July 7, 2020

ER 6.14, All in the Family: This Place Is Killing Me

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

Pour one out

Summary: Weaver arrives at County for a night shift in the middle of a slow spell. The Valentine’s Day party is still going on, and the music is still loud, though at least it’s more Valentine-y now (“More Today Than Yesterday”). Luka and some nurses are discussing Malik’s no-polish manicure, which he says women love. Weaver asks them to turn down the music, then tells the staff they can party for five more minutes before getting back to work.

In the lounge, Abby’s on the phone with someone, trying to work out some kind of payment. (Come back for the exciting explanation in a future episode.) Carol gets ready to go home, still feeling stung by the loss of Robbie and Julia’s parents. Weaver comments that it must be nice that she has her girls to go home to. Randi needs a doctor for a patient who’s supposed to be Carter’s, so Weaver tells her to find him. Pablo comes in with a foot injury, and Weaver’s pleased to see that he’s alive, since he hasn’t been around for more than a year. Haleh thinks he was deported, then snuck back into the country.

Dr. Deraad has finally managed to get himself to the ER, though it’s way too late for him to be able to help anyone and also people have been horribly injured because of his negligence and I can’t look at him anymore. Weaver’s unfamiliar with the whole Paul situation and can’t tell Deraad where to find him. She goes to treat an injured man dressed as Cupid, then runs into Chen, who needs help dealing with the toxicology department. Weaver stops outside Paul’s exam room and sees blood on the floor. When she opens the door, she’s horrified by what she sees inside.

Mark, Elizabeth, and their parents are still at the restaurant; Mark and Elizabeth have loosened up enough to sing “Piano Man” together. Alex Kingston is a talented woman but…not musically. Elizabeth’s pager goes off in the middle of the song, so she mercifully stops singing. Mark keeps going alone, getting as far as “Bill, this place is killing me” before his pager goes off as well.

Back at County, things have gone from slow to chaotic as the staff starts tending to Carter and Lucy. They’ve put together that Paul must have attacked them, but they have no idea where is or if he’s still in the hospital. Lucy has multiple stab wounds and has lost a lot of blood; Weaver’s shaky when she tries to take care of her. She’s upset that Carter and Lucy were bleeding to death while the staff was having a party, completely oblivious.

Luka heads up tending to Carter, who’s not doing as badly as Lucy. Abby notes that she was just talking to him. Connie shows a couple of cops the scene of the crime, and Deraad tells them the attacker was Paul, though he doesn’t know anything helpful about the patient. Benton races to the ER at an Olympic-qualifying speed, having heard that Carter was injured, and takes over his care. Weaver and Dave determine that Lucy needs surgical attention, so Haleh brings Benton over to her trauma room.

Abby goes to a supply cart in the hallway, looking for an infuser kit for Carter. Instead, she finds the knife Paul stashed there after the attacks. Connie recognizes it as the cake knife that disappeared from the lounge. Abby tries to gather herself so she can keep looking for the kit. A cop asks her if Carter’s awake and if he’s going to survive. Abby doesn’t have any answers for him.

She goes back to Carter’s trauma room, where he wakes up confused. Chen tries to reassure him, getting protective when a cop tries to question him. Carter sees Lucy in the next room, but Abby can only tell him she’s alive, not how badly she’s hurt. Chen pulls Benton back to Carter’s room, telling him that Carter has an injury to his kidney.

Mark and Elizabeth arrive at County, leaving their parents in the car. Benton stays with Carter as he’s taken up to surgery. Weaver asks Luka questions about Paul, but Luka isn’t sure what happened. Mark and Elizabeth join them with Lucy, who’s still unstable, and Elizabeth determines that they need to open her chest. When Weaver advocated for a sternal saw in the ER, she never could have expected she’d be using one on Lucy. Everyone’s uneasy watching someone they know get sawed open. Together, Weaver, Elizabeth, Mark, Luka, and Dave manage to get Lucy’s heart rate stabilized.

As soon as Lucy’s in the elevator on her way to the OR, the ER is quiet again. Luka and Mark think they were able to help Lucy enough to keep her alive. Weaver leaves the hospital, brushing off people who need to talk to her, and goes outside for some fresh air. She throws up in a garbage can, then goes back inside to her responsibilities.

Anspaugh gets word of the attacks and tells Benton he’s scrubbing in on Carter’s surgery. Carter knows his injuries are bad, but Benton stays calm and promises to take good care of him. “I’m glad it’s you,” Carter says. Benton heads for the scrub room as Lucy is brought up to be operated on by Romano and Elizabeth. Anspaugh, Benton, and Elizabeth scrub in together, all silent as they think about the stakes of what they’re about to do.

Down in the OR, Luka asks Amira why the nurses thought they needed a six-inch butcher knife to cut a cake. Amira argues that she’s not the one who brought it; she couldn’t even find it. She doesn’t know how Paul was able to get his hands on it. Weaver tells her to get Carter and Lucy’s emergency-contact info but not make any calls herself. She asks Mark what he knew about Paul, which isn’t much. Mark says Carter was supervising Lucy, and Weaver wonders who was supervising Carter. She’s upset that Mark left early and didn’t pass the case off to Luka.

Mark says he reviewed the patient board with Luka before he left, but Luka says he didn’t know that Paul was psychotic. Mark replies he didn’t know, either – no one presented the case to him. Luka says he was managing the whole board and didn’t know that Paul had gone from stable to possible dangerous. Weaver points out that he was having a party, not doing his job. Mark tells her that they both thought Carter and Lucy had everything covered.

Chuny interrupts to announce that Paul’s pregnant wife, Samantha, has arrived. Lucy left her a message letting her know that Paul was in the hospital. Luka takes her off to tell her what’s going on. As Cleo returns from an errand, having missed the entire chaotic situation, Mark enlists her to help him with a patient being brought in by helicopter.

Samantha doesn’t believe Luka’s claims that Paul stabbed two people and ran away. She denies that he could ever hurt anyone. Luka tells her that Paul may have schizophrenia. Benton and Anspaugh operate on Carter, and Benton’s usual calm, methodical demeanor is out the window. Anspaugh keeps his cool, stopping Benton from doing anything drastic like removing Carter’s injured kidney. Next door, Elizabeth and Romano are tense as they operate on Lucy, who’s still losing blood.

The patient brought in by helicopter is a man who was injured when a heavy stream of oil hit him while he was fixing a pipe. (Apparently that’s a bad thing to have happen.) David comes looking for Mark, wanting to know how long he and Isabelle will have to wait before Mark and Elizabeth can take them home. Of course, Mark doesn’t know.

Luka and Samantha talk to a detective who asks Samantha where Paul might have gone. She’s still in denial that he’s dangerous – if he was, why didn’t the doctors take more precautions? Luka tells her they don’t have any answers, but no matter what’s going on, Paul needs help. Samantha suggests that he might have gone to the roof of their apartment building, since he likes to go there to be alone.

Lucy’s operation is calmer now, and her surgeons are lamenting how horrible it is that Paul attacked her. Carter’s condition is much better, and Benton and Anspaugh have managed to save his kidney. Anspaugh notes that he could live with just one, but Anspaugh didn’t want to remove an organ. Alarms start going off and they realize there’s a problem with Carter’s lumbar artery. He’s suddenly at risk for paralysis.

David and Isabelle sit in the waiting area, wondering if this is a normal day at work for their kids. Abby and Chen receive a patient brought in by paramedics after being hit by a car. Chen recognizes him as Paul and tells Abby to get Weaver. Paul’s altered again, making paranoid rants and complaining that “they” wouldn’t stop sticking him. Weaver tries to head up his care, but she gets overwhelmed and asks Mark to switch patients with her. He sends Cleo up to the OR with their oil guy (I don’t know his name; I’ll call him Exxon) to wait for a surgeon to become available.

Elizabeth and Romano are done operating on Lucy and somewhat pleased with her condition, figuring it’s the best they could hope for. Romano’s called away for a phone call, so Elizabeth goes in alone when she learns that Lucy’s waking up. Thanks to a stab wound to her neck and a subsequent thoracotomy, Lucy can’t speak, but she’s able to whisper a thank you to Elizabeth for saving her.

Benton and Anspaugh are finishing up with Carter, so Shirley asks Anspaugh to operate on Exxon. Benton tells her to get Elizabeth instead, ordering Shirley to have Cleo stay with Exxon until Elizabeth can get to him. Just as Elizabeth is about to go to the OR with Exxon, Lucy suffers what she’s able to self-diagnose as a pulmonary embolism. Elizabeth and Romano debate whether or not to thin her blood, since that could cause post-surgical complications.

Mark tells Samantha that Paul is doing okay and is now talking to a psychiatrist. Mark wants her to wait before she sees her husband. Lucy’s incision is bleeding a little, but Elizabeth tells her that’s normal because of the medication she was given. She does have a pulmonary embolism, but they’ll be able to fix it. Elizabeth can tell that Lucy’s scared, and she promises to get her through this.

Chen and Dave go over to Doc Magoo’s, done with their shifts but not wanting to go home before they know if Carter and Lucy will be okay. Abby and Luka are already there for the same reason. Back at County, Lucy wants to stay awake while Elizabeth takes care of her embolism. Romano assures her that they’ll save her – after all, they put a lot of time and money into her training, so her death would be a big waste. He offers to talk her through the procedure so she knows what’s going on.

Lucy’s alarms go off again, so Romano opens her up in a procedure room, knowing she doesn’t have time to get to the OR. This delays Elizabeth from operating on Exxon, so Anspaugh tells Benton to go take care of him. Benton quickly determines that Exxon’s stable enough to wait a little longer, so he tells Cleo to stay with Exxon while he goes back to Carter.

As Elizabeth and Romano take care of the clots Lucy’s forming, Exxon starts to go downhill. Cleo can’t keep waiting for a surgeon; she thinks Exxon tore an artery, and the only way she knows how to fix it is by opening his chest. Lucy’s also doing worse, and Elizabeth and Romano have to shock her heart. Benton finally returns to Cleo and Exxon, blasting her for opening the patient instead of continuing to wait for a surgeon.

Romano and Elizabeth continue trying to stabilize Lucy, but Romano determines that they can’t do any more for her. He has Elizabeth stop shocking her, and they wait quietly while Lucy’s heart stops. Upset, Romano throws the equipment tray across the room, then decides they need to try to save Lucy again. This time it’s Elizabeth who says they can’t do it. R.I.P Lucy Knight.

Paul is calmer now, so Deraad lets Samantha come see him. Paul remembers bits of the events of the day, like the blue cake. He says he had to do what he did because the doctors were trying to take his internal organs. Samantha finally accepts that something’s not right with her husband. Paul begs to go home, only concerned with feeding his dog.

Mark leaves Paul’s room and goes to the front desk, where Weaver’s face tells him all he needs to know about Lucy’s fate. Benton finishes up with Exxon, then asks Cleo about Carter, who’s now in recovery. He tells her she was right to make the decisions she did about Exxon; he regrets putting her in such a tough position. She tells him that there was a complication with Lucy.

Haleh and Lydia have joined the group at Doc Magoo’s, and they’re reminiscing about a prank Carter pulled on Lucy. He told her to do a pelvic exam on a well-known patient named Vanessa, leaving out the part where Vanessa’s a drag queen. Chuny interrupts the fun by coming over with news about Lucy. Back at County, Benton examines Carter to make sure he has full function in his legs. Carter thanks him, then asks how Lucy is. Benton ignores him to continue the examination, which is all Carter needs to know.

Elizabeth finally makes it home early in the morning, looking like she’ll never stop picturing the things she saw today. Paul’s room is still blocked off as a crime scene, marked with both police tape and Valentine’s Day decorations. Carol is back on shift, and she points out to Mark that they’re down a resident and a med student. They ask Abby to work another shift. Mark takes a moment to himself, then goes off to take care of a patient. Weaver finds Romano stitching Lucy’s chest closed on the surgical floor and helps him finish up with her body.

Thoughts: Samantha is played by Liza Weil.

I absolutely hate TV and movie scenes where people throw up, but I give a pass to the scene where Weaver does because I think her reaction to the trauma is realistic. She’s portrayed as cold and uncaring a lot of the time, but here we get to see that even she can’t turn off all her emotions when a colleague is involved. The same goes for Romano when he gets angry after Lucy flatlines. He hates almost everyone, but he was proud of the way she fought for Valerie, and he’s genuinely sad that he couldn’t save her.

Imagine being Carol and leaving work for the night thinking everything’s normal, then coming in the next morning and being told that one of your co-workers was murdered. How does everyone on this show not have some form of PTSD?

June 30, 2020

ER 6.13, Be Still My Heart: My Bloody Valentine

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


Summary: I guess David’s thing is playing things at high volume early in the morning, because here he is again, making noise. He’s looking through Ruth’s records and has put on a cha-cha song. Over at Elizabeth’s, she’s also dealing with a parent, since her mother’s staying with her. Isabelle wants to come observe a procedure Elizabeth is doing later in the day, but Elizabeth tells her it’s not allowed. Isabelle thinks her daughter has enough pull to change the rules.

David has switched over to the Oklahoma! soundtrack, and Mark is singing along to “Surrey With the Fringe on Top” while shaving. David bugs him about getting a prescription refill, but Mark says family members aren’t allowed to do that. David wonders what the point is of having a son who’s a doctor if he doesn’t get perks like prescriptions. Isn’t it enough to be able to tell people your son is a doctor?

At County, Amira is decorating for Valentine’s Day and Yosh is handing out valentines. Luka confirms that they celebrate the holiday in Croatia; they even have those little hearts with the messages on them. Paramedics bring in Jean, who wants Carter to be her doctor since he was so wonderful with her husband, Barry. Abby starts her off with an examination, thinking she has an infection.

Mark and Elizabeth meet up on the way to work, looking forward to having dinner together that night. Elizabeth warns that Isabelle may come visit the hospital, and Mark shouldn’t be too excited to meet her. They start goofing around in the snow, which leads to Elizabeth running into the ER, screaming, while Lucy’s trying to talk to her next patient, Paul Sobriki.

That’s right, friends. It’s THAT episode.

Dave and Chen are trying to work together on a patient named Hudson, who was in a fender-bender. They’re acting like squabbling siblings, so they miss the part of their patient’s history where it turns out he’s a doctor himself. Mark takes over the examination as an amused Hudson reports that the residents are asking the right questions but not waiting to hear his answers.

Carter doesn’t remember Jean or her husband, but he tells Abby he’ll come see her anyway. First, Lucy pulls him away to help her with Paul, who’s had a headache for a couple of days. It seems like a migraine, though he doesn’t have a history of those. Carter approves of Lucy’s suggested treatment, saying he trusts her judgment and doesn’t need to examine Paul himself.

He heads on to see Jean, pretending he remembers her. Abby wants to give her every treatment available, but Carter isn’t sure Jean would want all of that. Mark asks Carter if he’s overseeing Lucy’s work with Paul, and Carter says she presented the case to him. Mark reminds him that if he’s going to supervise med students, he needs to, you know, supervise them. Carter goes to check on them, finding that Paul is now altered and saying strange things. Carter chastises Lucy for not giving him all the details about the case before. Lucy says he was fine before and she was about to get Carter.

