December 31, 2019

ER 5.9, Good Luck, Ruth Johnson: Good Soldiers

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

Ruth looks great for a 100-year-old

Summary: Someone is drunkenly singing “100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” in the ER (because it’s the show’s 100th episode). Jerry complains to Lydia and Haleh about Amanda, as he’s apparently the only person who doesn’t like her. Carol goes to her guest room to wake up Mark multiple times, until Doug blasts an air horn to make him get up for real. Why does he have an air horn? I don’t want to know. Doyle sedates the drunken singer so everyone can get some peace.

Mark thanks Carol and Doug for letting him extend his stay at their place; his place is getting cleared of asbestos. Doug wants to know if Mark said anything to Carol about the date he went on last night. Carol tells him not to bug Mark about it. Despite the sedation, the singer is still murmuring, so Doyle gives him another injection. It still doesn’t work.

Weaver yells down to Carter’s room to wake him up. He asks Roxanne if she set the alarm, but realizes Roxanne isn’t in bed with him. I guess Doug bugged Mark about his date anyway, because Mark is now denying that it was a date. He went to dinner with Amanda, just to be nice, but there wasn’t anything romantic about it. Doug calls bull.

Roxanne tells Carter she got up early to check the Japanese stock market. I mean, of course. The two of them and Weaver head to the El together, the two women talking about Weaver’s stock portfolio. Amanda gets paged to deal with the drunk, but Haleh and Lydia tell her that they worked everything out. They try to make nice between Amanda and Jerry by telling her that he helped with the drunk. Amanda compliments them on their work, except the drunk is still singing. Ha ha?

Amanda gives some exposition to Weaver, Carter, and Mark that it’s the hospital’s 100th anniversary. Ruth Johnson, born at County exactly 100 years ago, was supposed to come that afternoon with her family for a photo op for the Tribune. They came early, and the photographer can’t come until later, so they need to entertain the family for a while. Amanda wants Carter to give them a tour. Carter tries to pass the duties along to Lucy, but Amanda sticks with her choice. Mark and Weaver agree, since Carter’s in a sling from his south side adventures and needs a light day anyway. Weaver likes Amanda’s leadership skills.

Lucy struggles to treat an uncooperative kid while Carol pulls Doug away to treat an eight-year-old boy named Wilson who was hit by a car while riding his bike. He says someone was chasing him and his friend, Andy. While they’re tending to Wilson, Lily tells Doug that another eight-year-old is coming in, this one with a gunshot wound. Elizabeth is preparing for an M&M on Mr. Ramos, worrying that she’ll face the same harsh scrutiny Benton did at his M&M for Dr. Swanson. Benton gets called away from their conversation to observe one of Kotlowitz’s cochlear-implantation surgeries. He promises to be back in time for the M&M.

Weaver runs the trauma on the other eight-year-old, whom Carol thinks might be Andy. Reggie is investigating and is able to confirm for Carol that the second boy is Andy. Carter goes looking for Anspaugh, but Shirley keeps him out of the OR where Anspaugh’s working. She orders him be a good soldier and give Ruth and her family the tour he’s expected to give. Carter puts on his nice personality and plays tour guide. Despite being 100, Ruth is still mobile and mentally spry, though she agrees to be wheeled around in a wheelchair for the tour.

Reggie tells Carol that Andy’s parents have arrived, but Wilson’s parents are out of town; he was staying with Andy. Andy didn’t survive, and Weaver offers to talk to them if Doug is too busy. Carol goes to see Wilson and give him the news that his friend is dead. Elizabeth gets one light moment in her intense day when she sees Carter, Ruth, and Ruth’s whole family crammed into one elevator. Romano promises he’s on her side for the M&M, then gives her a hug for luck. Elizabeth basically has this reaction.

A detective named Wilson has taken over the investigation, bonding with Wilson over how they have the same name. He asks Wilson about the man chasing him and Andy, but the boy isn’t very forthcoming. Carter runs into Anspaugh, who can’t believe the tour group is still on the surgical floor. Carter says they left and came back because the family likes this floor so much. They even want to observe and operation. Anspaugh chastises Carter for not being more positive about leading the tour. Ruth, who appears to be sleeping, admits to Carter that she’s just faking so she doesn’t have to talk to anyone.

Kotlowitz tells a couple, the Shimaharas, about the procedure he’s going to perform on their three-year-old, Patrick. Benton tells the couple that Kotlowitz is a great doctor, very aggressive, by which he means Kotlowitz is accomplished. They’ve looked at every possibility for their son, and they know a cochlear implant isn’t a cure for deafness, but they believe this is what’s best for him.

Carter sneaks Ruth outside so they can spend some time away from her family. He asks what it feels like to have had 100 birthdays. “Downright appalling,” she replies. She reminds Carter that the river used to run in the opposite direction. Her husband built the buildings around them, and was successful enough to make money to send all their kids to college.

Carter figures they must have appreciated it, since they’re so devoted to Ruth. Ruth thinks that’s how a family should be. Carter tells her that not all families are that close. For instance, his parents travel a lot and aren’t around much. She tells him to keep his depressing story to himself; she gets enough complaints about family from the other people in her retirement home. Ruth thinks she and her husband were very lucky to get the family they got.

Andy’s mother and her boyfriend, Carl, have been told about Andy’s death and are waiting for some administrative things to get wrapped up. They want to talk to Wilson, but Carol doesn’t think he’ll tell them more than he told the police. Andy’s mother begs to see the last person to spend time with her son. When Carol arranges for the meeting, Carl angrily asks if the boys were skipping school again. Andy’s mother points out that, with Andy dead, it won’t happen again.

Kotlowitz tells Benton that, despite his young age, Reese is eligible for a cochlear implant and can be scheduled for as soon as next week, since Kotlowitz had a cancellation. Benton agrees, though he’s not that enthusiastic about it. He observes Patrick’s surgery, which makes him uneasy. Wilson tells Carol that he didn’t tell the police everything he remembers. He and Andy had seen the man chasing them before, and he might be able to recognize him if shown a picture. Mark helps Amanda search a trauma room for something while they talk about a study she’d like him to conduct.

At the M&M (which Benton arrives at a little late), Elizabeth fields questions from Dale, Kayson, and Romano. Benton defends her actions, thinking the outcome of the case is more important than Elizabeth’s mistake. Elizabeth announces that M&Ms have always been about covering up mistakes. Instead, the doctors should embrace them so they can learn from them and improve the system.

Elizabeth’s medical training wasn’t the problem in this instance – it was that she was exhausted after working a 36-hour shift. Air-traffic controllers work only four to six hours a day, with a break after no more than two hours. Hospitals shouldn’t allow surgical interns to work for 36 hours straights without sleep just because that’s always the way it’s been. Would anyone want to fly on a plane knowing the controller has been awake for 6 hours?

Carter takes his tour group to the nursery for their photo op. Ruth appears to be asleep again, but this time she’s not faking. Carter calls for a crash cart. Andy’s mother tells Carol that Andy and Wilson’s clothes seem to have gotten mixed up. Wilson’s sneakers are with Andy’s clothes, and Andy’s boots are missing. Carol finds the boots in with Wilson’s clothes…as well as some bullets.

She goes back to Wilson and gets him to talk about how close he and Andy were, so close that they sometimes shared things like toys, clothes, and boots. Wilson says that Andy would never share his boots. Carol asks why Wilson was wearing them when he came in. Wilson says they had a bet to see who could get to the park faster. He won and was supposed to get the boots as his prize, but Andy wouldn’t hand them over.

Wilson says the bullets are his father’s, and he used them to shoot Andy when he wouldn’t give Wilson the boots. He just wanted to scare him since Andy didn’t stick to the bet. Wilson doesn’t seem to get that he did anything wrong – Andy acted unfairly by not honoring the bet, so Wilson was allowed to retaliate. He thinks that if the car hadn’t hit him, everything would have been fine. He asks Carol not to tell his dad that he threw away the gun.

Carol takes all this to Detective Wilson, Amanda, and Weaver, upset that, because he’s only eight, Wilson probably won’t face a harsh punishment. Weaver isn’t sure he can even understand how horrible his actions were. Carol thinks he can, but Detective Wilson notes that his intention was to scare Andy, not kill him. Carol says that shouldn’t matter.

Wilson will have to be assessed, and someone will have to determine whether he knows the difference between right and wrong. Carol argues that he does; why else would he make up a story about a man chasing them? Weaver asks if Wilson has shown remorse. Carol says he’s only sorry that he ditched the gun because his father might get mad. Carol can’t believe that no one knows what to do with the kid.

Once he’s taken care of Ruth in the ER, Carter tells the family that she choked on a piece of candy but is now okay. They all swarm into the room because they have no boundaries. Weaver learns that Amanda has spent the day looking for an earring, which Amanda says had sentimental value. It was a present from her one-time fiancé, who died in a freak horseback-riding accident.

Benton checks on Patrick post-op, then calls Kotlowitz to ask to postpone Reese’s surgery. He doesn’t want to destroy Reese’s residual hearing just yet. Plus, technology keeps changing, so Benton doesn’t want to rush into anything. Wilson can sense that Carol’s mad at him “about something,” but she says she’s just sad about what happened to Andy. Wilson wishes Andy could be in one of the beds nearby so they could hang out together. Carol asks if he understands what it means to be sad or to do something wrong. He doesn’t answer.

The M&M outcome states that Elizabeth didn’t do anything wrong, so she won’t suffer any consequences. Benton tells her that everyone seemed shocked when she suggested a chance to a system that’s been in place for so long. Elizabeth notes that the two of them never make the same choices. Now, they should. It’s pretty clear that their relationship has changed, so they should break up.

Benton tries to say that he needs to focus on Reese right now, which leaves him without time for Elizabeth, but she thinks they should just admit that the relationship has run its course. She’s not mad that he needs to make Reese a priority. Maybe they would be better off as friends. So there you have it, one of the only mutually agreed-upon, least-combative breakups in history.

Carol tells Doug that she met Wilson’s parents, who seem really normal. She figured they would be monsters, since they raised a messed-up kid. She doesn’t get why Wilson did what he did. “Stuff happens,” Doug says, which she doesn’t think is adequate. Is it his genes? Video games? Hidden neglect or abuse? It scares her – if you don’t know what causes a child to act that way, how can you stop it? Children are always seen as helpless, but maybe it’s the parents. Doug says you just have to love and teach children the best you can, then wish them good luck.

Mark invites Amanda to get a drink, which she upgrades to dinner. Is this also not a date, Mark? Doug teases that his curfew is 11:00. As he and Carol are leaving, a car screeches up to the ambulance bay with a laboring woman inside. She’s one of Ruth’s relatives, and she figures all the excitement of the day put her in labor a couple weeks early. She announces that if the baby is a girl, she should be named Ruth. Her husband agrees, and luckily, the baby is a girl, born on the original Ruth’s 100th birthday. As Carol and Doug get the baby cleaned up, Carol wishes her good luck.

Thoughts: Mrs. Shimahara is played by Keiko Agena.

Shirley’s awesome and never gets enough recognition. I mean, blocking Carter from Anspaugh’s ER and telling him to “be a good soldier”? Hero.

I kind of think Carol might have given up on having kids after all the Wilson stuff if she hadn’t then helped deliver the baby. That girl gave Carol back her baby fever.

December 24, 2019

ER 5.8, The Good Fight: South Side With You

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

After all these years, I still can’t believe the writers didn’t put them together (and that’s not a complaint)

Summary: Carter is running a trauma involving a girl named Corinna who was in a car accident. He calmly tells Corinna’s father, Mr. Sawyer, that she has an injury to her spleen, then sends him off with Lucy to get stitches for a forehead wound. Lucy asks for his consent in case Corinna needs surgery or a blood transfusion. She also asks for his insurance information, and he says he left it in the car.

Carter brings Mark on to help as Benton assesses whether Corinna needs surgery. She’s stable but suddenly passes out, possibly because of a transfusion of the wrong type of blood. Lucy comes in to tell Carter that Sawyer wants her to call Corinna’s mother. Carter sends her back to ask Sawyer if Corinna has any history of blood disorders. When Lucy returns to the room where she was treating Sawyer, he’s gone.

Doug comes in (wearing golf shoes, for some reason) as Lucy relays to Carter the information she got from Corinna’s mother: Sawyer kidnapped their daughter two weeks ago from her mother’s home in Cleveland. Also, his name is Nelson, not Sawyer. Carter wonders why Nelson would ask Lucy to call his ex-wife.

Doug and Carol determine that Corinna has some sort of disorder that made her have a bad reaction to the correct blood type. Benton tells them, Mark, Carter, and Lucy that Corinna needs surgery. Mark tells Carter to find out Nelson’s blood type in case he can donate to her (though, of course, he’s not there anymore). He also sends Lucy to get in touch with Mrs. Nelson to have her blood type determined before she gets on a plane to Chicago.

Mark thinks they have some time before Corinna absolutely needs surgery. Benton agrees to stay close, since he’s sure she’ll need surgery and Mark will just page him again in a few minutes. Mark guesses that Carol called Doug in on his day off to help with a complicated case.

Carter’s supposed to leave to go sailing with Roxanne, but first he makes some calls looking for blood for Corinna. Lucy is able to reach Mrs. Nelson before she boards a plane and get her to send over medical records. Carter learns that Nelson has Corinna’s exact blood type and would be a perfect match for her. Roxanne ducks out to wait somewhere else while Carter finishes up his shift. Carter tells Lucy she can leave, too, so she tells him she’s going to go look for Nelson.

