa.

Frank comes in to tell Sam that the principal from Alex’s school called and wants her to come there. Did Alex blow something up? I bet he blew something up. It was only a matter of time. Pratt tells Sam to get a nurse to cover for her. Shut up, Pratt. You’re not her boss. When Neela goes to Larry’s trauma room to get something, Luka asks her to read his EKG output. Morris says he can do it, but Luka ignores him. Ha ha! Everyone knows you suck, Morris. Larry tells Luka that his son his fragile.

Carter has hooked Martin up to a ventilator, though Pratt thinks they need to secure an airway another way. He lets Carter go when it’s time for Kem’s appointment. Abby comes in to take Sam’s place until another nurse can get there. Pratt laughs at her, for some reason. Shut up some more, Pratt. Carter arrives at Kem’s appointment in time to see the ultrasound, which shows that they’re having a boy.

Abby has counted all the Valium again and gotten the same number as before. She tells Haleh, Malik, and another nurse that she’s going to call Weaver at home and hope she’ll let them go. As she sits on a desk to make the call, she finds a syringe. It contains the Valium Abby’s been looking for – and it was in Weaver’s coat pocket. Abby just tells Weaver that she found the Valium in someone’s pocket. Weaver replies that whoever left it there is an idiot.

Abby spots Carter and Kem showing off their ultrasound photo and starts to walk in the other direction. Then she decides to be mature and go talk to them. She and Carter have a polite conversation, which includes his almost complete lack of interest in her return to med school and her fake excitement over the baby. Luka defuses the tension by joining them. Kem’s happy to meet him since she credits him as the reason she and Carter met. After Kem and Carter leave, Luka asks if Abby’s okay. She wonders if Carter got Kem pregnant right after he got to the Congo.

Paramedics bring in a stabbing victim who really doesn’t want to be in the hospital. His leg is bleeding and he needs a tourniquet, so Luka tells Neela to take off his belt and use it. Neela sidesteps the opportunity to remove a hot guy’s belt and instead uses her own. Luka sits on the guy, a trick he says he learned from a nurse in the Congo. He even gives Pratt instructions while he’s riding the gurney down the hall with the patient.

Pratt finds Mrs. Webster wandering around and takes her back to her room so she doesn’t get caught up in all the traffic in the ER’s hallways. Carter has Morris and Lester present a patient named Mrs. Hulsey to him. She’s supposed to be going to a headache clinic for her migraines, but she hasn’t been able to recently because she doesn’t have childcare. Her kids are with her, and she asks if they can get something to eat. As she names foods, Morris, who’s been feeling sick all day, gets more and more nauseous. He eventually throws up, which makes Lester throw up. Carter tells Morris to go home.

Larry talks to Pratt about Martin, whom Pratt thinks should be allowed more freedom as a 19-year-old. As Larry goes in for a CT, his condition becomes unstable. Pratt runs in with an unnamed med student so they can help him as the scan continues, even if it means they get exposed to radiation.

Carter tells Luka that he realized Mrs. Hulsey’s migraines were from malnutrition because she can’t afford enough food for her family. He’s having her admitted and has gotten the kids some food. Luka tells Carter he’s going back to the Congo in two weeks. Carter says Kem is also going back soon, but she’ll come back to Chicago to have the baby. Carter kind of misses the Congo, but Luka thinks that’ll change after some more time taking hot showers and using all the medical supplies he wants.

Neela comes to get Carter as Martin’s breathing gets worse. No anesthesiologist ever came to tend to him. Carter calmly handles the problem, then goes to find an anesthesiologist himself. Meanwhile, Pratt has the radiologist continue Larry’s scan despite the safety risks. Elizabeth objects to Pratt’s methods, but he points out that he’s helping her see where Larry’s bleeding is coming from. She’s pleased when the risk pays off.

Neela goes looking for Carter but instead wakes up Abby, who’s a) trying to nap and b) tired of everyone talking about Carter. Pratt goes to help Neela with Martin instead, deciding that they can’t wait anymore and Martin needs to be intubated. Carter comes in as he’s working, having finally found an anesthesiologist, but Pratt moves his scope the wrong way, forcing Martin’s neck back too far and breaking his vertebrae. Martin ends up stable but possibly paralyzed.