Romano pages Elizabeth to the OR for an unscheduled procedure on a patient named Gretel. Romano is uncharacteristically concerned about the patient…who happens to be his dog. (That’s right, friends. It’s THAT episode, too.) Once Paul has been knocked out with a sedative, Lucy and Carter prepare to give him a lumbar puncture to see if he has meningitis. He wakes up when Lucy sticks him with the needle, so Carter holds him down and tells Lucy to keep going. She has trouble with the procedure, and it’s not helped by Paul begging her to stop.

I guess dogs and humans have the exact same anatomy, because Elizabeth and Romano are fine operating on Gretel. Romano acts like it’s totally normal to remove your own dog’s tumor, because what else should he do? Let a doctor specially trained to operate on dogs, who’s familiar with dogs’ anatomy and care, do the operation? Romano would be crazy to let that happen!

Chen and Dave tell Mark that Hudson had been in remission from cancer for 15 months, but it’s come back. They disagree about the best treatment, and Mark gets them to admit that they haven’t even asked Hudson what he wants. Mark takes over the case and tells them to be quiet.

Abby checks on Jean, who’s doing better after getting fluids, though she thinks Yosh’s TLC and valentine are what have helped the most. She didn’t think she would get a valentine this year, since her husband died a few months ago. Barry was always very thoughtful and remembered all their special occasions. She shows Abby a pin he gave her last year; she didn’t tell him that he got her the same pin the year before. It says “be still my heart.”

Paul is mentally stable again, and tells Lucy that his wife is probably out shopping for Valentine’s Day, which is why Lucy can’t reach her. He doesn’t have meningitis, but Lucy hasn’t figured out his diagnosis yet. Paul wants to go back to the diner where he usually studies (he’s in law school); he’s been avoiding the library since there have been some muggings there recently. Lucy picks up on a little paranoia. She wants to do a CAT scan, assuring Paul that he won’t be affected by the radiation.

Romano is the only one taking the Gretel situation seriously until she has a seizure that leads to heart trouble. Romano wants to do everything himself, but Elizabeth won’t let him. Mark gives Hudson his diagnosis, which comes with only about a year left to live. He decides to have chemo, since radiation on his esophagus could leave him unable to eat. If he only has a year left, he wants to still be able to enjoy food.

Lucy chats with a friend of Paul’s who used to study with him in the library. He tells Lucy that Paul has been acting weird for a few months, seemingly wearing the same clothes all the time. They went to the same college, and Paul did really well there, but now he’s cutting classes. He also picks fights with the friend over dumb things like parking spaces.

Jean is doing worse, and since she’s unconscious now, Abby has to make a decision about her care. Carter runs to join her, getting delayed by Lucy, who wants to talk to him about Paul. She thinks he might have a psychiatric disorder. Carter ignores her and goes to Jean’s room, where Abby has given her dopamine to help her. She didn’t want heroic measures, but Abby doesn’t think dopamine falls into that category. Carter warns that she’ll flood Jean’s lungs if she gives her more fluids. Abby will have to make more hard decisions.

Paul and his friend get into an argument in the hallway when Paul accuses the friend of following him to the hospital. Mark and Carter separate them, and Malik takes Paul back to his room. Mark has to rush off to see to Hudson, so the friend tells Carter to let Lucy know about the fight. Hudson is unstable and needs radiation immediately, even though he wanted chemo instead. Mark says he won’t live long enough for chemo if he doesn’t have radiation now.

Carter blasts Lucy for not keeping a better eye on Paul. Lucy thinks Paul has schizophrenia, and she’s planning to call for a psych consult once she’s presented the case to Carter. Carter needs to get back to Jean, so he tells Lucy to page psych now and hand Paul off so she can see other patients.

Jean is conscious again, but Carter was right about the fluids, and her lungs have been affected. Abby wants to intubate her and treat her infection, thinking that’ll be the end of the story. Carter points out that she’s elderly and has multi-organ failure. If she undergoes intubation, she might never be able to be extubated. He reminds Abby that this isn’t about what she wants – it’s about what Jean wants. Jean stops breathing, a complication of the heart failure that’s going to kill her.

As Carol and Luka get read for a trauma that’s coming in, Romano and Elizabeth finish Gretel’s surgery and move her to a recovery room. Romano thinks Elizabeth’s joking when she asks if Gretel has insurance. Isabelle picks this moment to show up for Elizabeth’s fancy laser surgery, instead seeing her tending to a dog. So much for making a good impression. Romano makes an even worse impression when Isabelle says she’s in town for some lectures on wave-particle duality, and Romano says that sounds horrible. Isabelle clarifies that she’s giving the lectures.

Carol, Luka, and Cleo meet a couple of ambulances bringing in a family from a car accident. The young kids, Robbie and Julia, only have minor injuries, but their parents are in serious condition. Cleo and Haleh try to tend to the kids, but Robbie’s more concerned with his parents’ conditions than his own. Isabelle watches from the hallway as Elizabeth finally gets to put her skills at treating humans to use. Julia slips out of her and Robbie’s exam room and almost gets a glimpse of her father’s bloody trauma before Cleo pulls her away.

Luka and Carol work hard on Robbie and Julia’s mother but ultimately can’t save her. They go next door, where Benton and Elizabeth aren’t having much more luck with the father, and let them know that his wife has already died. Benton realizes the father isn’t going to make it, either. Luka and Carol volunteer to tell Robbie and Julia that they’re now orphans.

Julia’s too young to really grasp what it means that both her parents are dead, but Robbie gets it. He asks to see his parents’ bodies. Luka, who we know from previous interactions with kids believes in telling them the truth, says that’s fine. He prepares the kids a little for the scary sight they’re about to see, which turns out to be too much for Julia. Robbie goes into the trauma room alone, takes a last look at his parents, and cries over his mother’s body.

Hudson is awake but probably wishing he wasn’t, since Dave and Chen are looking after him again. Even though Mark went against Hudson’s wishes, Hudson is grateful. Chen and Dave keep bickering, and Mark tells them he only had one child because he didn’t want to listen to two of them argue. Just wait until season 8, Mark. Then you’ll wish you’d never had any children.

Elizabeth goes looking for her mother, and Mark tells her that they met. In fact, the three of them are going out to dinner, along with David. Mark says Isabelle arranged it all; she “has a way about her” that makes her hard to turn down. Elizabeth meets up with Isabelle at Doc Magoo’s, where Isabelle claims Mark (who “has a way about him”) organized the group dinner. She thinks he’s trying to set her up with David. Isabelle says she had no idea how difficult Elizabeth’s job is.

Lucy finds Paul in the lounge, where he says he was looking for coffee. Chuny and Lydia are getting ready for a staff Valentine’s Day party, though they only have one small cake, and it’s blue instead of red or pink. David resists being set up with Isabelle and says it must have been Elizabeth’s idea. Mark tells him it’s just a friendly dinner. He tells David he can skip it if he wants.

Carter bugs Lucy about still looking after Paul; she’s called psych twice but they haven’t been able to send anyone to see him. Carter tells her to let Malik stay with Paul while she does her job. Lucy’s fed up with Carter and ignores him. David and Isabelle get along better than expected, bonding over their children’s heroic medical actions. They restaurant they’re at doubles as a piano bar, and they laugh together over how bad one of the singers is.

Shirley checks on Gretel, assuring Romano that not everyone at County thinks he’s crazy – just the ones who were part of the operation. Romano lives alone, so Gretel’s the only one he goes home to. Shirley makes the insane suggestion that Romano try to show compassion for people the same way he shows it for Gretel. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. She tries to keep Romano from giving Gretel a dog biscuit, since she’s not supposed to have any food yet.

At the restaurant, David sings “They Call the Wind Mariah,” definitely showing up the previous singer. Mark says he used to do this sort of thing to embarrass Mark as a kid. He agrees with Elizabeth that David is pretty brave. Back at County, Abby’s still sitting with Jean in the last moments of her life. Abby admits to Carter that he was right and she shouldn’t have chosen the treatment she did for Jean. Jean dies and Abby whispers, “Be still my heart.”

David and Isabelle duet on “I Remember It Well” as Elizabeth and Mark discuss the movie it’s from, Gigi. Elizabeth watched it a bunch as a kid because Isabelle liked the movie’s lesson – women shouldn’t define themselves through men. Mark thinks the evening is really bizarre.

Abby’s smoking on the roof again, even though it’s freezing outside. Carter brings her some coffee and suggests she find a warmer place to mope. She tells him that in OB, everything is almost always happy. This is the first time she’s seen someone old die. Carter gives her good news and bad news: She’ll never get used to it. They decide to go back inside for the Valentine’s Day party.

In the ER, “Battleflag” by Lo Fidelity Allstars is blasting, to ensure that we always associate it with this episode. The nurses cut the cake, and Lydia says there’s a bigger knife in the lounge. Amira says she couldn’t find it. Carter realizes that Lucy still hasn’t seen the patient he’s been telling her to treat. Lily reports that she’s still waiting on Paul’s psych consult. Abby asks Carol and Luka if the patients mind the loud music, but it’s so loud that they can’t hear her.

Carter goes off to find Lucy, but Paul’s room is dark. Carter spots something on the floor – one of Yosh’s valentines – and when he straightens up after grabbing it, Paul appears behind him in a dark corner. He sneaks up behind Carter and thrusts something into his back. Carter touches the spot and his hand comes away bloody.

He leans on a supply tray to try to keep his balance, but it collapses and he falls to the floor. He calls for help but the music drowns him out. Carter clutches his back and tries to get up, but he’s too weak. He looks across the room and sees that he’s not alone. Lucy is also on the floor, bleeding. They both lose consciousness.

Thoughts: Paul is played by David Krumholtz. Robbie is played by the late Anton Yelchin.

Laura Innes directed this episode, which is probably why she’s not in it.

To me, this is the most memorable episode of the series. When I think of ER, this is the episode I think of. I still remember how shocking the ending was when it first aired.

There’s discussion later about who’s to blame for what happened with Paul. Carter absolutely dropped the ball by not getting more involved in the case, but ultimately I blame the psych department. It shouldn’t take three phone calls to get them to the ER.

Who came up with the dog plot? I want to have a word with you.

June 23, 2020

ER 6.12, Abby Road: Does Anyone Ever Have a Calm First Day in the ER?

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 4:55 pm by Jenn

Fresh meat

Summary: The flu is going around, which means patients are coming to the ER and spreading the germs around even more. Weaver and Dave are both sick, but she won’t let him go home. Mark doesn’t have much sympathy for Dave, either. In the lounge, Carol and Luka discuss her water heater, which he tried to help her fix when he dropped her off after work one day. Carol shuts Mark down before he can comment on the fact that it seems like they’re getting closer.

Abby Lockhart arrives in the ER, and Carol thinks she’s there to fill in for an absent nurse. A homeless guy pukes on her. Welcome to the ER! Carter bugs Carol about having a body moved from the ER to the morgue. Carol remarks to Abby that the only thing worse than med students is residents. Paramedics bring in a little boy who lost a couple of teeth in a sledding accident, and though Carol thinks they were baby teeth, Abby disagrees. She reveals that she’s not just a nurse – she’s also a third-year med student.

Abby meets her future husband, Luka, and comments to Haleh that he’s hot. She wonders if he’s single, but Carol says he doesn’t talk about his personal life. Abby starts to help Carol and Haleh clean up after treating the sledding boy, but it’s the nurses’ job, so Carol dismisses her. Abby asks to see pictures of the twins when she has some time.

Weaver tells Mark she needs to go home, though she still won’t let Dave leave his shift. She introduces Mark to Abby (though they met on Thanksgiving), who explains that she sometimes takes nursing shifts to pay her bills. He gives her a quick tour of the ER. They run into Carter, who’s about to start treating a 13-year-old named Darnel who has muscular dystrophy. He and his wheelchair were pushed down the stairs at school. The pusher, Marty, is also in the ER, being treated by Cleo. He claims that Darnel stabbed him with a pencil.

Carter tells Darnel’s mother that he may have provoked the incident that led to him being pushed down the stairs. She tells Carter that he’s been acting out recently. Darnel tells another kid that he has cancer and will have to have his penis removed. Yeah, this is a charmer, here. Carter sends Darnel’s mother to the waiting area so he can try to get Darnel to open up to him. It doesn’t work.

Lucy treats a homeless man named Clayton who has frostbite and probably also the flu. Romano comes to the ER, hoping the flu kills off a bunch of people so the herd is weakened. Romano would have loved 2020. He complains about Benton’s plans to assist with a pro-bono plastic-surgery procedure for a little girl with a scar from a dog bite. Romano won’t approve the procedure, since it’s cosmetic.

Cleo notices big bruises on Marty’s back, which he says come from abuse at school. There are also welts on his legs that he blames on mosquito bites, even though it’s February. Outside the room, Cleo tells Yosh that they’re infected track marks. At the Roach Coach, Elizabeth reads Mark a newspaper article about an astrophysics symposium in the city. One of the guest speakers is her mother, Isabelle, who never mentioned to her daughter that she was coming to town. Apparently that’s typical of her. Mark encourages Elizabeth to reach out to her mother, but Elizabeth isn’t interested.

Abby joins Mark and Elizabeth in trying to subdue a patient who took PCP and jumped out a window. A friend of his is filming everything so his buddy can see what he’s like on PCP. These must be some of the people Romano hopes the flu will kill off. Abby is able to grab a syringe of Haldol and inject the patient, who responds by biting her. Abby’s instincts are different from mine, which would be to run out of the ER and never come back.

Mark tends to Abby’s wound, remarking that she probably didn’t expect to be her own teaching case. Nearby, Carol and Dave bicker while she gives him an IV so he can stay hydrated. Mark asks Carol to keep an eye on Abby while she adjusts to her new job. Carter examines Darnel to see how his muscular dystrophy is progressing. Darnel isn’t amused by Carter’s bedside manner; he also knows all about his disorder and what it means for the rest of his life (nothing good).

Abby helps Luka take care of a little boy named Connor who’s sick once again from chalasia, a disorder that affects the esophagus and stomach. Dave calls in Elizabeth to consult on a patient named Barnes, but she says he just has the flu and doesn’t need surgical treatment. Cleo tells Mark about Marty, but Mark can’t find any evidence that Marty’s been using drugs. He encourages Cleo to bluff Marty into telling her what’s going on.

As Lucy looks for a missing Clayton, Benton’s patient, Tia, arrives with her mother. Mrs. Foster is disappointed that her daughter can’t have the surgery she’s been waiting for. Benton doesn’t think a few extra days will do much harm, since she’s been scarred for months. Mrs. Foster asks Benton to tell her straight out if the surgery isn’t going to happen. He says it is, just not right now.

Dave brings Abby to Barnes and asks her to do what should be the nurses’ responsibilities. In later seasons, Abby would tell him off, but here, she just gives in. Lucy tracks down Clayton and tells him that a combination of the flu and congestive heart failure are affecting his breathing. He declines the offer of intubation and ventilation – he’s ready to die and is just glad it’ll be in a clean, warm bed. Lucy offers to call a friend or relative for him, but Clayton says he doesn’t have any.

Luka tells Connor’s mother that he doesn’t need surgery. Carol thinks Mrs. Brant is a medical professional, since she knows so much about chalasia, but Mrs. Brant says she’s just read a lot about it. Luka says Connor needs an upper GI, a scan that will require him to drink a bunch of contrast material. Mrs. Brant knows that’ll be hard for him, since he’s had to do it before, but Luka insists that he needs it.

