February 2, 2021

ER 7.22, Rampage: Gunning for You

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

The scene of the crime

Summary: Elizabeth has fallen asleep on her couch while up with Ella in the middle of the night. She wants Mark to stick around, but he has to go to work. He dozes off on the train, waking up to find a homeless man staring at him through the window. He gets off the train and is buying a newspaper when some ambulances race by. He runs to County, knowing he’ll be greeted by a mass trauma.

What’s the trauma this time? Kids with gunshot wounds! Fun! Carter tells Mark that someone started shooting at a foster-care facility. Mark quickly wishes he’d listened to Elizabeth and called in sick. At least one patient is probably not going to survive, a little girl named Helen. A boy named Martin tells Chen that Helen was brought to the facility after her foster mother bailed on her. Enjoy Hell, Helen’s former foster mother. Martin also tells Weaver that the gunman was mad at a woman named Mrs. Buckley.

Chen asks Carter if he turned in her peer reference – she was able to convince Weaver to let her apply for chief resident after all. He promises to turn it in today. Weaver tells Benton to send some surgeons to the ER to help with all the shooting victims. A police officer named Napolitano finds Weaver and asks her to get him a bullet from one of the shooting victims so they can start collecting evidence.

One of the survivors of the shooting talks to Legaspi about what she experienced. Legaspi goes to talk to Weaver about her letter, but Frank interrupts to tell Legaspi that Romano wants to talk to her. Legaspi says she’ll call him back later, but Romano won’t take no for an answer. Weaver complains that Romano isn’t in the ER, helping with shooting victims, since they might have as many as eight people who need surgery. Chuny announces that there’s a ninth patient coming in with gunshot wounds, the victim of a carjacking. Legaspi tells Weaver she appreciates the letter, but they won’t be getting back together.

Mark and Cleo can’t save Helen, so Chuny pulls Cleo away to tend to the carjacking victim, Mr. Jeffries. He lets Cleo know that he has AIDS. He was getting out of the car to let the carjacker take it, but the man shot him anyway. Benton joins Cleo to tend to him, but he’s delayed when Roger suddenly arrives and punches Benton. He orders Benton to stay away from Carla. Benton’s very confused, but Roger’s convinced that something happened between him and Carla. Benton promises Cleo that he’s wrong.

Napolitano asks Mr. Jeffries if the carjacker was wearing a yellow windbreaker. The police are pretty sure he’s the same person who shot up the foster-care facility. As Luka and Abby treat the facility’s gardener (shot for no reason while the shooter was leaving), Luka tells Abby that he saw her med school reinstatement form on the counter and sent it in for her so she wouldn’t miss the deadline. Abby tells him she changed her mind about going back to school, so she wasn’t going to fill in the form. Now she’ll have to come up with the tuition money.

Two more gunshot victims are on their way in – the police tracked Mr. Jeffries’ car to a house and found a mother and son shot inside. The shooter still hasn’t been found. Weaver tells Romano to help out, but he’s busy yelling at Legaspi for not taking his phone call. Legaspi refuses to deal with post-op complications in the psychiatric ward (I guess because there’s no other place to put patients, with so many shooting victims coming in), so Romano tells her he’ll get someone else to finish her shift.

Abby recognizes one of the next shooting victims as Mrs. S., the woman who brought Ben into the ER the week before. Her son, Ted, seems to only have minor injuries, but Mrs. S. is hurt worse. She tells Mark that the shooter is Derek. He’s trying to find Ben, and he told Mrs. S. that since she took his son from him, he was going to take her son away from her.

Mark relays Mrs. S.’s information to Napolitano while he, Romano, and Abby try to save her. Next door, Benton determines that Mr. Jeffries needs surgery, but Mr. Jeffries doesn’t want it. He’s already dying of AIDS, so he doesn’t see the point in prolonging his life. He’d rather die from his injuries than the painful effects of his disease.

Romano doesn’t think they can save Mrs. S., and though Mark is willing to try harder, Romano tells him it’s a waste of time. Mark laments losing two patients before lunch. Carter tells Martin, who only has a gunshot wound to his arm, that they’ve found a mass inside him that might be cancer. Martin’s mother died of cancer, which is how he wound up in foster care. So Martin’s having a great day.

Carter tries to make small talk with Abby, who has discovered that he’s keeping a secret: He’s looking at a job opening at another hospital. He doesn’t think he can advance at County. Abby tells him to talk to Weaver about an eventual attending position. Carter thinks she would have brought it up if she thought it would be a good fit. Abby notes that she might not think he’s interested.

Luka interrupts, and after Carter leaves, Luka asks if Abby’s still mad at him for sending in her reinstatement form. She admits that she’s not sure she still wants to be a doctor. Med school is expensive and will take a long time to complete. Luka offers to help her with the money. He thinks she wouldn’t have started med school if she didn’t really want to be a doctor. Abby says nursing may be enough for her – is it not good enough for him?

Weaver treats Ted, who hasn’t been told that his mother died. Mark decides to put that off until they can reach Ted’s father. Napolitano confirms Derek’s identity with Mark; he has a record for domestic abuse. The police found Ben’s foster parents and are going to get him. Frank overhears and asks if Napolitano thinks Derek will come to County. After all, he’s going after the people who took his son from him, and that started with Mark. Mark doesn’t appreciate the idea. Weaver thinks Derek’s too smart to come to a hospital crawling with cops. Mark notes that he hasn’t been showing the best judgment, so they can’t know that.

Weaver asks about Derek’s weapon, a semiautomatic that Frank is sure he’s been reloading. He, Mark, and Weaver bicker over whether guns kill people or people kill people. Weaver remarks that you can’t commit mass murder with a Chinese throwing star, so obviously the gun plays a part. Haleh reports that a cop is being brought in after being dragged by a car. Frank guesses the driver was Derek, who has now committed assault with a deadly weapon. Weaver and Mark tell him in unison to shut up.

Benton and Cleo are in disagreement about whether to honor Mr. Jeffries’ wishes not to have surgery (Cleo is pro, Benton is con). Benton thinks they’re really at odds because Cleo still thinks something happened between him and Carla. He tells her that Carla was upset when he went by her apartment, but he didn’t do anything, and he didn’t want to do anything. Cleo asks why he didn’t tell her she made a pass at him. Benton knew they would just fight, but Cleo thinks he doesn’t trust her.

Mr. Jeffries is declining, so Benton tries to talk him into a blood transfusion, but he refuses. He doesn’t talk to his only remaining family, and he’s outlived the two people he loved, so he doesn’t see the point in staying alive. He’s ready to die, so Benton needs to let him. Mark chats with Ted, who just wants to see his mom. Mark lies that she’s in surgery. The injured cop is brought in, and he confirms that Derek was driving the car that dragged him. Another cop reports that the car Derek stole was found parked outside a house. A woman was found inside with gunshot wounds.

Weaver argues with Romano over his decision to end Legaspi’s shift early and fire her. She doesn’t think he has the authority to fire an employee, even though Romano says she has a history of violating hospital policies. Weaver accuses him of looking for a reason to get rid of her. Haleh interrupts the argument to reveal that the latest shooting victim has been brought in, and she’s someone they know: Adele.

They join Mark, who tells them that Adele appears to be paralyzed. She wonders how Derek was able to find out where she lives, since they only interacted at the hospital. Mark realizes that if Derek was able to get her address, he can get Mark’s, too, which means Elizabeth and Ella are in danger. He tells Napolitano to send cops to his house. As they arrive, Mark tries calling Elizabeth, but she doesn’t answer the phone.

Mark leaves a message, then goes back to helping Weaver and Romano with Adele. Napolitano tells Mark that no one came to the door when the police knocked, but Mark can authorize them to force entry. He does, and the police start searching the house. Weaver suggests that Elizabeth went out on an errand and isn’t home. Romano decides to have her paged.

Mr. Jeffries is now unconscious and unresponsive, so Benton wants to override his refusal of care. Cleo won’t sign the consent form to let him. Elizabeth left her pager at home, so only the cops hear it go off. Benton gets Romano to approve Mr. Jeffries’ surgery, then tries to convince Cleo that Mr. Jeffries is unable to make his own medical decisions because his AIDS has altered his brain function. As they’re bickering, Abby comes into the trauma room, accidentally slamming the door into Cleo. Cleo is holding one of Mr. Jeffries’ blood samples, and the vial breaks, cutting through her glove and into her hand. Benton immediately calls the pharmacy to get a rapid HIV test for her.

Adele is sent to surgery with the possibility that it will relieve her paralysis. Napolitano tells Mark that the cops didn’t find Elizabeth anywhere in the house or yard. Their van is still there. A call on the police scanner reports another shooting victim, a cab driver shot by his passenger. Meanwhile, Lydia thinks Ted is starting to catch on that his mother isn’t really in surgery.

Martin has a rare form of cancer, plus no parents, so…yeah, a really bad day for Martin. Mark decides it’s time to tell Ted that Mrs. S. was hurt too badly for the doctors to be able to save her. He promises that she wasn’t in any pain. Benton gives Cleo some preventive meds, trying to assure her that her chances of contracting HIV from Mr. Jeffries’ blood are low.

Weaver goes to the psychiatric ward to try to convince Legaspi that Romano can’t legally fire her. Legaspi is sure that Romano has been gunning for her (…maybe not the best choice of words for this episode, but I’ll ignore myself) for a long time and has just been building a case against her. She doesn’t see the point in fighting it. Weaver is willing to help her, which Legaspi finds ridiculous, since Weaver won’t even fight for their relationship.

Mark tries to call some neighbors to see if they’ve seen Elizabeth. Napolitano tells him they found Derek, who shot some people in Lincoln Park, then was taken down by a random citizen. Mark enlists Cleo to tend to the cab driver as Napolitano talks to another officer about the driver’s shooting. They’re pretty sure Derek was responsible, since the last address entered into the driver’s log was Mark’s. The police think the driver heard Derek’s description on the radio and realized who he was, so Derek shot him. Napolitano notes that that means Derek never got to Mark’s house.

As Haleh tells Mark that Derek is being brought in, Carter and Abby take a break outside and talk about Martin. They acknowledge that their own problems don’t really compare to his. Abby says that Luka offered to help her with tuition, and though she knows he means well, it frustrates her that she always has to explain her feelings for him. Carter tells her to stop – he’s not one of her female friends, and he doesn’t want her to talk to him about her relationship like he is. He doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines, waiting for Abby and Luka to break up. His friendship with Abby may be convenient for her, but it’s not enough for him. It’s not clear if Abby is being willfully ignorant or if she truly doesn’t get what he’s trying to say: He wants to date her.

Mark and Luka treat Derek, as if any hospital would let a man give medical attention to the guy who was on his way to murder him and his family. Carter tells Martin that, in a way, he was lucky that he was shot, because it led the doctors to find his cancer. Catching it this early gives him a better chance of survival. It’s still only 70%, so Martin isn’t that optimistic. Also, he has to deal with a gunshot wound and the related trauma, so…not the best attempt at cheering someone up, Carter.

Carter finds Chen, who’s treating the man who shot Derek. He started carrying a gun after he was mugged in the park last year. Carter and Chen are judgmental about that, but the man argues that he stopped a mass shooter, so they should be grateful. Before leaving to tend to another victim, Carter tells Chen that he turned in her peer review. He jokes that he had to make up stuff so it would be glowing.

Mark and Luka keep treating Derek, telling Napolitano that he’ll probably recover, even though he was shot five times. Napolitano is disgusted that he gets to live after shooting 19 people and killing eight or nine of them. Elizabeth finally calls Mark; she was at the farmers’ market and had no idea that anything was going on. Mark just says it’s a long story and everything’s fine.

Weaver catches Romano between operations and tries to talk him into rescinding Legaspi’s termination. She accuses him of trying to fire her because she’s a lesbian. Romano says she’s just a pain. Weaver asks if she’s the same kind of pain Maggie Doyle (also a lesbian) was. She warns that if he doesn’t rethink his decision, he’ll be the one who’s fired.

Romano won’t back down, so Weaver follows him into the men’s room and threatens to quit if he doesn’t let Legaspi stay. Romano warns her not to give him an ultimatum. She’s the chief of emergency medicine, not the hospital’s lesbian advocate. “I am both – I am the chief of emergency medicine and I am a lesbian,” she replies. If necessary, Weaver will go to the county, the press, and the ACLU. Romano just stares at her as she leaves. It takes her until she gets on an elevator to realize that she just came out.

Derek is stable enough to go to the OR, and Mark makes eye contact with Ted as he takes Derek to an elevator. Haleh is with him, but she forgot something, so she leaves Mark alone with Derek. Derek’s heart goes into arrhythmia, and Mark acts on instinct, grabbing paddles to shock him. Then he pauses, remembering what his patient has done. Mark stops the elevator, then shocks the air instead of Derek. He does it again, making eye contact with Derek to drive home that Mark won’t save him. He shocks the air again, watching as the life drains out of Derek.

Thoughts: For an episode full of shooting and mass trauma, it doesn’t really get tense until halfway through, when it looks like Elizabeth could be in danger. The episode would have been better if Derek had just gone to County and demanded Ben’s location/taken hostages/started shooting for the fun of it.

Cleo, if you don’t trust Benton, BREAK UP WITH HIM.

Lily calls Benton “Peter.” It sounds weird.

I doubt they would take Derek to the hospital where one of his targets worked, and they DEFINITELY wouldn’t let Mark be his doctor.

I really think any other show (*cough* Grey’s Anatomy *cough*) would have tried to put Carter and Chen together romantically, but ER never does. I like that they’re just friends. I also like that they’re competitive with each other but they never take it too seriously. You can tell that even though each wants to be chief resident, they would still be proud of the other for getting the position.

That’s a wrap on season 7! Up next: Susan returns, Rachel ruins everything, Mark says goodbye, and we’re left with freaking Pratt.

January 26, 2021

ER 7.21, Where the Heart Is: Go Forward, Not Back

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:03 pm by Jenn

Close the blinds! Don’t make this poor woman watch her brother die!

Summary: Cleo’s playing with Reese, who’s over at her house for the day. A sitter was supposed to come watch him, but since Cleo has the day off, she canceled the sitter. Benton is hesitant to let her watch his son, so he passive-aggressively notes that Reese needs a lot of attention. Yeah, most kids his age do. Let your girlfriend watch your kid instead of paying a stranger to do it. There’s a softball game that night (remember the County softball team from seasons ago?), which Cleo is playing in, and she wants Benton and Reese to come cheer her on. Benton hates fun, so he tries to use the excuse that Reese didn’t bring a jacket with him. Cleo notes that they can go to Carla’s and pick one up.