Shellshocked, Pratt goes to get a drink of water. Mrs. Webster tries to give him some encouragement, but Pratt doesn’t want to hear it. He asks a nurse to restrain her so she’ll stay in bed. Sam returns with Alex, and Frank relays a message from the nursing director that if Sam takes one more emergency break, she’s on probation. She dodges Luka’s questions about Alex, then approaches Carter to ask a favor.

Paramedics bring in a woman named Ruthie who’s been in hospice care with AIDS-related lymphoma. Gallant is back to fill in for Morris, and he’s not happy about it. Pratt apologizes for the surprise he and Valerie gave Gallant that morning, but Gallant says he didn’t look too sorry. Luka keeps tending to Ruthie as the guys try not to throw things at each other.

Carter stitches up a wound Alex got from trying to give himself stitches. Sam tries to seek assurance that all kids do crazy things like this, but Carter can’t give that to her. Pratt and Gallant keep bickering until Luka finally tells them to take it outside. “Just when it was getting good,” Ruthie says. Heh. In the hallway, Pratt says Gallant doesn’t get to have an opinion on whether Pratt is good enough for Valerie. They’re right outside the door where Abby was trying to sleep, and she decides to give up on trying to nap.

Sam calls Pratt away so he can find out how bad Martin’s neck injury is. Meanwhile, Luka tells Ruthie that she has a tumor in her heart and needs surgery. She doesn’t see the point, since it’ll just mean spending more time in the hospital when her time is already almost up. Abby clocks in early for a med-student shift, wanting to be useful since she can’t sleep. Sam casually asks if their insurance covers therapy. Yes, yes, good idea! Alex badly needs to be under the supervision of a psychiatrist!

Valerie arrives, wanting to talk to Gallant before she heads home. He thinks she’s really there to see Pratt, but she insists that she wanted to make up with her brother. She promises to be more considerate next time. That kind of implies that she plans to sleep with another one of his colleagues in the future. I recommend Luka.

Larry’s out of surgery and will be fine, but Martin…not so much. Pratt tells Elizabeth that he’s a quadriplegic now, thanks to Pratt’s actions. He spots Valerie getting in a cab and rushes outside to talk to her. He’s happy about the time they’ve spent together, and he suggests coming to visit her the next time he has a couple days off. Valerie, however, sees this as a vacation fling and doesn’t want it to continue beyond that.

Luka’s hanging out with Alex in the lounge and is more amused about what he did than he should be. He promises Sam that he didn’t show Alex how to give himself stitches. Sam admits that she did. She had the ridiculous idea that he would never try it. Ma’am, have you met your son? She leaves, and Alex complains to Luka that she’s freaking out over nothing. Luka tells him to just do what his mom says.

He follows Sam out of the lounge and lets her vent about how hard it is to parent Alex on her own. He doesn’t think she should give any thought to what people say about him (namely, that he’s a freak). Luka says he stuck tweezers into an electrical socket when he was Alex’s age, despite knowing better. Kids do dumb things, and Alex will be fine.

Pratt is sad to learn that Mrs. Webster died. Well, that was out of the blue. Carter meets the paramedics as they bring in a 16-year-old shooting victim. He’s followed by a nine-year-old named David who was also shot. Pratt goes to see Martin and lets him know that Larry will be okay. He adds that there was a problem with Martin’s spinal cord during his intubation, and it looks like he’s now paralyzed. Way to gloss over the details there, Pratt.

Carter, Abby, and Gallant work on the first shooting victim, with Carter simultaneously teaching the med students. Sam and Neela work on David with Luka, who cautions that if they don’t stop the bleeding in David’s arm quickly, it will have to be amputated. Carter keeps calmly working on the other victim as Luka just as calmly makes a temporary repair to David’s injury that should hold him until he can get to surgery. Neela’s impressed.

Carter finally determines that his patient won’t make it, though he and his team have done everything they can to try to save him. Once the trauma’s over, Carter tells Abby he’s glad she went back to med school. She says she is, too. He tells her she never should have left, as if she had any choice in the matter, what with the lack of funds. He comments that she seems happy. She says he does, too. Sounds like Carter wants to ease his conscience about dumping her. He invites her to come hang out with him and Kem, but that’s too much for her.

Alex has fallen asleep in the lounge, so Luka offers to carry him to Sam’s car. Carter meets up with Kem, who’s enjoying the first snow she’s seen since she was a kid. He and Luka say good night to each other as Carter leaves with his new love interest and Luka helps his future love interest with her kid. Sam offers Luka a ride home, but he says he has something to take care of first. He goes to Weaver’s office, where she catches him changing something on his resignation letter. He wants to stay at County longer than he’d planned.