Cleo’s bluff on Marty works, and he admits that he uses needles, but not for drugs – he’s been injecting himself with human growth hormone to get taller. He can’t get it without a prescription, so he buys it on the Internet. He’s fine risking his health if it means he gets taller and other kids stop picking on him. Cleo tells him he doesn’t need hormone therapy, and it’s not the right way to solve his problem of being bullied.

Abby senses that Carol’s uncomfortable with her new role in the ER, since sometimes nurses don’t like it when their former colleagues become their superiors. Carol starts to tell Abby about her own near-trip to med school, but the conversation stops when Barnes starts throwing up blood. Carol quickly grabs Benton to help as they try to figure out what’s wrong.

Dave arrives and reports that Elizabeth didn’t take Barnes up to surgery (which he clearly needs) because she thought he only had the flu. Barnes doesn’t have time to wait for an OR, so Benton starts a procedure in the ER. Romano comes in after Benton’s done his thing and yells at him for not admitting Barnes to surgery. Dave defends Benton’s actions, which kept Barnes alive. He’s impressed by Benton’s work. Romano isn’t.

Carter brings Darnel a laptop, wanting to find out if his MD is affecting his motor skills; the computer could be a better tool for his schoolwork. Darnel knocks over the computer, so Carter asks if he wants to break anything else to make himself feel better. Darnel trashes the room, and Carter joins in, which I guess means he’ll be paying for any damages. Carter asks Darnel to write his name, but Darnel can’t. He confides that he’s tired of everyone always trying to help him; he can do things for himself. Carter agrees and tells Darnel to clean up the room while Carter talks to his mother.

Carol pulls Luka away from Connor to report that he doesn’t have a pediatrician – weird, since he has a chronic illness. Carol made some calls and learned that Connor’s been admitted to numerous ERs in the area multiple times. He did need his first surgery, but everything since then has been exploratory and nothing was ever found. Luka notes that something’s making him sick, but Carol thinks it’s his mother. Luka says there’s no proof of Munchausen by proxy, where a parent makes a child sick on purpose. He asks for time to see if something else is going on.

Marty’s father tells Cleo that his son’s only problem is his inability to fight back when his classmates abuse him. Mr. Dorset is also short, and he was also picked on in school, but he learned to deal with it, so Marty will, too. He promises that he’ll make sure Marty doesn’t take any more hormones. But now Marty has a high fever, and Cleo detects a heart murmur, which makes her suspect an infection from the needles Marty’s been using.

Abby’s next patient, Mr. Spencer, is a hypochondriac with a lot of complaints. The only problem she finds is excess earwax, which she can clear out with peroxide. Spencer complains of heart palpitations, so Abby agrees to do an EKG. Meanwhile, Carol gets Connor from the next exam bed over so he can have his upper-GI tests.

Romano finishes up on Barnes in the OR, complaining that the room is hot. Benton wonders if he has the flu. Romano claims that he never gets sick, so Shirley dryly suggests that he’s “going through the change.” I love Shirley. Connor’s GI series doesn’t show anything wrong, so Luka wants to do another scan. Mrs. Brant suggests an endoscopy, which would be invasive. She thinks they’re wasting time on tests that won’t show the real problem.

Lucy asks Clayton if she can do anything to make him more comfortable. He tells her to take the $118 in his lunchbox and give it to his homeless friends. She can just throw it off the roof and they’ll find it. Luka tells Carol that Connor’s scans were negative, and Mrs. Brant’s suggestion of an endoscopy makes him think that Carol is right about her having Munchausen by proxy.

Abby rules out any heart problems for Spencer and prepares to start his peroxide treatment. She leaves him for a minute and chats with Mrs. Brant, who’s eager to move things along and get a surgical consult for her son. Abby leaves Spencer’s peroxide in Connor’s cubicle and goes to find out if Luka has called for a consult.

Romano’s feeling worse in the OR, so Benton’s keeping a close eye on him. Elizabeth joins them and admits that she didn’t think Barnes had anything other than the flu. Romano sarcastically praises Benton for not saying anything about Elizabeth’s oversight. He tells Benton he can leave and Elizabeth can take his place. Suddenly, Romano doubles over in pain and collapses. Elizabeth tends to him while Benton takes over the operation.

Cleo fills Mark in on Marty’s case – he has endocarditis, a heart condition that could require surgery. Mark can’t believe he put himself at so much risk just to grow a couple of inches. The two of them play basketball together while inside, Mrs. Brant frantically tells Luka that Connor’s abdomen is now distended. Luka extracts fluid from his abdomen and explains that it’s an indicator that turns red when exposed to stomach acid. That’s what was in Abby’s peroxide bottle, which she left there on purpose, suspecting that Mrs. Brant would make Connor drink it. Now Luka has proof that Mrs. Brant has been making Connor sick.

Clayton dies, and Lucy looks through his lunchbox, finding a picture of a daughter he never mentioned having. Dave tries to get Abby to go out with him, claiming it’s a tradition for residents to take med students out for a drink at the end of their first day. Then he gets distracted when Chen enters wearing a little black dress. “Excuse me, you’re drooling on my chart,” Abby tells Dave. He tries to ask her out anyway and she asks if he’s kidding.

Elizabeth tells Benton that Romano has a kidney stone. They smirk a little over how much pain he must be in. Benton isn’t above going into Romano’s room to gloat. He reports that Barnes is stable, and Romano asks if Benton thinks Romano owes him something. Benton certainly does – he wants the OR time for Tia’s surgery. Romano doesn’t want word to get out that he does favors, but he’ll grant Benton this one.

Carol thanks Abby for her help in the sting, which she definitely didn’t expect to take part in on her first day in the ER. Chuny alerts Abby that Spencer is having a heart attack, so I guess he wasn’t just a hypochondriac. Abby tells Carter, who’s trying to save him, that his EKG was normal and he had no risk factors for a heart attack. Carter has Abby shock him.

Elizabeth goes to see Isabelle, who’s been in town a week and never contacted her daughter. Abby interrupts Mark and Cleo’s basketball game to tell him about Spencer’s heart attack. He notes that she should have gotten his blood count, which would have shown that he has aplastic anemia, a risk factor for a heart attack (and probably an explanation for all his medical complaints). Abby’s apologetic, but Mark knows he should have been more thorough in monitoring her work. She needs to start thinking like a doctor, not a nurse.

Elizabeth and Isabelle get a drink together and discuss Elizabeth’s father. She invites Isabelle to stay with her while she’s in town so they can spend more time together (they haven’t seen each other in three years). Isabelle comments that Elizabeth looks well, which must mean she has a boyfriend. Wow. I mean, she does, but still. Elizabeth says his name is Mark and he’s lovely. That lovely man is currently clucking like a chicken at Cleo for not wanting to continue their basketball game. She shuts him up with a three-point shot.

Lucy goes to the roof, where Abby’s ending her day with a cigarette, despite having not smoked for two years. She’s used to OB, where she just delivered babies. She was never bitten or puked on or had to trick a mentally ill mother. Lucy invites her to throw money off the roof with her. Well, at least Abby can say she had a memorable first day on the job.

Thoughts: Darnel is played by Shia LaBeouf.

Chris Marquette, who plays Marty, only grew to five-seven, so…good casting.

I hope everyone enjoys The Abby Show because that’s what we’re getting from now on. My feelings for Abby go up and down, but my feelings for Maura Tierney never change: She’s awesome.

So Weaver wants sick doctors to stay at work and keep infecting and exposing people to a contagious illness? Someone call the CDC!

I think Abby and Lucy would have been good friends. Unfortunately, we’ll never get to confirm that…

June 16, 2020

ER 6.11, The Domino Heart: If the ER Is a Circus, Chen and Carter Are Both Clowns

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

Poor Valerie

Summary: David has moved in with Mark and is up early, watching the weather channel…loudly. He wakes both Mark and his neighbor. Also, he drank all the coffee. Mark’s like, “Well, I wanted this,” and just goes to work. Carol is already there, back for her first shift since having the twins. She’s barely there for 20 seconds when a patient is brought in. A trapeze artist named Vito fell while practicing his circus act and has a deep cut. Mark comes in to join the trauma and notices that the water in the trauma room isn’t working.

Vito starts declining, thanks to blood loss, and Carol struggles a little to get back into the rhythm of the ER. Luka tells her she can start off slow if she needs to; he seems amused when she insists that she’s okay. Romano joins the group, familiar with Vito and his brother Dominic’s trapeze act. He does something to Vito that agitates him, so Dominic and another guy drag him out of the trauma room.

Mark has bottled water brought into the hospital since there’s a water-main issue that won’t be fixed for a while. Lucy comes in hours ahead of her shift, having been summoned by Valerie – a heart has been found for her, and she’s coming in for a transplant. Lily discovers another downside to not having water: They can’t flush the toilets. Mark requests some Port-a-Potties for the ambulance bay, and maybe some air freshener.

Another circus performer is in the ER, a young acrobat named Peng who hurt her foot. Dominic explains to Luka that when Vito’s trapeze broke, the pieces fell on Peng. Luka’s confused, since her injury is to the bottom of her foot. Peng clears things up by doing a one-handed handstand. Luka’s impressed and decides to get himself some circus tickets. Romano ruins the vibe by having security remove Dominic from the hospital.

Chen’s patient is Mrs. Duffy, an elderly woman with Parkinson’s who may have had a stroke. Her daughter, Louise, takes care of her at home, and though Mrs. Duffy sees herself as a burden, Louise is fine tending to her. Chen notices that Louise seems tired, but she says she’s okay.

Mark bugs Carol about falling behind on patients, and she gets defensive about it. Weaver interrupts to ask Mark why she wasn’t told about the water issues. Mark says he handled everything, though he didn’t think of the fact that without water, surgeons can’t sterilize their equipment. Weaver has canceled all elective procedures and decided to use water from the physical-therapy pool to flush toilets.

Lucy welcomes Valerie back to the hospital, thrilled to be there for Valerie’s transplant. Carol is annoyed to have to fax stuff for Dave. Shouldn’t the file clerks do stuff like that? Cleo can’t get an x-ray back for her patient because the radiologists can’t process the films without water. Benton wonders if they might be able to leave work early, since they can’t do their full jobs. He hints that he’d like to get something to eat with Cleo, but she doesn’t take the bait.

Paramedics bring in a man named Michael who had a seizure while driving. His boyfriend, Curt, isn’t aware of Michael ever having seizures before. His only known medical problem is asthma. Mark notices bruises on Michael’s chest, which Curt says must be from playing hockey. Mark thinks Michael’s condition might be the result of taking too much asthma medication.

Mrs. Duffy’s tests come back normal, so her declining health is probably due to her Parkinson’s. Louise asks Chen to admit her anyway; she can’t care for Mrs. Duffy if she can’t walk. Chen recommends a home aide, which Louise can’t afford. She wants Mrs. Duffy to be admitted for a few days so her medications can be adjusted and she can regain her strength. Chen apologetically says they can’t do that. Louise begs Chen to do something so she can get some rest, but there’s nothing Chen can do.

Lucy buys Valerie some Tweety Bird slippers, since Valerie packed for the hospital so fast that she forgot her own slippers. Weaver pulls Lucy aside to tell her that Valerie has a fever of 100.9. She’ll need immunosuppressants after the transplant, which will weaken her immune system so much that even a small cold could be fatal. Weaver warns that they may have to decline the heart. The transplant committee will probably decide to give it to someone else.

Michael’s stable now and only has a minor hand injury, but Mark is concerned about his mental health. He thinks Michael might have intentionally overdosed on his medication. Michael says he took some extra pills because stress makes his asthma flare up, but he wasn’t trying to hurt himself. Curt checks in and Michael doesn’t mention anything about Mark’s suspicion that he’s depressed.

As soon as Romano and Benton hear that Valerie has a fever, they agree that she can’t have the transplant. Lucy argues that all her tests have come back normal, which means she must have an infection in her LVAD. All she needs is antibiotics. Once the LVAD is removed (which is necessary anyway to do the transplant), she can get the new heart. Romano seems annoyed by Lucy’s persistence, but he probably also admires it.

Carol gets defensive again about criticism that isn’t really criticism. Weaver wants to make sure she’s getting enough sleep. With two babies and no partner to help her? I’m sure she’s getting eight hours every night, Weaver. Dave brings her into a case involving a man who’s been taking some kind of medication that has led to him vomiting blood. Weaver isn’t familiar with the medication, which Dave says is a combination painkiller and steroid easily available in Mexico.

Benton decides to be more straightforward with Cleo and…kind of, sort of ask her out. She casually tells him she’s never sure when she gets off work, so if he wants to have dinner, he shouldn’t wait for her. Elizabeth finds Carol crying in the lounge and suggests that she go home. Carol admits that sometimes she just has a good cry at home, then feels better and goes back to whatever she was doing. She appreciates Elizabeth’s concern. Chuny comes in and Elizabeth tells her that Carol’s feeling overwhelmed. They talk about Carol’s struggles as if she’s not in the room.

Lucy tells Valerie that they think they can clear up her infection with antibiotics and still do the transplant. Valerie worries that the antibiotics won’t work, which could lead to a life-threatening infection. She asks what Lucy would do in her position. Lucy thinks the risks are small and Valerie should go ahead with the transplant.

Mark asks Michael about his relationship with Curt, suspecting that Curt is abusive. Instead of insisting that everything’s fine, which is usually what happens with abuse cases on this show, Michael admits that he and Curt had an argument that turned physical. Mark suggests that he talk to a social worker, but Michael isn’t sure if he wants to take that step.

Linsey Cordova comes to see Elizabeth and lets her know that they held Jenny’s funeral yesterday. She’s grateful that Elizabeth got Dean to tell her where Jenny’s body was. Linsey’s trying to forget him, but she hears his voice all the time – gentle, but telling her horrible things. Elizabeth tells her that Dean wanted her to suffer, but he can’t hurt her anymore, so she shouldn’t give him any more thought.

Valerie heads to surgery, asking if Lucy can observe. Lucy says med students can only watch if they’re on the transplant service, but she’s going to talk her way into having an exception made. If anyone can do it, it’s Lucy. Valerie realizes she forgot to feed her cat and asks Lucy to let her mom know.

Elizabeth goes to the prison ward to see Dean, whom she didn’t euthanize after all. He admits to being glad when he realized she didn’t follow through on her part of the bargain; he never thought she might turn out to be a coward. He thinks her conscience is bothering her. Elizabeth says it is, but not because she almost killed him. It’s because she enjoyed how much power she had over his life.

She could have easily killed him and repaid the pain he’s caused others, but she realized how pathetic he was and didn’t want that power. Elizabeth’s job is done – she made her sick patient better. Now he gets to suffer in prison. Elizabeth saunters out, ignoring Dean when he yells after her that he’s not finished with her yet. Fortunately, this is his last episode, so we’re finished with him. Yay!

Louise slipped on some ice in the parking lot while getting her mother into their car, so she’s back in the ER. In addition, Mrs. Duffy’s wheelchair fell over, so she might need medical attention again. Carter wants to do some tests on Louise, whose blood pressure is high. He’s judgmental about Chen’s decision to let Mrs. Duffy go instead of getting her further care.

Lucy observes Valerie’s transplant, much more in awe of the sight of the new heart than Benton is (though, to be fair, he probably sees this a lot. Also, he’s a robot). Michael agreed to talk to a social worker, but when Mark brought in Adele, he changed his mind. Adele tells Mark that this is common; Michael probably wants to protect his boyfriend. Mark thinks he can eventually get Michael to talk to someone.