Maggie is still in Chicago, staying with Abby, and has been going to therapy. Abby’s been spending a lot of time with her, and they seem to be getting along well. Maggie thinks Abby should go spend time with Luka, though. She says Abby’s lucky to have two great men in love with her, Luka and Carter. Abby doesn’t want to approach that subject. Wait until next season, Maggie. She bugs Abby to have a real conversation with her and invites her to a therapy session. Abby refuses.

Weaver stops by Legaspi’s place and is surprised to see another woman there. Looks like Legaspi has rebounded from their relationship quickly. Mark is back at work but struggling with lack of sleep due to having a newborn. He and Abby team up to treat a seven-year-old named Ben who burned his hands. His neighbor, Mrs. Shayotovich, brought him in. Ben is very unhappy about being in the hospital, and if he were an adult, he would have been restrained by now.

Dave’s looking at new cars, trying to decide between a BMW or a Porsche. He asks Randi which she can see him in. “Most of the time, I see you walking,” she replies. Dave reveals that he’s been moonlighting at a clinic, so he’ll soon be able to afford a down payment on a luxury car. Once he can’t afford the rest of the payments, he’ll fake his own death. Heh. Weaver chastises Dave for browsing for a car instead of working. Carter quips that he still has to pass his driver’s license test.

Weaver pulls Carter into the lounge for a talk. He applied to be chief resident, but he’s still on probation, so he’s not eligible. Carter notes that his probation time will be up by the time the slot needs to be filled. Weaver asks why he wants the role anyway – what if taking on a demanding position jeopardizes his sobriety? Carter thinks he can handle it, but Weaver can’t forget about everything that’s happened. She’s surprised he thought he would even make the first cut.

Mark and Abby struggle to tend to Ben, who yells at both them and Mrs. S. She tells them that she thinks Ben was trying to put out a fire he set himself. He’s home by himself a lot. Luka wants Abby to fill in for a sick softball player, even if it means spending an evening away from Maggie. But she would rather keep an eye on her mother than have fun with her boyfriend and co-workers. Chen asks Carter what Weaver wanted to talk about. He tells her he was rejected from the race for chief resident, which means Chen will probably get it. He seems at least somewhat genuine when he says she deserves it, though not as much as he does.

Benton goes to Carla’s to get Reese’s jacket, and Carla tries to get him to stick around for a while. She reveals that Roger recently moved out. She wishes she and Benton had stayed together; it would have been better for Reese, at least. Roger told Carla he never loved her. Benton thinks he was just trying to be hurtful, but Carla wonders if they ever had a real connection. She gets flirty and tries to remind Benton of their relationship. He gets where she’s going with this and tells her to cut it out.

Cleo calls and suggests that Benton pick up something for dinner so they can have a picnic at the softball field. Reese starts to play Cleo’s piano, and she realizes he’s messing with the keyboard cover. She calls out to him to stop, but of course, he can’t hear her. The keyboard cover slams down on his hand and he cries out.

At County, Chen and Carter give Dave instructions for a patient, then laugh over what it was like being a junior resident. Weaver calls Chen in for her own meeting about the chief-resident position, and the news is the same as Carter’s: She’s not getting it. Thanks to maternity leave, Chen hasn’t done the amount of procedures and shifts needed to become a senior resident, so she’s not eligible.

Chen plans to work hard to make it up by the deadline, but Weaver tells her that hospital policy discourages that much extra work. Chen argues that the rules about eligibility are sexist and discriminatory. Weaver practically offered her the position before her pregnancy. Weaver knows, but Chen didn’t complete the program, so it’s out of her hands. Chen notes that giving the baby for adoption was a sacrifice she made for her career. She feels like she deserves further consideration. Weaver says she’ll think about it, but she obviously won’t.

Ben has finally calmed down, but he’s still a brat – he tries to grope Abby. Mark thinks he has an additional injury from a fall. He also finds a bruise behind Ben’s ear. Dave is still focused on getting a car, so Weaver sends him off to, you know, do his job. Legaspi comes to the ER and asks Weaver why she stopped by the house. Weaver wanted to give her a letter (I assume it’s the letter she was working on at the airport), but she changed her mind when she realized Legaspi has a new girlfriend.

Luka approaches as the two are finishing their conversation and asks Weaver if the two of them are okay. Abby finds Legaspi as she leaves and asks for details about the therapy session Maggie wants her to attend. Legaspi tells her it’s not an ambush and she’s free to skip it. Cleo has brought Reese to the ER, where she tells Benton and Carla that his hand is broken. He’ll have to wear a cast for a few weeks, which will hinder his signing. Carla blasts Cleo for not keeping a better eye on Reese, who needs more attention than hearing children. She yells that she doesn’t want Cleo anywhere near Reese.

While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, Luka tries to strike up some small talk with a distracted Weaver. She tells him that she and Legaspi were in a relationship, but it’s over. Luka asks if something changed, and Weaver says yes. Luka asks if she still loves Legaspi. When Weaver says yes again, Luka urges her to “go forward, not back.”

The ambulance they’re waiting for brings them Jim, a man who was hit by a car while changing a tire on the side of the road. His sister, Bonnie, is with him but doesn’t want to leave the ambulance. Bonnie, who’s developmentally disabled, enjoyed the ambulance ride so much that she wants to keep going. Weaver joins Luka in Jim’s trauma room and assures Jim that Bonnie’s not hurt.

Abby goes to the therapy session after all, arriving as Maggie and Legaspi are talking about ways Maggie can stay healthy. She wants to go back to Minnesota, where the kids grew up. She hasn’t lived there for years, but she grew up there and has family and friends there. One of her friends has already offered her a place to stay and might be able to get her a job. Once Maggie has saved enough money, she’ll get her own place.

Abby laughs at the idea of Maggie thinking she can live a normal life on her own. Maggie doesn’t want to stay in Chicago or go back to Florida, where Abby’s brother lives. She’s worried about being a drain on her children. Abby says Maggie’s plan sounds romantic, but not realistic – it’s not going to magically solve all her problems. However, Abby doesn’t have any solutions herself. She tells Maggie to go ahead and do what she wants, then leaves.

Ben’s father, Derek, comes to the ER and tells Mark that Ben is always getting into trouble. He blames the absence of Ben’s mother. Mark tells him Ben’s burns will heal, but he needs to speak to a psychiatrist before he can be released. He asks Derek if he’s noticed the bruises on Ben’s body. Derek says they must be from fights at school.

Chen chats with Bonnie as she stitches a cut on Bonnie’s forehead. Bonnie and Jim’s parents died in a car crash, but it sounds like he takes really good care of her. Weaver and Luka are having trouble stabilizing Jim, thanks to some internal bleeding, and he’s worried about his recovery, since he needs to take care of Bonnie.

Benton is on Cleo’s case about Reese’s accident, as if she doesn’t already feel bad enough about what happened. She’s annoyed that he’s acting like she deliberately let Reese get hurt. Weaver finds Bonnie wandering around, looking for Jim, who was supposed to be on his way to the OR. Instead, he’s brought back to the ER, since his blood pressure dropped. He’s barely conscious but is still more worried about Bonnie than about himself.

Legaspi has talked to Ben, who didn’t want to open up much. Mark notes that he got very quiet when Derek arrived – Ben seems terrified of him. Mark believes that Derek is abusing Ben. Weaver, Luka, and Chen work to save Jim, but he keeps declining. Poor Bonnie is in the suture room next door, watching through the window and probably not understanding what’s happening.

Abby goes for a walk with Carter and complains about Maggie and Legaspi ganging up on her in therapy. Just a week ago, Legaspi wanted to keep Maggie on the 90-day psych hold, but now she’s supporting Maggie’s plans to move away and live on her own. They turned on Abby for not agreeing to Maggie’s plans.

Carter thinks she should look at this differently than Maggie’s past crises. After all, this time she’s trying to stay well. Abby can choose to hope she’ll make it or give up, which Abby doesn’t seem to want to do. Carter went five minutes without talking about himself, so he brings up his rejection as chief resident. He acknowledges that part of facing addiction is accepting that some people won’t get over it.

Back in the ER, the doctors still haven’t been able to stabilize Jim. Bonnie comes in, objecting to Weaver shocking Jim, since she thinks it’s hurting Jim. Eventually the doctors realize they’re not going to be able to save him. Weaver and Chen take on the horrible responsibility of telling Bonnie that her brother died. She has trouble grasping the idea, and Weaver tells her she’s going to have to be brave.

Legaspi finds Abby in the lounge and asks her to give Maggie another chance. Legaspi thinks that Maggie has a good shot of turning things around this time. If Abby lets Maggie leave town without addressing their issues, neither of them will be happy. Abby doesn’t think happiness is a possibility anyway. Legaspi asks why, but Abby’s not the one in therapy, so she won’t elaborate. She will, however, consider Legaspi’s advice.

Weaver brings in Adele to deal with Bonnie’s situation; she has no other family, and she has the developmental level of a child, so she can’t live on her own. All the facilities that would be able to take her are full, so she’ll have to go to a group home. Weaver objects to that, since Bonnie won’t get the attention needs. Adele says there are no other options.

Mark needs Adele next, since Social Services wants to take Ben into emergency custody. They tell Derek that they have some suspicions about his previous injuries. Derek has excuses for everything, and Adele tells him that if they turn out to be the truth, Ben will get to go home in three days. Derek refuses to let Adele take Ben, so she yells for security to restrain him. Ben begs to stay with his father, but Adele picks him up and carries him away.

Maggie surprises Abby with dinner when she gets home from work. Abby tells her that she left the therapy session because it scares her to hope too much. Maggie understands. She knows she might not succeed, but after her suicide attempt, she realized she doesn’t want to die. Even more than that, she doesn’t want Abby to have to watch her die. Maggie is going to take control of her life, which will allow Abby to move on with hers.

Maggie thinks Abby’s putting her life on hold because of her mother. She won’t even take the night off to go to the softball game. Abby argues that she doesn’t sit things out. Maggie tells her to stop using her mother as an excuse not to do the things she wants to do in life. She should go to med school and get married. Abby notes that she did get married. Maggie tells her to get pregnant, then. Abby reveals that she did that, too. When she was with Richard, she had an abortion because she felt like she wasn’t meant to be a mother.

Realizing what Abby’s real concern is, Maggie says that her bipolar disorder first surfaced when she was a lot younger than Abby, so it’s unlikely that Abby also has it. Maggie has always kept an eye on that. Abby worries that any child she has might have bipolar, but Maggie notes that she would love that child anyway.

She guesses that Abby never told Richard about her pregnancy or abortion. Abby thinks that was the beginning of the end of the relationship; they never talked about anything. Abby was too scared to risk becoming her mother or having a child like her mother. Maggie hugs her as she cries, telling her that life is about taking risks. Otherwise, you miss out on good things, and Abby deserves those good things.

Weaver puts Bonnie in a cab to a group home, though Bonnie doesn’t completely understand why she can’t go back to her house. Somehow, Weaver is able to see Bonnie off without crying or offering to let Bonnie live with her, which I probably would have done. In happier news, softball! Luka looks goofy in a backwards baseball cap! Abby comes to the game and agrees to play. Maggie’s with her, ready to play cheerleader.

Scans show that Mark was right about an injury Derek didn’t know Ben had. Legaspi thinks he was also right about Derek being abusive. Weaver finally gives her the letter expressing her feelings. Even if Legaspi has moved on and doesn’t want to get back together, Weaver wants Legaspi to know how she feels. Mark asks Ben about his injuries, which Ben lies about. He finally says that he’s bad a lot, so he gets punished. He thinks he deserves it. Mark gently tells him he won’t be able to go home.

Malik (R.I.P. Deezer D) makes a great hit at the softball game, and Maggie cheers for Abby as she rounds the bases. Abby sits with Maggie to watch as Luka tries his hand at softball for the first time ever. Despite what Abby thought earlier in the day, the two of them are happy. Luka hits a foul ball but doesn’t know what that means, so he runs the bases anyway. Abby and Maggie let him have his moment.

Thoughts: I can’t believe I’m just now realizing this but Randi and Meghan from Felicity are basically the same person.

Way to not defend your girlfriend to your ex, Benton. Sometimes I wonder why Cleo continues to put up with him.

I’ve watched this episode multiple times over the years, and the Bonnie plot wrecks me every time.

Telling Derek they think he’s abusive right in front of Ben was a big misstep on Mark and Adele’s part. Though I guess, after the next episode, that’s going to be the least of Ben’s problems when he gets older.

January 19, 2021

ER 7.20, Fear of Commitment: Every Day Comes With Its Own Surprises

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

Weaver’s worst plot ever

Summary: Benton is at a nursing home to see Ferris, as he promised he would. He arrives just as Ferris appears to be having a heart attack. Earl and Walter are also residents there and are trying to be helpful, unlike the nurse on duty, who only does basic things like taking people’s blood pressure. The paramedics arrive, including Doris, and Benton gives them instructions for Ferris’ treatment. He rides in the ambulance with Ferris, promising he’ll be fine, even though he’s in congestive heart failure. The ambulance hits a man on a motorcycle, so now the paramedics have a second patient to transport.

Maggie is still in County’s psychiatric ward, but physically she seems fine, and psychologically she’s stable. Abby is sympathetic because she’s there on a 90-day hold, but Maggie understands it. She feels bad for putting Abby through everything she did. Benton hands the motorcyclist off to Dave, then checks on Luka, who’s taking care of Ferris. Benton returns to the motorcyclist but struggles to treat him since he smacked his hand against something when the ambulance crashed.

Legaspi stops by the ER and mentions to Abby that Maggie is on her way to the courthouse for a hearing. This is the first Abby’s hearing that Maggie is contesting her commitment. Luka has stabilized Ferris but can’t get him a bed yet. Benton promises to get things sorted out after he operates on the motorcyclist.

Abby complains to Luka that Maggie didn’t tell her about the hearing. She guesses that Maggie doesn’t want Abby to show up and testify that she should remain on the 90-day psych hold. Luka offers to go to the courthouse with Abby, but as always, she says she’s fine handling things on her own. Luka asks if she would prefer going with Carter. Low blow, but also…fair.

The staff has pitched in money to get Mark and Elizabeth a gift basket and video baby monitor. Dave objects to adding his own $50 just because that’s what the other (richer) doctors are giving. He then tries to pass the buck (…see what I did there?) on a patient he doesn’t want to have to take care of. Chen calls him on his crap and he asks if she’s PMSing. Of course, that just makes things worse.

In the OR, Benton is suturing the motorcyclist with his left hand, since he hurt his right hand in the crash. Romano busts him and takes over, noting that if anything goes wrong, Benton will be on the hook for malpractice. As Benton leaves the OR, a nurse tells him that his wife is there. (She means Carla.)