Pratt goes to a bar after work, and Gallant joins him, not to bug him about Valerie but to offer support since he had a rough day. Gallant says that Valerie is his only sister (I’m not sure that’s consistent with what we’ve heard before, but okay), so the family is overprotective of her. Pratt mentions that his mother died when he was 12. He got used to being by himself. People only have themselves. Gallant disagrees, but he comes from a big, close-knit family and Pratt doesn’t.

Pratt tells Gallant to say whatever he wants to say, then leave. Gallant starts to say something about Valerie, but Pratt interrupts that she played him. Gallant says he tried to warn Pratt. He’s sorry things ended like they did. He leaves, and Pratt drinks by himself at the bar, most likely worrying about the big lawsuit Martin’s family is going to hit him with.

Thoughts: I want some sort of prestige drama with Thandie Newton, Maura Tierney, and Linda Cardellini. Mostly because I don’t think I can watch any more of Westworld, I couldn’t get through The Affair or Bloodline, and I’m impatient for the next season of Dead to Me.

I assume Scott Grimes was questioning his career choices around this time, with his five minutes of screentime every other episode and thrilling plots such as Morris gets busted smoking pot and Morris throws up and goes home.

Shoutout to Abby for how maturely she handles seeing her ex, who dumped her in a letter, with his new pregnant girlfriend.

February 15, 2022

ER 10.10, Makemba: Merry Kem-mas

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

Hi, I’m here to make you think the episode will be more interesting, but it won’t be

Summary: Oh, the weather outside is frightful, and Abby is trying to cross the street to County without stepping in an icy puddle. The waiting room is full and includes a puking Santa. Merry Christmas Eve! Weaver puts Abby to work as soon as she steps into the ER, not even letting her stop to change into dry shoes. Weaver leaves and Frank tells Abby she’s going home to wait for the Ghost of Christmas Past. I bet it’s Romano.

Gallant gives Neela a CD of Sikh rap as Luka tells Abby she can change her shoes before she starts working. Frank tells her that Carter sent a care package from the Congo and everyone got presents. Luka confirms that Frank sent some toys to Carter’s clinic. Abby’s present is a box that Luka says tribesmen use to store potions. I’m not sure what Carter expects Abby to do with it.

Gallant puts on Neela’s CD and Frank makes racist comments as the two of them dance. Shut up, Frank. Valerie and Pratt are also there. Abby doesn’t get any holiday cheer from their happiness. She also leaves her present at the admit desk.

In the Congo, Carter opens a Christmas present from Kem. It’s a nice beaded bracelet that used to belong to her father. Carter can clearly see that this is a meaningful gift. He gives Kem his own sentimental present, a set of little silver dishes from his childhood. He also gives her a plane ticket and invites her to come back to the U.S. with him. “I want our baby to be born in America,” he says. That’s right, Carter knocked someone up!

Seven months earlier: Carter, Debbie, and Angelique send Luka to the States, then head back to the clinic. Carter starts training a new volunteer and demonstrates how much he’s learned about how the clinic operates. That night, Carter meets up with his co-workers at a bar, where some of them are talking about capitalism and commercialism and democracy. Kem speaks up that American intervention in Iraq isn’t a problem as long as they don’t dismiss legitimate concerns and ignore the democracy already built up there.

Debbie introduces Carter to Kem, who’s setting up a treatment project for people with HIV and AIDS. Carter’s surprised that she’s able to use her funding for expensive treatments. Kem says they’re not using American medications. Debbie explains that because of laws allowing other countries to ignore American patents, India has a cheaper treatment option.

A guy named Peter is annoyed about where the money’s coming from. Kem points out that if her program shows that the drugs work, she can get funding from rich countries and the UN. Debbie and Carter (who I think are the only Americans there) laugh about how America’s money is still good for something. Kem takes Peter to the dance floor, and Carter looks jealous when he realizes they’re together. Debbie notices.

Back at the clinic, a patient isn’t improving, so Carter approves some additional tests. The man’s wife, Celine, knows he’s going to die, and she knows he has AIDS, but she and her kids haven’t been tested. Carter offers to test them, but Celine doesn’t see the point – if they’ve been exposed, there’s nothing the clinic can do. Carter says they can give her medicine to try to keep her from passing it to her unborn baby when she gives birth.