Benton thinks he’s given Doug and Mark enough time to treat Corinna medically and now she needs to go to the OR. Carter tells them that Corinna has two antibodies that are both rare, which means there was only a 1 in 50 million chance for her to have both (at least according to Lydia’s math). There’s no time to find an unrelated blood donor, but Mark and Doug will have to try to buy the time anyway.

Mark dismisses Carter, assuring him that Corinna will be taken care of. Carter says he’ll call in later to see how things are going. Doug and Benton consider a treatment they can do without blood. Carter goes to get Roxanne, who’s talking to a police officer, Middleton. He tracked Nelson’s license plate to a used car lot. Carter tells him how important it is to find Nelson, but the only information they have on him is an address that might not actually be his.

Corinna wakes up in the ER and asks for her father. Carol and Benton dodge the question. Weaver tells Mark she can call a friend who’s an expert in blood banking and might be able to help find blood for Corinna. Carol brings Mark back to the ER, where Corinna is having a seizure. The doctors are running out of options for treating her without blood.

Carter calls Jerry to check in, and Corinna’s case distracts him while he’s supposed to be hanging out with Roxanne. He thinks there’s something he can do to find Nelson. Roxanne wonders if he’s just interested in working with Lucy, but Carter’s sure she’s struck out and gone home by now. Roxanne tries to get him on board the boat, but Carter has decided there’s something more important to do.

He goes to the used car lot Nelson’s car came from, but the guy in charge there can’t help. As Carter’s about to leave, the guy changes his mind and admits that he knows Nelson. Nelson’s his bookie, and the guy loaned him the car because he couldn’t pay back a debt he owed. The guy has never contacted Nelson directly, though; he places his bets through a third party, a bellhop at a hotel called the Delaware.

Carter goes there next, but the bellhop won’t admit that there’s any gambling on the premises. Carter spots another bellhop and approaches him, then realizes he’s already talking to Lucy. That bellhop gets spooked by Carter’s eagerness to get answers, even though Lucy thinks he was about to spill something. As the two doctors leave, a third guy offers to hook them up with some gambling. He tells them the bellhop they want, Toby, quit his job at the hotel and may now be working at a meatpacking plant.

Weaver hasn’t had any luck contacting her friend, and patients are backing up in the ER, despite Doyle’s best efforts. Jerry gives Weaver a message that her buddy did call back; he couldn’t give her the message because she was on the phone trying to call him. Is that from an O. Henry story?

Carter and Lucy go to the meatpacking plant and search for the boning room. Lucy’s interested in what happens there. They bicker about who’s leading the way, and when she tries to lead, he goes in another direction. She says she started the search on her own and they’re not working together. Carter blames her for letting Nelson go, which necessitated the search in the first place. Lucy isn’t surprised that he’s putting this on her. “A little girl’s dying, Lucy. You can relax about you,” Carter tells her.

Lucy finds the boning room, then the guy who runs a jobs program for teens and may have helped Toby find a job. He doesn’t want to give them Toby’s information since Toby might stop trusting him. Carter notes that the guy wants to help kids, and they have one in need of help right now. Back at County, Corinna’s kidneys are failing, and Benton isn’t sure how much longer they can put off surgery. Anspaugh has now been brought onto the case. Mrs. Nelson arrives and Mark confirms that she doesn’t have Corinna’s type of blood. Weaver, however, has tracked down some that’s en route.

Carter and Lucy go to Toby’s apartment building, bickering (of course) over the odds of finding him and getting helpful information out of him about Nelson. While Lucy knocks and waits for Toby, Carter hears a little boy coughing next door and goes to check on him. An older girl tells Carter that the boy’s mother, Mrs. Price, is also sick. Carter decides to invite himself inside to see if she needs help. When he realizes she’s coughing up blood, he worries that she has TB. He goes off to call an ambulance but gets tackled by someone. Carter warns that if Mrs. Price and her son have TB, they’re contagious.

Benton and Anspaugh take Corinna to the OR, and Benton tries to reassure Mrs. Nelson that she’ll be okay. Meanwhile, Lucy tells Carter that Toby’s sister said Nelson often hangs out in a mini-mart and may be there right now. Carter wants to wait for the paramedics to come for the Prices, but Lucy doesn’t want to stay with him and possibly miss Nelson. Carter yells at her for not wanting to learn from him. She should respect all the experience he has.

Suddenly Lucy spots Nelson on an El platform nearby. Carter jumps the turnstile to race up to the platform, but he gets stopped by a security guard just before he can reach Nelson. “Congratulations – you just killed a little girl,” Carter says. At County, Elizabeth meets the helicopter delivering the blood, then starts to scrub in to help Benton and Anspaugh with Corinna’s operation.

Toby finally gets home, but he doesn’t know how to get in touch with Nelson. He mentions that sometimes he has people at ballparks take last-minute action for him. He also has an uncle who tends the grounds at Soldier Field. Elizabeth brings the blood into the OR, but there’s bad news: There are small holes in the bags, which means they’re not usable. Anspaugh thinks it’s time to resort to the desperate measures Benton has been considering.

On the way to Soldier Field, Carter tries to get in touch with Middleton, telling Lucy that she has to know when it’s time to ask for help. Thanks, Dr. Condescendo. They find Nelson’s uncle, Joey, who’s not actually Nelson’s uncle, but whatever. He knows Nelson sometimes goes to cockfights on Thursdays, though he doesn’t know where exactly on the south side they’re held. He offers to draw the doctors a map. Benton and Anspaugh try to operate on Corinna without a blood transfusion. This goes well for about ten seconds, until she starts hemorrhaging.

It’s dark now as Carter and Lucy follow Joey’s map to a building surrounded by multiple fences. They climb them and look around the building in the rain. Lucy wonders why Carter decided to go this extra mile for Corinna. He says he just wanted to help. He asks the same question, and Lucy says she feels responsible for Nelson leaving. Carter now says it’s not her fault, and he shouldn’t have said it was. She’s the only med student he’s ever had who’s shown promise.

Carter things he spots something through a gate, but it breaks and sends him tumbling into a garbage-filled stairwell. He diagnoses himself with a dislocated shoulder and tells Lucy she’ll have to fix it for him. It takes a couple of attempts, but at least Lucy gets to inflict pain on a guy who’s made her life difficult for the past few months. Back at County, Benton and Anspaugh run into more problems in the OR and have to shock Corinna’s heart.

Lucy, Carter, and Carter’s makeshift sling consider their options on their way back to his Jeep. She tells him she does respect him, and she knows he must be a good person because otherwise he wouldn’t have gone searching for Nelson. She might have given up if he hadn’t joined her, so she sees him as valiant. Carter says her stubbornness made him stick around. The two haven’t found Nelson (or anyone else), but someone found them – Carter’s Jeep has been set on fire.

The two make their way back to civilization and decide to get some food while they wait for a cab to come get them. Carter disagrees with Lucy’s plans for their next steps, telling her that they’re never going to find Nelson. The chef making their food thinks they’re dating, since they fight like they are. Lucy uses a pay phone to call Toby (against Carter’s wishes), who has an address they can check out. Corinna’s out of surgery but is going into kidney failure. Mark’s surprised Benton was able to get her through the surgery at all. Benton’s pretty sure she won’t make it, so he can’t really feel proud of his accomplishments.

Carter and Lucy go to the address Toby gave them, which is for a trailer in a train yard. No one’s there but the door’s unlocked, so they let themselves in. Carter thinks Nelson is trash for taking Corinna there, then abandoning her. Lucy says they can’t judge him when they don’t know the whole situation. She continues that she never met her father. He was 19 when she was born, and leaving might have been the best thing he could do for Lucy and her mother.

There’s a message on Nelson’s machine; he left it for someone named Inga, saying he’s not sure if she’s been to the hospital yet. He’ll try to reach her at work, and he’s “across the street.” Though Nelson doesn’t leave a number where Inga can reach him, the doctors are able to use clues in his message to figure out that Inga must have gone to the hospital to check on Corinna for Nelson. If they can find her, they can find Nelson.

The two take a cab to the hospital, though the fare is pretty high from the south side to County. Carter says they can stop at an ATM across the street from the hospital, at Doc Magoo’s. He and Lucy realize that that might be exactly where Nelson is. They’re right, and their long day of searching is finally over.

They take him straight to County to draw his blood as he laments making the wrong decision by leaving Corinna there before. Carter says he’s there now and can help her for real. It may be too late, though – Corinna’s having multi-system organ failure and is in a coma. All of Carter and Lucy’s work may have been for nothing.

Carter goes to get cleaned up and runs into Benton. He congratulates Benton for performing a bloodless surgery and keeping Corinna alive. Carter finds Lucy on the roof an hour before their next shift is supposed to start. Lucy’s disappointed that they did so much and Corinna might still die. Carter notes that some patients get to doctors more than others. Even when you do as much as you can, you have to walk away knowing you fought a good fight. They did that today, and they’ll do it again tomorrow.

Thoughts: The idea of Roxanne feeling threatened by Lucy is kind of hilarious. I mean, nothing against Lucy, but who would pick her over Roxanne?

Yes, Carter, the middle of a city-wide search for a dying girl’s father is definitely the right time to get mad at Lucy for not respecting your experience as a doctor.

Why didn’t they do that auto-transfusion thing Carter did on that guy that one time and give Corinna back her own blood?

December 17, 2019

ER 5.7, Hazed and Confused: So You Had a Bad Day

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 4:53 pm by Jenn

If you have to take a nap and a shower during your shift, your shift is too long

Summary: Carter wakes up in his new home, which is also Weaver’s home, to the sound of Grace Jones covering Johnny Cash. Weaver’s up bright and early and doesn’t get how loud her music is. She tells Carter he can borrow any CDs he wants, but he’s not allowed to touch her sound system. Weaver’s in a great mood now that she’s ditched the interim-chief position and can just focus on medicine. Carter asks her advice on teaching Lucy, wondering if he should lay off of her and let her turn things around on her own.

Mark goes to what I guess is a firehouse the EMTs and firefighters both use as home base when they’re not out on runs. He wants to do another ride-along, and also wants to spend the night since his apartment is being fumigated. Elizabeth has been on call all night, but Romano has Doyle give her another patient just as she’s getting ready to leave. Elizabeth yells at Doyle about it, but Doyle knows Romano is scarier than Elizabeth, so she needs to do what he said.

Jerry and Chuny discuss what their porn star names would be (their middle name plus their street name). Jeanie tells them that’s their romance-novelist name. Their porn name is a pet name plus your mother’s maiden name. Hers is, hilariously, Nibbles McGee. Anspaugh has taken over as interim chief, but he’s not familiar with all the administrative parts of the job. Weaver declines to help.

Carol runs into Lucy in the bathroom, where Lucy’s going over what she wants to say to Carter about how their teacher/student relationship has declined. Carol warns her not to be confrontational, since that’ll just make Carter defensive. She suggests chatting with him over a meal instead. Carol is disappointed to realize that she’s started her period – her and Doug’s baby-making attempts haven’t been successful. (Yet.)

Elizabeth tells Benton how horrible her night was, and how out of practice she is at working long shifts. She mentions that she ran into Dr. Kotlowitz, the doctor who restored Allison Beaumont’s voice. She thinks Benton should talk to him about Reese’s hearing. Benton doesn’t appreciate her involving her in the situation.

Weaver has gotten her sternal saw – despite Romano’s insistence that her proposal wouldn’t go anywhere, it sped through the approval process and she’s already reaping the rewards. The ER will be sharing it with the OR. Carol tells Doug that she’s not pregnant, which he says is just an excuse to keep trying. She claims that the more they do it, the lower their odds of getting pregnant, which…really? Huh.

Doug joins Jeanie to examine a baby named Sun who hasn’t been feeling well. His mother, Mrs. Everly, is slightly hippie-ish, which explains why her children are named Sun and Skye. She’s not great with remembering the details of caring for her son, but Skye, who’s six, is a big help. She even reassures her mother that things will be okay when Doug says he wants to do a spinal tap on Sun.

Mark accompanies Rosales and Pam to an apartment where a man insists he’s fine even though his head is bleeding. A woman there called 911 because her bleeding husband let someone drill a hole in his head. The driller explains that he used a surgical drill to perform a trepanation, which is supposed to increase the brain’s blood volume. He himself had one done in 1968.

The bleeder refuses to go to the hospital; he knew what he was getting into. Mark agrees to clean the wound and leave him alone. The bleeder’s wife smashes his computer, since that’s where he got the idea for the trepanation. The bleeder tells Mark he had to do something. Mark agrees again to just prevent infection and leave the weirdos to their weird procedures.

Babcock the anesthesiologist isn’t pleased that Doug and Jeanie are using general anesthesia on Sun during his spinal tap. He’s not happy that Doug is just making up his own rules. Babcock, where have you been these past five years? Lucy tries to present a patient to Carter, who diagnoses the man without looking at his history or talking to him. Lucy tries to tell him there’s something more, but Carter ignores her and tells the patient he has an STD. Lucy tells him the rest of the story, which indicates another illness. Carter interrupts her again when she tries to call him out for interrupting him.