Down in the ER, Carter is treating a woman named Noni who’s pregnant but experiencing pain. In the next bed, Chen’s patient, Grainger, wants medication for a migraine he’s been unable to treat with his regular meds. He blames numbers of some kind – 80, 146, 72, 109. Carter realizes those are the numbers on Noni’s monitor, which was out of Grainger’s line of sight.

A homeless patient maces Dave for not respecting her requests not to be touched or have her belongings touched. Amazingly, we don’t get to see Chen smirking. Weaver takes the patient’s mace and tries to figure out why she seems familiar. She casually threatens to have the patient arrested if she doesn’t calm down. The patient shoots back that they used to drown redheaded babies because they thought they were evil. Weaver replies that they used to burn crazy people, thinking they were witches. I smell a buddy-comedy spin-off for these two!

Abby tracks down Rifkin, the lawyer who will be arguing that Maggie should remain on the 90-day hold. He doesn’t have all the details he needs since he just got the case that morning. They run into Nesmith, the lawyer who will be arguing on Maggie’s behalf. His defense strategy is claiming that Maggie didn’t intend to kill herself when she took all those sleeping pills. Rifkin wants to put Abby on the stand to testify that Maggie did want to die.

Carla is in the ER because she took a misstep and broke her ankle. She was carrying Reese at the time, but he’s okay. Benton chastises Carla for carrying their son while wearing heels. She’ll need surgery, but she says she can’t stay in the hospital; Roger isn’t around to look after Reese. Oh, if only there were another parent who could take care of him. Carla mentions that she and Roger haven’t been getting along well lately.

Benton offers to take care of Reese while Carla’s in the hospital, but she knows Benton moved in with Cleo and doesn’t think that would be a good environment for their child. So she never had Reese around Roger before they were married? Benton notes that Cleo is a pediatrician, the best possible person for their son to be around. Carla says Cleo doesn’t seem like the motherly type. Yeah, well, neither do you, Carla.

In court, Deraad testifies that Maggie hasn’t shown any signs of being suicidal since she was admitted to County and has followed all the recommendations for treatment. Abby is called to the witness stand next, but there’s an interruption when another patient waiting for his hearing starts complaining about how long it’s taking. Luka arrives as Abby testifies that she thinks Maggie should remain committed. The agitated patient gets more agitated and has to be removed from the courtroom.

A paramedic brings in a man who was pushed down during a fight and is, according to the paramedic, faking unconsciousness. He’s wearing a possum costume and has given his name as O. Possum. Another costumed patient IDs him as Brett and says Brett bit him. Dave has to change his clothes post-macing, so Carter gives him a white coat, which Dave normally refuses to wear. Chen cracks up, but I think it’s more at the thought of Dave being an actual doctor than at the sight of him in the coat. Lily summons Carter to tend to Noni, who’s collapsed and bleeding on the bathroom floor.

Nesmith tries to argue that Abby wants Maggie to remain committed because she doesn’t want her embarrassing, mentally ill mother living with her. Abby says that Maggie has lived with her briefly a few times before, but she always stops taking her medication and disappears. Nesmith notes that Maggie looks pretty stable right now. Abby says she’s only been taking her medications for a week; this won’t last. Nesmith gets Abby to admit that Maggie isn’t a danger to herself when she’s med-compliant. Abby says she can’t look after Maggie – after all, Maggie attempted suicide while under Abby’s care.

Carter determines that Noni is miscarrying the baby just as the baby’s father, Victor, arrives. Weaver treats Brett’s bite victim (we don’t know his name but he’s dressed as a kangaroo, so I’ll call him Kang) and asks if he and Brett are rival mascots. Kang introduces her to the mind-blowing, yes-this-is-a-thing world of furries. Brett started to take things too far while mock-grooming Kang, so Kang hit him. Weaver appears to be rethinking her career decisions.

Maggie testifies that she overdosed on sleeping pills but didn’t mean to kill herself. She just wanted to sleep through the drive from Oklahoma to Chicago. She took a few, didn’t think they were working, and took more. In the gallery, Abby tells Rifkin that she took 900 milligrams, 36 pills. Maggie apologizes to her for putting her through all of this. Abby tells Rifkin to ask her where she got the pills. The judge hushes her. Maggie insists that she can take care of herself if Abby won’t take her in. Abby comments that her credit cards have all been canceled. The judge hushes her again.

Carter sends Noni to the OR to stop her bleeding. He tells Victor that Noni’s inability to clot properly could be a sign of liver disease. He asks about any medications Noni’s taking that could have caused that, and Victor hesitantly mentions root extracts that are supposed to induce a miscarriage. Carter’s confused, since Noni seemed to want the baby. Victor admits that she didn’t know she took the extracts – he snuck them into her tea. So Victor’s definitely going to jail, right?

Weaver determines that her macing patient has a tumor on her ovary. “Every day comes with its own surprises,” the patient spits out. Weaver finally realizes why she’s familiar – she’s Princess Taffeta, a former children’s show star. “Every day comes with its own surprises” was her catchphrase. P.T. doesn’t want to be admitted to the hospital, and she doesn’t have any family members who can come be with her. She doesn’t think it matters, since in the end, everyone dies alone.

Abby takes a smoke break while court is in recess, and Luka joins her to try to assure her that her testimony went well. Maggie wants to talk to her, and Luka thinks Abby should see her. Even if Maggie doesn’t want her help, she needs it. Abby agrees, but the conversation doesn’t go well – Maggie says she doesn’t want to be a burden to Abby, but Abby doesn’t believe that Maggie is finally going to take care of herself this time. She can’t take Maggie’s word that she’ll seek treatment after her commitment time is up.

Kang tells Weaver the origins of his furry obsession (which I don’t think she asked for, dude): His boss had him dress up as a reindeer for a Christmas party, and wearing a costume made him feel free and outgoing. He’s not a plushie or a furvert, though. I think you can intuit what a furvert is; a plushie is someone who’s “overly fond of stuffed animals.”

Cleo and Dave tend to a teen named Lynda, finding marks on her back from a folk cure Dave is familiar with. It involves heating a coin and dragging it across someone’s back. He thinks the coin used on Lynda was dipped in oil of wintergreen, which can lead to aspirin toxicity. Looks like the white coat turned Dave into a real doctor after all. Carter talks with Noni after her operation, assuring her that she’ll be able to have children in the future. He can’t convince her to press charges against Victor, since she thinks he just got scared about becoming a father.

Rifkin questions Maggie about the sleeping pills she took, trying to get her to admit that she intended to kill herself. She continues to insist that she accidentally took too many (“too many” being nine times the recommended dose). She admits to stealing the pills, but only because she knew Abby wouldn’t buy them for her if she asked. Rifkin notes that Maggie has been committed twice for suicide attempts, one of which was also an overdose.

Dave asks Lynda’s grandmother about the folk treatment, but the grandmother doesn’t speak English. Benton brings Reese along as he visits Ferris, who also has Earl and Walter visiting. They’re familiar with the exploding-condom story and seem pleased to meet the culprit. Earl overhears Dave struggling to communicate with Lynda’s grandmother and offers his services – he was a translator in the Army and speaks Cantonese. Cleo and Dave discover from Lynda’s blood tests that the coining wasn’t what caused her to get sick, so they’re out of ideas. Earl provides a possible clue: Lynda’s grandmother thinks she’s possessed because she’s started having sex.

Weaver catches P.T. trying to leave the hospital without receiving treatment. She asks P.T. to speak to a psychiatrist before she signs herself out. P.T. knows she doesn’t have long to live, so she gives Weaver one of her puppets from her show, Mr. Whiskers. She says the puppet ended her potential career as a famous actress, but on the plus side, the show paid for her first house.

The judge is ready to make a ruling in Maggie’s case: She’s released on her own recognizance. The judge quickly moves on to the next case, but Abby objects. Rifkin tells her they have to move on. Abby complains that she’s the one who’s been dealing with Maggie’s issues for 30 years, and no one else understands how serious things are. The judge doesn’t have to care about what happens after Maggie leaves the courtroom. Maybe next time the judge won’t hear the case at all because Maggie’s suicide attempt will be successful.

Benton wants to stick around the hospital to make sure Ferris is taken care of, so Cleo offers to take Reese home with her until they can reach Jackie and ask her to pick him up. Benton doesn’t want to put that responsibility on Cleo, but she’s excited about hanging out with Reese for the afternoon. Dave recognizes Mr. Whiskers and thinks Weaver got him on eBay. He’s brought in a chaplain to talk to Lynda, thinking her problem is psychosomatic – she just feels guilty because her grandmother caught her messing around with her boyfriend. Cleo’s skeptical, but Dave says she just can’t admit that he outsmarted her.

Maggie returns to County to sign paperwork that will allow her release. Legaspi will only give her three days’ worth of medication; Maggie has to come back each week to get more. She’ll be staying in a shelter since Abby won’t let Maggie stay with her. Abby wishes her mother luck, knowing they’ll see each other the next time Maggie has a mental-health crisis.

Maggie says that might not happen, but Abby knows she won’t just walk away from this suicide attempt and turn her life around. When Abby saw Maggie seizing in the ER, she was sure that Maggie was going to die. This could still end that way. But Abby will always show up and try to fix things because Maggie has that power over her.

Carter has called the police on Victor, even though Noni never agreed to press charges. The law considers what Victor did murder, a crime whether Noni wants it to be one or not. Chen tries to get in touch with Grainger, but there’s no record of him with the VA. There’s also no record of the doctor she let him leave with. (There must have been a scene that was deleted.) Weaver goes looking for Mr. Whiskers and finds him with Brett, who appears to be a plushie. Poor Mr. Whiskers. Poor us.

Benton chats with Ferris about how Benton’s screw-up led him to become a doctor. Ferris says he should be proud. Benton notes that sometimes he gets so tired from his hectic life that he forgets what’s important. To him, the two most important things in the world are his son and his surgical skills. He’s a father and a doctor before anything else. Ferris asks if he’s considered teaching, but Benton doesn’t think that’s in his skill set. Ferris says caring is the only skill he needs.

Weaver goes to visit Legaspi, giving us some exposition that the harassment charges against Legaspi were dropped after Shannon admitted she’d lied. Legaspi doesn’t want to have dinner with Weaver or be friendly with her in any way, since Weaver won’t let go of her insecurities about her sexuality. Abby and Luka end the day together, and she thanks him for being there for her today. Then Maggie shows up, looking for someone to be there for her.

Thoughts: Lots of familiar faces here:

How dare the show disrespect Laura Innes with this episode’s plotline for Weaver. The woman was nominated for two Emmys for your show!

90 days seems like too long of a psych hold for someone who’s no longer in crisis. There has to be some sort of treatment facility Abby and Maggie could compromise on where Maggie could receive care and monitoring without being treated like she’s under lock and key. (In fact, in a later season, they visit a facility that would work.) Plus, if Abby thinks Maggie’s going to ditch her meds again, 90 days won’t change anything. It’ll just delay what Abby thinks is inevitable.

For the record, Carla barely acknowledges Reese when they’re together, while Cleo is always happy to see him. You can see she really likes children and get why she went into pediatrics. Unlike Carla, I would absolutely trust her to look after my child.

December 22, 2020

ER 7.16, Witch Hunt: Abby Misplaces a Child While Carter Dates One and Elizabeth Acts Like One

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

Now it’s Abby’s turn to be broody

Summary: Weaver is exiting Legaspi’s place to get the morning paper when two detectives approach her. They’re there to see Legaspi and are curious about why Weaver is there. Over at Abby’s, Luka is in a good mood (!) and has brought Abby breakfast. He’s ready to find an apartment so he can move out of the hotel. One of his options is in the slaughterhouse district, and Abby teases that after living on a boat and in a hotel, he should find a treehouse next.

Carter wakes up in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar dog sniffing around him. He spent the night with Rena. Her roommate is annoyed since the new couple kept her up last night. Carter and Rena both say they don’t usually sleep with someone so early in the…is this a relationship? I guess so. They agree to have lunch together that afternoon.

Weaver gets ready for work, listening in as Legaspi talks to the detectives. They’re asking questions about the conversation she had with Shannon after the train crash. Mark is nervous about the results of his competency evaluation, like, maybe you should have taken it more seriously, my man. Elizabeth tells him not to worry; he’s a good doctor no matter what the tests say. Okay, but if he loses his license, he won’t be a good doctor anymore. Elizabeth is off of bed rest and going back to work for the first time.

Abby pours goldfish into a coffee pot at the admin desk after removing them from a patient who swallowed a bunch on a bet. She offers them to Carter as pets. Amira gives him a basket of coffee that Rena had delivered to him to make up for not having coffee at her apartment. Chen teases him about his new girlfriend, but Carter says he just gave her a good assessment on an evaluation. Amira busts him, reading the note in the basket, which thanks him for a great evening.

Legaspi is now at work, and of course Weaver wants to know what was up with the detectives. Legaspi is annoyed that Weaver left, though Weaver had to get to work. The detectives may want to talk to Weaver, too, since Shannon has accused Legaspi of sexual harassment and assault. Legaspi thinks she’s trying to divert attention from the fact that the train crash she caused killed more than 30 people. Weaver is shocked to learn that Legaspi revealed to Shannon that she’s a lesbian.

Elizabeth busts Benton for operating on one of her patients and taking over a bunch of her responsibilities while she was on bed rest. Now that she’s back, she wants every part of her job back. Babcock cracks that Mark may have developed his brain tumor after Elizabeth got pregnant. Ha…ha? In the ER, an elderly woman named Georgia claims a bed and tells Mark she’s dying. No, she doesn’t have a diagnosis from a doctor: She’s a fortuneteller, and her death is in the cards. She reads Mark’s palm and tells him there’s a crack in his lifeline. Georgia predicts that she’ll be dead by sundown.

One of the detectives from Legaspi’s place comes looking for Weaver to ask about Legaspi’s treatment of Shannon. Weaver says Shannon’s accusations are ridiculous; she was suicidal and has psychological problems, so they can’t take her seriously. Luka eavesdrops as the detective asks Weaver about the nature of her relationship with Legaspi. Weaver says they’re colleagues, but the detective knows colleagues don’t tend to be at each other’s houses first thing in the morning.

Elizabeth catches Romano finishing up what seems like a job interview with someone. She’s annoyed that he keeps finding replacements for her. Yeah, how dare he try to keep the hospital running while she’s out? Elizabeth threatens to report him for discrimination against her for taking leave while pregnant. She knows of a pregnant woman who killed her husband and was exonerated because she pled temporary insanity due to her hormones. Romano gives her a bunch of responsibilities before she can go back to the OR.

Luka calls Abby in to help him with a baby named May. Weaver pulls Luka aside to try to clear up any misconceptions he may have after overhearing her conversation with the detective. Really, she just wants to make sure he doesn’t tell anyone that she was at Legaspi’s this morning. This is Luka, who’s not exactly a gossiper, so he stays casual the whole time and acts like he didn’t hear anything juicy. He goes back to May, who’s having a little trouble breathing but doesn’t seem too sick.