Carter does the tests, then goes to Kem for medication when they all come back positive. Kem says Celine should receive support and counseling, too, but Carter says her most pressing need is medicine. He wants Kem to let her into her program, which doesn’t have enough funding to include Celine. The qualifications are strict and a committee picks ten people each month to participate. Meanwhile, the AIDS ward in the hospital Kem works out of is full. She asks Carter who she should exclude to make a spot for Celine.

October: Luka sends Carter the medication from County, adding a bunch of Halloween candy to the package. He invites Elizabeth to throw in a little note saying hi. When Carter gets the package, he shares the candy with Angelique and a new volunteer, Ginny. Angelique sees the note from Elizabeth and asks if she’s blonde (she thinks Elizabeth is a love interest, and I guess she thinks Carter has a type).

Carter takes Ginny to see Celine, who’s eight months pregnant now and nursing one of her young children. Carter gently tells her that she can’t nurse the new baby. Ginny pulls Carter aside to tell him that Celine will have to breastfeed the new baby – she lives in a refugee camp, and the only formula available there has to be mixed with lake or river water, which could be diseased. It’s better for her to take the 3% risk of passing HIV to the baby through her breast milk.

The next time the staff hangs out at the bar, they talk about war and American imperialism again. Trivia: Carter voted for Gore. Angelique explodes on some European volunteer so he’ll finally shut up about the subject. Thank you, Angelique. Everyone goes to dance except Carter and Kem (Peter’s away). They talk about her program, which is going really well. They’re using a combination pill that allows patients to only take two a day, unlike American patients who have to take seven.

Carter asks where Kem is from. Her father was from the Congo and her mother is French. She married a man from England, so Kem grew up in London and spent summers in the Congo with her dad. Carter tells her he’s from Chicago, which she doesn’t seem familiar with. She’s never been to America, though she’s seen it in movies. He invites her to dance.

The two end up talking until the bar closes. Kem asks about Celine, then gets annoyed when Carter admits that he had a friend send some medication from the States. Drugs from outside the country are supposed to be registered with the government. Carter’s spending $1,200 a month on one patient, money Kem could use to treat four people. He’s also doing it without waiting years for funding and approval like Kem has had to. His way isn’t sustainable. Eventually Carter will leave the Congo, and what will happen to Celine then?

Carter apparently plans to keep supplying Celine with medication for the rest of her life. He notes that Kem’s patients’ future will also be uncertain if her funding runs out. Kem says that he can’t start treating a patient when he doesn’t have a guaranteed supply of what she needs. Kem will be able to guarantee her patients a supply once the government sees that her program is successful. She’ll be able to save millions of lives. Carter says he’s just trying to save one. “One’s not enough!” Kem replies. She storms off and Carter jokingly asks if she wants him to walk her home. Read the room, Carter.

Sometime later, Kem goes by the clinic, looking for Celine. She’s told Angelique about the drugs Carter’s gotten from the U.S., and Angelique isn’t happy. But Kem has a new American sponsor who’s going to give her $15,000 a year for the next five years, so now she can admit more patients, including Celine. That sponsor is Carter. Hmm, looks like he just bought his way into Kem’s heart.

Thanksgiving: We revisit the scene where Lily and Chuny were looking at pictures and brought up Carter. Then we go to him and Kem in the Congo, now in a relationship. He asks why she came back to the Congo after getting her education overseas. She explains that she came to settle her father’s affairs after he was killed by rebel soldiers. He was an engineer who spent 30 years trying to improve the water supply in the area. He just drove through the wrong place in the country, where they killed people from his culture.

In the clinic, Carter has a wheelchair race with a boy as the staff and patients cheer them on. Kem comes by to tell Carter that Celine didn’t come to her appointment at the clinic that morning. She was last there two weeks ago, right after her husband died. Her health is good, so something must have happened. They head off with Charles to find her at her refugee camp.

Celine’s fine, but she missed her appointment because her oldest child, Lamia, is sick. They take him to the clinic to treat him for pneumonia. Celine tells Carter she only slept with her husband, never anyone else. (I assume she’s worried he’ll look down on her if he thinks she’s been with a lot of men.) Once he’s done with Lamia, Carter goes outside for a break and encounters Kem. Lamia will need the same medication Celine takes, but they don’t have the right dosage for a child. Carter’s upset that Kem won’t do any work to try to figure out how to get it. She tells him to go home and complain to his government about not helping people from third-world countries. Carter goes out in the rain and yells.