Doug and Babcock try to talk to Anspaugh about their disagreement, which makes him resent his new position even more. Weaver prepares Lily and Chuny for their first trauma using the sternal saw. They’re expecting a gunshot victim whose heart could stop, requiring his chest to be cut open with the saw. Instead, they get a guy who was shot with a BB gun and could have walked into the hospital without help from the paramedics.

Lynette finds Carol trying to draw some of her own blood to find out if she’s anemic. Lynette offers to draw her blood and have it tested through the clinic so her name doesn’t have to be attached to the tests. Carol asks to have her hormone levels checked, too; Lynette guesses she’s worried about fertility issues. Anspaugh tells Mark that he’s rescheduled an interview with a doctor he hopes will be the ER’s next chief. Carter tells Mark that he wrote a student evaluation for Lucy but tore it up because he’s not sure it’s fair. Mark tells him to just evaluate her work.

The paramedics make themselves at home in the lounge, where Jerry, Yosh, and Connie are talking about their porn names. Yosh says Jerry’s criteria are for your drag name, at least according to RuPaul. Jerry chastises Rosales for taking a bunch of cookies, which Yosh brought in for hospital staff. Rosales calls Yosh the “cookie fairy,” which Connie takes offense to. Then Morales insults Jerry’s weight, as if that’ll make things better. Mark breaks things up before they can escalate.

Benton gives Elizabeth some instructions, trying to find the balance between talking to his girlfriend and talking to a colleague who works under him. He offers to cover her time in the surgical ICU so she can take a shower, but Elizabeth doesn’t want any special treatment. Anspaugh diverts her from her shower by asking her to scrub in on a procedure.

Sun’s spinal tap was negative, so Doug isn’t sure what’s wrong with him. Jeanie suggests taking Skye out of the room while Doug talks to Mrs. Everly, partly so Skye doesn’t have to hear all the medical talk and partly so Mrs. Everly will stop leaning on her. Skye wants to stay in the room, so Jeanie asks her to help put away some toys.

Elizabeth appears to need a nap more than she needs a shower, because she dozes off during surgery with Anspaugh. He sends her away to get some sleep. Carter has trouble with a diagnosis and asks Yosh, who’s using Lucy’s Palm Pilot-ish thing, if he can borrow it. He accidentally presses a play button and hears a recording of her practicing what she was going to say about their horrible relationship.

Mark hangs out with the paramedics, who present him with his own personalized EMT jacket. Then they haze him by strapping him to a backboard, which they all did as part of their training. This triggers something in Mark related to his attack, and he yells for them to free him. Back at County, Malik comes up with a unique, memorable porn star name: Satan Monroe. Jerry wonders whose mother’s maiden name is Satan.

Lynette asks Carol to help her with a patient named Maria who’s in a lot of pain from a possible ectopic pregnancy. Mark meets up with Anspaugh, Kayson, and the rest of the search committee to interview Amanda Lee for the chief position. They love her résumé and the work she’s done at her previous hospitals. Carter tells Lucy that if she’s so worried about him being adversarial, she can fill out her own evaluation. Lucy says the conversation she was working on had nothing to do with her evaluation.

Skye plays with a doll, the kind of toy she gave up when she became a big girl at the age of six. She feeds the doll with a spoon, just like she sometimes lets her brother lick her spoon. This makes something click in Jeanie’s head, and she asks if Skye ever gives Sun honey. Mark tells Anspaugh that Amanda is fine, though he’s not overly enthusiastic about her filling the chief role.

Carol and Lynette give Maria an ultrasound, which shows that the baby is most likely a girl. Carol feels a pang of jealousy over another woman’s pregnancy. Now showered and hopefully rested, Elizabeth tries to pump herself up for the last few hours of her marathon shift. Benton has changed his mind about meeting with Kotlowitz and asks Elizabeth to keep an eye on his service while he goes to see him.

One of Elizabeth’s discharged patients, Mr. Ramos, has returned with a wound infection and asthma attack. Elizabeth is less than pleased to have to…you know, do her job and treat someone. Jeanie’s theory is correct, and the honey Skye has been feeding Sun gave him botulism. He’ll be fine, but Jeanie’s worried about how much Skye has given up of her childhood to take care of him. Doug says it’s better than abuse and neglect, at least.

Mr. Ramos isn’t getting better, so Elizabeth decides to give him magnesium. Mark asks Carter about Lucy’s evaluation, which makes him think Carter has something personal against her. He asks Doug if he can spend the night at his (really Carol’s) place, since he clearly doesn’t want to be around the paramedics right now. Doug tells him he’s always welcome. Elizabeth gives Mr. Ramos magnesium, but it makes him worse. Thanks to Kit the nurse, she realizes she gave him 50% instead of 5%, which means…I don’t know, but it’s bad and he could die.

Kotlowitz tells Benton to talk to people who have been in his position and patients who have gotten cochlear implants. He has no respect for people who are anti-implant, since he doesn’t see deafness as a culture. He thinks people who disagree with improving their hearing are beyond reason and just lazy. Deaf people can function in the hearing world, but some of them don’t want to do the work required. They’re standing in his way. Kotlowitz then brings up Elizabeth, wondering if she’s seeing someone. Benton says he’s pretty sure she is.

Back at County, Elizabeth finally stabilizes Mr. Ramos, though he may have had a stroke. She takes responsibility for the medication error, though she’s sure she looked at the label before administering the magnesium. Lynette gives Carol her test results, which don’t indicate any hormone deficiencies. Carol says she’s been trying to get pregnant for a few months, but Lynette doesn’t think she should worry until six months have passed without a pregnancy. Maybe she and Doug should have more sex.

Weaver tells Carol that she went to examine Maria, but Maria’s about to leave. Lynette is shocked that she’s well enough to walk out after supposedly being in so much pain earlier. Maria admits that she just wanted to know the baby’s sex. Carol realizes she plans to have an abortion because the baby may be a girl. She confronts Maria loudly, saying that the ultrasound wasn’t conclusive. Weaver makes Carol back off, and Maria leaves, saying girls are just trouble anyway. Carol yells after her, wondering what’s wrong with her.

Anspaugh calls Elizabeth and Benton in for a conversation about her medication mistake. Benton admits to leaving Elizabeth unsupervised while he left on a personal matter, but Elizabeth notes that it wouldn’t have mattered if he’d been in the hospital. The good news is that Mr. Ramos’ condition may not be as serious as it could have been.

Anspaugh recognizes that Elizabeth is above the intern level she’s been placed at, but that doesn’t erase the hospital’s liability. He warns her and Benton not to discuss the situation with anyone. Elizabeth asks Benton if they can get together after work (and not discuss the situation), but he has to pick up Reese from Jackie’s. Plus, it would be better for Elizabeth to sleep.

Mark has his own discussion with Carter and Lucy about Lucy’s evaluation. Apparently she thought Carter wanted her to give her self-evaluation to Mark, while Carter thought he’d told her to give it back to him. Lucy says she put herself in his shoes and was as critical as she thought he would be. This mix-up about who should get the evaluation is another example of how Carter gives incomplete directions. Mark decides he’s done mediating and tells them to work things out by themselves.

Weaver has another shot at using her sternal saw, and everything goes perfectly. Anspaugh helps out, pleased with Weaver’s work. Amanda runs into Mark and tells him she felt like they didn’t connect during her interview. It made her worry that she wasn’t making her best case for herself. She asks to chat a while so she can give it another try.

Weaver tells Anspaugh that she felt stung when it became clear that Anspaugh didn’t want her to run the ER. Now, though, she’s happy to return to medicine and has no hard feelings. Anspaugh tells her he values their friendship and extends an olive branch, inviting her to have dinner with him and Amanda. Weaver isn’t quite there yet.

Roxanne visits Carter at his new place, ready to help him forget his horrible day with Lucy. He wants to teach her a bunch of stuff, but it’s not happening. Roxanne’s like, “How about we not talk about another woman while we’re trying to be romantic?” Carol, who also had a bad day, drinks some alcohol at home, because she’s not pregnant, so why not?

Benton picks up Reese, chastising Jackie for letting him play with a toy phone when he can’t hear. He admits that he feels like he’s in the middle of a battle and isn’t sure which side to take – implant or no implant? He doesn’t have anyone to talk to. Jackie suggests Elizabeth, and Benton doesn’t respond. Elizabeth takes a bath at home, finally able to take a moment to rest, but it won’t change the mistake she made and the consequences she might face.

Thoughts: Maria is played by Octavia Spencer. Amanda is played by Mare Winningham, who deserves a lot better than the junk she ends up with here.

It’s almost like having a doctor work 24-36 hours straight is a…bad thing. Like, maybe it’s…not safe? Is that a crazy thought?

I hope Sun grows up really muscular and intimidating-looking so no one teases him about his name. Actually, I feel like Skye would stick up for him and people would be too scared of her to go after him.

November 5, 2019

ER 5.1, Day for Knight: Lucy Is the New Carter, and the Old Carter Is Kind of Awful

Posted in TV tagged , , at 4:54 pm by Jenn

I make that face at Julie Bowen sometimes, too

Summary: Third-year med student Lucy Knight is on her way to her first day of work at County when she comes across a man lying on the sidewalk. Someone in the small crowd gathered around him says he may have slipped. Lucy’s wearing a white coat, so someone thinks she’s a doctor, but she quickly proves that she doesn’t know enough about medicine to pass for one yet. Fortunately, Mark and Carol arrive, having been summoned by another witness, and take the man to the hospital.

Lucy goes with them as Carol and Mark do exposition letting us know that Jen is out of town for a few weeks, so Rachel’s staying with Mark. Mark thinks Lucy is the patient’s family member and asks her to leave the trauma room. Lucy says she was just passing by and tried to help at the scene. The patient remarks that she didn’t help much. Way to be grateful for the kindness of strangers, sir. Lucy explains that she’s a third-year student and will be starting her ER rotation today. Mark and Carol send her out of the trauma room anyway.

In the waiting area, Lucy runs into a classmate, Bernard, who’s doing an audio tour of the hospital. She asks him to help her practice drawing blood later, but he doesn’t think they’ll be doing procedures on their first day. Benton rushes a patient in with some paramedics and Lucy gets her first glimpse of the blood and gore that come with this rotation. She meets some of the nurses, who are planning a surprise birthday party for Jerry in the lounge.

At the admit desk, Rachel helps Lucy find a new coat before being sent off to soccer camp. Mark gives Lucy an overview of ER procedures, telling her she’ll be assigned to a resident later. He introduces her to Carter, who’s taking a nap since he’s lost sleep after moving into a dorm as an RA. He’s also grown a hideous beard that he’ll keep for way too long. Lucy sees Benton’s patient again, but this time, he’s dying.

Next, Lucy meets Doyle, then Doug, who somehow still has a job. Elizabeth arrives wearing red cowboy boots she got while interviewing for a job in Denver. Mark turns Lucy loose to help out in the ER, but first she wanders back into the trauma room where Benton’s patient is being pronounced dead. After everyone else leaves, the patient’s phone starts ringing. Lucy answers it and tells the caller she’ll take a message.

Later, Lucy takes the audio tour, which sends her to the men’s bathroom instead of the admit desk. Bernard tells her he couldn’t get it right, either. Doyle has already claimed Bernard as her own and is working him hard. Lucy asks Weaver if she’ll be assigning the students to residents, since she’s the ER chief. Weaver says she’s (still) acting chief. Doug interrupts to tell Weaver about a procedure he’s going to do on a child. This is the only reason he’s still employed there – he has to have Weaver babysit him.

Jerry hangs up a banner for his own birthday, sure that his co-workers are going to throw him a surprise party. (He found the cake; they hide it in the same place every year.) Lucy invites herself to team up with Carter, using a Palm Pilot-type computer to look up a diagnosis. Carter clearly looks down on that sort of thing. Mark warns her not to show up the residents by solving cases they’re struggling with.

Carter examines his patient, Mr. Zwicki, who thinks he’s just fatigued from a renovation project he’s working on. Lucy tries to help out with questions, but Carter doesn’t appreciate the assistance. She tells him she’s willing to do her fair share of her job. Carter sends her off to take a patient’s history on her own. Her patient is fine with that, since God put them in each other’s paths, so clearly it’s meant to be.

Lucy tries to go over Mr. Zwicki’s lab results with Carter, who’s trying to jump in on a trauma with Weaver. Weaver sends him off to do some teaching. Lucy knows her stuff, and Carter lets her tag along as he tells Mr. Zwicki he needs to be admitted for a few days for more tests. He may have cancer. Mr. Zwicki resists staying, so Carter says they’ll go to the waiting area to talk to his wife first. He tells Lucy that sometimes this trick helps; he’s pretty sure Mrs. Zwicki will talk her husband into staying.

Carter ditches Lucy to go back to the trauma with Weaver, so Lucy tells Mrs. Zwicki that her husband could be seriously sick. She doesn’t translate her medical talk, so Mrs. Zwicki doesn’t talk her husband into staying. Carter catches them leaving and tries to change their minds. Mr. Zwicki promises to talk to his regular doctor if his condition doesn’t improve. Carter blasts Lucy for not using normal English to explain things to the Zwickis. When he complains to Mark, Mark points out that Lucy shouldn’t have been given that task in the first place. Carter denies that he assigned her to do it.