Romano is summoned to Romano’s office, where Legaspi is just leaving a meeting with him. Ruh-roh! Mark treats a guy named James who’s part of an amateur wrestling group. Another wrestler, Todd (AKA the Weasel), is next door, being treated for a wound from a razor blade. Apparently fans love watching guys go at each other with blades. People of Chicago, please find better hobbies. Dave is trying to convince Todd to give up an activity that has so many risks, including scarring from blades. He reminds him that women don’t like scars. He tries to get Mark, recently scarred from brain surgery, to back him up. Shh, Dave.

Romano interrogates Weaver about Legaspi’s sexuality, which, of course, has nothing to do with her ability to do her job, and is therefore none of his business. Does this hospital not have an HR department? Weaver defends her and says she’s never witnessed any unacceptable sexual behavior at work. Romano guesses that she’s trying to protect Legaspi. He wants an emergency disciplinary hearing. Weaver says this is a witch hunt, but Romano says it’s damage control.

Carter and Rena have lunch at Doc Magoo’s, and he tells her a story about trying to use his grandparents’ horses in a chariot as a kid. Carter’s childhood was very different from most people’s. Rena mentions a lecture she attended that morning, and Carter notes that it must have made her feel like she’s back in college. Guess what – Rena is in college! So when she said she was a pediatric intern, she actually meant that she’s doing an internship that requires hundreds of hours of experience in the ER. Rena’s only 19.

Abby checks on May, who’s still having trouble breathing and will need a chest x-ray. Abby sends May’s mother, Mrs. Jeffries, to get some coffee while they wait for someone to take May for the x-ray. Carter pulls Abby out of May’s room to tell her that Rena is younger than he thought. She’s shocked that he couldn’t tell she was still a teenager when they slept together.

As they’re talking, Mrs. J. returns and asks where May is. Abby says someone must have picked her up, but no one got her for the x-ray, and no one moved her to a different room. Oops, Abby lost a baby! The ER goes into lockdown and Legaspi comes to comfort Mrs. J. while Abby talks to a police officer. She feels helpless and wants to do something more than just answer questions. Georgia tries to comfort her by telling her that “sometimes God calls little babies home to be His angels.” Georgia, you’re not helping!

Legaspi leaves Mrs. J. to answer the police’s questions and goes to talk to Weaver about her meeting with Romano. Legaspi says it was degrading (what a shock!). Shannon was depressed because she was questioning her sexuality, and Legaspi just wanted her to feel less alone. Weaver asks what Legaspi told Romano about the two of them. Legaspi gets that Weaver is more concerned with keeping their relationship a secret than she is with what Legaspi is going through.

Weaver reminds Legaspi that not everyone in the world will accept them for being together. Legaspi doesn’t want to live her life sneaking around just so they don’t have to face people’s disapproval. Weaver points out that there are no openly gay women in high-ranking positions in hospitals. Legaspi tells her this isn’t about her – it’s about Shannon, who would rather die than deal with the stigma of being gay. In that case, Legaspi realizes, it might be about Weaver after all.

Abby searches a laundry cart for May, telling Carter she heard about a baby getting scooped up with some laundry in another hospital. Carter enlists her to help him with another patient, but Abby gets distracted by what the police are doing in their search for May. The police aren’t interested in her opinions. Abby tries to apologize to Mrs. J. and assure her that May will be fine.

Mark thinks James is on steroids, but it takes about five days to get test results to prove that. Dave says Mark should just ask him if he’s using. Yes, people who use illicit substances are often very open to admitting it. Mark gives it a try anyway, and James tells him he’s leaving. Mark won’t let him go until his parents get there. James throws Mark off of him and runs off.

Dave follows him outside, telling James that his father would want them to take care of him. James knows his father will be furious if he finds out about the steroids. Dave hints at a bad childhood we’ll never learn about when he says that while he doesn’t know James’ father, he knows “the type.” He’s able to convince James to stay.

Weaver checks in with Chen about a patient of hers who needed a psych consult. Chen tells her that psych is taking longer than usual to respond to pages. Haleh says she heard that Legaspi is being fired. Weaver tells her not to gossip, but Haleh says that’s not gossip. The real gossip is that Legaspi is a lesbian. Why is the staff acting like they’ve never met a gay person before?

Cleo examines Mark to make sure that James didn’t injure him when he threw Mark to the floor. James apologizes, and Mark blames roid rage. Dave thinks James is scared because his father is abusing him. Mark has no sympathy for James, and he ignores Dave’s concern that telling James’ parents about his possible steroid use will just make things worse. Dave coughs, “Tumor” and says that the old Mark would have helped James. Maybe Weaver was right to have his competency evaluated.

Mrs. J. makes a statement to the press asking for whoever took May to return her to the hospital. Abby smokes nearby and asks Luka to leave her alone. He tells her he can’t do that. Abby blames herself for May’s disappearance, though Luka thinks she shouldn’t.

James’ father has arrived and he’s not happy with his son. Dave pulls him out of the room and urges the father to show his son some compassion, since he’s injured. James’ father says James just needs a kick in the butt to get himself together. Dave accuses him of abuse and tries to stop him from going back into James’ room. The father shoves him into a wall, so Dave headbutts him. Mark intervenes and sends Dave away.

Abby should probably not be sticking someone with a needle while her mind is on a missing baby. Poor Mrs. J. is sitting in the waiting area, alone, right in Abby’s eyeline. A paramedic radios that she’s picked up an abandoned baby at an El station and is bringing her in. Abby thinks it could be May. Fortunately, she’s right, and though the baby is hypothermic, she’s otherwise okay.

Mark tells Dave he’s been suspended for the rest of the week. Dave thinks he’s being punished for defending himself. Elizabeth checks on Mark, who downplays the seriousness of being elbowed to the floor by a teenager on steroids. Weaver gives him a letter she forgot to give him earlier; it’s actually his competency results. He opens it, frowns at what he reads, and tears the letter into pieces. But that’s just so he can make confetti to celebrate that he passed.

The sun has gone down but Georgia is still alive, so maybe she should rethink fortunetelling. What was the point of that plot? Rena wants to do something with Carter, but he’d like to put an end to whatever’s developing between them before it goes any further. Weaver meets with Romano, Anspaugh, and Legaspi so Romano can argue for Legaspi to be disciplined. Anspaugh thinks her actions with Shannon were appropriate. Romano wants her put on administrative leave until there’s a formal hearing. He asks Weaver if she has anything to add, since she’s one, too – meaning a female doctor, not a lesbian.

Weaver says that Legaspi is a great doctor and didn’t do anything Shannon accused her of doing. Romano mocks her for not providing a stronger defense. After Romano leaves, Anspaugh nicely tells Legaspi to ignore him and wait for this to pass. Weaver apologizes to Legaspi, who doesn’t want to talk to her. She also no longer wants to date Weaver. She can’t be with someone who’s ashamed of their relationship.

Weaver says she wishes she could be more like Legaspi. She’s spent her whole life fighting for respect and acceptance. Now Legaspi is asking her to do that yet again. Legaspi replies that she’s not asking for anything. Weaver begs for more time, not wanting things to end like this, but Legaspi is done. In happier news, Abby tells Mrs. J. that they want to keep May overnight, just to be safe, but she seems fine. Mrs. J. clearly isn’t upset with Abby for losing May; she’s just happy to have her baby back.

Thoughts: For those keeping track, this is where Elizabeth really becomes unbearable. It won’t let up much until the end of season 8, unfortunately.

I assume Shannon would be even MORE suicidal after the train crash, knowing she caused more than 30 deaths.

Rena says she’s 20 – “in September.” Well, it’s March now, which means you’re 19 for six more months, so just say you’re 19, you weirdo.

Did another medical show do a plot like Georgia’s? It feels familiar and Grey’s Anatomy-ish.

December 15, 2020

ER 7.15, The Crossing: Unburdened

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

No matter how you feel about Benton, this is impressive

Summary: Luka is broodily examining a patient as Weaver chats with Legaspi. They’ve just wrapped up a mass trauma, treating 37 people and only losing two. Weaver is pleased with Luka’s work and thinks things have quieted down enough for him to go home. Things go slow-motion as he leaves, then comes back in, telling Abby he wants to check on Bishop Stewart. He says he’s fine, but there’s clearly something distracting him. He goes to the ICU to see Stewart, who’s having trouble breathing. Luka tells him he’ll need to be intubated soon. Stewart is ready to die and doesn’t want any extreme treatments.

Seven hours earlier, Abby is dealing with a difficult patient in the ER as Mark wraps up a shift. Randi complains about the lack of sunlight and asks if the groundhog saw its shadow. Carter says the two things aren’t connected. Mark tells Carter to let Weaver know that he’s finishing his competency testing, which he keeps making jokes about, like, you’re facing literal life-or-death situations every day. Maybe take this seriously.

Malik introduces Carter to Rena Trujillo, a pediatric intern who’s helped to calm down an anxious child. Up in the OR, William is observing Benton, who’s become something like a mentor to him. William doesn’t know how he’ll answer the question of why he wants to be a doctor at his med-school interview the next day. He admits that he always thought it would be cool. Shirley tells Benton that as soon as he’s done with this surgery, he needs to go to the ER to help with a mass trauma.

Carter chats/flirts with Rena after they’re done with their patient. She asks him to sign a time sheet for her so she can collect hours for her internship. Abby grabs Carter for the mass trauma, which we finally learn is a train derailment. Carter and Luka are being sent to the site, leaving Chen behind as the highest-ranking doctor on call. Randi turns on the news and sees the full extent of the disaster.

Luka and Carter arrive at the crash site, and the incident commander, a firefighter named Davis, tells them the crash was caused by a stalled car on the train tracks. Their first priority is helping another firefighter whose legs are stuck under the train. Luka tells Carter to deal with that while he triages others. The trapped firefighter, Lorcan, apologizes to Davis for jumping into an unsafe situation, as if that’s his biggest problem right now. Carter urges Davis to get his crew working to lift the train ASAP.

Luka goes to the driver of the car that stalled on the tracks, Shannon. She doesn’t seem to be injured too badly. Carter thinks Lorcan will need to have his legs amputated before the train can be moved, which means he needs a surgeon in the field. Luka crosses the crash site and takes in all the destruction and injured passengers. He has a flashback of the aftermath of a similar disastrous experience.

Inside the train, Luka finds a woman who can’t find her son. She’s been impaled by something and can’t move her legs, but she’s more worried about her son. Luka goes looking for the boy, Myles, climbing up to the roof of the train so he can get access to the car Myles might be in. He finds the boy under a bunch of debris and has another flashback.

Elizabeth comes to the scene and gets an update on Lorcan’s condition. She slips and falls on the ground but keeps going. Davis asks Lorcan if he should call Patty, Lorcan’s ex-wife. The divorce just went through, and the firefighters were going to go out and celebrate after their shift. Lorcan just wants to do whatever needs to be done so he can get untrapped. Back inside, Luka and a firefighter free Myles from the debris.

Weaver arrives at County to help everyone prepare for all the patients coming in. Benton tells William to keep shadowing him and ask any questions he has, but stay out of the way. Dave brings in the first patient and Benton starts working and teaching at the same time. William gets yelled at by Haleh, which I think is a rite of passage in the ER.

Carter triages more patients on the scene as the firefighters work on moving the train. Elizabeth says that she thinks her slip-and-fall earlier strained her back. Davis wants a stop to the effort in case the train shifts the wrong way and puts more weight on Lorcan. Elizabeth realizes that Lorcan’s vitals indicate he won’t live long enough to be freed from under the train. She needs to amputate both his legs. Lorcan is understandably resistant to this idea, but if it’s this or bleed to death, he doesn’t have a choice. Good thing Elizabeth has a former surgical intern to assist her.

Mark continues joking through his last competence tests. Dude, shut up. Also, the test, which involves matching arrows of different orientations and colors, looks tricky, so maybe concentrate instead of yapping. Your career is on the line. Elizabeth and Carter do the best they can in their makeshift OR as Lorcan decides he wants Davis to call Patty after all. Elizabeth starts feeling pain and tries to work through it.

Luka runs around the crash site, helping as many people as he can. He decides to ride to the hospital with Myles and lets Carter know that Myles’ mother still needs help. Carter tells him that Elizabeth is having contractions, but she says she can keep operating if she gets connected to a fetal monitor. The paramedics don’t have one, so Luka makes some quick decisions: Carter will continue the amputation while Elizabeth goes to the hospital with Myles.

Shannon is now in an ER trauma room, next door to a train passenger. Benton leaves Dave to tend to the passenger alone so he can help with other patients. William is still observing everything, probably happy that he doesn’t have to deal with things like LOSING A PIECE OF BONE FROM HIS LEG. I didn’t need to see that, show. Chuny tells Benton that Carter is on the radio looking for guidance in Lorcan’s amputation.

Myles goes into respiratory distress just before he can be loaded into a medevac helicopter. Elizabeth doesn’t want to delay the trip to the hospital, so she tells the pilot to fly while she intubates Myles. Meanwhile, Benton tries to give Carter instructions for the amputation, but all the noise at the scene and the helicopters overhead make it impossible for Carter to hear him.

Abby meets Elizabeth and Myles at the hospital and sends Myles off with paramedics while she tends to Elizabeth (good idea, since Abby was an OB nurse). Elizabeth admits that she hasn’t felt the baby move for a while. Back at the crash site, Myles’ mother is finally being transported to the hospital. She tells Luka to make sure Myles is taken care of in case she doesn’t make it to the hospital alive.

Carter and Benton clear up their communication issues and Benton talks Carter through the amputation until Weaver calls Benton away to help someone else. Benton tells Carter to call him on his cell so he can work away from the radio, but Carter doesn’t have his phone with him, and Davis and Pam the paramedic don’t have phones, either. (This was 2000, before everyone had a phone with them 24/7.)

Chen examines Elizabeth and assures her that her early labor can be stopped. Benton moves Myles into a trauma room just as Dave is finishing up declaring his patient dead. Now Benton has access to a phone, so he’s able to go back to helping Carter. Davis tells Lorcan that Patty will meet him at the hospital, but now Lorcan doesn’t want her to see him in this condition.

Benton might be a genius, as he’s able to keep talking Carter through a procedure he himself can’t see while drilling a hole in Myles’ skull (and accidentally splattering William with blood). Benton realizes he needs to do a more extensive procedure on Myles, which will need his full attention. He gives Carter some final instructions, which Carter will need to follow while Lorcan thrashes around with only Davis to try to calm him.