Carter argues with Chen about admitting Mrs. Duffy so Louise can get some rest. Chen sticks to the rules, refusing to take Carter’s suggestion to lie that Mrs. Duffy had a stroke. She reminds him that she bent the rules with Alyssa, which got her into trouble, and she doesn’t want to take any more chances. Carter – who, remember, just lied on kid’s chart a couple weeks ago – thinks she should worry less about getting in trouble. Everyone admits people who don’t necessarily need to be admitted. Chen puts her foot down, saying that Mrs. Duffy is her patient, so it’s her call. Carter responds by having Louise admitted for high blood pressure.

Michael has changed his story, telling Mark that his bruises are from hockey. Mark worries about Michael’s safety in his relationship, noting that most people who are killed by their partners have experienced physical abuse. Curt comes in to get Michael, but Mark delays his discharge, saying he wants to run some more tests. Michael is about to give in when Curt tells him to shut up. Mark tells Michael he doesn’t have to go – it’s his choice. Michael chooses to leave with Curt.

Dave clears out the vending machine, knowing there won’t be any good food in the cafeteria since there’s no water to cook with. Cleo mentions that she’s treating a Spanish-speaking father and daughter who both have aplastic anemia. Dave realizes they must be tied to his earlier patient who took the Mexican meds. He knows enough Spanish to be able to communicate with Cleo’s patients, who tell him they got shots from a pharmacist who works out of a backroom clinic. Cleo wants to call to the police, but Dave would rather confront the pharmacist on his own.

Mark looks on silently as Michael leaves with Curt. The water has finally been fixed, but the pressure hasn’t been tested yet, so everyone still needs to use the Port-a-Potties. Chen asks Mark if it’s possible to page an individual beeper for someone working on the code team. The answer is yes. P.S. Carter’s on the code team today.

Valerie comes out of surgery fine, and Benton finally acknowledges Lucy’s awe over the idea of using someone else’s heart to keep a person alive. He wonders if she might want to go into surgery now. Lucy notices that Valerie’s eyes aren’t normal, and she doesn’t respond when Lucy says to squeeze her hand. Benton rushes her to CT.

Chen and some nurses watch gleefully as she pages Carter, who runs out of a Port-a-Potty to answer a code in the ER. He slips on a wet floor and falls, making Chen feel a little bad about her prank. He quickly realizes that she was messing with him, which she calls payback for what she considers blackmail. It worked, though, since she finally admitted Mrs. Duffy. She hopes Carter doesn’t see her as heartless.

They hear a crash outside and run to the ambulance bay, where Michael has crashed his car into the truck driven by the guy fixing the water main. Now Curt’s the one who needs medical attention – Michael thought he was in drive, not reverse, and ran him over. Mark, Carter, and Chen work on Curt in a trauma room but can’t use a piece of equipment for suction because it needs water they don’t have. Carter and Chen come up with a makeshift replacement involving a vacuum hose and sponges.

Romano checks in with Benton, who’s examining Valerie, then tells Lucy that she’s in a permanent vegetative state. Lucy blames the LVAD, but Romano says they can’t be sure what happened, so she shouldn’t feel guilty. After all, he approved the LVAD implantation. Surgeons know that nothing is risk-free. The positive news is that there’s a patient in Milwaukee who’s a match for Valerie’s new heart. Valerie’s not going to recover, so they can remove the heart and give it to someone else who can use it.

Once Curt has been stabilized, Michael tells Mark that the accident was just that, an accident. If I were Mark, I would be very skeptical. Carter is snarky with Chen over their different approaches to taking care of the Duffy women, like, let it go already. He’s disappointed that Chen can’t admit that she made a mistake. He tells her that things will go a lot easier for her if she can deal with them honestly. Chen agrees not to play any more practical jokes.

Lucy speaks with Valerie’s mother, who agrees to donate Valerie’s new heart. Chen examines an x-ray she’s been waiting on and sees a bunch of nails in her patient’s stomach. As she runs off to check on him, Carter stops Chuny from calling any surgeons. He lifts his shirt and shows her that he’s taped nails to himself so he could mess with Chen by giving her a fake x-ray. What a great use of expensive hospital equipment!

Carol’s made it through her first day back and heads home to her girls. Dave returns from the clinic with some bruises from his confrontation with the pharmacist. He tells Cleo he got a prescription by claiming he had a sore throat; the pharmacist didn’t even examine him. Dave grabbed a vial of some medication no one should take and just ran. Now he has evidence to get the clinic shut down.

Benton grows a very, very small spine and quietly asks Cleo if she wants to get dinner with him. It turns out she thought he was inviting her on a group outing, but he admits that it’s just going to be the two of them. She definitely seems interested. Mark speaks with a cop who talked to Michael about the crash, but doesn’t bring up Curt’s abuse. Michael notes that Mark is getting what he wants – Michael will be safe at home tonight. Mark offers to call Adele in again, but Michael still isn’t ready for that.

Luka finds Lucy sitting on a bench outside the ER and gives her his coat, since it’s started snowing. He offers her a ticket to the circus. Lucy says she’s on duty now, after having been at work all day but not technically working. They bond over feeling out of place at County, though Luka’s used to it, having moved around a lot. Lucy feels grateful every day to be able to walk in on her own rather than be brought in as a patient. At the end of every day, she hopes she’s helped even one person, but today that didn’t happen.

Luka reminds her that her day’s not over. Maybe the person just now being brought in by ambulance is the one person she’s going to help. Luka offers to stay behind and find out. He’ll skip the circus, since working in the ER is enough of a circus for him. They receive the patient and Luka offers to walk Lucy through a procedure she’s never done before.

Thoughts: Mark again demonstrates great leadership skills in handling the water problem. He stays calm and makes decisions quickly. Harriet the disaster coordinator would be proud.

Abuse storylines featuring same-sex couples are extremely rare, so good for this show for doing one.

Not one person suggests that Carol get screened for postpartum depression. Good job, medical professionals.

June 9, 2020

ER 6.10, Family Matters: Chen Is Back in Action (Act-Chen?)

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

I don’t think I could go back to the place where I almost killed someone, but I guess doctors do that all the time

Summary: Mark and Elizabeth are on their way to work, discussing the possibility of barbecuing, even though it’s January and snowing outside. Mark was able to do it in San Diego while he was visiting David, and now he wants to do it in Chicago. At County, they’re greeted by Andrew, then Romano, who tells Mark that a new resident is starting in the ER today. She’s not actually new, though – she’s Chen. Elizabeth is surprised that she’s starting in January. Romano says her program in New York fell through, and her rich father made a donation to County to get her a job there.

Andrew gives Mark a message letting him know that David has disappeared from his retirement home. It sounds like he ran away, which isn’t surprising, since we know he didn’t want to move there in the first place. Elizabeth and Romano meet with Detective Cruson, who has tied Dean to another missing woman, Jenny Cordova. Cruson wants Elizabeth to ask Dean where Jenny’s body is. Romano agrees that Elizabeth is the best person for the job, though she doesn’t think Dean will tell her anything. Cruson says this is the Cordova family’s best option.

In the ER, Carter and Yosh struggle to deal with a woman who’s manically scratching herself. They get security to restrain her, but only after Carter has wrestled with her and landed on the ground. He’s still there when Chen comes to greet him. She’s surprised he’s working in the ER, not the OR. Mark joins them, and Chen tells him she goes by Jing-Mei now, not Deb. She also insists that she always went by Jing-Mei, but I distinctly remember her introducing herself to Carter and Benton as Deb back in season 1, so nyah. Anyway, Mark has to go back to San Diego and get his father to behave.

Carter is surprised that Chen is still in medicine after almost killing someone as a med student. She tells him that incident made her realize how competitive she was, and that she was trying too hard to make herself look competent. Carter tells her about his patient, Cassandra, whom he and Yosh think has a psychiatric problem. Chen notices spots on Cassandra’s arms that indicate body lice. She probably applied a medication called lindane, scratched herself too hard, allowed the lindane to enter her bloodstream, and gave herself lindane toxicity.

Mark is angry at David for being childish and pulling him away from his job. Also, this means no barbecuing. Mark gives Andrew his stethoscope to give to Yosh, then tells Andrew he’s in charge until Weaver comes in. Andrew takes him seriously. Then he swings the stethoscope around and smacks himself in the face. Two women run in, ask for a doctor, and take Andrew’s picture, mistaking him for a doctor since he has a stethoscope. They explain that they’re in a scavenger hunt and have to take photos of, among other things, a doctor, a groom, and a polar bear.

Carter and Chen take on a patient together, a man named Mr. Sumpter who hurt his knee. Chen demonstrates that she’s become very confident in medicine and is good at communicating with patients. Carter draws some fluid from Mr. Sumpter’s knee and sees that he has an infection, probably staph. Dr. Myers comes down from psych and congratulates Chen on diagnosing Cassandra correctly. He thanks Carter for thinking of psych, even though it wasn’t necessary.

Benton and Cleo treat a high school student named Tamara who crashed her car on the way to school. She doesn’t have any serious injuries, just some wrist pain. Chen tells Carter that Mr. Sumpter’s staph infection is actually gonorrhea. Carter can only tell Mr. Sumpter the news and hope he tells his wife. Chen notes that they have to make a report to the Public Health Department, who may tell Mrs. Sumpter themselves. Carter isn’t concerned about the possibility of Mrs. Sumpter never finding out that her husband has an STD.

Elizabeth visits Dean on the jail ward, where he’s displeased with her treatment instructions. He wants a new doctor. Weaver meets Chen, who confesses up front that her father bought her way into her residency. Yes, she almost killed someone while she was a med student, but she knows she’s more competent now. Weaver believes her. She asks Andrew to get her a phone book so she can find a mechanic, since her car broke down. Dave announces that he can fix it. For some reason, Weaver agrees to let him try. Meanwhile, Chen asks Andrew to get her the number for the Public Health Department.

Carter gives Mr. Sumpter the news that he has gonorrhea. He asks if Mr. Sumpter has had sex with anyone other than his wife. Mr. Sumpter says he did, once, and Carter encourages him to come clean to his wife. Too late – she and Chen are behind the curtain around Mr. Sumpter’s bed, and his wife heard everything. She’s…not happy.

Luka’s patient is a young man named Dylan who burned his hands. He’s accompanied by his brother, Jake, who’s developmentally disabled. Carter complains to Weaver that Chen got Public Health to tell Mrs. Sumpter about her husband’s STD. Weaver says that no one did anything wrong. She takes Chen to talk to Officer Al, who’s brought in a teen panhandler who won’t provide her name. Al advises the Jane Doe to take advantage of the warmth in the ER and the free meal she’ll get.

Dylan tells Luka and Lydia that he burned himself making breakfast. Luka determines that Dylan is only 18 and isn’t in school. Jake gets distressed and apologizes over and over. Dylan yells at him to shut up, which just makes Jake more upset. He punches something and cuts his hand. Carter checks on Dave, who’s struggling to fix Weaver’s car. He asks Carter if he knew Chen when she was a med student (really he wants to know if they hooked up). Carter encourages him to ask Chen out, most likely looking forward to seeing Dave get rejected.

As Luka tends to Jake, Dylan explains that he had to take care of some things the night before (no details there), so he slept in this morning. Jake tried to make his own breakfast but accidentally started a fire. Their parents aren’t in their lives and the brothers move around a lot, so they’re not on Social Services’ radar. Dylan says they do fine on their own. Jake even makes a little money by cleaning up around their apartment complex and doing odd jobs for the residents.

Chen and Haleh get Jane Doe into a hospital gown so they can clean her clothes. Chen tries to chat with Jane, but she won’t give up any information about herself. Haleh pulls Chen out of the room with fake test results so she can tell her that she found the girl’s ID. Her real name is Alyssa, and they now have her address and phone number.

Cleo tries to get information out of Tamara, wondering if she was depressed from all the stress in her life and crashed her car on purpose. Tamara finds that crazy, especially since her basketball team is having a great season and has a big game coming up tonight. Tamara’s parents arrive, wondering if their daughter will be able to play in the big game. They’re also making arrangements for her to take chemistry in summer school, since her struggles in that class are part of all the stress she’s under.

Romano tells Elizabeth that she needs to try again to get Dean to tell him where Jenny’s body is. Elizabeth is more than happy to never have to speak to him again. Cruson has brought in Jenny’s mother and sister Linsey to try to guilt Elizabeth into changing her mind. Paramedics bring in a boy named Jason, and Dave takes a break from his mechanic duties to treat him.

Luka tells Weaver about Jake and Dylan, hesitant to call Social Services since he thinks getting Dylan a job will solve most of the brothers’ problems. Weaver wants them in school, since education will help them in the future. She gets Luka to agree to call Social Services. Chen calls Alyssa’s mother while a couple more scavenger hunters run in, looking for a doctor to photograph. Andrew puts on his most doctor-like face and happily poses for them.

Elizabeth asks Dean about Jenny, but he plays dumb. She notes that he’s already been charged with murder, so there’s no point in causing more grief. Dean asks if she’ll stay on as his doctor if he talks. Elizabeth agrees, but Dean says he’ll only talk to Linsey. Dave examines Jason, who’s been experiencing shortness of breath for a few days. Dave thinks he has pneumonia.

Weaver asks Adele if she was able to help Jake and Dylan, but Adele hasn’t spoken to Luka, so she doesn’t know anything about the brothers. Benton examines Tamara’s x-rays and doesn’t see any fractures, so Cleo can release her. Tamara starts crying when she hears what’s supposed to be good news. She confides that her life is super-busy, and though she insists she loves it, she’s tired. Cleo decides to get a second opinion on her x-rays, which will give Tamara some time to rest.

Alyssa is desperate to leave the hospital, thinking that Chen is trying to keep her there for no reason. Chen says she just wants to help. Alyssa explains that her parents tricked her into going to a treatment center, which she ran away from. The center wasn’t for drug or alcohol abuse, but it was supposed to straighten her out…literally, since Alyssa’s gay.

Mrs. Cordova objects to Dean’s request to talk to Linsey, but Linsey is willing to talk to him. Elizabeth and Cruson assure Mrs. Cordova that Dean isn’t a physical threat to Linsey. Elizabeth thinks Dean might actually tell Linsey where Jenny’s body is. If they don’t try this, the family might never get answers to their questions.

Lucy finds Dave in a trauma room, trying to clean something he took out of Weaver’s car. She has Jason’s scans, which show that instead of pneumonia, he has a mass around his heart – probably lymphoma. It’s spread through both lungs and is inoperable. Chen tells Carter that Alyssa’s parents sent her away for deprogramming to turn her straight. Carter urges her to get Alyssa out of the hospital before her parents arrive. Chen doesn’t want to tell her they’re coming, since she might run away.

Before Chen can get Social Services involved, she and Carter hear a commotion from Alyssa’s room. A Dr. Ramsey has arrived, having been called by Alyssa’s parents; he says he’s Alyssa’s legal guardian as the principal of her treatment center. Carter says she can’t be discharged since she needs more test. Chen blurts out that Alyssa’s pregnant, which makes her an emancipated minor. Dr. Ramsey scoffs that Alyssa can’t be pregnant, since she’s a lesbian, but there’s nothing he can do without a court order to take Alyssa back to the center.