The next day, I guess, Carter goes to see Debbie at her Red Cross clinic and asks her to get a few things while she’s on a supply run in Kinshasa. He wants Christmas decorations and small presents. At home, he wraps some presents for his care package to County, and Kem sees one for Abby and asks who she is. Carter says she’s a friend. At least he hopes she’s still his friend. Kem admits to being a little jealous. Yeah, don’t be.

She announces that she thinks she might be pregnant. She asks if he’s mad, which is a weird thing to say. They’re actually both happy about the news. Even though they’ve only been together for six weeks, and she has a whole program to run, they want to have a baby together.

We catch up to the present, with Abby arriving for her shift on Christmas Eve. This time we see Valerie and Pratt chatting a little; he’s awkward around her now that he knows she has MS. In the Congo, Debbie brings some oxygen to the clinic, which has been running low. She lets Carter believe she had a hard time finding the decorations and presents he wanted, but she’s actually brought a ton of stuff. The American embassy let her take their old decorations.

That night, the staff opens the gifts from County. Carter got a card from County’s staff and a letter updating him on everything he’s missed in Chicago, including Romano’s death. In the morning, the kids are surprised to receive presents. Carter stuffs a pillow down his scrub top and puts on a fake beard to play Santa. He takes a present to Lamia, even though the boy is unconscious and might never wake up. Carter sheds a single tear for the one patient he hasn’t been able to save.

Then we go back to his gift exchange with Kem and his invitation for her to join him in the U.S. He has to go back to settle Millicent’s estate, which he’s been putting off for months. He admits that he ran away from that responsibility, as well as himself. He wasn’t happy because something was missing in his life. Kem doesn’t want to leave her program or her life in the Congo, which Carter understands. He invites her to come visit for a month or two and see what his life is like. Plus, she’ll get great prenatal care in America. Then they’ll figure out where to raise their child. “What was missing in my life isn’t missing anymore,” Carter says.

Thoughts: Like the other Africa episodes, this one has good intentions, but if it didn’t lead to any kin of push for funding to treat or prevent HIV and AIDS in third-world countries, what was the point?

Can we talk about the irony of Carter and Kem apparently having unprotected sex while trying to treat people for an illness commonly spread through unprotected sex?

Luka sending Halloween candy to Carter is so sweet. I like that they’re not rivals anymore.

February 1, 2022

ER 10.8, Freefall: Helicopter 2: The Helicoptering

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

So long, farewell, don’t come back

Summary: Romano is overseeing a trauma case Abby, Sam, and Neela are working on together. It’s not going well. Abby made the wrong call with medications, and Romano gets Neela to tell him what she should have used instead. (He is, unsurprisingly, racist in the process.) The patient doesn’t make it, but it’s okay because it’s just a practice dummy.

It’s Thanksgiving, but Abby doesn’t have any family in town, so she doesn’t seem too disappointed to have to spend the holiday at work. The ER is busy, and Luka can’t find a room for his patient, Mr. Garland, who has pneumonia. He needs IV antibiotics and isn’t thrilled to be away from his family on Thanksgiving. Luka asks Abby about her training, and she laments that she looked dumb. He thinks she’ll catch on in time.

Frank is annoyed that no one on the night shift decorated the admit area for the holiday. He thought his only responsibility was organizing the staff potluck. Sam has left Alex home alone, which sounds like a disaster in the making. She’s happy to only be working until 3:00, when she’ll get to spend Thanksgiving with her son for the first time in years.

Neela goes to grab a coffee from the desk and learns that the nurses have a coffee club with monthly dues. Looks like Abby’s still in the club. Susan’s overseeing med-student assignments, so maybe she’s more involved with them than I previously thought. Pratt catches Morris picking through charts for a patient who doesn’t have something gross wrong with them. Frank snaps a picture of the two of them with an old camera he found. He wonders what else is on the film roll.

Abby tends to a woman named Loren who worries that she’s having a miscarriage. She’s also HIV-positive. Lily asks Abby to work a nursing shift that night, even though she usually only does them on weekends. Susan offers to let her off her med-student rotation at 5:00 so she can take a nap before clocking back in. Abby resists taking one for the team, but agrees to work if no one else can come in.

Morris examines a man who’s been treating his glaucoma with some special medication his nephew gave him. That “special medication” should stay in his pocket so any cops who happen to be in the ER don’t see it. (That’s my way of saying it’s pot.) Coop is taking care of a man named Fritz who accidentally cut himself with an electric carving knife.