Myles’ mother has declined by the time she reaches County, and Luka has to shock her in the ambulance bay. Mark arrives to be with Elizabeth, who’s still having contractions, though the baby isn’t in distress. Myles is stabilizing, so Benton gets back on the phone with Carter, who’s almost done with Lorcan. Chuny calls Weaver away to talk to Shannon while Benton takes Myles to the OR. William is left alone in the trauma room, holding the phone, while Carter yells for Benton. “Good luck,” William tells him before hanging up.

Luka and Benton both have patients who need surgery, and unlike the last time they worked a trauma together, they’re both willing to let the other’s patient go first. Luka thinks Myles should be the priority and lets Benton go first. Shannon asks Weaver about some of the patients she saw in the ER and whether they’ll survive. She doesn’t want to call her parents because she doesn’t think they would understand. “I thought it would be painless,” she says. “The train would hit my car… I’d just be gone.”

Lorcan is finally transported from the train site, minus his legs. There’s no surgeon available to finish up Carter’s work, but he’s stable. Romano arrives, wearing a gi, and criticizes Carter’s field amputation. Weaver defends Carter, pointing out that Romano didn’t answer his page and come do the amputation himself. Romano says he can’t wear his pager in the dojo. Does anyone find this entertaining? Anyone? Yeah, I didn’t think so. After some more crabbing, Weaver tells Carter that he did great, and Lorcan was lucky he was there.

Weaver has summoned Legaspi to the ER to talk to Shannon. Legaspi asks when Weaver will be off work and says to feel free to wake her when Weaver gets home. I guess Weaver is okay with the “lesbian lifestyle” after all. We’re back to the first scene of the episode, but before Luka goes to see Stewart, we get more: Randi tells Luka that Myles is okay and his mother has feeling in her legs again.

William meets up with Benton after being put to work by some nurses who thought he was a volunteer. Benton thinks he can talk about this experience in his interview, but William is no longer sure he wants to go to med school. Everything he saw tonight was traumatic. Benton tells him he’ll get used to it, but William doesn’t want to get used to seeing these sorts of things. At least now he knows before he puts in all the work (and money) training for a job he doesn’t really want. Benton urges him to go to the interview anyway; he should keep his options open.

Elizabeth’s contractions have stopped and the baby is okay, but she’ll need to go on bed rest for a little while. Abby tells her she just needs to slow down. This is where Abby catches up with Luka before he goes to see Stewart. In the ICU, Stewart asks Luka how long he has. Luka says just a few hours. Stewart thinks Luka came to give confession. He says Luka believes he’s lost his faith, but it’s never left him.

Stewart blesses Luka and invites him to unburden his heart. He’ll take Luka’s burden with him when he dies. Luka admits to him for the first time that he lost his family. His wife, Danijela, wanted to move someplace safer, but Luka was still finishing his internship. He went out one day to get some supplies, leaving his family at home. He was on the street outside the building when a mortal shell hit it. Luka ran inside, passing by his injured neighbors to try to get to his family.

He has more extensive flashbacks of his memories from earlier as he tells Stewart the story. Danijela told him to find their son, Marko, who was under debris like Myles was. Luka started to take their daughter, Jasna, off for help, but he realized that Danijela was bleeding to death. When Luka turned to help her, Jasna stopped breathing. Luka tried to save both of them, praying that someone would come to help him. If he had taken Danijela to the hospital, she could have been saved, but Luka couldn’t leave Jasna. He prayed for help but no one came.

Luka tried to hours to revive Jasna, only stopping because he exhausted himself. In the end, his whole family died. Stewart acknowledges that he couldn’t bring himself to sacrifice one family member to save another. If he had, he would always feel guilty. Stewart says the mysteries of life and death make up our faith. They’re “gifts of love and life,” as is Luka, so he shouldn’t turn his back on them. Stewart finishes the ritual, telling Luka he’s forgiven of his sins and should find peace. Luka stays by Stewart’s bed all night, and in the morning, the bishop is dead.

Thoughts: Lorcan is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Rena is played by Lourdes Benedicto.

Isn’t Carter still on probation? Chen should have gone to the crash site. Actually, no – Benton should have gone, and then he and Luka could have a redo of “May Day.”

When Benton gets on the radio with Carter, he asks what Carter’s doing in a tone of voice that makes it seem like he thinks Carter got bored and started cutting off someone’s legs. Maybe Carter should have explained up front that he was just finishing an actual qualified surgeon’s work.

December 8, 2020

ER 7.14, A Walk in the Woods: Snow Doubt

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

Here comes the brooding

Summary: It’s 5:45 in the morning and Benton wants Cleo to wake up and see the snow outside. Also, he wants to have sex. Mark and Elizabeth are also awake early, since the baby has started kicking. Elizabeth keeps thinking about the movie Alien. Mark calls the baby Amanda, which is an…interesting choice. His choice for a boy is Matthew, after his grandfather. Not David, after his father? They mention that this is the last day, but don’t specify what that means.

Weaver has spent the night at Legaspi’s again, and Legaspi is ready to give her closet space for some of her things. That was quick. Luka and Abby are in bed together (is everyone in Chicago awake this early?), and she asks him what he’s thinking about. Luka’s thinking about Bishop Stewart, which Abby notes is a strange topic to have in mind while you’re having sex. She suddenly asks his wife’s name. Speaking of strange topics to have in mind while you’re having sex…

A little later in the morning, everyone’s at work, doing various things like treating patients and having big meetings to discuss whether Mark should be working in the ER. Chen returns from her eight weeks of maternity leave and jumps right back into work. She and Abby tend to a preschooler named Zack who had a seizure at school. Abby breaks off to help one of Stewart’s priests get him out of his car. She rejoins Chen and suggests that they give Zack a spinal tap. Chen doesn’t think they’ve reached that point yet.

Benton has set up shop in a small office/supply room with a blinking light so he can fulfill his new duties as the director of diversity. He’ll be interviewing med-school applicants. Romano asks him to deal with an applicant named William who has come to County to complain about not being asked back for an interview. Back in the ER, Zack hasn’t regained consciousness, and Abby insists that they give him a spinal tap. Chen finally agrees and gets Carter to back up her decision (I think because they don’t have parental consent yet).

Luka examines Stewart, who may have pneumonia. His lupus could lead to complications, but pneumonia could also cause problems with his lupus. Luka wonders why he came to the hospital instead of calling his own doctor. Stewart just says he prefers Luka’s care. Chen does Zack’s spinal tap, which is clear, but Carter notices a rash developing on his face. He realizes that Zack might have measles. Chen doubts that, since no one gets measles anymore. When Zack’s mother, Mrs. Woodman, arrives, she reports that her kids haven’t been vaccinated.

We’ve finally found someone Frank gives the proper amount of respect to: Elizabeth. She yells at him about missing films and he calls her “ma’am.” Somewhere, Weaver is jealous. It turns out the “last day” Mark and Elizabeth were talking about was his last day of radiation treatment. It ended anticlimactically. Dave congratulates him and asks if he got to keep the tumor after it was removed. Mark says he didn’t really want to keep it. A doctor named Wilson introduces himself to Mark and reveals that he’s been asked to evaluate his competency. Fun day!

Carter and Chen bring Cleo into Zack’s case, and she tells them to do what we’ve all become familiar with these past few months: contact tracing. They’ve put Zack in a room with a special ventilation system so he doesn’t get anyone else sick. Carter tells the teacher who came in with Zack that she needs to inform the school about his condition so all the other kids can get tested. Mrs. W.’s husband is bringing in their daughter to get tested.

Mrs. W. says she’s not irresponsible; she just believed anti-vaccine literature over doctors’ expertise. Zack starts to decline, so Carter goes back to help Chen and Abby stabilize him. They have to intubate him so he can breathe. Chen wants to to the intubation, but Carter doesn’t think she should do it on her first day back.

The priest, Joe, tells Luka that Stewart was on his way to the ordination of a man who was in Stewart’s parish as a child. Luka’s annoyed that Stewart thinks he’s well enough to leave the hospital right now. Stewart says he’ll come back in a few hours, after he performs the ordination. Luka tells him he won’t live that long if he leaves the hospital. Stewart tells him it’s in God’s hands. “God could give a damn,” Luka replies. Stewart still plans to leave.

Weaver runs into Legaspi, who’s chatting with a friend named Christy. Christy has heard all about Weaver and wants to get to know her. Legaspi suggests that they have dinner, but Weaver is hesitant. Dave comes by as Legaspi and Christy are leaving and asks Weaver if Christy is Legaspi’s girlfriend; he’s heard that Legaspi is gay. Weaver lies that she doesn’t know.

Mark confronts Weaver for having his competency evaluated. Wilson is going to interview a bunch of staff members, and he could end up pulling Mark’s license. Weaver tells him he’s being melodramatic, as if it’s bad for him to be so concerned about losing his job. Then again, she’s justified in being concerned since his behavior has changed. Mark says he wouldn’t have come back to work if he couldn’t do the job. Weaver tells him she’s not the only person who’s been concerned. This is about patient safety.

Cleo complains to Carter that rich people think only poor kids need to be immunized. If everyone stops getting vaccinations, we’ll see a resurgence of diseases like measles and polio, and suddenly the rich people will be clamoring for vaccines. Or they’ll just deny that anything bad can ever happen to their children and/or claim that the cure is worse than the disease and/or be more afraid of their children developing autism (which has not been definitively linked to any vaccine, no matter what Jenny McCarthy says) than dying of a preventable disease. Or maybe I’m editorializing. Carter and Cleo learn that no one told the paramedics who brought Zack in about his measles, so they’re still using their ambulance.

Luka broodily watches from a window as Joe takes Stewart to the ordination. Benton goes to the university’s records room and looks up William’s application. The employee he talks to (who’s Black) recognizes him as the new director of diversity and mentions that her son wouldn’t have his job with Morgan Stanley without affirmative action. Benton asks her for files from past applicants who were accepted, so he can compare them to William’s file. He also takes a look at his own application.

Abby finds Luka brooding, this time outside, and encourages him to take Stewart oxygen and check on him at the ordination. Luka is willing to let him handle his condition himself, since Stewart knew what he was doing. Cleo brings Benton lunch and he tells her about his investigation. He found his file with three others marked AA – affirmative action. His grades and MCAT scores were good, but not compared to other applicants that year. William’s grades and scores are even better than Benton’s, and he didn’t get an interview.

Luka has taken Abby’s advice after all and is at the church where the ordination is taking place. Stewart is in bad shape and probably wouldn’t make it through the service, no matter how badly he wants to. He knows he’s dying, but he wants to stay. He tells Luka about the night he decided to become a priest, after years of thinking about it. He went for a walk in the snowy woods behind his father’s house and got lost. Stewart was scared, but when he looked up at the falling snow, he felt God’s presence. It was “like pouring wine into an empty glass.”

Now, though, he’s worried that he wasted his life. He may not have accomplished everything God wanted him to. Stewart admits that he’s afraid of dying. Luka tells him he needs to go back to the hospital. Stewart starts reciting Psalm 23 (“The Lord is my shepherd…”), and when Joe comes to get him, Stewart says that he needs to skip the processional.

Luka accompanies him into the sanctuary as Stewart asks when he abandoned his faith. When people have a strong passion for their religion, that’s God. When they feel lost, that’s their own humanity. We put up barriers and let our pain and egos distance us from God, but He’s always there. Stewart takes his place at the front of the sanctuary, looking like there’s nothing wrong with him.

Benton, Romano, and Coburn are on the committee conducting med-school interviews. They meet with a string of applicants who all have different goals and backgrounds, but one reason for wanting to be doctors: They want to help people. The doctors don’t seem especially impressed by any of the applicants, but then again, I’m not sure any of the three of them have ever been impressed by anyone.

Elizabeth yells at Weaver for having Mark evaluated for problems that are easily explained by his tumor treatment. Weaver calmly tells her that she might not be objective in this situation. Elizabeth insists that Mark isn’t endangering anyone and calls Weaver a demigod. Legaspi looks on as Weaver says she’s just fulfilling her responsibilities. Elizabeth spits out that she hopes someday Weaver has a potentially fatal illness so Elizabeth can sit by and do nothing to help her.

Benton, Romano, and Coburn discuss the applicants, deciding who to recommend to the full committee. Benton wants to put William back in the running. His MCAT scores were only in the 91st percentile, but he had a high GPA and was class president. Romano and Coburn object, but Benton argues that MCAT scores don’t determine how well you’ll do in med school.

Romano reminds Benton that affirmative action is illegal. Benton notes that there were no Black or Latino candidates in the pool today. Romano says the admissions policy is color-blind, and if William didn’t make the cut, that’s too bad. Benton thinks they should give a second chance to applicants who don’t get the same opportunities as others. He insists that they interview William.

Luka watches the ordination ceremony from a dark corner as Carter goes to the ICU to check on Zack. He’s declining again and the code team is struggling to get his heart beating. They end up having to let him go. Back at the church, Luka has flashes of memory of the snowy funeral for his wife and children.

Weaver, Legaspi, and Christy have dinner with another friend, all lesbians. In fact, Christy and the other friend have both slept with Legaspi. Christy jokes that Legaspi probably brought a U-Haul on her second date with Weaver. (Apparently there’s a stereotype about lesbians moving fast in their relationships. Weaver doesn’t get it.) Weaver excuses herself early, telling Legaspi that she doesn’t belong with the group. She cares about Legaspi but doesn’t want to adopt the lesbian lifestyle.

Stewart collapses after the ordination, and Luka is unable to wake him up. Elizabeth meets Mark at home, where he tells her that Wilson has recommended him for formal testing. It’ll take five days and cover multiple areas. Luka takes Stewart back to County, then goes outside and looks up at the snow that’s still falling. He tells Abby that he couldn’t find the forest. She doesn’t know what he means. He tells her that Stewart is dying, but Abby thinks that with all the miracles they experience, one more could be coming.

Thoughts: Christy is played by Megan Follows.

I don’t fault Weaver for having Mark evaluated, but she should have told him ahead of time. This is a “do unto others” situation, and you know she would want to be informed if she were in his position.

Remember my last recap, where I said I wanted Mark to yell at anti-maskers? Now I want him to yell at anti-vaxxers.

November 24, 2020

ER 7.12, Surrender: How Elizabeth Got Her Groove Back

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 5:03 pm by Jenn

Weaver, you’re a lesbian. Just lean into it

Summary: Weaver is taking a shower and thinking deep thoughts. That’s probably because the shower she’s in is Legaspi’s. Looks like someone got some action! After her shower, Weaver borrows one of Legaspi’s shirts to wear to work. Legaspi is totally casual about the whole situation, but Weaver is still trying to wrap her head around the fact that she spent the night with a woman. She tells Legaspi that the situation is “different, but good.” She’s still not ready for a kiss goodbye, though. Before heading to work, Weaver asks Legaspi to keep their personal life private.