Mark takes pity on Lucy and takes her up to the roof to get a patient named Emil who’s coming in on a helicopter after a fall. She’s unable to get her protective gown on, and she has to chase it in the wind. The others leave the roof without her, locking her up there alone. When she gets to the ER, Carol is sympathetic, having also been locked up on the roof once. Mark jokes that he thought Lucy had decided to leave on the helicopter. He has Lucy walk him through Emil’s examination, which shows that he has a serious head injury.

Mark is vague when Emil’s firefighter co-workers check in with him. They’re not sure they did the right thing sending him in on a helicopter, since it wasn’t equipped with medical supplies. Mark says that he probably would have done the same, so they didn’t do anything wrong. He sends Lucy off to do something else while they wait for Emil’s CT results.

The nurses discuss how to present Jerry with his “surprise” cake to make his birthday special. Carter notes that Lucy got a locker, which is pretty lucky, since she’s still a student. Lucy says she heard it belonged to a resident who left the program. That would be Anna, who went back to Philadelphia. Carter is bummed about it, but I don’t think he ever mentions her again, so I guess he’s going to get over it pretty quickly. Lucy apologizes for talking to Mrs. Zwicki without exact orders. Carter doesn’t respond to that, but he does suggest that she try the suture room if she wants a quiet place to study.

Lucy finds the room quiet for a while, but soon Elizabeth and Benton come in, talking about Reese. Benton thinks Reese’s possible hearing problems are due to a recent ear infection. Elizabeth tells him that she didn’t really like the hospital she visited in Denver; she’d rather stay in Colorado. She may get a sponsorship from another doctor. Lucy spies on them through a curtain, unseen as Benton and Elizabeth start making out. She crouch-walks out of the room without them seeing her, but gets caught by Malik.

Lucy goes looking for Carter, who wanted her assistance with a pregnant woman, Mrs. Draper. She’s worried that she’s having a miscarriage, her third. Lucy observes as Carter and Carol gently tend to her. Lucy offers to stay out of the room when Carter comes back later to perform a pelvic exam, but Carter notes that she won’t learn that way.

Mark grabs Lucy to look at Emil’s CT, which shows that his condition can’t be fixed with surgery. They’ll treat him medically for now and wait for his wife. One of the firefighters thanks Mark for talking with him and his co-workers earlier. He thinks Mark must have worked with paramedics in the field before. There’s a position opening up for a medical director for paramedics; they need someone to do ride-alongs and determine procedures. It’s only a few hours a week, but there’s no salary or perks, so therefore, there’s no incentive for Mark to accept.

Bernard takes the audio tour again in an attempt to look busy so Doyle won’t bug him. Doyle is already on to him, though. Lucy goes back to Mrs. Draper, whom Carter determines did have a miscarriage. He asks Lucy to sit with her until an OB-GYN can come see her. Carol looks on from outside the room as Lucy struggles to find something comforting to say to the patient.

Weaver finds Lucy later and, after telling Jerry to call the morgue again about a body that’s been in the ER for a while, checks to see how her first day is going. She sends Lucy to help Doug with a boy who has a gross-sounding throat infection. She thinks he has to have Weaver sign off on his work because she’s an attending and he isn’t. Doug tells her the truth about why he’s on probation. He’s mainly okay with it, though, since Josh is doing well.

Lucy’s next patient is Roxanne, a woman who dropped a weight on her toe at the gym. Jerry offers to help escort her to an exam room, probably because she’s pretty. Mark and Lucy meet Emil’s wife and tell her that they’ll treat him as best they can, but it doesn’t look good. Over the next few days, if there’s no brain activity, she’ll have to decide whether or not to take him off of life support. Lucy takes her to see her husband, hoping that he can hear her.

Carter treats a man who cut his foot while diving in a shipwreck. He tells Lucy to start an IV, who pretends she’s done that before. Carol is nearby and agrees to help her so she doesn’t hurt the patient. Later, Mark tells Lucy how to treat Roxanne’s broken toe and lets her do it herself. Roxanne has been entertaining herself by trying to sell Jerry insurance. He’s already invited her to stay for his “surprise” party.

Carter compliments Lucy on her IV skills while Carol is standing right next to them. Lucy takes the credit. Emil’s wife tells her that she needs to get her kids home, so she’ll come back tomorrow to discuss options for her husband’s care. Weaver yells at Jerry again about the body in the ER, telling him to take it himself since no one has come from the morgue to get it. Only the body has been replaced by Malik, who’s holding Jerry’s cake to surprise him. Everyone sings to him happily, except Lucy, who sadly watches Emil’s wife and kids leave.

Roxanne chats with Carter as Chuny turns on some music. Lucy comments to Bernard that she can’t believe the staff is having a party after a horrible day. He tells her he’s been assigned to Doyle, and Lucy has been assigned to Carter. Bernard thinks she’s lucky. They’re pleased to have made it through the day, though Lucy doesn’t think she helped anyone. Bernard says at least she got to see patients. Lucy leaves the party to go back to Emil’s trauma room. She tells him she knows how much his wife and kids love him, and she wishes this hadn’t happened to him.

Thoughts: As mentioned above, Roxanne is played by Julie Bowen.

Oh, hey, it’s jerky Carter! Awesome! I was wondering when he was going to show up.

If I went to an ER and there was a dead body just lying there in the corner of the room, I would find another hospital. Get it together, County.

October 15, 2019

ER 4.20, Of Past Regret and Future Fear: The Sins of the Father (and Mother)

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

Summary: I think it’s safe to say that Benton and Elizabeth are officially dating. He spent the night at her place, and she even felt comfortable leaving him in bed while she went to work out. Now she’s on her way to work, and he’s on his way to Reese’s baptism. Elizabeth doesn’t feel left out since he didn’t invite her; she gets that it’s just for family. As he leaves, she tells him last night was “really lovely.”

Things are much more tense at Carol’s, where she and Doug are getting ready to have brunch with her mother. Helen shows up in a better mood than expected, and with a surprise guest, a man named Javier. Even more surprising, Helen is ready to toast the two happy couples with champagne. This is the first Carol has heard about her mother having a boyfriend.

Doug and Carol take the brunch leftovers with them to work, talking over Helen and Javier’s relationship. Carol doesn’t approve, and notes that her mother normally hates men. Doug teases that Helen’s having sex, so she’s happy now. Carol tries to ignore him. She tells Mark that the victim of a chemical accident is on his way to the ER.

Elizabeth runs into Romano, who notes that she’s picked up a lot of extra shifts in the ER. He’d like to chat about her job and her future. Mark, Carol, and Elizabeth go to the roof to meet the helicopter bringing in the victim from the chemical accident, Paul, who’s in pain but awake and alert.

Carter meets up with Millicent at Chase’s long-term care facility. A doctor tells them Chase is getting worse, but Carter disagrees. He knows the progress Chase has made and insists that he’s capable of more than Millicent and the doctor think. He urges Chase to draw something, but Chase has a hard time holding a drawing utensil. Mark tells Paul that his condition will depend on how much hydrofluoric acid has been absorbed into his skin. Paul feels like Mark isn’t telling him something. Mark just says that hydrofluoric burns can be serious.

Benton meets up with Jackie and his niece and nephew, Patrice and Steven, at the church where the baptism will take place. Steven wants to know where his uncle’s new boyfriend is. Patrice reports that Walt (who I guess wasn’t invited) said Mae must be rolling over in her grave, I guess because Elizabeth is white. Nobody asked you, Patrice. Carla has brought Roger with her to the baptism, and the minister thinks he’s Reese’s father until Benton corrects him.

Carol tends to Paul’s burns as he tries not to writhe in pain. Mark tells Weaver that his prognosis is bad; burns of this magnitude are always fatal. Now they need to find out if he has any family out of town who need to be contacted and told to come to Chicago. Mark is now fully honest with Paul, telling him that while they’re doing all they can for him, he’s going to die. At most, he probably has about 12 hours left.

Sometime later, when Paul feels a little better from the pain medication, he wonders if Mark was wrong, since he doesn’t feel like he’s dying anymore. Carol just says they’ll keep doing all they can for him. She asks if there’s anyone they can call for him, but Paul says it’s too late. The only person he wants to see is his daughter, and he’s been away from her for too long.

Jeanie and Doyle tend to a teen who fell from a bridge into a river. Doyle asks for a psych consult, but he insists he didn’t jump. He was just having some drunken fun with friends. Doyle can’t believe he’s going to come out this with just a couple of broken ankles. Carol tells Mark that Paul wants to see his daughter, whom he hasn’t seen in six years…since she was six months old. Mark is supposed to be done with his shift, but he’s willing to stick around. Carol says she can do everything Paul needs now.

Weaver examines an older woman named Ms. Weinbach who may have pneumonia. That could throw a wrench into her plans to marry her boyfriend next month. Carol calls Paul’s ex-wife, who seems less than sympathetic about his impending death. Paramedics bring in an unidentified man, nonverbal man who was hit by a car while using his wheelchair. Carter and Anna guess that he has cerebral palsy.

Benton comes in to do some notes, glossing over the details of the baptism when Elizabeth asks how it went. Weaver takes over Paul’s care for Mark as Carol tells Paul that his ex won’t be bringing their daughter, Molly, to see him. Paul decides it’s for the best. He always intended to make things up to Molly, but he ran out of time. Carter pulls Weaver aside to help him and Anna with their patient. He steals a piece of machinery from Doyle, because I guess that rivalry is still in play.

A father brings in his young son, whom he accidentally hit with his car. It’s Doug’s time to shine! Paul takes an interest in the case and tells Carol she can go help out if she needs to. She assures him that the others have it. He asks her to make sure the few thousand dollars he has in his bank account get to Molly, but without letting her know where the money came from. Doug’s patient is bleeding internally, so Benton pulls the father aside to let him know that his son needs surgery. Carol tells Connie she needs to go somewhere and asks Connie to look after Paul for her.

Elizabeth and Romano go to Doc Magoo’s for a super-awkward lunch, and that’s even before he tells her that their relationship hasn’t moved in the direction he’d like. He basically says the same things she said to Benton to convince him to try dating her. Once Elizabeth gets over her shock, she tells Romano that, since she works for him, dating would be a bad idea. He takes this to mean that she never dates co-workers. Romano says that for a little while, he thought he was competing with Benton for Elizabeth’s affections. She says nothing.

Carter has trouble communicating with his unidentified patient, who seems to be trying to tell him something. Anna realizes that he has a bad cut on his hand and may need to see a hand surgeon. The patient objects to this and bangs his leg on the bed to communicate this. Weaver diagnoses Ms. Weinbach with pneumonia somehow transmitted by her boyfriend Daniel’s falcon. Elizabeth finds Benton in an OR, ready to operate on the boy, and comments that he’s not working on his notes as he’d planned. He thinks she’s trying to start a fight. She asks if something happened between when they last saw each other, since he was in a good mood earlier.

Carol finds Paul’s ex, Sandy, at work and tries to change her mind about bringing Molly to the hospital. Sandy says she feels bad for him, but he walked out on his daughter, so why does Sandy owe him anything? Carol says that she was young when her father died, and she wishes she’d had a chance to say goodbye. If Molly doesn’t get that chance with Paul, she’ll regret it for the rest of her life. Sandy says that Molly has no memories of Paul, so it’s different. He made bad decisions, and now he gets to suffer the consequences.

Doyle delivers some lab results to Weaver, telling her that Ms. Weinbach tested positive for HIV. Weaver didn’t even realize she’d requested a test for HIV, but it makes total sense with Ms Weinbach’s symptoms. However, she’s in a bind since she didn’t have Ms. Weinbach’s consent to do the test.

Doug examines a baby named Josh who’s been on methadone since his birth, thanks to his mother’s drug use. Doug says he’s in withdrawal, possibly because the mother, Vicki, is taking the methadone herself; she can’t get her own while she’s still using. Vicki wants to leave, but Doug tells her that since she put her son in this situation, she needs to help him get better.

Carter and Anna are finally able to understand that their patient wants them to call someone. Benton tells his patient’s father that because of the damage to his spleen, they had to remove it. Benton’s bedside manner is still poor, so the father doesn’t get at first that, other than that, the boy will be okay. Maybe lead with that next time, Benton.

Weaver tells Ms. Weinbach that they need to run more tests, but she may have the kind of pneumonia that’s a defining illness of AIDS. She admits that they tested her accidentally. Daniel pulls Weaver aside to ask her to treat Ms. Weinbach for pneumonia and let her go. Weaver can’t just let her leave untreated, but Daniel doesn’t want her to be burdened. He’d like Weaver to tell her she has something else. Weaver declines to engage in medical malpractice, so nice try, Daniel.

Carol returns and tells Paul that Molly isn’t coming. She offers to write a note, but Paul says it’s too late. He repeats that he was eventually going to make things up to her. He tried to call her, but Sandy wasn’t happy about it. Paul thought she just needed time to come around. Carter and Anna’s patient is no longer a John Doe – his personal assistant identifies him as a Mr. Lorenzo, a multilingual hieroglyphics expert. Maybe Carter and Anna should have had him draw them pictures.

Carter spots Millicent in the hallway and goes out to talk to her. She wanted to move Chase to another facility, but now she’s decided that Carter’s opinion is important, and if he thinks Chase should stay, she’ll support that. They’re both determined to do whatever they can for him. Millicent wants Carter to remember that even if she and John Sr. aren’t giving him money, they’re still his family. He can finish his residency, but then he needs to leave medicine and run the family business. Carter tells him he’s only ever wanted to be a doctor, and he’s not giving it up.