Elizabeth takes Linsey to see Dean, who says he’s done horrible things and is paying for them now. Linsey says her family doesn’t want him to suffer; they just want Jenny’s body. Dean says Linsey’s a nice person, and he wishes he’d met her instead of Jenny…because he could have killed her instead. Jenny just screamed all the time. Elizabeth rushes Linsey out of the room, having accidentally traumatized her.

Dave brings Luka into Jason’s case, telling him that Jason’s mother didn’t bother to mention that he had lymphoma two years ago. Good job, Mom. She doesn’t want to give Jason the bad news, and Dave thinks an oncologist should do it, but Luka tells Dave it’s his job. He runs off to follow Dylan and Jake, who are leaving the hospital because Adele came to talk to them. Dylan thinks Luka handed them over to Social Services. Luka just wants to help them come up with better ways to take care of themselves.

Chen and Carter fill Weaver in on Alyssa’s situation, and Weaver helps them arrange to send her to an LGBT center. She cautions Chen not to lie about her patients’ conditions. A scavenger hunter tries to take Weaver’s picture, but Weaver ignores her and goes looking for Dave, who’s left her car parts lying around. The hunter turns to Benton, who dismisses her with an annoyed (but funny), “Go away.”

Tamara’s father pulls Benton back into her room, since Cleo is putting a cast on Tamara’s wrist. She says that Tamara might have a kind of fracture that’s hard to see on x-rays, so Cleo’s just being cautious. Tamara’s parents say it’s important for her to play in the game that night. Benton pulls Cleo out of the room and questions her choice to put a cast on Tamara. She’s allowed to make her own decisions; if she doesn’t want to play in the game, she needs to say so. Cleo thinks everyone around Tamara pressures her too much for her to be able to speak up for herself.

Dave gives Jason the news about his health, showing that when he really tries, he has good bedside manner. Weaver interrupts to blast Dave about taking apart her car, but when she realizes Dave’s in the middle of something important, she apologizes and dismisses herself. Mark surprises David at home in San Diego, where David’s trying to halt the sale of his house.

Luka’s annoyed that Weaver got Adele involved in Dylan and Jake’s case instead of trusting Luka to help them himself. Now that he’s convinced them to come back, he wants to handle things alone. Weaver agrees. Cleo tells Tamara that she can play in the game tonight if she feels up to it. She just put on the cast to help her slow down. Tamara doesn’t want to slow down, though – she’s sure things will get better soon. Cleo doesn’t want Tamara to start resenting her talent. I guess we’re supposed to think that Cleo went through the same sort of thing, but I just can’t bring myself to care.

Lucy talks to her landlord, who agrees to interview Dylan for a job as the building’s superintendent. That gives Dylan both a job and a place to live, which could lead to him being able to apply to be Jake’s legal guardian. Unfortunately, Adele has gotten involved again, and she and Reggie are taking Jake into custody. They think Dylan is neglecting him. Poor Jake is very upset, but Dylan promises to come find him as soon as he can. Luka tries to be reassuring, but Dylan’s done listening to him.

Dean summons Elizabeth to tell her he’s done playing games. He wishes she’d let him die when she found him after the car accident. Paramedics bring in a scavenger hunt participant who suffered numerous injuries while trying to take a picture of a polar bear at the zoo. She’s more interested in the $1,000 she won in the hunt. Then she learns that Andrew isn’t really a doctor, so her win isn’t valid. Weaver wants her to split her prize money with the ER.

She tries to smooth things over with Luka, since calling Social Services is how they handle situations like Dylan and Jake’s. Luka’s upset that her actions broke up a family. He confides that his wife and kids were taken in the war in Croatia, then killed. (This is different from the way he describes things in season 7, but whatever.) He repeats that they shouldn’t break up families.

Mark asks David about his plans. David says he’ll get by on his own. Mark suggests that David come live with him in Chicago for a while. David still refuses to sell the house in San Diego, but he’s open to Mark’s idea. Dave assures Weaver that he fixed her car, even if he couldn’t do anything to help Jason. He tries to make small talk with Chen, who’s nice to him but not interested.

Carter asks Chen why she came back to medicine. She tells him that she was on a subway when a man had a heart attack. No one could help him, but she realized that she knew what to do. She felt so good after saving him that she decided not to waste her skills. Carter tells her she hasn’t changed a bit. Well, except for going by Jing-Mei instead of Deb.

Elizabeth tells Dean that she’ll inject him with 100 milligrams of morphine and send him off into a peaceful death if he tells her where Jenny’s body is. Dean reminds her of the Hippocratic Oath, then guesses that she’ll stop the injection as soon as he tells her what she wants to know. She insists that she’ll keep her end of the bargain. If he doesn’t, she’ll save him and he’ll continue suffering from his chronic pain. Elizabeth asks where Jenny is, then injects Dean’s IV with morphine.

Thoughts: Tamara is played by Gabrielle Union.

The running “joke” of the episode is that no one can pronounce the second part of Chen’s name. Which is ridiculous, because IT’S JUST LIKE MAY. THE MONTH OF MAY. If they saw it written, yeah, I could get not knowing how to pronounce it, but there’s no way anyone would have a hard time saying it after hearing it. It makes them sound racist.

Chen is a little too much in this episode, and she gets really annoying later in the series, but I love how she handles Alyssa’s situation. I also like that Carter and Weaver both want to help. They could easily turn her over to the doctor and say it’s not their problem, but they truly want to help her. Carter even comments that trying to turn someone straight should be illegal.

June 2, 2020

ER 6.9, How the Finch Stole Christmas: Instead of Toys for Tots, County General Has Game Boys for Gangsters

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

Romano must have been visited by three ghosts before this

Summary: Carol is trying to balance doing mom things with talking to her own mom on the phone. Please be aware of how difficult it is for her to take care of two newborns on her own. At County, Elizabeth is summoned to see Dean, who pretends to be in pain so he can bug her. He claims he didn’t rape or murder Sandra, and thanks to Elizabeth’s coercion, he can’t be charged with the crime. She says she wishes she could go back and do things differently. Dean wonders if she would have let him die.

A 24-year-old woman named Valerie is brought in with complications from a heart condition. She’s already on the list for a transplant. Weaver lets Lucy take charge of her care, but Lucy isn’t sure what to do. Weaver walks her through it and they stabilize Valerie. Lucy promises to get her home in time for Christmas, but Weaver pulls her aside and tells her that probably won’t happen.

On the surgical floor, Elizabeth and Benton chat about their Christmas plans; Mark is in San Diego, so Elizabeth is alone for the holiday. Benton has managed to rearrange his schedule so he can spend Christmas morning with Reese. Detective Cruson calls to give Elizabeth some news about Dean’s case.

Things are busy in the ER, and Cleo wonders if it’s always like this on Christmas Eve. A nurse named Amira tells Weaver she needs a prayer break, since it’s Ramadan and she’s Muslim. Carter goes around collecting Secret Santa gifts, and Malik reminds everyone that he wants a Game Boy. Weaver opts to sit out the gift exchange. Then she gets another kind of gift: a ton of vomit from a sick Santa.

Benton comes to examine Valerie, since Lucy thinks she’s sick enough to be moved up the transplant list. Benton agrees and tells Lucy to send her to the cardiology wing. Valerie tells Lucy that she thought about going to med school, but she couldn’t handle all the smells involve with being a doctor. She opted for a master’s in fine arts instead, though she may not make it to her graduation. She knows she’ll die without a transplant.

The puking Santa is one of a group; they’re Wall Street traders who dress up together every year and deliver presents to homeless shelters. They’re all sick from bad eggnog. The puker, Greg, says they need a Mrs. Claus, but Weaver’s not interested. Carter cracks up at the idea, so Weaver punishes him by making him give all the Santas rectal suppositories.

Luka volunteered for a double shift to let others take the night off. He and Cleo encounter Chad, who fell down the stairs while drunk. Carter treats a boy named Tommy who got his penis caught in his zipper. Tommy’s not very cooperative, so I hope Santa has already locked him in for the nice list or he won’t get any presents. Lucy interrupts Benton during an operation to talk about research she’s done on a possible treatment for Valerie. They can insert an LVAD, which will keep her heart pumping until she can get a transplant. The hospital doesn’t have a current trial program, but another hospital does, and Benton approves moving Valerie there.

Elizabeth tells Dean he’s being taken to jail because there’s evidence that he was involved in another murder. Dean gets agitated, so Elizabeth has him put in restraints. He complains of pain again, and Elizabeth thinks he’s crying wolf, but Kit thinks he has a legitimate complaint. That means he’ll be spending the holiday in County instead of jail.

Carol brings the twins to the ER, thinking Kate might be sick. The nurses are thrilled to get to see the babies. Lucy makes a call about transferring Valerie, but she can’t go until the next morning. Lucy asks Chuny about having equipment transferred to County instead. Tommy’s upset that he can’t go back to the mall to see Santa, since the mall’s closed. Carter cheers him by dressing up as Santa, though Tommy thinks he’s a fake, since he doesn’t look like the Santa at the mall. Yosh says this is Santa’s younger brother.

Carter ditches the act to go help Benton with a gunshot victim, a teen named Taylor. He pins his shooting on a guy named Loman. They find a gun on him, which Carter confiscates. Luka examines Kate but doesn’t think she’s seriously ill. He offers to do a septic workup, just to be on the safe side, and though Carol knows it’s probably overkill, she kind of wants to do it. Luka compromises with just a couple of tests. Carol asks Haleh to draw Kate’s blood, since she’s the best at it in the ER.

Cleo wants to call Chad’s father, since his mother obviously isn’t doing much to help him stay out of trouble. Chad isn’t close to his father, who moved away and started a new family. Mrs. K. arrives at the hospital after being told that her son fell and was injured…even though she was in the house at the time. She was busy with a loud Christmas party downstairs. Cleo tells her that Chad’s blood-alcohol level is .26, which I think means he should actually be dead. Mrs. K. says she let him have a drink, but Cleo notes that he had to have had more than that.

An elderly man named Howard is brought into the ER after passing out and driving into a nativity scene. Benton finds a mass that could be an aortic aneurysm. Elizabeth tells Dean that he has a clot in his leg and needs immediate surgery. Dean doesn’t want to be fixed up and sent to court; he’d rather just die. He creepily (though he does everything creepily) tells Elizabeth that he thinks about her at night. She gives him the coldest stare in history and confirms that he’s refusing surgery.

Lucy tells Benton that she got the LVAD sent to County. She may go on Santa’s naughty list, as she signed Benton’s name as the authorizing physician for a $50,000 piece of equipment. Oh, also, Benton isn’t qualified to insert an LVAD. Romano is the only one who can do it, and he has the night off. Connie disapproves of Benton’s refusal to go above and beyond for a patient. Howard starts crashing while Benton and Connie are in an elevator with him, and they shock him as the doors open on a floor where some people in Victorian costumes are caroling. They stabilize Howard, who wakes up and says he saw his late wife, Edith.

Haleh gives Carter a Game Boy for Malik, hoping this will shut him up. Carol calls her mother to let her know that she brought Kate to the hospital. Her test results still don’t show anything serious, but Carol isn’t satisfied that she’s okay. Luka agrees to do more tests. Carol admits that taking care of the babies has exhausted her more than her work in the ER ever has.

Lucy gets a hold of Romano, who’s not happy to be called so late at night (and who thinks at first that this might be a personal call, as if Lucy would ever want to hook up with him). He hangs up on her. Taylor, who only has minor injuries, asks Carter for his gun back, since it was supposed to be a Christmas present for his younger brother. Carter gives him Malik’s Game Boy instead.

Cleo calls Adele in to deal with Chad, since Mrs. K. obviously isn’t helping him (and may actually be enabling him). Benton prepares to operate on Howard, but he doesn’t want the surgery. Seeing Edith made him think she’s waiting for him, so he’s ready to die and reunite with her. Benton tries to convince him that he just had a hallucination, but Howard disagrees. Benton cautions that without surgery, he probably won’t live through the night. Howard’s okay with that, since that means he’ll get to spend Christmas with his wife.

Lucy breaks the news to Valerie that she won’t be getting the LVAD implanted. Valerie vows to tough it out until she gets a transplant. Luka tells Carol that Kate’s blood count is normal, so she probably just has a virus. Carol apologizes for being difficult, but Luka doesn’t hold it against her. It’s 2 a.m., which means it’s officially the girls’ first Christmas.

Benton tells Anspaugh and Elizabeth about Howard’s refusal to have surgery. Elizabeth brings up Dean and says she’s looking forward to getting rid of him. Anspaugh reminds her that her personal feelings have no place in the OR. He tells Benton that Howard is probably scared, and seeing Edith made him feel better. If he thought Benton understood that, Howard might listen to him. Even though both patients have the right to refuse treatment, it’s their doctors’ job to keep them alive.

Lucy goes to Romano’s house to ask him in person to perform Valerie’s surgery. He tells her he doesn’t care, so she snaps that she didn’t know what she was thinking, asking a doctor to take care of a patient. Both Lucy and Valerie need Romano’s help. A few teens come to the ER looking for Carter, having heard that he gave Taylor a Game Boy in exchange for his gun. Carter doesn’t have any more Game Boys, but he does have other presents to trade to them.

Benton goes to talk to Howard, but he’s too late – Howard died. Elizabeth, however, still has a chance with Dean. She thinks he’s risking his life just to deprive her of the satisfaction of fixing him. She tells him what he risks by not having surgery, trying to scare him. He’s not impressed and asks if that’s the best she can do. Elizabeth tells him that if he keeps ignoring her advice, he’ll have no one to blame but himself. Dean thinks Elizabeth cares about him, not as a doctor but as a woman. She lies that she does, so he agrees to the surgery.

Weaver and Lily treat a man named Thorpe who burned his hands while fixing a generator. He’s preparing for TEOTWAWKI, the end of the world as we know it. Lily thought most of the glitches had already been fixed, but Thorpe says it only takes one to cause a lot of damage. The hospital will be at huge risk. Weaver says the hospital has been inspected, but Thorpe thinks of something that might have been missed. He offers to check it out for her.

Cleo tells Chad and his mother that she’s gotten him a spot in an in-patient treatment. Mrs. K. promises to try harder to control him, but Cleo doesn’t think she can. Chad begs her to reconsider, swearing he won’t drink again. Thorpe shows Weaver and Lily that their computer system isn’t ready for 2000 after all. He flees before anything more can happen, leaving Weaver alone to fix her crashed computer. Malik is upset about the loss of his Game Boy, as well as Carter’s naïvety with a bunch of gang members who want free stuff. Carter doesn’t care since he’s getting guns off the streets.

Carol gets her first moment of silence in weeks and falls asleep in an exam room. Luka asks Connie to make sure no patients are sent in there for a while. Weaver can’t get tech support on the phone, and she’s getting worried about the hospital’s preparedness for Y2K. Santa Greg used to work in tech support and offers to download a patch to fix the computer.

Elizabeth operate on Dean, noting to Benton that she could easily make one wrong move and get rid of him. Benton gets paged to the OR next door, where Romano’s operating on Valerie. He’s impressed by Lucy and all her research on the surgery. Benton wants to scrub in, but Romano says he missed his chance. Lucy thinks Valerie could use all the help she can get, so Romano lets Benton join them.