At County, Romano checks in with Benton on how his per diem position is going. Benton complains about being underpaid, so Romano casually offers him an additional $10,000 a year, then $20,000. He’ll just need to take on some administrative tasks. Benton is surprised/suspicious. Romano won’t give him any details, so Benton takes a risk and accepts the money without knowing what it’s for.

Romano immediately pulls him into a press conference. He announces that the medical school is committed to addressing diversity, which has become a popular topic of conversation in the city. Romano has appointed Benton the director of diversity for the school. The reporters have questions, and Benton has to quickly put together some answers. Romano is amused by his lack of stage presence.

Carter goes to see Chase, who’s stopped eating and drinking. Carter clearly hasn’t visited his cousin for a while, since he doesn’t know that Chase’s doctor has left the facility. A nurse thinks that Chase is acting out because he’s lonely. It turns out Carter hasn’t been to the facility in a year, and Chase isn’t happy about it. He wants Carter to go away.

Mark and Abby treat two men, Walter and Earl, who got into a fistfight. Walter explains that it had something to do with defending a woman’s honor. This is Mark’s first shift back, and he’s only working four hours. He tells Weaver that Benton is the surgeon on call for the ER, but “she” is in a press conference. Weaver takes note of his pronoun mistake, but Mark doesn’t catch on.

Luka is treating a man for a hand injury but doesn’t know how he was hurt. The man only speaks Spanish, and Chuny couldn’t get him to open up. Weaver gives it a shot, but the man only says that he got hurt at work. He refuses to say where he works. Weaver tells Luka to call OSHA; the man is probably undocumented and is afraid of losing his job. Luka thinks he has the right to stay quiet. Weaver points out that someone else at the workplace could get seriously hurt.

Benton complains that Romano shoved him into the spotlight without telling him what his new administrative tasks would be. He feels used. Romano says everyone gets used. Benton knows he only got the role because he’s Black. He doesn’t want it. Romano tells him the role won’t require any real work, and it’ll help Benton eventually get a full-time faculty position, so he needs to get over himself.

Benton repeats that he’s not doing the job. Romano admits that he has no one else for the job because everyone else on staff is white – hence why they need a diversity initiative. Benton says Romano doesn’t believe that, though Romano claims he does. Either way, it’s Benton’s responsibility now. Romano moves right on to chastising Elizabeth for canceling a few recent procedures. She blames all the time she’s had to spend on a review of the OR’s procedures. Romano tells her she’s on call in the ER today.

Earl flirts with Abby, who determines that he doesn’t have any serious injuries from his fight. He admits that he has some other issues but doesn’t want to discuss them with a woman. She guesses that he’s having prostate problems, but Earl thinks it’s an STD. Abby gets pulled into the ER to help with a teenage boy who shot himself in the head. His friend reported that they were playing Russian roulette. Elizabeth comes to the ER to try to save the teen while Mark yells at the friend. He uses the wrong pronoun again, and again doesn’t catch on.

Elizabeth is unable to save the teen, even though she worked on him a lot longer than she knows Mark would have. She runs into Weaver and Legaspi, who are being a little flirty while talking about a patient. Weaver asks Elizabeth how Mark is doing, mentioning that he’s screwed up pronouns a couple times. Elizabeth says that Weaver may have misheard him.

Carter arrives for his shift, ready to accept the consequences of his relapse, which Weaver still hasn’t doled out. She appreciates that he was honest about it, so she’s not going to fire him. She asks for his AA chip and tells him he’s starting over. He has to do another 90 meetings in 90 days, and he can’t do major procedures or administer narcotics. One strike and he’s out. Unlike the first time Carter got these restrictions, he’s understanding and doesn’t complain about them.

Abby checks in on Walter, who’s just as flirty as Earl. She shuts him down by trying to pass him off to Malik. Walter calls her feisty and says it’s fine that she’s not married; feisty gals take longer to settle down. Abby reminds him that he was the one brought in after fighting over a woman. Walter says Earl started it by flirting with Walter’s “lady friend.” Abby gets a hunch and asks Walter if he has the same symptoms as Earl.

Weaver tends to a man named Gary who’s having some trouble getting rid of his erection, probably thanks to the cocaine he took. She suggests masturbation, but he scoffs at that, since he’s a Christian. That means Weaver will have to use a needle to resolve the problem. Gary opts for a trip to the bathroom to take care of it himself.

Weaver passes by the admit desk, where Haleh is asking someone, “How do you know she’s gay?” The rest of the conversation is hard to hear, since Dave and Luka are also chatting, and Frank needs to talk to Weaver. The call to OSHA led to a call to INS; they’ve been looking into sweatshops. Luka’s annoyed that it went that far, but Weaver reminds him that they have a responsibility to report unsafe working conditions. Luka notes that they don’t know that’s what’s going on. She promises that no one will get deported. Frank: (comment about undocumented immigrants). Weaver: “Shut up, you one-dimensional racist. We already have Romano; we don’t need you, too.” Or maybe I’m editorializing.

Carter has heard about Abby’s patients, and she tells him that both Walter and Earl have chlamydia. Apparently it’s going around their nursing home. “Nice to know there’s more than shuffleboard in our future,” Carter quips. He tells her he’s been pushed back to his restrictions from right after he got back from rehab. Abby’s proud of him for telling Weaver about his relapse.

Mark is treating a man who’s having heart problems. His wife wants Mark to perform the tests recommended by a cardiologist, but Mark thinks he can have the tests as an outpatient. The wife fights Mark on the decision, eventually asking for a second opinion. Mark – the guy who usually has perfect bedside manner – snaps and tells her that her husband needs to stop smoking and drinking, eat healthy, and exercise so he doesn’t die in the next two years.

Carter starts organizing nurses as the ER prepares to receive patients who were caught in a basement fire. Doris the paramedic reports that there was a raid on a business and a bunch of workers were trapped. Mark was supposed to be done with his shift, but he wants to stick around and help. On top of the workers, the patients include a little girl and an INS agent. He tells Weaver that they went to get the workers out, but a bunch of the windows were barred. INS was there on a tip about an illegal sweatshop.

Luka’s patient from earlier recognizes one of the patients as his co-worker. Yeah, yeah, we already figured out that connection. Weaver joins Dave to treat a woman who appears to have electrical burns from touching a power line while pulling rubble off of her daughter. The daughter, Araceli, is MIA. Weaver tells Dave to call the incident commander and find out the voltage on the power line.

Carter and Benton are working together on another worker while Luka tends to a man named Ernesto who probably isn’t going to live. Mark tells Elizabeth that the theory is that the fire started when someone accidentally knocked over a can of paint thinner while trying to escape the INS. The INS agent may need surgery, but Elizabeth is still gun-shy about doing any procedures.

Abby finds Araceli, so Dave is able to tell her mother she’s okay before the mother has to be intubated. Carter and Benton can’t get their patient to lie still so they can treat him, so Benton tells Carter to give him a drug that will sedate him. Carter isn’t allowed, so he goes to Dave’s trauma room and tries to swap patients with him. Dave complains, but Weaver sends him to Benton.

The INS agent needs surgery, and Babcock is a jerk about Elizabeth’s hesitance to do anything. Go away, Babcock. Dave returns to Araceli’s mother and sends Carter back to Benton, who doesn’t care that Carter isn’t allowed to administer certain medications right now. If he’s not able to treat some of their patients, he shouldn’t be in the room while they’re being treated. He needs to use his own judgment sometimes. Benton doesn’t know that Carter relapsed; he thinks Weaver still has him on probation after eight months back at work. Carter begs him not to talk to her about it.

There’s nothing Luka can do for Ernesto, so Chuny has to tell him that he only has a few days left before he dies of an infection. He asks them to get in touch with his wife, who’s in Guatemala and doesn’t have a phone. Ernesto tells Luka and Chuny where they can find the money he’s saved up so they can send it to his wife. He asks them to let his wife know what happened to him and tell her how much he loves her.

Araceli’s mother can’t be saved, so Weaver declares her dead. Dave, compassionate for once, tries to ease the pain by telling her that the patient had too much internal damage to live. Weaver takes in the chaos in the ER, looking at all the patients who are there because of a phone call she made. Luka watches her watching them. In the OR, Elizabeth is losing her cool worrying that she’ll accidentally paralyze her patient. Mark is finally ready to end his shift, and when he screws up pronouns AGAIN, he blames it on being tired.

Benton tries to talk to Weaver about Carter, but she tells him the situation is none of his business. Benton thinks it is, since the restrictions hurt patient care. Weaver snaps at him to stick to his job as a resident instead of trying to dictate ER policy. Benton complains that Carter shouldn’t have these restrictions since he’s been clean for eight months. “Has he?” Weaver replies.

Elizabeth finds more damage in the INS agent and continues to lose her cool because Romano can’t be located. She asks a nurse to get the resident on call. She spirals further as Babcock tells her they’re low on blood. Romano watches the scene from the next room, purposely staying out of it to see what Elizabeth does. Elizabeth pauses to take a few breaths and collect herself, then gets back to work, now confident that she can save the agent.

Carter finds Benton looking through med-school applications in the lounge to determine which applicants qualify for interviews. He bases it all on GPAs, MCAT scores, and the applicant’s competitive factor. He doesn’t read their letters of recommendation until after the interview. Carter thinks that if he’d had to do an interview with Benton, he wouldn’t have made it into med school. Benton is short with Carter, who guesses that he talked to Weaver. He downplays his relapse, saying it was barely a slip.

The agent is doing well, and Elizabeth didn’t paralyze him. Hooray, he lives to bust undocumented immigrants another day, while a bunch of those immigrants died in a fire in a basement that obviously wasn’t up to OSHA standards! God bless America! Romano finally shows his face, pretending he didn’t know why Elizabeth needed him. She says she just needed a second pair of hands, but everything turned out fine.

Carter goes back to see Chase, admitting that he stayed away for so long because he didn’t want to confront his own addiction. He tells Chase about his stabbing, Lucy’s death, and how his addiction started. He thought he was different from everyone else in rehab because his addiction stemmed from an injury requiring painkillers – an injury he sustained during a near-death experience.

In rehab, Carter pretended to buy into the 12-step program and did what he was supposed to, but he never accepted responsibility. He didn’t come to see Chase because he didn’t want to admit that they’re the same. After eight months, Carter still thinks about getting high all day every day. “I’m a drug addict,” Carter admits. Chase isn’t impressed; he just asks if Carter bought him fries.

County can’t locate Araceli’s family, so she’ll be sent to a group home. A social worker tells Weaver that she’ll only be deported if they know she’s going to family. If she stays in Chicago, she’ll probably become a ward of the state, and they’ll try to find a Spanish-speaking family for her to live with. Weaver’s like, “Cool, I ruined a five-year-old’s life! Today was awesome!” She goes home but can’t bring herself to go inside. Instead, she goes to Legaspi’s place, where she’s welcomed inside.

Thoughts: Walter is played by Tom Bosley. Earl is played by Tom Poston.

I love that Gary thinks cocaine and premarital sex are okay, but masturbation is a sin for a Christian. This isn’t even a caricature – people like this really exist.

Is “illegal sweatshop” redundant? Are there legal sweatshops? These are the things I think about. This is my curse as an English major.

November 17, 2020

ER 7.11, Rock, Paper Scissors: Absolution

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

Get ready for a lot of this

Summary: Benton and Cleo are just waking up in the morning when she gets a call from Kynesha. They finally sent her to a halfway house, but she got in a fight with someone and ran away. Benton decides to go pick her up, though Cleo thinks Kynesha is manipulating him. She doesn’t think they’ll ever get rid of her.

Mark and Elizabeth are back from New York, and she’s nervously awaiting the next big challenge in her life, a meeting about her malpractice lawsuit. All she knows is that Patterson’s lawyers want to talk. Benton goes to get Kynesha, who’s being chased by some guys. They break the back window of Benton’s car and yell that Kynesha owes them. She tells Benton they’re some former friends.

Luka/Abby update: They’re definitely dating, but she’s sick of staying in his hotel room. She asks Carter how it went telling Weaver about his relapse. Carter still hasn’t told her; he wants to wait until after his performance evaluation. Dude. Come on. Carter tells Abby she’s nagging him, but she thinks she’s doing her job as his sponsor. He tells her that should be different from acting like his mother. Meanwhile, Luka and Dave meet an ambulance bringing in a bishop named Stewart who may have broken his hip.

Back at Cleo’s, Benton tells Kynesha that she needs to learn how to respect people. According to the workers at the halfway house, Kynesha started the fight. Kynesha says she hates it there and would rather live with Benton. She touches his shoulder, ready to offer sex in exchange for a home. Benton is never going to play that game, especially with a minor, so that gets shut down really fast. Weaver chats with a patient named Pularski who stopped taking his medication. He’s depressed because he hasn’t had sex in 11 years. He also stabbed himself with a pair of medical scissors. Well, we know a certain teenage girl who’s looking to offer her services…

Elizabeth learns from Romano and her lawyer, Price, that Patterson has agreed to a settlement. A piece of equipment Elizabeth used during Patterson’s procedure was recalled, which means she can’t be blamed for any errors. Elizabeth denies that there was anything wrong with the equipment, even though this is her get-out-of-jail-free card.

Dave tries to flirt with Amira at the front desk. It goes poorly. A woman named Ann runs up, asks for a laxative, and throws up. Carter tends to her and learns that she started feeling sick on her flight to Chicago from Texas. She realizes she’s throwing up blood. Luka examines Stewart, who says he has osteoarthritis but isn’t on any medications. He asks about Luka’s accent, commenting that Croatia is a very Catholic country. Luka simply says that he’s not Catholic.

Benton fills Cleo in on the Kynesha situation, admitting that she’s at Cleo’s house. Cleo figures this is going to turn into another three-week stay. Carter and Haleh do a procedure on Ann to see if there are any foreign bodies in her stomach. Carter finds something and uses a grasper to pull it out. Haleh comments that it looks like a claw from an arcade game. Carter’s prize in this case is a condom full of drugs. He guesses that it leaked and caused Ann’s medical problems.

Legaspi comes to the ER to ask why Weaver sent Pularski home without a psych consult. (Apparently his stab wound was superficial.) Weaver didn’t see the point, since he comes in all the time and has never seriously tried to hurt himself. Plus, the psych department keeps refusing to admit him, so why bother consulting with them? Weaver knows he just wanted food and company. Legaspi tells Weaver that they need to keep things professional. Weaver says she has been, and also, she definitely hasn’t been avoiding Legaspi because they kissed, and how could Legaspi even think that?