Anna and Connie find Josh alone in an exam room, apparently having been ditched by Vicki. Doug notes that she misinterpreted what he meant when he told her to do the right thing. Carol sits with Paul, telling him he probably doesn’t have much time yet. She promises to stay with him, since he’s scared. He asks if she wishes she’d done anything different in her life. She reads him back the letter he dictated to her for Molly. It says that she’s the best thing he ever did; leaving her was the worst. If he gets to go to Heaven, he’ll look down on her. Carol cries over his apology for never getting to know his daughter.

Elizabeth finds Benton on the roof, brooding instead of celebrating Reese’s baptism with his family and Carla. He laments that Roger gets to spend more time with Reese than Benton does. Then he wanted to have lunch with Elizabeth, but she had plans with Romano. She tells him that he asked her out, so she lied and said she doesn’t date colleagues. They laugh over their intentions to have a relationship without complications. Benton decides he wants to go to the family celebration after all, and he wants to take Elizabeth. She thinks he should go alone and make it all about Reese. They’ll just meet up later at her place.

Carter runs into Anna on the street while he’s on a break. She spots a guy named Max getting out of a cab and has a near-intimate reunion with him before she realizes Carter’s watching. Doyle accidentally wakes Doug, who was taking a nap while waiting for Carol to get off work. She’s wrapping up things for Paul, who passed away not long ago. Carol wonders if her father asked for her on his deathbed like Paul asked for Molly. All she remembers is what her mother has told her. What if that’s not the truth?

Doug suggests that Carol ask Helen about her father’s death. Carol says that, after it happened, her mother spent years saying that you can’t rely on men. Now Helen’s in a happy relationship and Carol is holding back. She admits that she said she wants to move slowly because she’s afraid of losing Doug. He tells her she has nothing to apologize for.

Thoughts: Paul is played by Michael Rapaport. Patrice is played by Taraji P. Henson.

I think Mae would be less upset about Benton dating someone white and more surprised that he’s dating anyone at all (and that he has a child).

How about we close the blinds in the trauma room before little kids catch a glimpse of the man dying of chemical burns?

September 3, 2019

ER 4.16, My Brother’s Keeper: Too Much or Not Enough

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

Angst face!

Summary: Doug has spent the night working on Mark’s computer to finish a presentation. Mark is trying to quit smoking (again), this time with the help of a nicotine patch. He has Cynthia’s luggage, which was finally recovered after the trip to San Diego. She quit her job right after returning, so Mark hasn’t seen her to be able to return it. Doug tells him to take the luggage to the hospital so Cynthia can pick it up there instead of being forced to come to Mark’s place. Instead, Mark takes the luggage to Cynthia’s apartment, but she’s moved out. He mopes in his car with a cigarette.

At County, Weaver invites Doug to join interns’ rounds, but he’s not interested. She knows he’s presenting his research on PCA use (pain medication administered by the patient as needed), but she’s not sure he’s been thorough in his work. He’s convinced her that it should be used with pediatric patients, but there are still some issues with his work. Doug ignores her to chat with Mark but tells her she made her point. Carol pulls Doug away to treat a six-year-old who’s having seizures.

Doyle dumps some difficult patients on Carter, then leaves after working the night shift. Carter promises to have some difficult patients for her when she comes back in 12 hours. Lily gives Mark a patient with end-stage lung cancer, at Carol’s request; she’s hoping he’ll take the hint to quit smoking. Carter thinks he already has. Mark asks Jerry if Cynthia left a forwarding address, but it sounds like she just disappeared after picking up her last paycheck a few days ago. Jerry, who’s doing some spring cleaning, is delighted to find some Twinkies that are just a few years old.

Doug’s unable to figure out why his patient, Adrian, is having seizures. Paramedics have determined that he drank soda with something in it, but they don’t know what that something is. Elizabeth and Benton are flirting when Romano approaches them to announce that Elizabeth’s heroics in the collapsed building have been outlined in the newspaper. He follows it up by giving Elizabeth her six-month review, which isn’t as glowing as the article.

Adrian’s parents arrive at the hospital but are equally clueless as to what their son drank. There are photography supplies all over the house, which is probably what Adrian ingested, but without knowledge of what, exactly, he drank, Doug can’t treat him. Mark pulls Anna away for a John Doe who was supposedly in a motorcycle accident. He was sent over from another hospital because he’s uninsured, but Anna was told he just needed observation. In truth, he’s unresponsive for unknown reasons. Anna thinks the other hospital negligently dumped him on them.

Carter treats a man who appears to be homeless, though he claims he was about to take a flight to San Francisco to see his daughter. However, he doesn’t know where, exactly, she lives, and he doesn’t have her phone number. The man says it’s his own problem if he wants to fly across the country and have to figure out where to go.

Adrian’s patient wakes up but, like everyone else, doesn’t know what he drank. He says Eric gave it to him. He starts seizing again as Adrian’s father, Keith, flies out of the trauma room to interrogate another boy. The boy, Eric, runs off, and Doug corners him in the bathroom. Eric explains that Keith is his stepfather and Adrian is his half-brother. He claims not to care if Adrian dies.

Doug works his magic to get the boy to open up to him…as well as show marks on his arm that he claims are from Keith. Once Doug figures out what Adrian drank, he’s able to administer treatment. He promises the boys’ mother that they’ll take care of both boys.

Carter calls around to try to find out where his patient should go. He needs to be cleaned up before he can try to fly again, and Carter, Mark, and Carol all pass the responsibility around until it lands on Malik, who’d tried to avoid it in the first place. Anna determines that her John Doe has a subarachnoid bleed and should never have been transferred to another hospital.

Mark’s patient, Mr. Kyle, declines further treatment, knowing he doesn’t have much time left. His wife is reluctant to take him home, but Kyle doesn’t think he’ll be getting any better anyway. Elizabeth confronts Romano over her poor evaluation; he says she seems distracted. She came to focus on trauma surgery, but now she’s picking up pet projects. He invites her to join him on a study of a synthetic blood product.

Anna gets a neurosurgeon to come see her patient, but they can’t do much for him – he’s going to die. The neurosurgeon isn’t sure if he would have had a chance if he’d actually been treated previously instead of passed along. His only option is major surgery that might not have any effect. The only person who can approve that surgery is Dr. Mack, who’s currently in surgery.

Doug catches Mark smoking outside as he searches a Dumpster for some presentation materials Jerry may have accidentally thrown out in his spring cleaning frenzy. Doug says Adrian’s going to be okay, but his case falls under the category of Sometimes Being a Pediatrician Is Awful. Mark tells Doug that he went by Cynthia’s place, but she’s moved already. He regrets the way he handled the end of their relationship. All he can think about are her good qualities. Doug finds his presentation stuff and runs inside to yell at Jerry. Mark sees Kyle leaving and regrets his cigarette.

Jeanie and Scott discuss Days of Our Lives, which they’ve been watching together. Scott says that Jeanie’s prettier than Deidre Hall, which Jeanie says may be the nicest thing anyone’s said to her all year. (To be fair, it’s only March, and Al would say nice things like that if he were still in town.) He’s finished his last round of chemo, so next week he’d like to go to a movie instead of hanging out in the hospital. Jeanie reminds him that she has to work.

Eric and Adrian’s mother, Mary Jo, thanks Doug for saving Adrian, but she’s not grateful that the family has to talk to a social worker. She thinks it was an accident and Eric didn’t mean to hurt his brother. Doug says this was Eric’s way of lashing out because of Keith’s abuse. Mary Jo insists that no one’s abusing him. Eric’s out of control, and Keith just has to be strict to keep him in line. The burns on his arm are self-inflicted. Mary Jo starts yelling, and Mark advises Doug to avoid the men’s bathroom for a while. Oh, I’m glad we’re joking about his massive trauma now.

Anna and Carter are both on the phone, she trying to contact Mack and he trying to get information on his patient’s daughter. Mark is next on the phone, trying to track down Cynthia by using Carter’s story of finding a patient’s daughter. Scott heads home without saying goodbye to Jeanie.

Paramedics bring in a bunch of people who OD’d on a bad batch of heroin (though…is there such a thing as a good batch of heroin?). Anna recognizes one of the patients as Chase. Carter takes over his cousin’s care, though Anna and Carol don’t think he can be saved. He’s been unresponsive for at least 40 minutes, and Carol figures he’s brain-dead. Carter refuses to stop working.

Benton and Elizabeth go for a walk outside, discussing her evaluation. He advises her to overcompensate in any area where she’s received criticism. They run into Jackie, and Benton introduces Elizabeth to her as a “colleague.” He acts like he’s just showing her around the city because she’s from another country. Jackie notes that Benton isn’t usually so generous with his time. Elizabeth and Benton use “support” as a euphemism for “get naked together.” Jackie gets it.

Mark gets Cynthia’s phone number but chickens out before leaving a message on her answering machine. Carter worries that he pushed too hard in reviving Chase, but Anna says she would have done the same thing. He regrets not trying harder to get Chase into rehab. Anna notes that Carter couldn’t make him go if he didn’t agree. Chase’s parents are in Singapore, but Millicent and her husband are on their way. Anna tries to comfort Carter, who’s really shaken up.

Kyle is brought back in, and this time Mark wants to admit him. Anna’s patient’s son has been found, and he IDs his father as Tom. Anna tells him that Tom’s only hope is a surgery with only a slim chance of success. Carol drags Doug off for his presentation as Jeanie goes to the Anspaughs’ house to see Scott. She’s clearly become friends with the family, as Scott’s younger sister has spent time with her. Scott doesn’t want to hang out with Jeanie anymore, since she clearly was only friendly with him because it was her job. She still wants to be friends, and invites him to a movie.

A doctor Chuny calls the Grim Reaper comes to the ER to discuss organ donation with Tom. Anna wants to give him some time before they confirm that Tom won’t make it. Mack has now examined Tom and determined that he doesn’t have a chance. Her resident shouldn’t have told Anna that surgery was an option. Tom wants a second opinion, but Mack is the highest up the chain, so he’ll have to go to another hospital. That’ll be Tom’s third in a day. Anna asks why Mack can’t take a shot at surgery, but Mack knows it would be a waste of time. She shouldn’t have given Tom’s son any hope.

Carter tells his grandparents that Chase’s brain-wave activity indicates probable damage. This could mean anything from memory problems to a chronic vegetative state. The elder Carter (whose name is also John; we’ll call him John I) asks if Carter knew about Chase’s drug use. When Carter says yes, his grandparents question his decision to try to detox Chase on his own instead of sending him somewhere. They think they should have made the decision for Chase.

Doug gives his presentation at the med school, which Weaver catches the end of. Anspaugh seems at least a little impressed. Weaver asks about the randomization of the control group, a concern she’d brought up previously. Elizabeth tracks down her future husband, Mark, to ask if she can sign up for some time in the ER to get more trauma experience. She accompanies him to Kyle’s trauma room, where he’s been found unresponsive on the floor. Elizabeth finds a gunshot wound, and Malik finds the accompanying gun. Kyle shot himself to end his suffering, so Mark and Elizabeth decide to let him go.

The Carters want to move Chase to a neurology facility, but Carter tells Millicent he needs to be stabilized first. He wishes he could go back in time and change things. Millicent indicates that she knew something was going on, since she says that she assumed Chase would ask if he really needed help. Carter notes that Chase asked him for help.

Millicent wants to know if Chase ever told Carter why he started using. Carter says he probably just felt overwhelmed. Millicent says that her generation just embraced difficulties – they were defined by them. She knows Carter probably blames the family for Chase’s issues. He’s always been indulged by has seen it as oppression.

As Mark flushes his cigarettes, Doug and Weaver bicker over her medical decisions in a case she took on to let him go to the presentation. She knows he’s really upset because her questions pointed out a flaw in his research, which means he has to redo part of it. Doug accuses her of ambushing him, but she reminds him that she brought up the issue that morning and he blew her off.

Doug blasts her for leaving a sick baby in the ER to go undercut him in front of his superiors. Weaver says she wasn’t about to let him use PCA in situations where the research doesn’t support it. He asks if she’s now the self-appointed expert on the subject. Today, she didn’t help any kids, and in fact, could have almost killed one. Weaver responds with, “Screw you,” which isn’t going to make her look any more mature than Doug. Mark tries to play peacemaker, but Doug won’t like that, since Mark sides with Weaver.

Doug leaves the conversation when he sees that Adele is leaving with Eric. She explains that his rage has made him too hard to handle at County. He needs to be committed so his problems can be dealt with. Doug has to admit that Eric didn’t show any remorse when he admitted to poisoning his brother. Doyle arrives in the middle of a very tense ER.

Anna checks in on Tom, whose son still wants him to have the operation. Anna has to admit that she pushed too much to save Tom and was overly optimistic. Tom’s son says that a doctor at another hospital has agreed to do the surgery. That doctor happens to be the same neurosurgeon who sent Tom to County in the first place. Anna blasts him for being negligent because the patient didn’t have insurance.

Mark finally tracks down Cynthia and visits her at her very nice new apartment. She’s already gotten a new job, and says she needed a fresh start, which would have been hard to accomplish while still working with Mark. She must be doing well because her son is spending the night after not living with her for a while. Mark thinks he made a mistake breaking up with Cynthia, but she knows he doesn’t really love her. She feels she deserves better. At County, Carter continues tending to Chase. He was in complete control last week, but this week, he’s helpless.