Haleh, Connie, and Lily discuss whether 2000 is really the start of a new millennium. Chuny wonders why she’s spending so much money on New Year’s Eve plans if the new millennium doesn’t start until 2001. Carol wakes up from her nap feeling rested and grateful to her fellow nurses for looking after the girls for her. Luka offers her and the girls a ride home; he sold his boat and got a car.

Cleo visits Chad as Carter tells Weaver that he traded all the Secret Santa gifts for guns, then had to write checks as more gang members came in to trade. Now he has a Santa sack full of guns to give the police. A 17-year-old drive-by victim comes in, and Carter recognizes his name, Loman, as Taylor’s shooter. Another victim, a seven-year-old, comes in right after him; he was hit by a bullet meant for Loman. Carter tries to save the younger boy, but there’s nothing he can do.

Romano finishes Valerie’s operation, which leaves her with a clicking noise in her chest from the LVAD, but also a beating heart. Carla brings Reese by, since Benton couldn’t get to her house to pick him up. Carla reveals that when Roger asked for time off for the custody trial, he lost his chance at the promotion that would have moved them to Germany, so the custody fight can end. Benton pretends to be sorry, but he gets to keep Reese close by, so he can’t be too upset.

Officer Al has brought Taylor in with more minor injuries related to Loman and the seven-year-old’s shootings. Upset that Taylor went out, got another gun, and accidentally killed a child, Carter dumps the bag of guns on his lap and angrily tells him to take as many as he wants. Carol gets the girls back home and invites Luka to stay for some eggnog. He’s not familiar with the drink, but when he hears that it contains rum, he’s happy to try it out.

Greg fixed the computer, and he and his fellow Santas are on their way to get some bland food. Weaver recommends Doc Magoo’s, which is always open, just like the ER. Greg invites her to join them. She asks about his work and expresses interest in investing in his software company. Romano checks on Valerie, then tells Lucy that she’ll be disciplined for her actions. It’s not because she actually deserves it – he just has to maintain his reputation as a jerk. Valerie thanks Lucy for her help, calling her a doctor, even if she isn’t one officially.

Thoughts: I thought it was really sweet that Carol asked Haleh to draw Kate’s blood because she’s so good at it. I bet nurses don’t hear a lot of compliments about how well they stick someone with a needle.

The Elizabeth/Dean stuff is gross, and I don’t get the point.

Aw, remember Y2K panic? Remember how apocalyptic people thought it would be? Imagine knowing then what would happen in 2020. We would have all died of shock.

May 19, 2020

ER 6.7, Humpty Dumpty: Things Went a Lot Better the Last Time Carter Was in Charge

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


Summary: Mark is playing Tetris at 5:30 in the morning, unable to sleep because he’s feeling stressed about his father coming to visit. He’s arriving that afternoon and staying through Thanksgiving. At County, Haleh wakes Benton up in the on-call room so he can help with a trauma. A church choir in town for a gospel festival was in a bus accident. Carter informs Benton that he’s the triage officer today, having requested more responsibility as a senior resident. In other words, he’s pretty much running the ER, which means he can tell Benton what to do. Benton checks to make sure he’s actually awake and not having a nightmare.

Carter goes to another trauma room to check on Cleo, who calls him John, which just…sounds weird. He bugs Lucy about arriving late in between second-guessing his colleagues’ decisions. He gets knocked off his high horse by a little boy who needs someone to take him to the bathroom. With no one else around to do the job, Carter escorts the boy himself.

Carol has reached the stage of her pregnancy where she can’t really do anything, so she’s been assigned to help out at the front desk. She’s a little bit of a diva about it, asking people to do stuff for her. Luka was sent away when Lawrence was hired, but now that Lawrence has been let go, Luka’s back. Yay! Elizabeth checks in on Benton while he’s operating, and he asks her for some time off to attend his custody trial. He agrees to work other shifts to make up the time. There’s a big car accident somewhere, and Benton is asked to go to the scene to take care of people. Elizabeth says she’ll go instead.

Romano holds a staff meeting, which Carter tags along to with Mark. Weaver told him he couldn’t come, but Mark didn’t know that, so, as Weaver notes, Carter played Mommy against Daddy. Romano wants Carter out, so Mark asks if he wants the staff to think they’re just there to serve him without knowing what goes on behind the scenes. Romano has no problem with that. But he admires Carter’s little trick to get admitted to the meeting, so he can stay.

A teen named Chad Kottmeier is brought in by his mom, who’s sure his behavior has changed because he’s using drugs. Lucy doesn’t want to give him a drug test when he denies using, so Mrs. Kottmeier asks for someone with more seniority. Cleo steps in and asks Chad directly if he objects to being tested. Chad gives in, mostly just wanting his mom to shut up. Outside the room, Lucy calls Cleo on questioning her decision. Cleo advises her to take the path of least resistance more often. Lucy tells her to take the case herself.

A woman comes in with a gunshot wound, having been accidentally shot by her husband when he tried to scare her to stop her hiccups. Carter wants the case, but Weaver tells him to do something administrative instead. He has to review charts from the past 72 hours and call anyone who wasn’t given the appropriate antibiotics. Then he can check the hospital’s compliance on TB mask fitting. Carter now resents asking for more administrative experience.

Elizabeth arrives at the scene of the huge accident and starts triaging patients. One guy, Dean, is stuck in his car. Dave asks Carol to order a test for him, but she says she’s just answering phones. Cleo tells Lucy she understands how hard it is to be a fourth-year med student; she feels comfortable enough to fly solo, but she’s not allowed to yet. She sends Lucy to check out the rest of the choir members who haven’t been seen yet. Dave calls Carol from a phone booth to ask her to order his test. Heh.

A detective named Cruson asks Elizabeth if there was a passenger in Dean’s car, which he’s finally been removed from. In truth, it’s not Dean’s car – he carjacked the real owner. Dean won’t answer the detective’s questions, and he’s bleeding from his carotid artery, so Elizabeth is more concerned with saving him than helping the police. Cruson is desperate for information, so Elizabeth tells Dean she’ll let him bleed to death if he doesn’t tell her where the carjacking victim is. Dean says she’s in Lincoln Park. Pam the paramedic, who’s listening in, is like, “I do NOT get paid enough to deal with this kind of thing.”

Elizabeth delivers Dean to County in handcuffs, which aren’t really necessary, since his massive carotid bleeding is going to keep him from doing anything threatening. A nurse from the jail ward comes to the ER to ask Carol to visit Meg; she had her baby and wants to see Carol. Carter tries to invite himself to join Elizabeth and Benton in treating Dean, but Haleh sends him to do the TB-mask testing instead.

Benton tells the officer with Dean to take off his handcuffs so they can roll him over and check him for more injuries. The cop refuses so Benton tells Lily to get some bolt-cutters. His bluff successfully called, the cop removes the cuffs. Lucy stitches up the choir director, Mr. Owens, noticing that he’s having some breathing issues. He admits that he has congestive heart failure, but he’s more focused on the gospel festival and making sure his choir is ready than he is in taking care of his health.

Dean’s carjacking victim is brought to the hospital with multiple stab wounds. Chuny notices abrasions that indicate that she was raped. Cruson asks the woman, Sandra, for a description of her attacker, but she’s pretty out of it and just asks for her husband. Luka sends Cruson out of the trauma room so he and Weaver can take care of Sandra.

Cruson goes to Dean’s trauma room, where Elizabeth notices that he’s showing weakness on one side of his body. Benton thinks it’s just because she tied off his carotid, but Elizabeth guesses that he’s having a stroke. Cruson objects when Malik throws out some of Dean’s clothes, since they’re covered in blood. Elizabeth agrees to keep the rest of his belongings in case they have Sandra’s blood on them. Cruson leaves to get an arrest warrant.

Next door, Sandra is bleeding a lot, and the blood bank doesn’t have any O-negative readily available. Chuny runs around the ER, asking if any staff members are O-negative. Carter is, so he comes to the trauma room, still wearing a TB mask, to donate. Elizabeth and Benton install a shunt in Dean’s neck, hoping they can save him so he can go on trial for his crimes. As soon as he’s donated blood, Carter wants to join a trauma, but he’s not steady enough to help.

Sandra’s husband, Ron, arrives as Weaver and Luka are about to cut her chest open. They hear music and send Haleh to find out where it’s coming from. She finds the gospel choir practicing in an exam room, Lucy’s compromise to get Mr. Owens to stick around while they wait for some test results. Haleh reluctantly tells them they have to leave, so Mr. Owens decides they’ll go outside to sing.

Cleo gets Chad’s drug-test results, which are negative, though his liver is functioning abnormally. Carol gets dizzy getting off her stool at the counter, so Cleo wants her monitored. Sandra is getting worse, while Dean has stabilized enough for surgery. Elizabeth stays behind to answer Ron’s questions about how Weaver and Luka are treating Sandra. Sadly, they’re unable to save her.

An OB determines that Carol’s babies are fine, but she needs to be resting instead of working. Mark comes to check on her and agrees with the OB. He tells Carol that David didn’t get on his flight to come to Chicago, and his neighbor went to check on him but couldn’t find him. Mark is a lot more calm than I would be about not knowing where my elderly father was.

Cleo busts Chad for being drunk and tells him she’ll need to tell his mother. Chad doesn’t care, since Mrs. K. also has a drinking problem. Luka and Weaver have the unfortunate job of having to tell Ron that they need to perform a rape exam on his dead wife. To add insult to injury, they need to make sure he didn’t rape her.

Dean has a lot of injuries and may not be able to be put back together (like Humpty Dumpty. Like the episode title. Get it?). Cruson has his warrant and is ready to do his job to get Dean charged with murder one. Outside the hospital, Lucy continues treating Mr. Owens while he conducts his choir. He’s insistent that they leave for the festival, promising that he’ll come back as soon as they’ve performed. Lucy has to get a doctor’s approval to let him leave against medical advice.

Cleo brings Adele to the ER to try to get Chad some treatment. Lucy asks Cleo to talk to Mr. Owens about his treatment, but she’s too late – the choir’s bus is already pulling away. Lucy laments that she didn’t get Cleo sooner; she thought she could handle the situation. Mark gets a message that David went to the airport this morning, so his failure to arrive in Chicago doesn’t make sense. He gets a call to go up to the sixth floor to see Lawrence, who’s undergoing a neurological exam where he has to identify pictures of things like funnels and volcanoes. He’s not enjoying it.

Weaver and Luka examine Sandra’s body and confirm that she was raped. Mark invites Lawrence to get coffee while he waits for some test results. Mark has called Lawrence’s son, since he needs a caregiver to participate in a clinical trial. Lawrence didn’t want his son involved and doesn’t think he’ll babysit his father anyway. Mark notes that Lawrence took care of his son as a child; now his son can return the favor. Lawrence admits that he was always too busy to be much of a father. He doesn’t want to be a burden.

Mark is optimistic that the trial will give Lawrence more time, though Lawrence doesn’t see the point. Mark ask if he’s going to give up because he’s too proud to ask for help. Lawrence doesn’t think it matters – the end result is the same. He thinks it’s too late for any trials or treatments to make a difference in his condition.

Romano tells Elizabeth that Dean raped Sandra. Someone at the public defender’s office has heard that Elizabeth coerced Dean into telling her where Sandra was, and Romano would like to hear from her whether that’s true. Elizabeth admits that it is, which means the confession, having been coerced, could be thrown out in court. Not to mention how unethical it is to threaten to withhold treatment like Elizabeth did.

Carol finally goes to visit Meg, who’s spending her last few minutes with her baby before he’s taken away by Social Services. Meg asks Carol to talk to someone about letting her take him to jail with her. Carol owes her, since she’s the reason Meg got arrested. Carol says she did what she thought was best for Meg and the baby. Meg asks if being away from her new son for ten months is what’s best for him. Carol thinks she can get him back if she proves she’s turned her life around. Meg calls her self-righteous and begs Carol to do something. Carol says she can’t, and leaves while Meg screams at her.

Lawrence waits for his son in the ER while Cleo tells Mrs. K. that Chad needs treatment for his drinking. Mrs. K. says she didn’t give Cleo permission to do anything except test Chad for drug use. Cleo asks if Mrs. K. is avoiding the truth because she has her own drinking problem. Mrs. K. storms off.

Carter gets in over his head with a patient, unsure of why he’s having seizures. Lawrence is sitting right outside the trauma room, so Carter asks for his help. Lawrence says he doesn’t work at County anymore, but Carter’s desperate, so Lawrence comes in to help. He quickly diagnoses the patient, having had a similar case 20 years ago, and gives him the proper treatment. “Score one for the absent-minded professor,” he quips to Weaver and Carter.

Weaver acknowledges that the patient would have died if Lawrence hadn’t been there. She, too, wouldn’t be where she is without Lawrence’s guidance. She asks what he’s going to do. Lawrence tells her that he and his son talked, and they’ve made arrangements to live together.

Mr. Owens returns to the ER, upset that he missed the festival. It’s not clear, but it sounds like Lucy sent paramedics to the festival to bring him back, claiming that he needed treatment for carbon-monoxide poisoning. David shows up next, having taken a later flight because his first one was overbooked and he wanted the $200 passengers were offered to get off the plane. Mark gives him a tour of the hospital.

Weaver thanks Luka for his good work on a difficult case. She calls him by his first name, the sign of trust he previously mentioned to Carol he was hoping for, and tells him she wants him to take Lawrence’s slot as a permanent doctor. He doesn’t ask about his salary, sure that Weaver will be fair. Benton and Elizabeth operate on Dean, her lamenting that Sandra died and him pointing out that at least she didn’t die alone. Dean starts crashing and Elizabeth hesitates before shocking him back to stability.

Thoughts: Chad is played by Emile Hirsch.

I didn’t realize until he showed up that this episode kicks off the horrible Dean Rollins story arc. Kill me now.

I’m imagining myself telling my boss to do my job herself, like Lucy does with Cleo. Hold on. Imagining it…imagining it…and…it doesn’t end well. Watch your attitude, Knight.

May 12, 2020

ER 6.6, The Peace of Wild Things: Father Figures

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

A fun thing to do during boring episodes is play Spot the Mulleted Nurse

Summary: Carter and Weaver run into each other on the way off the El early in the morning. There’s already an ambulance approaching the hospital, making them think this will be a busy day. At County, Mark tells them there was a fire at a nursing home, so a lot of elderly patients are coming in. Plus, there’s no desk clerk and Jeanie isn’t coming in.

Jackie’s squabbling with her teen daughter when Benton comes into the kitchen for breakfast. Jackie complains to Benton that her daughter can sink a basket from 20 feet away but can’t get her clothes in the hamper. Put a basket over it! Benton tells Jackie that Carla told him Reese might not be his son. Jackie crabs about Carla putting him through all the custody stuff when she doesn’t even know if he’s Reese’s father. Benton confides that he’s thinking about taking a DNA test, but he’s worried about the results. Jackie thinks he should find out sooner rather than later, so Reese doesn’t find out first and accuse Benton of lying to him.

Carol tracks down Meg, who’s been out of touch for a while. She has a bladder infection, so Carol wants her to come back to the hospital for treatment. She urges Meg to go to the detox program she ran out on. Meg says she quit using on her own a few days ago. Weaver demands more nurses from another part of the hospital to help with all the elderly patients, but whoever she’s talking to won’t budge. Weaver says she hopes the person gets in a horrible accident and lands in the ER so Weaver can be of no help to him or her. Ouch. On the plus side, a desk clerk named Andrew has arrived, so that’s one position filled.