Carter gets Ann to admit that she came to Chicago from Belize. She was robbed, so she felt her only option to get back to the States was to agree to be a drug mule. She cries and says she just wanted to go home. Luka determines that Stewart falls a lot, which Stewart blames on his arthritis. Luka agrees to give him steroids he’s taken in the past if he also uses a walker. Stewart negotiates down to a cane. He asks Luka what his confirmation name was. It was Mihael, who was, fittingly, the patron saint of the sick.

Weaver gives Carter his performance review, which is excellent. She’s proud of how well he’s done since returning from rehab. Carter starts to tell her what he’s been keeping from her, but they get called away to tend to a family of three who were hit by a car while crossing the street. The father died at the scene, but the mother and their seven-year-old daughter are now in the ER.

Elizabeth takes a moment to admire some flowers Mark sent her at County before she heads to the OR to help with the new patients. She runs into Patterson in an elevator and he asks to talk. She tells him that she feels horrible about how things turned out for him. Patterson knows the recalled equipment is technically to blame, but he can’t bring himself to forgive Elizabeth. He knows he’ll always remember her face, and he wonders if she’ll remember his.

Elizabeth joins Luka, Cleo, and Abby to take care of the daughter, Amy. Luka inserts a chest tube, which leads to some bleeding. Connie pulls Elizabeth next door to help Weaver with the mother, Julie. No one wants to tell Julie that her husband didn’t survive, but when they can’t tell her how he is, she figures it out herself. They need to take her to the OR, but Luka asks them to bring her to Amy’s room for a moment so mother and daughter can see each other. As Julie is finally taken for surgery, Amy starts to decline.

Babcock the anesthesiologist is annoyed that Elizabeth isn’t sure yet what procedure she’s going to perform on Julie. Elizabeth is nervous and wants to pass her off to another surgeon, but everyone else is busy. Back in the ER, Luka struggles to stabilize Amy while Carter asks Legaspi to give Ann a psych consult. Legaspi wants to admit her, but Weaver wants to turn her over to the police. Legaspi asks Weaver what her problem is. Weaver sends Carter away so she can tell Legaspi to never talk to her like that in front of a resident. Legaspi says she wouldn’t have to if Weaver wouldn’t interfere in her case.

Luka decides that Amy can’t be saved, so Cleo declares her dead. Luka doesn’t even get a minute to collect himself before he’s sent to help with another trauma. The patient is a guy named Kevin who’s drunk and combative. He was brought in after crashing his car during a police chase. His crime? Running down a family of three in a crosswalk. Luka has to go from failing to save Amy to trying to save the man who killed her. He gets his revenge by inserting a tube through Kevin’s nose and throat without numbing his pain.

Benton meets Kynesha at Doc Magoo’s with a surprise guest: Adele. She has a foster family ready to take in Kynesha, who’s disappointed that Benton won’t let her stay with him. She blames Cleo for turning her away. Adele tells Kynesha that her only choices right now are foster care or becoming a ward of the state. Kynesha storms out, complaining that Benton doesn’t want her.

Elizabeth struggles to fix Julie’s injuries as she loses more and more blood. Elizabeth orders Shirley to get another surgeon to take over. A police officer arrests Kevin, who shouldn’t have been driving since he lost his license thanks to multiple DUIs. Benton comes down to consult and decides to give Kevin a CT. Luka isn’t sure that’s necessary. Abby asks Carter how his performance review went (meaning “did you tell Weaver you relapsed?”). Luka’s curious about that whole situation, but Abby can’t tell him anything.

Romano joins Elizabeth in the OR, annoyed that she’s having so much trouble with what should be a simple procedure. He orders her to stay and assist him, but she runs off. Mark is at County for radiation and decides to wait for Elizabeth in the lounge when he’s done. Even though he can barely walk on his own, he’s supposed to start back at work next week. Luka tells him not to worry about how things are running in the ER. Mark says he gets now that life’s too short to think about that kind of stuff.

Luka goes to check on Stewart, who’s gone to Kevin’s trauma room to give him last rites. He absolves Kevin of his sins, which I’m sure Luka doesn’t think he deserves. Abby bugs Carter again about talking to Weaver, but Carter doesn’t want to rock the boat when everything is going so well. Abby makes the best decision possible here: She tells him to find another sponsor. She cares about Carter and his recovery, but she can’t help him if he won’t listen to her.

While Cleo tells a devastated Julie that Amy died, Luka finishes up with Stewart, who asks what happened to Kevin. He didn’t survive surgery, so Stewart is glad that he found absolution. Luka, of course, doesn’t think he should have peace when he killed two people. Stewart says that Kevin found God in his last moments and asked for forgiveness. Luka asks if that means anyone can get into Heaven just by saying they’re sorry before they die. Stewart tells him that everyone deserves comfort in their darkest hour. Luka notes that Amy could have used that comfort. Stewart says God was with her, but Luka doubts that.

Carter finally pulls Weaver aside to tell her that he took Vicodin a couple weeks ago. He doesn’t know why he did it. Weaver thanks him for telling her but doesn’t know what the consequences will be yet. Mark and Elizabeth head home without the malpractice lawsuit hanging over their heads. She doesn’t feel like celebrating since she knows the error was really her fault. Mark says all they can do is try to get things right as often as possible.

Cleo is also down after her bad day, telling Benton that she can’t stop thinking about Amy’s brand-new shoes. When she put them on that morning, she had no clue what would happen to her. They get home to find that Cleo’s house has been trashed. Cleo is definitely, 100 percent, completely done with Kynesha.

Weaver tracks down Legaspi at Doc Magoo’s, wanting to clear the air. She respects Legaspi as a colleague and misses her as a friend. Legaspi thinks that in a few weeks, they’ll just be back to being friendly co-workers, like they were before. Weaver confides that she’s not sure that’s what she wants. Legaspi starts to leave, but Weaver asks her to stay.

Benton and Cleo silently clean up her house and he thanks her for putting up with him and being there for him. He acknowledges that he hasn’t been there for her in the same way. He’s never worked at being with someone – he’s never wanted to – but he wants to with her because he loves her. “Love won’t clean up the destruction in my house,” she manages to not reply.

Thoughts: Stewart is played by James Cromwell, who was nominated for an Emmy for the role.

Is everyone ready for the part of the season where we revisit the worst thing that’s ever happened to Luka? IS EVERYONE PUMPED?

“Dr. Corday, you have to stop the bleeding.” Oh, she does? Is that her job, Dr. Babcock? Thanks for clearing that up. I’m sure Elizabeth was unclear about what she was supposed to be doing here.

November 3, 2020

ER 7.9, The Greatest of Gifts: Merry Kissmas

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 5:03 pm by Jenn

Sorry, but Carter holding a baby isn’t as hot as Luka holding a baby

Summary: It’s early in the morning a little before Christmas, and Chicago is experiencing its first major snowfall of the winter. Carter stayed past the end of his shift to help with a big car accident, and even took over running things from the temp attending who was filling in for Mark. Weaver apologizes for having Carter work nights, but now that Mark has left his position, he was needed. She tells him to take an extra hour in his day off before he has to report back to work in the afternoon.

Carter heads home and crawls into bed, but moments later, his pager goes off. Back at County, Chen is in labor, and has summoned Carter as her birthing coach. She thought she could deliver by herself, but she decided she needed a friend with her. Carter is sweetly supportive and willing to give up sleep to stay with her.

At Cleo’s, she and Benton are asleep, but she wakes up when she hears voices in the living room. He tells her it’s just Kynesha, who’s been staying there, but Cleo makes him go check on her. Kynesha has brought a friend over and is complaining about how uptight Cleo is. She tells Benton that her friend is just staying there for a little while since she got locked out of her house.

Mark and Elizabeth are in New York to see a specialist. Mark notices a boy in a red hat with pompoms on it and remembers seeing the same hat on a kid in Chicago at Thanksgiving. Elizabeth wonders if it’s a sign. Mark makes a dark joke, and Elizabeth urges him to be optimistic. Mark thinks he’s just going to hear more bad news from the specialist. He hasn’t told Rachel about his tumor yet, and Elizabeth believes it’s because he thinks the specialist can help him, and he wants to be able to tell his daughter that he’ll be okay.

The parents Chen has chosen to adopt her child have arrived, wanting to be there for the birth. Carter greets them and lets them know that everything’s going well, but Chen is uneasy about letting them be in the room. James and Linda aren’t happy that they traveled all the way from Portland only to be sidelined. They worry that Chen is going to change her mind about the adoption. Carter promises that he’ll bring the baby to them as soon as he’s born. (For the record, James is Black and Linda is Asian, giving the baby adoptive parents of the same races as his birth parents.)

Down in the ER, Randi suggests that they send Chen flowers. Weaver tells Randi to leave her alone (probably because she knows Chen is placing the baby for adoption and doesn’t want to be congratulated for giving birth to a child she won’t raise). Legaspi comes down for a consult, and Weaver gives her a Christmas present. She has the hiccups, so Legaspi suggests that she drink water upside-down.

Cleo complains to Benton that what was supposed to be a single night hosting Kynesha has turned into a week. Benton hasn’t been able to find Kynesha’s mother, and he doesn’t want to hand her over for foster care. Cleo says she’s manipulating Benton. She gets two more days before Cleo kicks her out.

Just as Benton notices a little girl sneaking around near the ER, he hears a woman yelling and runs to help her. Her son, Jeff, was attacked by a dog, which bit through a facial artery that’s bleeding a lot. Weaver hiccups through the trauma. Chen has progressed quickly, and it’s already time to have the baby. Carter coaches her as Coburn handles the delivery. Chen doesn’t look at the baby and declines to hold him.

Later, Chen thanks Carter again for being there for her. He tries to downplay exactly how much of her anatomy he saw. She thinks he was surprised that the baby is half Black; she never told him who the baby’s father is. The baby is now with his adoptive parents, who would like to see Chen. Carter assures her that the parents seem great. He offers to stick around a little longer, but Chen talks him into leaving.

Mark checks in for some language tests and mapping at the hospital in New York. Elizabeth is eager to meet the specialist, Burke, but he’s busy and probably won’t see them until later in the day. Weaver reassures Jeff’s mother, Shelly, that he’ll be okay and his scars shouldn’t be too bad. Mona, the owner of the dog, shows up and Shelly demands that she put the dog down. Too bad she does this in front of Mona’s son, who now has to worry about his dog dying. Thanks, Shelly, and merry Christmas, Mona’s son.

Benton spots the little girl he saw earlier hiding in a utility closet. The girl, Taylor, says she hurt her foot, so he goes in to check it out. She’s supposed to be in the blood bank, donating blood to her sister, Nicole, who has leukemia. Every time Nicole gets sick, Taylor has to go to the hospital, too, in order to help her. This time, they’re going to a procedure called leukapheresis, where Taylor’s blood is drawn, some white blood cells are removed, and her blood is replaced. Benton promises he can heal her foot without taking any of her blood.

Carter grabs a nap in the on-call room but gets woken up again by his pager. Chen is trying to leave the hospital and wants a ride home. A social worker suggested that she see the baby, saying it’s better for both sets of parents. Chen admits that she’s not sure she can say goodbye. Mark undergoes an MRI while looking at pictures and doing a kind of word-association thing. Elizabeth observes as a couple of doctors look at his scans and debate whether he should have surgery. She’s upset by how casually they discuss his chances and how much time he might have left.

Lily tells Cleo that Kynesha is on the phone, saying something about Cleo’s car. Kynesha claims it was stolen by unknown thieves. While Cleo calls the police, Romano yells at Benton for “stealing” Taylor and refusing to take her to the blood bank. Also, he calls her “it,” so I don’t think Romano is in the Christmas spirit this year. Benton wants Taylor’s parents to come get her, and he wants someone to fully explain to her the procedure she’s going to undergo to help her sister. Romano cares more about Nicole and orders Benton to send Taylor to the blood bank.

Carter tells James and Linda that Chen has reluctantly agreed to see the baby. Linda’s worried that Chen will regret not seeing him before the adoption papers are signed in three days, which might make her change her mind about the adoption. The social worker suggests that Carter take the baby to Chen, and after Chen is done saying goodbye, she can hand the baby back to Linda. Carter takes the baby to his birth mother, who cries over him.

In New York, Mark is nervous about the conversation doctors are having about his best course of treatment. They still haven’t met Burke, and Mark wonders if he only meets patients he can help. He knows the MRI tech didn’t think he could be helped. Mark wishes the discussion group called itself something other than the Tumor Board, though Elizabeth notes that the name is fitting. They make up new names to amuse themselves. Mark asks if Elizabeth will still have the baby if he doesn’t survive. She says she will.

Weaver’s hiccups went away, but only temporarily, so cross a spoonful of sugar off the list of attempted remedies. Malik passes along his mother’s hiccup cure, standing on your head and swallowing. Legaspi comes back to the ER to see if Jeff needs counseling after his dog attack. Weaver asks if she’s opened her present yet. Carter comes back down for another nap, but James follows, distressed that Chen wants to nurse the baby.

Jeff is worried that his father will be mad about what happened. He was going to “put it back” before his dad found out. Legaspi thinks he’s upset about the dog attacking him unprovoked, but Jeff reveals that there was provocation. He opened his Christmas present early – a BB gun – and tried it out on the dog. (Cue the entire audience saying, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”)

Linda now regrets forcing Chen to see the baby. The social worker is familiar with this kind of dilemma and knows Chen will come around when she sees how well Linda and James are going to care for the baby. They send Carter to talk to Chen, who is doubting her decision to place the baby for adoption when she has the means to take care of him. Carter reminds her that James and Linda really want him, and Chen is giving them a wonderful gift.

Chen worries about what could happen if her child tracks her down in 18 years and wants to know why she gave him up. Carter thinks the truth is enough: Chen wanted to give him a good home. She feels like a coward, and like she’s choosing her bigoted parents over her child. Carter tells her to keep them out of this. If she wants to keep the baby, she can. If not, she needs to know she’s not abandoning him. She’s creating a family.

The police find Cleo’s car, which she thinks Kynesha stole and then abandoned when it broke down because she couldn’t drive stick. She tells Benton to bring Kynesha to see her, or she’ll send the police to Kynesha. Taylor’s mother, Melissa, comes to the ER to get her, and Benton tells her that Taylor feels she was only born to help Nicole. Melissa fully admits that they had an additional child because they were desperate to save Nicole (though they were planning to have more kids anyway). She hates being judged as if she’s done something wrong. Melissa loves Taylor no matter how useful she is for her sister.

The social worker brings James and Linda to Chen’s room so she can give the baby to them officially. They tell her they’re naming him Michael. Chen gives him over and Linda sings “Baby Mine” from Dumbo. Elizabeth gets a call from Price telling her that her malpractice case may go to trial. Yeah, Elizabeth, no one cares anymore. There’s much more important stuff going on.