Thoughts: John I is played by the late George Plimpton, which is A+ casting.

I love that Scott watches a soap. It would definitely give him and Jeanie hours of conversation material.

I also love that the Anspaughs are super-rich but have the same bathroom tiles my middle-class parents had for 25 years.

Carter and Anna should have gotten together! You know I’m right!

July 16, 2019

ER 4.9, Obstruction of Justice: Two Protests With Very Different Results

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 4:54 pm by Jenn

These two really should have ended up together

Summary: Jeanie’s worked her last day at County but is up the next morning to go sign papers. Al is still confident that he’ll find work in Atlanta, though he’d appreciate Jeanie not nagging him about getting a job. Synergix sends some computer equipment over to County so they can work there on a trial basis. Weaver tells Anspaugh that she thinks Jeanie’s rumblings about getting litigious over her termination weren’t serious. The budget will be proof enough that they needed to let people go. Anspaugh praises Weaver for her handling of a difficult situation.

Mark’s hungover from his drunken antics with Cynthia the night before. She’s worn his lingerie gift to work, and she gives him a peep show in the doctors’ lounge. Doug was supposed to be back at work today, but he called to say his car broke down. Carol wants to make it very clear that he called the hospital, not her personally. Mark and Cynthia emerge from the lounge, and Carol and Chuny should probably hose it down before they go in.

Jeanie goes to Doc Magoo’s to meet up with a couple of lawyers Doyle knows. The fact that she’s never been disciplined works in her favor, but I’d say the fact that she performed a procedure she wasn’t supposed to because of her HIV doesn’t. Anyway, Jeanie wants her job back. At County, Carter asks Anna and Randi if he can borrow a dollar to get a soda. I guess he doesn’t have anything in his wallet smaller than a $50. Anna gives him a buck, noting that, according to legend, JFK also never carried cash on him. She lets him keep the change.

Carter’s cousin Chase shows up, calling Carter “Scooter,” which I’m going to need an explanation for. At least Anna now has a nickname to use for her least favorite colleague. Chase needs medical treatment for what he says is a spider bite. West meets Mark, who’s fine with the Synergix partnership because it means less work for him. West shows Weaver a new verbal dictation system that includes a hands-free mic.

Carol finds Cynthia in the restroom and tells her that there can be no more sex in the lounge. Cynthia laughs that off, saying she was just “trying to cheer up three of the Seven Dwarfs: Grumpy, Sleepy, and Doc.” She thinks Carol should be happier about Mark’s happiness. Jeanie shows up for work, saying she’s not going to accept her termination. Yeah, that’s…not how that works, Jeanie.

Carter and Chase chat about how their grandparents want Chase to be the next prominent successor of the family, working with the family company. Carter has no interest in that, and Chase is being overlooked despite already working for the company. Weaver and Carol tend to a man named Mr. Jackson who says he needs pain medication for a sickle cell crisis; someone stole his Percodans. Carol and Weaver think he’s a drug-seeker and won’t give him the dose he says he needs.

Paramedics bring in a mother and daughter hurt in a car accident. The mother is unconscious, and the daughter, Allison, is having trouble speaking. Weaver brings West in to help her with Allison. Benton and Elizabeth come in to replace West, and Benton shows the best bedside manner he’s ever displayed when he tells Allison they won’t let her die. Next door, her mother regains consciousness but soon flatlines. Elizabeth takes Allison to surgery for leg injuries.

Chuny tells Weaver that Jeanie clocked in for work. Carol can’t get anyone on the phone at the clinic Jackson says he usually goes to, which makes his story seem even fishier. He demands Demerol, but Weaver still won’t budge. Then she goes to confront Jeanie. She points out that Jeanie’s off the payroll and is no longer covered by malpractice insurance. Jeanie says she won’t see anymore patients, but she’s not leaving. Weaver threatens to have her forcibly removed from the hospital. Jeanie says Weaver can do what she needs to do, and Jeanie will do the same.

Allison’s mother dies in the ER, and Benton volunteers to take the news up to Allison in the OR. Herb arrives to shadow Mark, who hasn’t told anyone what’s really going on. Herb just wants to do a couple of sutures, nothing big. Mark’s like, “Cool, I can go from one malpractice suit to another!” Chase invites Carter to go to lunch, but Carter declines because he has to work. He explains to Anna that his family thinks he’s just dabbling in medicine and will quit sooner or later.

A screaming woman named Darlene is brought in after apparently being beaten up by her husband. Both spouses are drunk, and the husband, Eddie, says Darlene ran him over with her car. The cops believe him, though Darlene says she was trying to get away from her husband. She knows Billy, the officer who accompanied them in, is just siding with Eddie because they’re buddies. He’s handcuffed Darlene, but Carter makes him remove the cuffs so he can do his job. Billy demands that Carter get Darlene’s blood-alcohol level.

Benton tells Elizabeth that Allison’s leg injury is too bad to be repaired; they need to amputate. Elizabeth wants to do a procedure that she thinks will save the leg. Benton thinks Elizabeth just wants a guinea pig to practice the procedure on. Romano, of course, gets the tiebreaker, and he’s eager to see Elizabeth perform her procedure.

Weaver tells Mark that Jeanie is still fired, no matter what kind of protest she wants to stage. She hasn’t been able to reach Anspaugh. Mark’s happy he doesn’t have to deal with the stuff Weaver does. He gives Herb some scrubs and asks for some details on how, exactly, Herb plans to defend him from the Laws’ lawsuit (…heh). Herb says it doesn’t matter.

Billy urges Eddie to back him in filing charges against Darlene for assault with a deadly weapon. Apparently they’ve tried to press charges against her before, but Eddie always backs down. While Carter and Anna are telling Eddie that he’s not badly injured, Billy tries to force Chuny to draw Darlene’s blood for a blood-alcohol test. Darlene starts declining, so Carter and Anna rush to help her. Carter tells Billy he’ll need to get a warrant before they’ll agree to the blood draw. He knows both his and Darlene’s rights.

Apparently scrubs and a stethoscope are all you need to pass as a doctor, since Malik and Doyle both mistake Herb for one. Doyle thinks he’s from Synergix. It helps that he knows some medical stuff, having hired an ER doctor to teach him some terms and procedures. Mark sends him to the lounge to practice sutures on a pig’s foot.

Doug arrives and the nurses immediately put him to work. Carol runs up to him, eager for a reunion, but has to tone it down when she remembers other people are there. West invites Weaver to a Synergix conference in the Caribbean next week, which is definitely not an excuse for them to be alone in the tropics without anyone knowing that they’re totally sleeping together.

Mark sends Doug to an exam room to examine a patient complaining of insomnia and a loss of appetite. Doug suggests a psych consult, but Mark wants Doug to handle it himself. The patient is really Carol, and Mark wanted to give them some time alone. Cynthia catches them making out, and though Carol is briefly embarrassed about doing the same thing she told Cynthia not to do, she lets it go so she can go back to kissing her secret boyfriend.

Carter asks Mark what he should do if the police want blood from a patient who’s refused to give it. Herb tells him that he’s allowed to side with the patient and decline. He offers a consult if Carter needs one, but Mark pulls him away. Weaver catches Jeanie trying to help Yosh with a patient, and she’s finally fed up. She tells Chuny to call security, like Chuny should be dragged into this. She’s already on the phone, since Anspaugh is calling to summon Jeanie for a meeting.

Darlene’s blood alcohol is .270, but her vomit doesn’t show any pill fragments, so that’s one less thing for Carter and Anna to have to deal with. Billy arrives with the warrant for Darlene’s blood and asks for the stomach contents as well. That’s not on the warrant, so Carter flushes them right in front of Billy. Billy responds by arresting him for destroying evidence. Mark tries to step in, but Carter is nonchalant, knowing he was just protecting his patient’s rights.

Anspaugh, Jeanie, Weaver, and one of Jeanie’s lawyers meet to discuss the possibility that Jeanie was fired for something other than budget cuts. There’s a case for discrimination and a violation of the disciplinary process. Anspaugh determines that Jeanie will drop the matter if she gets her job back. He promises to have a decision today. After Jeanie and her lawyer leave, Weaver tells Anspaugh that if he hires Jeanie back, he’ll be giving in to blackmail. But Anspaugh knows the case could blow up, and he doesn’t want to deal with the bad PR.

Benton assists while Elizabeth and Romano perform her procedure on Allison. Mark asks Cynthia to find him when Rachel is dropped off at the hospital for a dentist’s appointment. Cynthia’s excited to meet her boyfriend’s daughter. Mark tries to call the hospital’s lawyer for Carter, but they’re not quite sure what to do. To add insult to injury, Darlene and Eddie are in the process of making up. “Carter went to jail for this?” Mark asks Anna dryly.

At the police station, Carter tries to name-drop, saying the commissioner is a family friend. The officer booking him is unimpressed. Carter smiles during his mug shot, because he has no idea what he’s doing. Carol asks Doug for advice on handling Jackson; she can’t figure out if he’s a drug-seeker or if he’s actually in pain. Either way, he’s not happy. Doug examines him, talking to him about what might have brought on his crisis. He tells Jackson to trust him, and Doug will trust him in turn. He gets Jackson to visualize a calm place, which helps him relax.

Weaver tells Jeanie that she can have her job back. Jeanie immediately gets back to work, ignoring Weaver when she claims the termination was never about her HIV. In the OR, Allison declines, and Benton tries hard to revive her. Romano decides they can’t take the time to give her CPR; they need to cut open her chest for compressions. Herb asks Mark to let him help reduce a woman’s dislocated elbow. He reminds Mark that they had a deal that would let Herb do actual procedures. Mark gives in, and Herb is thrilled to get to help.

Rachel arrives and immediately makes friends with Cynthia. While Mark’s distracted, Herb helps himself to a patient chart. Mark asks Cynthia to take Rachel to the dentist for her so he can figure out how to help Carter. Mark stops Herb from doing more sutures without supervision, but when they come across a patient in distress, Herb grabs a crash cart and shocks the patient before Mark can react. The patient stabilizes.

Jeanie meets up with Al and gives him the news that she got her job back. But Al has gotten the job he wanted in Atlanta and is eager to move. Jeanie doesn’t want to just walk away from a job she fought for. Al thinks she doesn’t believe in him. Jeanie knows he wants to keep his HIV status quiet in Atlanta, which will make her feel like they’re running away. Al wants a fresh start; Jeanie may have a life in Chicago, but he doesn’t. Jeanie says he doesn’t get what her job means to her.

Because he only committed a misdemeanor, Carter doesn’t have to wait for a fingerprint check, and he can leave lockup as soon as he pays his $100 bond. He tells the cop who booked him to run one of his credit cards. The police station only accepts cash, though, and all Carter has is the change Anna let him keep from her dollar.

At County, Mark decides that his deal with Herb is too much trouble, so it’s over. When Herb hears that Carter’s in jail, he tells Weaver it’s not a big deal. Then he tells Mark that he’s already taken care of his case – he got a buddy to convince the Laws to drop the charges. The patient Herb saved sings his praises in the hall as Herb leaves, pleased with his exciting day.

Jen shows up to get Rachel, unhappy to learn that Mark sent her off with Cynthia. She’s even less happy when she discovers that the two went to a salon after the dentist, and Cynthia let Rachel dye her hair pink and purple. (Fortunately, it’ll wash out.) Mark pretends he’s not upset, but he does ask for a night off from Cynthia.

Anna objects to letting Carter stay in jail all night when they can easily get a bail bondsman to get him out. She also knows they can’t call his family for help. Mark sends her off to handle things. Doug gives Jackson some medication, and Weaver complains that he helped a drug-seeker get exactly what he wanted. Doug believes Jackson’s story and says he can’t function without pain medication. Weaver says people live in pain but suck it up. Doug thinks she’s suffering the consequences of all the responsibilities she’s taken on.

Cynthia emotionally apologizes to Mark for overstepping her boundaries with Rachel. She thinks Jen hates her now (to be fair, I don’t think there are many people Jen doesn’t hate). Mark tries to comfort her. Carter is left in lockup with a muscled guy who knows he’s a doctor. Despite his angry demeanor, the guy is also in for obstruction of justice. He pulls down his pants, freaking Carter out, but he just wants Carter to examine a bump. Carter’s actually about to when Anna arrives with his bail. He’s so happy to see her that he kisses her.

Anna jokes that this is Carter’s Christmas present. She tells him that Darlene did, in fact, try to kill Eddie, but they’ve made up. Carter laments that he could have had lunch with Chase after all. Anna notes that it’s expensive to have a rich friend. Benton brings Elizabeth some tea as she checks on Allison after surgery. Her leg is still attached, but now she’s in a coma. Elizabeth wonders if she did surgery because of personal reasons, not because it was best for Allison. Benton admits that he also struggles with the balance between helping and being ambitious.

Weaver has to take a break on a bench as she heads home that night. Jeanie thinks Al has already left by the time she gets home, but he’s still around, wanting to see if she’s changed her mind. Jeanie says again that she’s worked too hard to walk away from her job, no matter how she’s been treated there. Al doesn’t want to walk away from their relationship, either. They’ve been together on and off since they were teens. But this is where it ends for them, and it’s the last time we’ll ever see Al.

Thoughts: Jackson is played by Hill Harper.

I’m totally sympathetic to Jeanie, but showing up to your job after you’ve been laid off makes you look crazy.