Paramedics bring in a man named Mr. Westbrook who was in a car accident. Pratt and Elizabeth quiz Morris as they start to work, but Morris wants to go back to his glaucoma patient. Pratt chastises him for giving up a great learning opportunity. Abby asks for a second person to be in the room while she performs a pelvic exam, but when Neela offers, Abby turns her down. Luka’s having trouble getting Mr. Garland admitted, but Mr. Garland is very patient and is willing to wait. That makes a total of one patient in the hospital who understands that you can’t always get treated right away.

As Neela learns what a turducken is, Abby does Loren’s pelvic exam and confirms that she’s miscarrying. Loren suddenly passes out, so Abby calls the admit desk to get Frank to find someone who can help her save her patient. Westbrook doesn’t want to be treated at County, so he starts to call his lawyer. (No, I don’t know why he thinks he needs a lawyer.) Pratt tells him he can’t use his cell phone in the ER, but Westbrook ignores him.

Pratt takes the phone from him just as Romano arrives. Westbrook went to Wharton with County’s CEO, which makes him a VIP, so Romano’s there to suck up and berate Pratt for not giving him special treatment. Pratt says he treats all his patients the same. Romano regrets letting Pratt continue working at County after his previous missteps. Pratt refuses to sign any papers allowing Westbrook to be transferred to another hospital, even if tests show he’s stable enough to go. Romano says it doesn’t matter, because Pratt’s fired.

Loren’s stable, despite some blood loss, but she’ll need to have a procedure to complete her miscarriage. Abby acts like it’s not a big deal, but Luka pulls her out of the room to say that because of some fibroids, it won’t be that simple. Abby needs to be more careful about what she tells patients. Pratt has ignored Romano and is still seeing patients. He even tries to get back on Westbrook’s case. Romano tells him that they’ll be meeting with Weaver and Anspaugh at the end of Pratt’s shift. Pratt comments to himself that this is the only way Romano can avoid spending Thanksgiving alone.

Frank snaps another candid picture as various staff members do various medical things. Morris gives his patient a prescription and tells him to stop using pot. Gallant arrives as Luka and Sam tend to patients who have had to hang out in the hallway because the ER is too full for them. Mr. Garland is still being patient; it helps that he likes to people-watch. Luka tells Sam to get restraints for him, which confuses her, since Mr. Garland is totally calm.

Coburn comes to see Loren, who needs exploratory surgery and could need a hysterectomy if Coburn can’t control her bleeding. Loren refuses to consent to that. Abby pulls Coburn out of the room to ask her to consider other options. She thinks Coburn is jumping to the most damaging solution because Loren has HIV.

Romano intervenes and sides with Coburn. He doesn’t think a woman who has HIV should be having children. Abby notes that Loren’s viral load is low and her chances of transmitting HIV to a baby are less than 3%. Romano says Loren will die before her kid turns ten. Coburn agrees to try something less invasive, but she can’t promise not to have to perform a hysterectomy.

Chuck brings Susan some flowers that he says he took from a dead patient at another hospital (I can’t tell if he’s joking or not). He wants to get together that night, but Susan isn’t interested. Westbrook’s transfer has been approved, and Chuck will be one of his flight nurses. Romano declines to accompany his patient to the roof as he’s loaded in the helicopter. Fair.

Abby sends Loren to surgery, promising to scrub in on her procedure later. Coop discharges Fritz, who says he doesn’t need painkillers – he’s immune to pain after ten years of marriage to his wife, Berta. Neela gives a girl helium (apparently it’s used for asthma patients sometimes) and demonstrates some good bedside manner.

Frank tells Romano that Westbrook left his watch in his trauma room, so Romano tells Neela (“Indira”) to take it to the roof. Frank thinks Romano won’t take it himself because he’s scared. Romano takes the bait and says he’ll go with Neela. As they’re leaving, Morris’ patient returns and complains that Morris stole his medication. Morris is currently in an alley, about to smoke that medication.

Luka and Sam take Mr. Garland to the ICU, and Luka uses restraints to attach him to a pillar so the ICU staff can’t get rid of him. Luka lies that Mr. Garland is a troublemaker and might leave against medical advice. He doesn’t buy Kit’s excuse that they can’t take more patients, since the ER accepts more than they can accommodate all the time.