Burke finally arrives and gives Mark and Elizabeth the news that, despite what the Tumor Board thinks, he believes the tumor is operable. It hasn’t invaded Mark’s language center as much as the surgeon in Chicago thought. Burke has perfected a procedure to remove the tumor, and many of his patients have survived 24 months and counting. He has a slot open for surgery on December 31st, so Mark can start the new year without his tumor.

Carter’s next attempt at a nap is interrupted yet again when victims of a van/motorcycle crash are brought into the ER. Dori (the nurse played by a Real Housewife) finds painkillers in the motorcycle rider’s pocket. Benton and Cleo come home to find Kynesha on the front steps, worried about the whole car situation. She didn’t take it, but she thinks her friend from that morning did. She didn’t want to say anything because she thought Cleo would kick her out. She has nowhere else to go.

Carter tends to some of the people from the van, kids on their way to a Christmas pageant. He winds up in the biker’s trauma room, looking for something in a cabinet. The biker’s painkillers are on the counter, and Carter grabs a bottle and takes a couple of pills, almost on autopilot. Moments later, he realizes what he did and runs to the bathroom to throw up the pills. He fights back tears over his impulsive decision.

He quickly pulls Abby away from a patient and tells her he took two Vicodin, then threw them up. Then he hands them over to her, like, at least put them in a cup or something! EW! Abby asks if he’s going to tell Weaver. Carter knows he’ll either lose his job or get sent back to rehab. He’s not sure this counts as a relapse, since the pills never got into his system. Is this the “I didn’t inhale” defense? Abby tells him to say he’s sick so he can get out of his shift and go to an AA meeting with her.

Mark and Elizabeth hang out at Rockefeller Center, watching people skate, as he goes over his plan to fly out and see Jen and Rachel so he can tell them about his diagnosis and treatment. He mentions living New York for a couple of months as a kid, which Elizabeth didn’t know about. Mark says he can’t tell her everything; he has to keep her interested. He regrets that he’s gotten sick, which she didn’t sign up for, but she reminds him that marriage means sticking together through all the hard times. Mark spots another kid in that red pompom hat, and Elizabeth says it must not be a sign after all.

Dave is annoyed that Weaver wants him to do another shift, since Carter had to leave. Dave thinks Carter just wants to sleep. Hey, at least you’re getting a scene in this episode. Luka’s not in it at all. Weaver’s still hiccuping, so she tries Randi’s remedy, drinking a cup of water after dropping a lit match in it. Legaspi comes to thank her for her gift, a first edition of a book she loves. However, she doesn’t want to be friends with Weaver, since Weaver is straight and Legaspi isn’t.

Weaver argues that they get along well and should keep hanging out. Legaspi kisses her, clarifying that she can’t just be friends with someone she has feelings for. On the plus side, it looks like Weaver’s hiccups are gone. Chen’s mother calls her hospital room, but Chen doesn’t want to talk to her. She’ll be spending Christmas alone while Michael starts his life with his new parents.

Thoughts: Lots of familiar faces in this episode:

Helping Chen through labor is the first good thing Carter’s done in this season, and the first time he’s seemed like his old self. I appreciate that the show never tried to put the two of them together – they just let them be friends.

How do you drink water upside-down without choking? Well, I guess if you’re choking, you’re not hiccuping, so there you go.

October 27, 2020

ER 7.8, The Dance We Do: The End of the Cycle

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

Once your health problems get to this stage, you really need to start telling people what’s going on

Summary: Abby’s asleep – drink! She’s in Luka’s hotel room, so that’s progressed, though their morning conversation isn’t very warm or romantic. Abby heads home, where Maggie’s been keeping busy by sewing clothes. She has a job interview and spent the money Abby gave her for bus fare, so she’s obviously planning to stay in Chicago. Maggie approves of Abby and Luka’s relationship but thinks Luka’s playing hard to get. She’s going to make Abby a dress that will grab his attention.

Abby brushes off Maggie’s suggestion of having breakfast together so she can take a shower and get ready for work. In the bathroom, she counts Maggie’s pills to make sure she’s taking her medication. Maggie catches her and is hurt that Abby doesn’t believe she’s trying to get better. Abby asks her to submit to a blood test at the hospital to make sure she’s both taking her meds and not taking anything she shouldn’t be. Maggie agrees.

Mark and Elizabeth discuss her malpractice lawsuit on an El train; he’s on his way to work and she’s going to her deposition. She admits that she doesn’t think she checked for a cerebrospinal fluid leak before finishing up Patterson’s procedure, and she was the only one who could have made the error Patterson alleges she made.

Mark notes that Patterson knew the risks of the procedure, and there’s no proof that Elizabeth was negligent. Just because Patterson wants someone to blame doesn’t mean Elizabeth is in the wrong. P.S. She thinks he has a bandage on his head (obviously related to his brain tumor) because he ran into a street sign.

Abby prepares to draw Maggie’s blood at County as Maggie chatters about not wanting to show up to her job interview with a bandage on her arm. She warns that Abby will feel foolish when the test shows that Maggie’s taking her meds. Dave ducks into the room, obviously hiding from someone, and Maggie pretends she’s there to donate blood. Abby gives in and lets her go to her interview without the blood test.

The reason Dave’s hiding is a woman named Stephanie who’s looking for him. Cleo tells Chuny and Randi that another woman was there looking for him yesterday. Maggie runs into the ER, yelling that a girl was just thrown from a car outside. It’s Kynesha, and she’s been beaten up.

Elizabeth and her lawyer, Price, meet up with Patterson’s lawyer, Resnick, who starts off on the wrong foot by commenting that Elizabeth is beautiful. Someone introduce him to Romano; they’d be best friends. Resnick talks casually about a car accident he passed that morning while Elizabeth prepares for the deposition that could lead to her entire life being changed.

Cleo and Dave examine Kynesha, suspecting that she was raped. Benton comes for a surgical consult, but Cleo sends him away, telling him that the patient was Jesse’s girlfriend. Benton starts to leave, then goes into the trauma room to do his job. His bedside manner is lacking, but he doesn’t bring up their connection.

At County, Mark gets the results of the biopsy his bandage is covering the site of. He has a tumor called a GBM (glioblastoma multiforme), and his survival with treatment is only about six to nine months. Without treatment, he’ll be dead within eight weeks. The doctor says the tumor is inoperable since it’s already invaded the language areas of Mark’s brain (which explains why he had trouble speaking). Mark is looking at the loss of his ability to communicate and interact with the world around him.

Having been told that he might not be alive in a year doesn’t stop Mark from starting his next shift in the ER. He immediately makes an error that Carter corrects. Oh, yeah, sign me up for emergency treatment from this guy. Carter needs his next scheduled drug test, so he says he’ll ask Abby to draw his blood. Cleo, Benton, and Abby examine Kynesha to see if she was sexually assaulted, though she insists that she was only beaten up. She was jumped out as part of exiting a gang.

Things get tense at Elizabeth’s deposition as Resnick questions her decision not to operate on Patterson immediately. She notes that she had to help treat Jesse first. Resnick knows that Elizabeth dated Benton, so did she prioritize her ex’s nephew over another patient? Price tries to keep Elizabeth from having to answer that. Resnick asks if Elizabeth was so upset over Jesse’s death that she was distracted when she operated on Patterson.

Carter cracks jokes during his blood test, but Abby and Mark aren’t amused. Also, way to take the terms of your employment seriously. Chuny tells Abby that paramedics are looking for her; it has something to do with Maggie. Cleo and Benton talk to a police officer who can’t do much for Kynesha since she won’t reveal the names of the people who assaulted her. She does want to talk to Benton, though.

She tells him she can’t rat out her attackers without putting herself at risk. Benton asks if the attackers are the same people who killed Jesse. He wasn’t in a gang, but he was in the neighborhood where he was shot because of Kynesha. She tells him that Jesse tried to get her to leave the gang, and the others killed him to stop that from happening. They fought, and Kynesha was walking away when Jesse was shot. She saw his shooter but is hesitant to name him. Benton gently pushes her to do it.

Abby heads to the store where Maggie was supposed to have her interview; instead, she’s been accused of shoplifting. She ran into a glass door while leaving, which is why the paramedics got involved. Maggie is clearly manic, and Abby tries to convince a store clerk that her bipolar disorder caused her to act impulsively. The clerk says that Maggie walked in demanding a job. Abby promises to pay for the door and keep Maggie from ever returning to the store.

Mark tells Carter that his blood test shows he’s not taking the medication that blocks the effects of narcotics, which he agreed to take as part of his terms of employment. Carter claims that his prescription ran out and he hasn’t had time to refill it. Dude, you work in a hospital. There’s a pharmacy right there. Mark reminds Carter that he’s not the only one with something at stake here. County is giving him a second chance that most addicts don’t get.

Carter says this doesn’t feel like a fresh start. He’s done everything asked of him without complaining. (Uh, since when?) The restrictions placed on him are “arbitrary” and “arcane.” He keeps talking but I can’t hear him over the sound of my eyes rolling. Mark also doesn’t hear him, since he’s busy having a seizure. Well, that’s one way to end an uncomfortable conversation. Once Mark is stable and conscious again, Carter tells him he needs a head CT. Mark refuses, saying he just needs to find out how much Dilantin (an anti-seizure medication) he’s taken. He heads right back to work.

Resnick continues grilling Elizabeth on Patterson’s procedure – did she choose endoscopic surgery because it was faster and fit her schedule better? Elizabeth insists that her schedule had nothing to do with the choice. The procedure takes about an hour, but Resnick notes that she finished it in 43 minutes. The 87 times Elizabeth did the procedure before that, her fastest time was 54 minutes. Elizabeth says she doesn’t time herself; it’s not a race.

So then, Resnick asks, why did a nurse tell her that they were approaching 6:00? Elizabeth says she wanted to stay on schedule because she had somewhere to be (her weekend getaway with Mark). She doesn’t like Resnick’s inference that she rushed Patterson’s procedure so she could go on a personal trip. Price hurries to call a break before Elizabeth has to confirm this.

Abby brings Maggie back to County as she jabbers about the store clerk and worries that Abby’s mad. Luka takes in the scene as Abby takes a break in an empty trauma room. Benton calls the police back to talk to Kynesha, which just upsets her. I guess she thought he would leave her out of things and handle the police himself.

Carter gets his prescription refilled, but Mark trusts him enough to take the medication without a witness. He thanks Carter for helping him after his seizure. Carter invites him to talk about anything Mark might be hiding, noting that it’s covered by doctor/patient confidentiality. Mark reveals that he has an inoperable GBM and will probably have to leave his job. Carter urges him to look into experimental treatments, but Mark seems ready to admit defeat already. He asks Carter to try to squash rumors about him before he can tell Elizabeth what’s going on.

Price gives Elizabeth a lesson in answering yes/no questions with only “yes” or “no” when possible. The best-care scenario here is a black mark on Elizabeth’s record. The worst case is the loss of her license. The point of the deposition is for Resnick to gather information he can use against Elizabeth, so Elizabeth needs to give him as little as possible. Elizabeth thinks that means hiding the truth.

Luka stitches up a cut on Maggie’s hand as she coos over how masculine and awesome he is. Please inject this woman with lithium immediately. I can’t listen to her anymore. Abby apologizes on her behalf, which Maggie doesn’t appreciate. She thinks Abby’s always been embarrassed by her. She gets more and more agitated until Abby threatens to give her Haldol. Maggie tries to run away, but Luka grabs her and drags her back to an exam room. Gee, I wonder why Abby’s always embarrassed by Maggie? Maggie screams at Abby, who calmly helps Luka and Carter restrain her.

Elizabeth returns to the deposition after a break and is stunned to see Patterson there. As the complainant, he’s allowed to be present, so Elizabeth will need to work harder to retain her composure. Legaspi comes to the ER to examine Maggie and tells Abby that she doesn’t meet the criteria for a psych hold. Carter reports that her blood-alcohol level is .092, which explains her mania. Abby says she doesn’t care if Maggie’s admitted, but Legaspi says she’ll do it anyway. Abby declines to talk to her mother, who’s now crying and wants to apologize for her behavior.

Benton discharges Kynesha, telling her he had to do something to try to get justice for Jesse. Kynesha responds with her middle finger. Benton tells Cleo that he thinks Kynesha’s testimony will help the police find Jesse’s killers. He apologizes for their falling-out, saying she’s the only thing in his life that makes sense right now. Cleo replies that she’ll think his apology over while they have dinner together.

Elizabeth answers questions about the error in Patterson’s procedure, which she says wasn’t evident at the time. She dances around Resnick’s very clear questions, trying not to answer straight out that she didn’t do a thorough inspection for leaks before she finished the procedure. Then, when he asks her point blank if she did an inspection, she says yes.

Carter checks on Abby, letting her know that Maggie has run off. Abby figured that would happen, since it always does. It’s the end of Abby and Maggie’s “cycle.” Maggie will disappear for a few months, and then Abby will have to deal with her again when she turns up. Abby knew from the beginning of Maggie’s visit that things would end like this – it’s “the dance we do.” She heads off with Luka for some distraction sex, I imagine.

Benton takes Cleo to Jackie’s house, but she doesn’t want to intrude on the family when Benton tells them about the developments in Jesse’s case. Kynesha stops him outside the house and frantically tells him that Jesse’s killers are already being arrested. She can’t go home; everyone will know she snitched. Benton agrees to take her somewhere safe.

Elizabeth gets home from her deposition and confesses to Mark that she lied. Actually, Elizabeth, we call that perjury. She rushed the procedure and didn’t do a thorough inspection because she wanted to leave for the weekend. Now Patterson will never walk again. Elizabeth couldn’t admit her mistake; she lied in front of God to save herself. Mark says God owes them one and Elizabeth is allowed to be selfish about this. Then he tells her what he’s been hiding about his health. Meanwhile, Abby ends the day the same way she started it, in Luka’s bed. While he sleeps, she goes to the bathroom and turns on the water to hide the sound of her crying.

Thoughts: Resnick is played by Željko Ivanek.

I wonder what would happen if Elizabeth’s case went to court and Price just stood up and said, “Your Honor, opposing counsel hit on  my client within five seconds of meeting her. I move to dismiss the case.” I mean, it’s worth a shot. At the very least, Resnick would probably be dismissed and they would have more time to prepare while Patterson found a new lawyer.

Elizabeth’s attitude at the deposition isn’t going to endear her to a judge or jury. Acting defensive and like your time is too valuable to be there just makes you look guilty.

Does Mark’s insistence on working a shift knowing his communication faculties are declining put him on the same level as Lawrence continuing to work after being suspected of having dementia? Discuss.

Carter’s sense of entitlement is infuriating. Honey, the hospital doesn’t owe you anything. You’re lucky they didn’t fire you for stealing drugs and injecting yourself while on duty. I need Benton to knock him down a few pegs.

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