I’m so disappointed we didn’t get a scene where Millicent got a call about her grandson getting arrested for standing up to the police.

Remember how Anspaugh was painted as tough and tyrannical when he was first introduced? He’s actually very fair and level-headed.

July 9, 2019

ER 4.8, Freak Show: Reversal of Fortune

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

Cher’s dad got bitten by a snake

Summary: Mark and Carol are back from California and ready to go back to work. He’s feeling refreshed, which Carol is pleased about, because maybe he’ll stop being a jerk at County. Doug is still away, but he sent a note back with Mark for Carol. At the hospital, Carter and Anna work on a patient together, making polite conversation while he tries to figure out if she’s still mad that he never told her his family is super-rich. (The answer is yup!)

Benton and Romano also make awkward small talk about Romano’s reservations about accepting Benton onto his team. Can he play nice with Elizabeth? And more importantly, can he keep up with her? Benton says yes, so Romano suggests a trial run. The waiting area is packed when Carol and Mark get to County. Cynthia tells Carol that people are there for her new free clinic. It’s not supposed to open until next week, but Cynthia put out an announcement with the wrong date. The not-yet-existent clinic will just have to find a way to accommodate them early.

Carol is so busy that she doesn’t have time to open Doug’s note. She was also supposed to work in the ER, but will have to skip her shift to run the clinic. Weaver agrees to sub in a transferring nurse, Yosh Takada, who makes a poor first impression by tripping over a cart. Jeanie’s finishing up her time at County in the wake of her firing, though Doyle thinks she should try to fight the termination. Jeanie says she’ll just move to Atlanta with Al. Doyle thinks she was fired because of her HIV status, though Jeanie accepts the explanation that it was for budget purposes.

Mark meets up with Cynthia, who he didn’t talk to the whole time he was in California. He gives her the necklace he got at the pawn shop, which she loves. He compliments her coffee after Connie and Lydia say it’s awful. A 12-year-old boy named Rodney who was hit by a car is brought in with internal injuries. Benton and Weaver study his X-rays, which Benton thinks were mislabeled, since they’re backwards. He quickly realizes that, in fact, Rodney’s internal organs are reversed.

Yosh is coming to the clinic from chart review, so he doesn’t work with patients much. Carol tells him to get patients started and check their vitals, then send them to triage if they seem to need emergency care. She laments that she didn’t have an extra week to get more organized. Mark is busy with Doug out of town, but he agrees to help out however he can. Cynthia gives him some papers sent by a lawyer, but Mark wants to put ignore them for as long as possible.

Elizabeth has looked up Rodney’s condition and hasn’t found any published cases, which means Benton could be the first to write about it. Romano invites her to join them as they operate. Benton pretends he’s not territorial. Carter wants a truce with Anna, though she’s trying to play things off like his lies aren’t a big deal. Henry comes by to thank Carter for giving him time to work on his research when he was supposed to be in the ER. But since Carter wasn’t able to evaluate his work, Henry has to repeat his clerkship. Carter and Henry ride again!

Weaver tells Jeanie that she’s given her a recommendation at a hospital in Atlanta. Jeanie is understandably cold to her. A man brings in a bunch of people from a shelter to be seen in the clinic, thanks to encouragement from Cynthia. Carol snaps at her, so Mark pulls her aside and tells her to keep her criticisms out of earshot of the rest of the staff. Carol, of course, doesn’t appreciate getting her own dressing down.

A nurse snaps pictures as Benton, Romano, and Elizabeth operate on Rodney. Benton jokes about putting a mirror on the ceiling to reverse the organs to their proper locations. Romano, of course, cracks a joke about having one in his bedroom. He hopes they can find Rodney’s family soon, since he wants permission to collect some blood and samples. Benton and Elizabeth agree to work on publishing the case together.

Carter uses a mnemonic device to teach Henry the bones of the wrist. Anna has a different mnemonic because she learned different terms for the bones. Both are sex-related. Guys, just take your clothes off already and save the rest of us from having to watch this. Cynthia finds Doug’s note and thinks it’s for her, since it’s only labeled with her initials, “C.H.”

A man named Herb Spivak comes in with a snake bite sustained while feeding a python at a reptile farm. Ellis West lures Weaver out to the parking garage to tell her that Synergix has approved extra attending coverage. He wants to thank her for her cooperation with flowers. Rodney’s surgery is successful, and his father, Isaac, has arrived at the hospital. He recognizes Benton as a high school classmate. Benton promises that they’ll do what they can to help Rodney make a full recovery.

Carol discovers that Doug’s note is missing, and no, she doesn’t want Cynthia’s help finding it, thank you. Mark treats Herb, whose snake bite isn’t venomous, though he’ll have to have the python’s teeth removed from his chest. The reptile guy, a knockoff Steve Irwin, has brought the python, Flora, with him in case she needs to be swabbed for bacteria. Malik will opt out of that task.

Anspaugh brings some students to Rodney’s bed to use him as a teaching case. He’s eager to eventually see photos from the surgery. He’s also pleased with Benton’s work. Romano hopes that Benton’s past with Isaac will be an advantage when they ask Isaac to let them do tests on Rodney to learn more about his condition. Elizabeth offers to talk to Isaac instead, since Benton might be uncomfortable talking to someone he has a personal connection with. Benton insists that they don’t have a connection, but his worry is that Isaac will think they’re using Rodney for personal gain.

Jeanie meets Yosh and is upset to learn that he was transferred to the ER during what was supposedly a hiring freeze. Herb tells Mark about other injuries he’s sustained, like during a scuba diving mishap. He’s a lawyer defending Knockoff Steve Irwin, AKA Gary, in a wrongful-death suit (someone claims Flora ate their dog). In exchange for Herb’s legal counsel, he gets to hang out with snakes.

Al didn’t get the job he was interviewing for in Atlanta, but Jeanie is sure he’ll find something else. Carol chats with her about how much work is going into running the clinic – she doesn’t even have a doctor available to write prescriptions. Jeanie points out that, as a PA, she can do that. And it’s not like she can get in trouble for working in the clinic instead of the ER. After all, she’s already been fired.

Cynthia has read Doug ‘s note and thinks Mark wrote it for her. He plays along, and she says her answer is yes, she will. Benton tells Isaac that Rodney’s blood may not be clotting properly, so he could require a transfusion. Isaac isn’t aware of Rodney’s reversed organs, which are one of the reasons he’s in critical condition. If his organs were in the right places, his liver wouldn’t have been injured. Benton gently asks if they can draw some of Isaac and his ex-wife’s blood to do some genetic tests. Isaac easily agrees, willing to do anything to help his son.

Carter oversees Henry’s examination of a patient, something Carter could have done on his own in one-fifth the time. Jeanie proves extremely helpful at the clinic, and she tells Carol she wishes she had her guts to fight for something she wants. Carol encourages her to look for ammo she can use. While Benton’s drawing blood for testing, Rodney has complications relating to his inability to clot. Isaac panics helplessly while Benton and Elizabeth work on the boy.

Connie tells Mark that Cynthia really, really likes him. Mark says they’re just having fun, but since the necklace he gave her contains a diamond, Connie says it’s “serious fun.” He tries to dig in Cynthia’s purse to read Doug’s note, but Weaver catches him. Mark questions some parts of the budget (like the part where Weaver’s making more money than he is), though he approved them months ago.

Henry’s looking sick as Carter finally calls time of death on his never-ending patient history. He thinks it’s from allergies, but Carter has no sympathy. Anna comes in immediately afterward to tend to the patient she thinks is hers. Carol gives a little boy named Hector a shot, then examines his chin, since his mom says he keeps complaining about it. When she touches it, Hector says he doesn’t feel anything. After a lot of blood loss and 20 minutes without a pulse, Benton and Elizabeth are still working on Rodney. Elizabeth finally decides that they need to let him go.

Jeanie asks Weaver if she can look at the ER budget. Weaver says her termination isn’t personal, but Jeanie wants to look at the facts and make sure they support Weaver’s claims. After all, there was supposedly a hiring freeze, but Yosh has been hired. Weaver says he’s replacing two nurses who left. Jeanie questions Weaver’s recent raise, but Weaver won’t address that with her.

Carol asks Carter if he’s ever had a patient with a numb chin. Anna finds them with her patient; Henry didn’t sign him out on the board, so she didn’t know that Henry had already done his history and physical. “Actually, I’m quite fond of all of you,” the patient says. Carter thinks he needs surgery, but Anna wants to treat him medically first. Carter agrees, making Anna think he’s giving in to appease her. He lies that he was already considering alternatives to surgery.

Weaver slams Mark for telling Jeanie their salaries, which he denies doing. The patients in the waiting area have disappeared, thanks to some quick thinking by Carol, who gave them Doyle’s unused meal tickets and sent them to the cafeteria. She’s looking up Hector’s numb chin in the hospital’s medical database, but the medical terminology isn’t giving her anything. Mark tells her to just look up “numb chin.” Success!

Benton asks Isaac if they can autopsy Rodney’s body. Isaac doesn’t get why it’s necessary, since his cause of death is apparent. Benton says it would be important for research into his condition. Isaac thinks Benton’s shown so much interest in Rodney not because of his injuries but because of his condition. Now Isaac doesn’t want him to be studied. He’s already been through enough. Benton realizes that Isaac is right and leaves him alone with Rodney’s body.

Henry, still not feeling well, struggles to help Carter with a trauma patient. Carter thinks it’s from seeing blood, but when he passes out and Lydia checks on him, she realizes it’s more serious. She pulls Mark, Anna, and Malik into the trauma room to help both Henry and Carter’s patient. Carter still thinks Henry was just lightheaded; he complained all day about feeling sick, but he’s a hypochondriac. Soon, he realizes that Henry has had a bad reaction to his latex gloves. It’s bad enough to cause respiratory arrest, though Anna and Carter are able to help him. Herb, also in the room, assures Mark that everything’s under control.

Benton tells Romano that he’s rethinking his decision to join Romano’s team. He didn’t press Isaac about letting them study Rodney, and he doesn’t feel comfortable bringing it up again. Romano thinks they have a responsibility to study that “freak of nature” because that’s how medical breakthroughs are made. Benton argues that Rodney was a little boy, and Isaac has made his wishes known. Romano warns him against sentimentality and orders him to get Isaac’s consent. Benton tells him to get someone else to do it.

Carol tells Weaver that her research about Hector has led to a diagnosis of leukemia. Carol asks Weaver to talk to Hector’s mother, who might feel more comfortable talking with a doctor about his diagnosis, but Weaver thinks Carol should do it, since the mom already knows her.

Herb is now in the doctors’ lounge, hanging out with Mark’s lawyer, Alan, whom he knows from some committee. Alan thinks Herb is now representing Mark, and he’s thrilled about that. He reveals that Mark came close to losing his job over the Kenny Law case. After Alan leaves, Herb tells Mark that Alan is a horrible lawyer and just jumped to the conclusion that Herb was defending Mark. He’d be happy to take the case, though. Mark can’t afford him, but Herb is willing to make a trade. He’ll make the civil suit go away for free if Mark lets him shadow him in the ER.

Thanks to Elizabeth, Isaac has agreed to let the doctors do a case study on Hector. And despite Benton’s refusal to obey his commands, Romano still wants Benton on his team. Elizabeth thinks Romano likes him because of his backbone. Henry’s recovering from anaphylactic shock and kind of remembers Carter and Anna helping him. He also saw a bright light and had an out-of-body experience. Henry praises how well Carter and Anna worked together to save him. They’re his angels.

Carol finally gets Doug’s note back and confides to Elizabeth that it’s a love letter. Elizabeth wishes she hadn’t broken up with her boyfriend back home, which leaves her without someone to write a love letter to. She invites Carol to get a drink with her. Weaver joins a meeting between Jeanie and Anspaugh, whom Jeanie approached to discuss the budget. She thinks her termination and Weaver’s subsequent raise point to something other than just budget cuts. Was she fired because of her HIV status? Anspaugh asks for some time to go over the figures again.

Weaver asks Jeanie if she’s really going to use her health like this. Weaver fought to keep Jeanie on staff at County, then worked to get her a job in Atlanta. She’s never discriminated against Jeanie because of her status. Jeanie throws Weaver’s “it’s nothing personal” claim back in her face. Mark and Cynthia get drunk in his bed and he gives her some lingerie. She quotes part of Doug’s note, which, of course, Mark doesn’t recognize, though he’s still going to pretend he does. Whatever she agreed to from the note, she wants him to do it first. And fortunately, we don’t have to find out what that was.

Thoughts: Herb is played by Dan Hedaya. Isaac is played by Harold Perrineau.

For some reason, I’ve remembered the “numb chin” thing for years.

The only problem with Henry’s plot is that he’s not wearing gloves when he first starts feeling sick. Shouldn’t that make him feel better? Also…he’s never come into contact with latex before? Ever?

June 18, 2019

ER 4.5, Good Touch, Bad Touch: Instead of Opening a Free Clinic, Carol Should Host Anger-Management Classes

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

Is this the good touch or the bad touch?

Summary: Carol’s in bed, but not asleep. She’s brainstorming ideas for ways County can reach out to the underserved, such as teen moms. Doug is half-listening while he sets up a video camera. He mentions that Carol once accused him of taping himself with other women. Now he’s focused on making her happy. Benton’s at Carla’s, trying to study for a procedure, but Reese hasn’t yet learned to be patient. Benton passive-aggressively tries to wake up Carla, who ignores him. Reese settles down when Benton reads aloud from his procedure book, which makes sense, because that would definitely put me to sleep.