Romano and Neela are quiet as he tries to hide his anxiety in the elevator on the way to the roof. The muzak is Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’.” When they reach the roof, Romano has a bit of a staredown with the helicopter. He stays in the elevator while Neela takes the watch to Westbrook. As Chuck is loading Westbrook on the helicopter, a flight nurse from the hospital where they’re taking Westbrook says that they’re at capacity and Chuck can’t come. Chuck says he has to, for insurance purposes, so the other nurse will have to leave.

Romano rushes back downstairs and outside to the ambulance bay, needing fresh air. He spots Morris smoking and sends him to the admit desk for a timeout. He’s not allowed to move until Romano comes to get him. On the roof, Neela and a nurse head back to the elevator after putting Westbrook on the helicopter. A strap on their gurney gets caught and they pause to free it. The helicopter suddenly comes back down, spinning on its side. Debris flies at Neela and the nurse, and a big chunk of metal hits the nurse in the back. The helicopter tips over and falls off the roof.

In the ICU, Luka and Sam are bickering over whether it’s okay to force the staff to admit Mr. Garland. Outside, the helicopter explodes, rocking the hospital. It falls out of the sky into the ambulance bay, landing right on top of Romano. No, really. No, REALLY. Romano is dead, and it’s because a helicopter fell on him. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.

The ER staff starts preparing for mass traumas. Abby tells Susan that there was a helicopter crash, and Susan immediately worries that Chuck was involved. At this moment, she realizes she cares about him more than she thought. Abby gives Neela and Lester a crash course on triage and sends them to the ambulance bay to assess patients. Morris stays put at the admit desk, since Romano told him not to move.

Susan goes outside to see how bad the situation is. Uh, it’s bad. A bunch of people are hurt and a bunch of stuff is on fire. Susan is still worried about Chuck, but she has to set that aside to take care of a patient. Fritz is hurt but wants the staff to work on Berta first. Abby tells Susan she can go wait inside and let everyone else take care of the patients, but Susan isn’t going to sit out a mass trauma, even though she’s having trouble keeping her emotions under control.

The ICU is on fire and the phone lines are dead, so the staff can’t call for help from other departments. Luka has to undo Mr. Garland’s restraints to move him to safety, but he can’t find the key. Freaking A, Luka. Back outside, the staff is moving quickly to get patients into the ER. A firefighter tells Susan that so far, four people have been declared dead. Abby again gives Susan the chance to sit this out, but Susan won’t take it.

Luka tries to help a woman whose intubation melted because of the fire. ICK. He and Sam are both keeping their cool as they deal with critical patients in the middle of a smoky room. Weaver arrives outside, relieving Susan of her position as the current highest-ranking staff member. She’s not happy that Susan doesn’t know where Luka and Romano are, since she’s supposed to be the incident commander, but when Susan tells her that Chuck was on the helicopter, Weaver backs off.

Weaver joins Gallant to treat Fritz as Berta is taking up to surgery. Anspaugh has also arrived, having selflessly skipped out on Thanksgiving dinner to come lend a hand. Staff members transport patients around, including Dwight, who may have a concussion. Pratt praises Severa for continuing to work with an injured hand.

And then, like an angel from Heaven, Chuck steps off an elevator. He got taken off the flight at the last minute and has brought down another patient instead. Coop, who’s working with Susan, spots Chuck across the ER and comments that he thought Chuck was dead. Chuck gives Susan a wave through the window, having no clue that she thought the worst had happened. She runs to him and grabs him in a tight hug. He complains that the flight nurse who came with the helicopter wouldn’t let him fly with her. Susan points out that that woman saved his life. She has to go back to work, but she takes a moment to be relieved that he’s okay, with just a scrape on his back.

Luka’s having trouble with his patient in the ICU, and the department is short-staffed, so it’s basically just him, Sam, and Kit taking care of everyone. Luka finally stabilizes his patient, then goes to help Kit as Sam heads to the OR to get some more supplies. In the ER, Pratt is tending to a patient with a carotid injury that’s left him paralyzed. From the next trauma room, Weaver tells him to send the patient to surgery. Pratt doesn’t think he’ll live that long, so he preps for a procedure in the trauma room.

Coop’s asthma is acting up, so he takes some helium, which of course makes him sound funny. Suddenly Chuck collapses in an exam room. Abby realizes his back is bleeding. Neela goes looking for a doctor, but everyone’s busy. She goes back to Abby, who’s working with Lester to revive Chuck. He needs to be intubated, but none of the med students wants to take the lead. Abby steps up and gets it done, but Chuck has an injury to his spleen and needs a central line, something an attending usually handles.