Carter helps a woman named Jean find her husband, Barry, who was admitted after the fire. Carol and Lawrence both arrive in the midst of the chaos, and Weaver asks Carol to help out at the desk. Dave and Haleh tend to a woman with some breathing problems, though Dave can’t figure out what’s causing them. Haleh guides him like he’s a child until he realizes what’s wrong.

Andrew’s an aspiring comedian, so Malik urges him to practice his impressions. Carol is semi-amused by his passable Keanu Reeves impersonation. Weaver’s annoyed that Jeanie keeps skipping work and tells Malik to call her and tell her to come in and explain herself. Dave brags to Lucy that he made a tough diagnosis while doing something with a Bunsen burner in a lab. She tells him he has to jiggle the handle on the burner to get it to turn off. She adds that Haleh already told her that she made the diagnosis, not Dave.

Carter has taken over Barry’s care, and he tells Jean that they need to intubate him to help him breathe. There’s a small chance he’ll get better, but he most likely won’t. Jean wants to be optimistic and give intubation a try. Carter says Barry’s heart could be causing problems, so they should run some more tests and make sure they know what’s really wrong.

Cleo presents a patient to Lawrence, who can’t handle tending to a woman with dementia. Because he probably has dementia. Got it? Are we all on the same page? Good. Mark and Weaver smell gas and start to move people out of the trauma hallway. Mark goes into a room, tracing the source of the gas, and gets blown back by a sudden explosion.

Once Mark is determined to be okay, Weaver reports that the fire department thinks the explosion was caused by a Bunsen burner. Cleo used one earlier but is sure she turned it off. Romano comes in to ask questions and be grumpy. Carter examines a preteen boy named Eddie who has flu-like symptoms. In the lounge, the nurses check out a cake they’ve gotten for Carol’s surprise baby shower. Connie finds a pair of glasses in the fridge, and Weaver recognizes them.

Benton visits Elizabeth in her new office but can’t start a conversation before Romano interrupts. He wants Elizabeth to take one of his surgeries the next day while he deals with administrative stuff. She learns from him that Mark was involved in the explosion in the ER. Romano then shifts gears to ask how much she would pay for his sperm. He claims a sperm bank is recruiting him for a donation. Elizabeth is somehow able to keep from laughing in his face.

Weaver returns Lawrence’s glasses to him and tells him where they were. She’s definitely worried about his mental state. Carol asks Cleo for a prescription for Meg’s bladder infection, even though Meg hasn’t come in to be examined. Carter has determined that Barry’s heart is failing, which is probably what’s causing his poor health. He thinks it’s time for Jean to let him go. Jean isn’t ready to make such an important decision, but she agrees to sign a DNR.

Weaver goes to see an old colleague named Dr. Spielman, Lawrence’s previous boss. Weaver thinks he left his last job because of politics, but Spielman implies that something else was going on. Once Weaver has gotten answers to her questions, she goes back to County, where Lawrence is taking care of a stabbing victim with Dave. Whatever Lawrence’s problems may be, he still has skills, and he and Dave are able to save the patient.

Lucy overhears Chuny and Yosh talking about how Cleo could get fired for not turning off the Bunsen burner. They think she was the last one to use it. Andrew does a Christopher Walken impersonation for Benton, who’s not impressed. Neither am I, and Andrew also needs to get his movie facts straight, because he seems to think Walken played Billy Crystal’s role in The Princess Bride. Anyway, Benton takes Reese to an exam room and swabs both of their cheeks for a DNA test.

Carol goes to the pharmacy where Meg works and finds her outside, having a suspicious conversation with a guy. She’s smoking and tells Carol that her personal care is none of Carol’s business. Lucy confronts Dave over possibly causing the explosion, but Dave insists he turned off the burner. He doesn’t care that Cleo might get fired. Carter talks to Cleo about Eddie, whom he’s diagnosed with diabetes. Cleo offers to come with him to talk to Eddie’s father about his poor diet and lack of exercise.

Weaver tells Mark that Lawrence was forced out of his last job. She jumped at the chance to hire him because he was her former teacher; she clearly didn’t think about why he might have been dismissed from his job. She admits that it was because Spielman thought Lawrence was showing symptoms of having Alzheimer’s. When she asked him to undergo testing, he blew up at her and quit. Mark thinks Weaver has to fire Lawrence; he’s showing the symptoms at County, too, and could endanger patients. Weaver doesn’t think she can fire her mentor, whom she loves like a father.

Cleo tells Eddie’s father, Mr. Bernero, that there’s a trial they can get Eddie into, but the medication he requires is expensive. Mr. B doesn’t have insurance right now and can’t afford the medication and monitoring Eddie needs. Cleo tells him that if Eddie changes his diet and starts exercising, he could improve his health without the medication.

Mr. B starts a new job soon and will get insurance in a few months, so he’d like to wait until then. Cleo warns that waiting could lead to complications. Mr. B notes that diabetes would be a preexisting condition, so the new insurance may not cover it if they start treatment now. Mr. B’s mother is in an HMO and also has diabetes – can’t Eddie take her medication? Cleo won’t accept that as appropriate treatment, but Carter is okay with Mr. B’s ideas. The two of them argue about their options, and Cleo reminds Carter that if he lets Eddie leave without appropriate treatment, his life will be endangered.

Carter goes back to Barry, who’s declined quickly and will be dead soon. Mark tells Lawrence that he left a patient in the waiting area hours ago, waiting for a prescription. Lawrence writes it and hands it over without a chart or refresher on the patient’s condition. It turns out Mark set him up – the patient is an employee from accounting, and Lawrence has never seen her before. Lawrence tells Weaver and Mark that he was just confused, since he’s treated so many people today. Weaver replies that she saw Spielman. Lawrence storms out of the ER without responding.

Barry has died, and Jean kisses him goodbye and tells him how sweet he was. She thanks Carter for all his work. Carol and Reggie track down the guy Meg was talking to at the pharmacy and catch him and Meg engaging in a drug deal. Reggie and some fellow cops ambush and arrest them. Meg sees Carol in Reggie’s squad car and yells at her for her actions.

Dave finally grows a conscience and tells Weaver that he may have been the person who caused the explosion. Fortunately, the fire department found a rupture in a pipe, so no one’s to blame. Dave needs to be more conscientious of safety, though. Weaver tries to call Lawrence, who hasn’t come back. Mr. B brings Eddie’s chart to Carter and asks him to tear up the page that says he has diabetes. Carter says that’s illegal, but Mr. B is desperate and begs Carter to help. Ugh, the American healthcare system SUUUUUUCKS.

Carol tells Mark that she did something and isn’t sure it was the right thing. Mark says he did, too, possibly ruining the rest of Lawrence’s career. He offers to sit and talk with Carol, but she knows the nurses are throwing her a surprise shower. She admits that she misses Doug, but she hasn’t called him or responded to the messages he leaves when he probably knows she isn’t home. She doesn’t know what to say to him. I don’t know, maybe you can say, “Are you planning to be involved at all in your children’s lives?”

Carter pretends he misplaced a sheet in Eddie’s chart and has to fill out a new one for his patient, who only has the flu. Jeanie finally comes in and tells Weaver that she’s resigning. She’s the happiest she’s ever been and wants to spend as much time as possible with her family. Weaver is happy for her and doesn’t try to get her to change her mind. She invites Jeanie to come back to work when Carlos gets a little older.

Benton takes Reese to Carla’s and tells her he took a DNA test. He has the results already but isn’t going to open them. He was there for every step of Carla’s pregnancy and every day Reese was in the NICU. Reese is the first and last thing he thinks about every day. Benton loves him, and Reese is his son, no matter what DNA says. Benton doesn’t have much in his life, and he’s not willing to lose his child. He emotionally asks Carla not to take him away.

Carol is summoned to her surprise party and pretends she didn’t know anything about it. Malik tells Weaver that Lawrence is back and looking for her. She finds him in a trauma room, where he recites a poem about stillness and the “peace of wild things” (hey, just like the episode title!). He doesn’t get how he can remember a William Blake poem he memorized 30 years ago but not which patients he saw today. I don’t know, man, but that ain’t a Blake poem.

Lawrence admits that he started noticing symptoms about a year ago and saw a neurologist. He started taking medication to slow the development of Alzheimer’s, but clearly it didn’t do enough. Weaver encourages him to sign up for trials in the hospital, but Lawrence would rather kill himself than prolong his life like this. He accepts that he can’t practice medicine anymore. Weaver thinks he could lecture med students, but Lawrence doesn’t see the point in being a doctor if he can’t treat patients.

Seeing the woman with dementia that morning shook him – she had no clue who or where she was. Lawrence knows that’ll be him in a few years. He’ll be unable to care for himself, and no one will come visit him. Weaver cries as she says she will. Lawrence notes that he won’t know who she is. In the lounge, Jeanie clears out her locker, looks in on her co-workers at Carol’s party, and happily leaves to go home to her family.

Thoughts: I’m going to advise Lucy not to wear her hair in braids. She already looks 20; her patients aren’t going to be comforted by her young hairstyle.

Why do ER doctors need Bunsen burners in the ER? Doesn’t their hospital have lab techs? Is this like House, where the doctors always did all their tests themselves?

Carter is excellent with Jean – very patient and gentle. Exactly who you would want as your dying husband’s doctor if you were Jean.

Carol really doesn’t have anything better to do than meddle in Meg’s life? You’re about to have two babies, hon. Go buy cribs or paint the nursery or something. You can’t save everyone.

Goodbye, Jeanie, possibly the only normal person on this show. Enjoy your cool husband and cute baby.

May 5, 2020

ER 6.5, Truth and Consequences: Damage Control

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

Hi. I ate paint. Next I’m going to play the most annoying character on “Angel”

Summary: Mark is walking to work when Dave zooms up to him on a bike. Mark chastises him for not wearing a helmet. Dave ignores him and complains about Weaver. He’s curious about why she uses a crutch. Mark says he doesn’t know and has never asked. Jeanie and Reggie have settled into a family routine, working different shifts so someone’s always home with Carlos. She reminds him to wear gloves while changing the baby’s diaper, but Reggie knows all the precautions to take for Carlos’ HIV.

At County, Weaver deals with a cranky crossing guard, then tells Dave to stop storing his bike in the lounge. She sends him to tend to a patient named Jesse. Dave isn’t interested and tries to pass him off to Lucy, who notices that the crossing guard has stolen Dave’s bike, which he promptly crashes. While Jeanie shows the nurses new pictures of Carlos, Lawrence looks for a chart he misplaced, because, as we’ve already figured out, he has memory problems. Carter shows him a new glue that replaces sutures. Lawrence says the Army’s been using it for 30 years.

Weaver tells Lawrence his handwriting is illegible, which he thinks is how it’s supposed to be; no doctor has legible handwriting. She suggests that he use the computer instead. Carter offers to show him how, but Lawrence thinks he’s an old dog who can’t learn new tricks. Elaine comes in and asks to talk to Carter. Dave asks Lawrence if Weaver ever told him what happened to her leg. Randi overhears and tells Dave to ask Carter, since he used to live with Weaver.

Meg is back for another appointment and brings with her the news that she got a job at a pharmacy. She says she’s not taking anything stronger than prenatal vitamins, but Carol orders a tox screen anyway. As Jeanie worries about Carlos while trying to focus on her job, Mark and Benton tend to a teen named Ben who was in a car accident. Benton wants to have someone from genetics consult since Ben has cystic fibrosis. Carol has a contraction but thinks it’s just Braxton-Hicks.

Lucy has taken over Jesse’s case after all; he’s revealed that he ate half a tube of paint. He’s struggling with his art and had a bad day. Julian from genetics (the doctor Doug took advantage of while treating Ricky last season) comes to the ER to see how Ben is doing, so Mark goes to check on Carol. She insists that she’s fine and can keep working.

Benton tells Ben’s father and brother that he’ll need surgery but should be fine. Mr. Hearn offers to donate blood, not wanting Ben to have a transfusion from a stranger. At Doc Magoo’s, Elaine apologizes to Carter for avoiding him while trying to deal with her medical issues. She has an appointment with a plastic surgeon, and after that’s sorted out, she’s thinking about going to Europe for a couple of months. Carter realizes he’s getting dumped, though I don’t think they were officially in a relationship to begin with.

When Carter gets back to County, Dave asks him about Weaver’s leg. Dave, please do your job and mind your own business. Jeanie takes a radio call reporting that a mass trauma is coming in. Lucy tells Jesse how dangerous eating paint is, then busts him for using cocaine. He claims it’s just to expand his mind and help his creative process. She wants to put him in a rehab program, though he worries that will hurt his art. He promises to check it out.

The mass trauma cases start coming in, the victims of an explosion in a high school chemistry class. Weaver and Mark take the patient who’s the worst, the teacher, and Weaver tells Lawrence to manage the rest of the traumas. Lawrence does well with triage for a while, but keeping track of so many patients eventually confuses him. For some reason, this makes things go slow-motion. Is that a symptom of Alzheimer’s?

Lawrence joins Weaver to take care of the teacher, Mr. Sutherland, and snaps at Lucy when she questions some of his instructions. Lawrence wants to do a procedure that the ER has been doing with a kit for a while; he’s impatient and says the kit isn’t reliable. When Weaver tries to change his mind, he throws the kit across the room. He dismisses himself to go take care of someone else.

Once the traumas have all been handled, Lawrence apologizes to Weaver for his tantrum. He blames being overwhelmed by all the cases. In her third year of med school, they handled a mass trauma, and everyone lost it but Weaver. Lawrence admits that she drove him crazy sometimes because she asked so many questions. Obviously it’s paid off, though, since she’s the chief of emergency medicine.

Carol confronts Meg for her tox-screen results – she tested positive for opiates. Meg denies using drugs but Carol doesn’t believe her. She reminds Meg that using while pregnant puts the baby at risk. Meg says she only uses a little, so she doesn’t get sick. Carol offers to try to get her into a detox program. Lucy’s gotten Jesse into the same program, and he’s grateful for her help. Carol asks Dr. Myers for a space, asking him to at least consider squeezing Meg in.

Benton finds Ben’s brother Aaron and informs him that his blood screening showed he’s HIV-positive. Aaron admits that he suspected he was. Benton offers to help him get treatment, but Aaron worries about his parents finding out. Benton tells him family support is important when dealing with the illness. Aaron knows his family would disown him, since he couldn’t even get close to coming out to them. He doesn’t think keeping a secret like this from his family is that big of a deal.

Meg has taken Jesse’s spot in detox, bumping Jesse to outpatient treatment, and Lucy’s not happy. Carol thinks Meg deserved the spot because she’s pregnant. When Lucy tries to discount Carol’s opinion, since she’s a nurse, Carol yells that Lucy’s just a med student. Hey, where’s Mark to call Carol on her attitude the way she would call him on his if he were the one yelling? Carol says she didn’t know that Jesse was Lucy’s patient, as if that matters. She says Jesse will get the next bed available.

Mark asks Weaver if she discussed Lawrence’s meltdown with him. She downplays it, but Mark says he’s setting a bad example. Weaver calls Lawrence eccentric and one of the best doctors she knows. She thinks Mark is just mad because Weaver hired him. Benton tells Aaron and Mr. Hearn that Ben will be fine, then mentions that he couldn’t use Aaron’s blood in a transfusion. He pretends it’s because of antigens that made it incompatible with Ben’s blood.

Carter tends to the last victim of the explosion, Howie, who didn’t come in until after everyone else had been treated. Carter gets suspicious about how much Howie knows about the explosion. Howie asks for doctor/patient confidentiality first. Weaver and Jeanie tell a patient’s father that his son, Nathan, has a bad eye injury. Mr. Perez thinks it’s bad enough that it will end Nathan’s chances of getting an athletic scholarship. Jeanie reminds him that supporting his son is more important right now.

Reggie calls to tell Jeanie that Carlos is sick, so Weaver sends her home. Mr. Perez asks if Howie has come in – according to Nathan, Howie was responsible for the explosion. Howie is currently admitting this to Carter; the jocks in the class talked him into switching some chemicals to cause a small reaction. Mr. Sutherland changed the experiment and Howie didn’t get a chance to warn him. He insists that it was just a joke.

Mr. Perez overhears and confronts Howie for causing Nathan’s partial blindness. Howie tells him that Nathan and his friends came up with the idea. Carter tries to get Mr. Perez to leave the room, but Mr. Perez throws him into a window. Mark comes in to wrestle Mr. Perez to the ground, in the process accidentally breaking his larynx. Mark, Carter, and Chuny rush to get him breathing again. So Mark is probably facing another patient lawsuit.

Dave tries to cheer up a patient named Quinn who’s going to be left with scars after her burns heal. Dave’s bedside manner could use some work. Quinn cries over looking like a freak while Dave silently begs for another explosion to take him out. Carter tries to assure Mark that he did the right thing tackling Mr. Perez; if necessary, Carter will testify that Mark’s actions were justified. He checks on Howie, who’s sitting with Mr. Sutherland. He liked his teacher a lot and doesn’t want to accept that he might not recover.

Aaron tells Benton that he gave his father the news that he’s HIV-positive. He got kicked out and disowned, but at least there are no family secrets. Lucy tells Jesse that he can’t go into the inpatient program, but Jesse has a new view on his life now. He watched all the doctors, paramedics, and cops today, doing something meaningful, and he feels pathetic for eating paint. He knows he needs to get his life together.

Dave asks Lucy to talk to Quinn, since he hasn’t had luck helping her. Carter’s feeling down, and Lawrence guesses that it’s because of his love life. Carter asks for advice, but Lawrence doesn’t have any other than to not waste his time on regret. Meg has left the hospital instead of going to detox, so Lucy’s going to be thrilled. Benton asks Julian about DNA tests they can use in the ER. I’m sure he’s totally not thinking about using one on himself and Reese.

Lucy is much better with Quinn than Dave was (shocking!), so Quinn is more optimistic about her condition. Dave’s curiosity about Weaver’s leg has gotten back to her, as she tells him she heard he wanted to ask her about it. Dave pretends he had questions about a patient. Weaver says if he does ever want to know the truth, he should just ask. Dave says of course he doesn’t want to ask any questions – it’s not his business.

Romano tells Mark that he needs to issue a formal apology to the Perezes. Romano will try to do damage control, but Mark can’t hide from the consequences of his actions. Jeanie calls in and tells Mark that she might be late to work tomorrow. I’d be late, too, if my choices were working in a chaotic ER and hanging out with a cute baby. Carter goes to Elaine’s and kisses her, telling her he’ll leave if she wants him to. He starts to take off her robe, ignoring her when she says she doesn’t want his sympathy. The gap in the robe shows her mastectomy scars, which she tries to cover up, but Carter doesn’t mind them.

Weaver finds Lawrence wandering in the parking garage, looking for his car, which he thinks must have been stolen. He always parks in the same spot on the same level. She points out that they’re not on that level. Lawrence blames mild confusion, but Weaver’s now concerned that there’s something more serious going on.

Thoughts: Jesse is played by Vincent Kartheiser. Mr. Perez is played by Miguel Sandoval.

What was the point of the Carter/Elaine stuff? Could the writers not think of any other plotlines for Carter?

This episode shows again that Lucy should have focused on psychiatry instead of emergency medicine. Ironic, then, that a psych case is eventually her downfall.

One of the students loses a finger in the explosion, so he gives it to his friend to hold on to, but the friend misplaces it. How do you lose a finger?? You had one job, friend!

April 28, 2020

ER 6.4, Sins of the Fathers: Shockingly, Being a Doctor Isn’t as Glamorous as You’d Think

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

Meet Carol’s new project

Summary: Elizabeth is at Mark’s, trying to work out her schedule for the day. If their relationship was casual before, it’s not anymore. David calls to tell Mark that he was in a minor car accident in California. Carol gets breakfast at Doc Magoo’s, chatting with a waitress named Meg who’s also pregnant. Elizabeth comes in and Carol notices shaving cream on her earlobe from a makeout session with Mark. Carol asks Meg, who’s apparently not a very good waitress, about her prenatal care, but Meg hasn’t had any. Carol encourages her to come by County later.

Elizabeth buys a newspaper that features her picture on the front page. Paula’s article was supposed to be a piece praising Romano, but instead, it’s about how County isn’t safe. At County, Cleo is struggling to examine a belligerent girl named Robin. Yosh tries to calm her with a stuffed koala, but Robin throws it across the room, hitting another kid in the head. Robin’s mother thinks she has food poisoning, since her husband also isn’t feeling well. She assures Cleo that their home is childproof and all medications are kept out of Robin’s reach.

Dave calls Benton into the ER for a patient with appendicitis, but Benton doesn’t do general surgery anymore. Connie tried to tell Dave that, but Dave, of course, didn’t listen. He thinks Benton gave up general surgery because it’s not flashy enough, not because Romano is keeping him from it. Weaver finds Lawrence treating a man with excessive flatulence by having him stand on his head. Well, I guess it’s worth a shot. Lawrence mentions that Mark still doesn’t like him, so Weaver offers to talk to him.

Lucy brings him a medication order he forgot to sign. Lawrence thinks med students are younger than they used to be. He remembers Weaver’s mother talking to him at her graduation; all he could think about was that they were the same age. Weaver mentions that she passed away a few years ago. They talk about Lawrence’s family, which is really just his son and his ex-wives. Yosh comes into the lounge, chasing Robin, and Weaver and Lawrence act like this happens all the time.

Elizabeth and Romano discuss the article and how damaging it is to County. Instead of making Romano look good, it’s brought him attention from his superiors. Plus, the only picture of him is in a sidebar. He made Elizabeth associate chief to do his bidding, but so far, she hasn’t. As punishment, Romano tells Elizabeth to make Anspaugh stop scheduling his own surgeries, since they’re screwing up Romano’s schedule.

Carter asks Elizabeth if Elaine’s pathology report is back. Elizabeth tells him to talk to Elaine himself. She confirms that Elaine will be coming in that afternoon to have her sutures removed. Elizabeth, stop enabling him. Paramedics bring in a teen named Tommy who tried to hang himself. Dave is eager to do his intubation, even though it’s tricky. Mark gives in, probably just to make him shut up.

Lawrence treats a cut on a girl’s arm, trying to get her to tell him what happened. The girl, Becky, says some things that don’t make sense to Lawrence, like “he wasn’t outside” and “I didn’t even know they had a basement.” It turns out she’s Tommy’s girlfriend, and she found him hanging from a pipe in his family’s basement. She cut him down with a kitchen knife, which slipped and cut her when Tommy fell from the pipe.

Lawrence goes to check on Tommy, who’s stable after Dave’s intubation. Not that Dave cares – he just wants to brag that he did a good job. He also doesn’t think Tommy will recover, since he was deprived of oxygen for so long. He doesn’t realize that Becky has come into the trauma room. Lawrence blasts Dave for being an idiot; he needs to remember that every patient they treat is someone’s family member, not just a chance for Dave to learn a new procedure. After he leaves, Dave asks Mark what’s up with the new guy. Mark’s like, “You’re the newest guy I see around here, so…”

Becky tells Lawrence that Tommy’s dad is at work, but she’s not sure where. Robin brings over Cleo’s stethoscope and offers to help treat Becky. When Lawrence tries to send her away, she starts screaming. He quips to Cleo that he has that effect on women. Tommy wakes up, and since he’s breathing on his own, Mark takes him off his ventilator. Lawrence offers to call Tommy’s dad, but Tommy isn’t ready for that. Mark pulls Lawrence out of the room to tell him he’s handling the case.

Carol gives Meg an ultrasound, admitting that she’s waiting to find out what she’s having. Carol spots cigarettes in Meg’s belongings and gives her a PSA about smoking while pregnant. Meg knows all the risks, but she’s stressed – she got fired from Doc Magoo’s for not moving fast enough. Carol offers to get her connected with a social worker who can help her get some aid. Meg asks if there are any jobs open in the hospital cafeteria. Carol agrees to find out if Meg promises to quit smoking.

Mark’s trying to talk to David on the phone about car insurance when Weaver tells him a double trauma is coming in. Robin runs through the ER, ignoring Weaver when she tells her to stop running. Weaver complains to Mark that Elizabeth’s article is causing a lot of PR problems for the hospital. Mark has no idea what she’s talking about. Tommy’s neighbor calls for Lawrence, wanting to give him Tommy’s father’s work phone number, but Mark intercepts the call.

Paramedics bring in a couple of skydivers who collided on their way down. Carter takes one and Dave takes the other, but Dave wants to switch since his guy doesn’t have bad injuries. Carter agrees to a coin flip to determine who treats which guy. Dave wins and takes the worse trauma, working with Mark again. Elizabeth comes by and learns that Benton took a patient up to the OR for a hernia operation, which he’s not supposed to do.

Lawrence talks Lucy through a procedure on Carter’s patient, allowing Dave to come in and help. He’s bored with his patient and wants to switch back, but Mark won’t let him. Lawrence gives Connie some instructions he already gave her. For slower members of the audience (or slower readers of this recap), it’s clear that Lawrence is having problems with his memory.

Benton is operating with Anspaugh, who’s happy to get to work with him again. Elizabeth interrupts to remind Benton that he’s supposed to do trauma surgery, not elective procedures. She was called to the ER because he wasn’t there. She orders him to step out and let Anspaugh complete the procedure on his own.

Carol can’t find anything in the cafeteria that looks appetizing. Mark tells her that David keeps calling to talk about the cypress tree he crashed into. Carol asks a cashier who she should talk to about hiring staff. The cashier tells her, then busts her for eating a carrot in the line. What did that cost, 5 cents? Calm down, cashier.

Cleo discharges Robin, which means she and Yosh will finally get some peace and quiet. Dave and Mark continue working on their skydiving patient, and Mark tells Dave to contact his family. Dave thinks that should be a nurse’s responsibility. “Only if you fail,” Mark tells Dave. Carter tracks down Elaine, who’s gotten the good news that her cancer hasn’t spread. She can’t feel happy, though, since she’s still coming to terms with her mastectomy. Carter cheers her up a little, offering to get together later to talk about anything other than her health.

Dave manages to show some maturity and professionalism when he calls his patient’s wife and tells her how serious his condition is. The wife is in Dallas and might not make it to Chicago before her husband dies. Dave doesn’t want to write down a message to give her husband, but Mark makes him.

Mark is on the phone with David again when he sees Lawrence yelling at a man Connie tells him is Tommy’s father. Lawrence is mad that Mr. Stevens isn’t around as much as Tommy needs. He doesn’t think Mr. Stevens should see him right now. Mark sends Mr. Stevens to see his son, then tells Lawrence that he doesn’t know enough details about the family’s life to make any judgments.

Carol arranges a job interview for Meg, saying she has a good chance of getting the job since she has experience in food service. Meg promises again to quit smoking. Elizabeth calls the newspaper to try to get another article published, this time giving her side of the story. She goes into the scrub room with Anspaugh, wanting to talk, but gets distracted by a mirror Romano has had installed, right at Romano height. Anspaugh knows Elizabeth is struggling to manage people, but since Benton’s good at his job, he should be operating as much as he can. Elizabeth agrees, and Anspaugh tells her she doesn’t always have to do Romano’s dirty work.

Lucy invites Dave to join her on a case she thinks he’ll love, but he has to see his patient’s care through to the end. He goes to read the patient’s wife’s message to him, but Benton has just declared him dead. Dave doesn’t know what to do with the message. Robin comes back to the ER, this time unresponsive for half an hour after cardiac arrest. Cleo and Weaver try to figure out if she could have ingested anything. Robin’s mother mentions vitamins they keep within Robin’s reach, and Cleo realizes she took too many and has iron poisoning. Unfortunately, Cleo can’t save her.

Once the trauma is over and Robin has been declared dead, Cleo stays behind to finish up with her body, even though it’s usually the nurses’ job. Weaver gently warns that there will be an M&M. Cleo admits that she asked Robin’s mother about household poisons and medications, but not iron. Weaver says she probably wouldn’t have asked, either. She doesn’t think Cleo did anything wrong. That doesn’t make Cleo feel better, of course.

Dave tells Mark that their patient died before he could read his wife’s message. Mark says that the message was more for the wife than the husband. Dave doesn’t feel right throwing the message away, especially since the wife said some really nice things. Mark finds Lawrence talking to Tommy about father/son relationships, knowing how difficult it can be for a son whose father works a lot. In fact, Mr. Stevens has already left the hospital. Tommy reveals that his suicide attempt had nothing to do with his father – Becky broke up with him.

Elizabeth tries to gather her courage to tell Romano that they shouldn’t do anything that might make Anspaugh mad, like take away his scheduling power. If Romano wants to push him out, he’ll have to do it on his own. Romano says he never intended to push Anspaugh out. He just wants Fridays off.

Mark and Lawrence smooth things over between them, agreeing that Mr. Stevens was a jerk for leaving Tommy in the hospital. They talk about their own families, and how Mark doesn’t get to see Rachel very much. Lawrence says that his son once fell out of a tree while he was working in the ER. Lawrence realized later that he’d actually jumped, wanting to come to the hospital to see his father. Lucy follows up with Lawrence on a case, which is just a way for him to demonstrate more memory problems, since he doesn’t remember a test he told her to run.

Dave tosses the note in the trash as he leaves for the night. Meg finds Carol, upset because she missed her job interview. She doesn’t think anyone will want to hire her while she’s pregnant. Carol offers to take her to the cafeteria and help her work things out. A sick little boy comes in and Cleo jumps to take care of him with Weaver, wanting to redeem herself.

Lucy asks Carter if he heard Lawrence order a test she insists he ordered. Carter didn’t hear and is sure Lucy, not Lawrence, is the one who screwed up. (He’s not – Lawrence ordered the test. Also, I think Connie overheard, so Lucy should check with her.) Dave returns to the ER, fishes the note out of the trash, reads it to his patient’s body, and throws it out again. Mark tells Elizabeth that David’s insurance was canceled, so Mark has to pay for the cypress tree. He teases her with a framed copy of the newspaper article. They invite Lawrence to get dinner with them at Doc Magoo’s, but he declines.

Thoughts: Meg is played by Martha Plimpton, who deserved a much better storyline than this.

Robin is a good reason to not become a pediatrician and also never have kids or be anywhere around them at any time.

If Elizabeth wants to keep Benton on a tight leash, all she needs to do is tell Shirley when he can and can’t operate. Benton wouldn’t dare cross Shirley.

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