Luka, Sam, and Kit are working on the last critical patient in the ICU. Trivia: Sam used to be a surgical tech. Somehow, there’s an OR available, and Anspaugh takes the patient right up, complaining that he has to miss Thanksgiving. Oh, wah. At least you don’t have metal in your spleen like poor Chuck does. Sam realizes she’s two hours past the time she was supposed to go home. Luka tells Mr. Garland that his burns aren’t too bad. “I liked it better downstairs,” Mr. Garland replies. “I only had pneumonia downstairs.”

Fritz doesn’t make it, and once Weaver declares him dead, she goes next door to check in with Pratt. He couldn’t get a surgeon to take his patient up, so he’s doing the procedure Weaver told him not to do. She’s surprised to see that the procedure worked and the patient is no longer paralyzed. I’m sure Pratt will get yelled at later, but for now, it’s hard to argue with his results.

Neela goes looking for an attending again, which is how Susan learns that Chuck is now a patient. Abby admits to doing procedures she wasn’t supposed to as a med student, but she gets Susan to sign the paperwork saying she did them. Elizabeth comes to get Chuck so he can go to surgery. Susan heads up with them, tearfully thanking Abby for saving his life. Abby and Neela have their first quiet moment in hours, wondering if the chaos is over.

Later, Coburn tells Abby that she tried to be conservative while treating Loren but she ultimately had to do a hysterectomy. I think Abby’s just grateful that she considered all her options before making the decision. Alex arrives, excited because there was a big disaster. He invites Luka to join him and Sam for dinner at a diner, since Sam didn’t have time to cook. Sam resists, but Alex talks her into letting him come.

Anspaugh goes to get Pratt so they can have their meeting with Romano, who’s MIA (of course). Weaver is still tending to a patient and tells them to fill her in later. Romano has sent Anspaugh a bunch of Pratt’s disciplinary letters, and it’s enough to merit a suspension, but Anspaugh doesn’t buy any of it. Since Romano’s the only one who’s complained, and he didn’t bother to show up to this meeting, Anspaugh won’t take him seriously. Plus, he saw Pratt in action today and knows he’s a great doctor.

Alex wants French toast for dinner. No one cares. He’s annoyed with Sam for ruining their Thanksgiving, and he starts to burn a little figurine in the candle on the table. Luka wisely excuses himself. Sam asks Alex why he invited Luka, and why he considers a man over the age of 30 his friend. She knows Alex is trying to fix them up. Alex says Luka’s his friend, not Sam’s.

Abby gave some orders for a patient hours ago, but because of all the chaos, none of the nurses completed them. Abby confuses the patient by saying she’ll do it, since she’s a nurse now. Lester and Neela ask Abby a couple of questions about treatments, and she demonstrates her medical knowledge. Someone took the time to develop the pictures Frank took earlier, and Lily and Chuny laugh over one of Pratt. Morris is still at the desk, since Romano hasn’t let him out of timeout. Pratt can’t believe he sat out the entire mass casualty.

The other pictures on the film roll are from a couple Christmases ago, and Chuny points out Mark to Neela. Lily gives Abby one of her with Romano in the background. There’s a staff photo that includes Mark and Carter, and Lily asks if anyone has heard from Carter recently. Frank says he sent a postcard a month ago. Chuny asks how he is, and Abby says she doesn’t know. Cut to Carter in the Congo, with a beard and a woman named Kem who wants him to come back to bed. So I’d say he’s doing pretty well.

Chuck is out of surgery, and Susan visits him with the flowers he gave her earlier. He jokes that he should fake his death more often. He knew the two of them would end up spending the evening together. Awww, you guys, she loves him! Outside, Abby returns from a coffee run and meets up with Neela, who’s impressed with how well they handled the day’s crisis. It was a roller-coaster. She usually hates them, but she liked this one. Abby offers her coffee, and Neela says she’s not in the club, but Abby bought an extra one. Meanwhile, a crew lifts up the helicopter and finds Romano’s body underneath.

Thoughts: Kem is played by the fantastic Thandie Newton, who is ten times more talented than she ever gets to show in this series.

I have to wonder what went through Paul McCrane’s (Romano) head when he found out how his character was going to die. “A helicopter? Again? …Seriously?”

Ugh, naming a German character Fritz is so lazy.

The scene where Susan and Chuck reunite gets me every time. Even if you don’t like or care about them together, you have to enjoy that moment.