Mark is up late, watching TV and ignoring a phone call that turns out to be a wrong number. The person calling leaves an angry message for the woman he thinks lives there. Mark picks up to tell him he misdialed, getting angry when the guy won’t back off. So yeah, his anger issues are still there. In the morning, he runs into Benton, who’s started drinking coffee. Benton clarifies that Rachel was born while Mark was in med school. Mark says that was a mistake, which doesn’t make Benton feel better.

Jeanie asks Mark to look at a patient who may need surgery. Carol greets a homeless man named Pablo who was hoping to get some TLC from Haleh. Carol tells him she’ll be at work tomorrow. Carter and Anna discuss Ivan, who’s still struggling with bloody traumas. Mark examines Jeanie’s patient, a woman who doesn’t want medical treatment so much as she wants Mark to grope her. He runs off as soon as he can.

Carter teaches Ivan how to insert a catheter in a patient’s penis, and I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want an inexperienced med student doing that to me if I had that anatomy. Another patient, Ernesto, wanders in and says he wishes he knew who’d done that procedure on him last time he was in the hospital. Mark runs into Cynthia and confides that he’s distracted because he has to give a deposition that afternoon in the Kenny Law case. Cynthia offers to help him relax with a back rub.

Mark heads into the bathroom, where Doug asks where things are going with Cynthia. Mark denies that he’s interested in her or anyone else, and if he were, he wouldn’t ask Doug for advice. Anna and James tend to a college student named Brett who had shortness of breath while out for a run. He’s a track star and is worried that he has a condition that will keep him from running.

Carol tells Weaver about her idea for patient follow-up after they’re seen in the ER. She’d like to open a women’s and children’s clinic staffed entirely by volunteers. Weaver thinks it’s an okay idea, but there’s no money in the budget. Though she can’t take on another project, she appreciates Carol’s input.

Doyle bickers with Ernesto, who wants to leave before his gunshot wound is examined for the last time. Carter volunteers to do it, but Ernesto’s out of patience and just pulls out his IV to leave. He licks the blood off his arm (ew) and tells Doyle, “Bye-bye, chica.” Charming. Doyle asks if Ivan’s going to be sick. I don’t know, but I might.

Benton does the procedure he was studying, but he can’t answer a question Anspaugh poses about another method. He’s falling behind in some of his tasks, so Anspaugh sends him to complete his charts while Elizabeth finishes the surgery. Anna looks at Brett’s x-rays and discovers that he may have testicular cancer. Doug offers to do the testicular exam, since Brett might feel more comfortable with a male doctor doing it, but Anna gets defensive. Because Anna’s feelings are more important than the patient’s comfort level.

Pablo comes back, so Carol sends Cynthia to tell him to come back tomorrow. Carter calls for a surgical consult and, unfortunately, gets Dale. It’s a simple procedure that Carter could have handled himself, except for the fact that he’s not allowed to, since he’s not in surgery anymore. Dale mentions that Robert “Rocket” Romano is back at County. I let out the loudest, most frustrated groan ever heard on the planet.

Carter leaves Dale with his patient to take care of a man named Tom who was in a car accident. He says he had a blinding headache before he crashed. Even though he has a head wound and a history of hypertension, Carter asks Connie to work him up for an abdominal issue. Anna tells Brett that he needs a testicular exam, and though he’s a little nervous, he submits. Things get awkward when he gets an erection during the exam. Anna tells him it’s common and he shouldn’t be embarrassed. Brett needs a minute to collect himself.

Weaver chastises Carter lightly for ordering abdominal scans for Tom, even though he presented with symptoms of a tumor that Carter thought needed to be checked out. She asks him to check with her in the future before he spends so much of the hospital’s money. Weaver tells Carol that an ER clinic is a great idea, and she can look into grants to fund it. Carol says she wasn’t planning to actually set it up, but Weaver thinks she should see her own idea through.

Jeanie tells Weaver that Mark walked out in the middle of an exam. She thinks he needs to leave his bad mood at home when he comes to work. Anna finishes with Brett and tells him he has a mass on one of his testicles. It may have spread and caused the spots on his lungs that left him short of breath. He starts taking notes while Anna goes over what will happen next. She tells him he’ll need to talk to an oncologist for more information, but Brett wants answers now. She tells him he may need surgery and chemo.

Mark takes a nap in an on-call room, getting woken up by his lawyer, Alan, who thinks he should be more prepared for his deposition. Mark thinks they should have settled already, but the Laws are insistent that they get at least eight figures for Kenny’s death. Mark says the other lawyer’s questions won’t rattle him – he did everything he could to save Kenny.

Benton finds it hard to concentrate on the giant stack of records he has to complete. He tries to talk to another doctor about balancing parenthood with work, but the other doctor lets his wife take care of all the family stuff, so he’s no help. Carter and Anna have lunch together, and he turns her down when she tries to pay for half. She still thinks he’s a poor resident like her. Weaver tells Carter that he was right about Tom’s condition, so the tests he ordered were necessary after all.

Mark and Cynthia have a conversation about snack cakes, which puts him in a good mood for the first time all day. Weaver pulls him aside to tell him that the groping patient, Miriam, is a Medicare patient, so the hospital won’t get reimbursed until a doctor completes a full exam. Mark wonders why they have physicians’ assistants if doctors have to examine all the Medicare patients.

Carol looks through grant applications, and Chuny mentions that a well-known clinic at another hospital was also started by a nurse. Carter and Weaver rush to Tom’s room, where he’s experiencing heart problems because of his tumor. Romano and Dale arrive to whisk him off to surgery, the world Carter gave up for the ER. Carter may regret leaving the glamour of surgery, but at least he gets praise from Weaver.

Benton falls asleep in the records room, but Elizabeth wakes him up with some tea. She offers to get him on a team for a high-tech surgery Romano will be performing the next day. Romano is her sponsor for her job in the States, and she thinks Benton should get in good with him. Benton already has enough to deal with and says he’s not interested.

Anna goes looking for Brett, who appears to have taken off. Ivan asks Carter for help with a blood draw, so Carter loudly complains that he’s about to put his years of medical training to the test by doing a simple procedure. Is it lonely up there on your high horse, Carter? Carol and Chuny try again to explain to Pablo that Haleh isn’t there, so he’ll need to come back tomorrow.

Carter and Ivan’s patient is a long-time IV drug user, which makes it hard for them to find a vein to draw blood from. The patient offers to find one himself, inserting a needle in his chest and drawing his own blood. Carter’s thrilled but still tells Ivan to never let a patient do that. Ivan responds by passing out. Maybe Ivan should look into a different profession.

Anna admits to Doug that she screwed up and lost Brett. If they can find him, she’d like Doug to take over his case and help him realize that losing a testicle won’t be the end of the world. They rush off to help Mark with a combative patient, McNamara, who needs to be restrained. He kicks Chuny while he’s thrashing around, so Mark grabs his injured leg and yells at him to settle down. Doug sends him out of the trauma room.

Carter gives Ivan some stitches for a wound he sustained when he passed out. Carter thinks that once he sees some more traumas, he’ll be able to handle them better. Ivan wonders that his life plans are a bad decision. Benton apologizes to Anspaugh for making errors that morning and for falling behind with his charts. Anspaugh says they all cut him some slack when Reese was in the NICU, but now that he’s home, Benton needs to get with the program. It’s not just for his own career – Elizabeth is so talented that she’s liable to surpass all the other surgeons.

Connie tells Carol that the nurse who started the other clinic got her grant because her father has connections. That’s not going to be an option for Carol. Brett returns to County, and Anna offers to let him talk to Doug instead, but Brett doesn’t care who gives him the possibly bad news about his prognosis. She encourages him to call his family so he’s not alone in whatever happens. Doug sees the two of them talking but leaves them alone.

Mark goes out by the water for a cigarette and chats with Cynthia again. She thinks the way he handled McNamara was great, since no one else could get him under control. She offers a back rub again, and this time he accepts. They head back to the hospital when he gets paged for his deposition. Carter suggests that Carol look for a grant from a private foundation. His grandmother has one, and she hears all sorts of crazy ideas, so a pitch for a clinic might get somewhere.

Mark gets deposed, and the lawyer brings up the Jodi O’Brien case, another instance in which Mark was blamed for a death. He felt regret but not guilt over Jodi’s death; people die at the hospital all the time. After Kenny’s death, Mark also felt regret. He insists that he gave the same care to both patients regardless of race. Chris scoffs at that, and Mark yells that he, of all people, can’t accuse Mark of anything.

He won’t answer the lawyer’s question about whether he holds a white life above a black life. He admits that he’s fallible, then gets even more upset when the lawyer mentions again that Kenny was black. Mark shouts that if she wants him to say he’s racist, then fine, he’s racist. Does that make Chris feel better about beating him up? Chris looks surprised about that accusation. He blasts Mark for never expressing any regret to his mother after she lost her son. “You belong in jail,” Mark spits as he leaves the deposition. Chris says he wishes he had been the one to beat Mark up.

Carter can’t get any answers about Tom’s surgery, so he goes to the OR himself. He arrives as Dale is getting thanked by Tom’s wife and son for saving his life. Carter introduces himself, but Tom’s wife doesn’t care about the work done by the guy who actually diagnosed her husband and led to his life being saved. Poor, unappreciated Carter. Pablo comes back yet again, and this time Carol says she’ll take care of him herself. Doug asks Mark how things went at the deposition, but Mark leaves without talking to him.

Elizabeth introduces Benton to Romano, and Romano immediately shows his true personality by asking if Benton thinks Chris Rock is funny. You see, because Benton is black, and Chris Rock is black, so why not ask one black man’s opinion about another black man? Romano complains that Rock uses the N-word too much – if Romano used it, Benton would want to smack him. Benton says he thinks Rock is hilarious. After he leaves, Romano tells Elizabeth that he likes Benton.

Carol cleans Pablo up, learning the kind of personal care Haleh gives him, like listening to his chest because he’s had pneumonia before. He enthusiastically tells her that he would come to a free clinic if one opened at the hospital. Carter tells Benton that he made a great diagnosis today, but Dale got all the glory. Benton tells him Dale is a weasel, and Carter’s twice the surgeon Dale will ever be. Carter asks if Benton’s enjoying fatherhood, and Benton happily says he is.

Jeanie and Al go to a bar, and she’s annoyed when he ponies up for a pool, even though they said they were going to be more careful with their money. Al’s friend Bill comes in and glares, mad that Al exposed him to HIV. Jeanie encourages Al to say hi, but Al knows he wouldn’t be well-received. Bill yells across the bar that he wants to know how Al contracted HIV. When Jeanie tries to intervene, Bill calls her a nasty word, so Al gets aggressive. Jeanie tries to make Al leave, but Bill isn’t satisfied. He calls Al a gay slur and throws a beer bottle, which leads to a brutal fight between the friends. Even Jeanie can’t get Al to just walk away.

Thoughts: I’m pretty sure the Doug/Anna rivalry ends fairly quickly, which is good because it’s dumb.

If you want to know how bored Benton is in the records room, he’s making small talk with people he does’t know. He’s voluntarily talking to strangers. Normally, he doesn’t even voluntarily talk to people he knows!

How many times can a med student get sick or pass out before he gets kicked out of the program? What hospital or med school wants to spend the money to train a guy who can’t even stay upright during a routine procedure, let alone an emergency? Imagine applying to med school and losing your spot to that guy.

June 4, 2019

ER 4.3, Friendly Fire: Weaver’s in Charge and Everything Is…Fine

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

Same, Cynthia

Summary: Doug drives Carol to an El platform so they can keep pretending they’re not practically living together. At County, Tabash tells Benton and Carla that Reese is doing well enough to probably be able to go home the next week. Time for the next Benton/Carla disagreement: Should Reese be circumcised? Carla is pro; Benton is against. He considers his opinion the final decision.

Instead of working, Mark passes work off to Anna and watches Jerry Springer in the lounge. Weaver, meanwhile, takes on more work, accepting the position of acting chief of emergency services. Anspaugh confides that not everyone is a fan of Morgenstern’s management practices. Weaver already has a plan to get things back under budget, even if it means making enemies. She’s fine with that – just like many reality-show participants, she’s not here to make friends.

Cynthia arrives for her first day of work, confusing Carol, who didn’t realize Mark had given her the job. Weaver quickly starts changing policies and practices while Carter hunts for Henry. Carol complains to Mark that he hired a dud, but Mark, like Benton, thinks his decision is the final word.

Carla asks Anna if she thinks Reese should be circumcised. Anna says it’s something she recommends for patients, and Carla shouldn’t have any second thoughts. Carla asks her to do it. Since Anna and Chasity are getting all the cases Carter’s missing, Carter’s available to take a trauma patient after a motorcycle accident. No one can insert an IV, so Carter opts for a central line. Maggie comes in and pulls rank, taking over the case and sending Carter to do sutures.

Al comes in after an incident with a crane at a construction site. He’s scraped up but mostly fine. Weaver questions why Doug’s salary is being paid by the emergency services department, which means they’re underwriting his fellowship. She’d like to read his research proposal.

Carter continues hunting for Henry, then complains to Mark that Doyle pulled him from a trauma and gave it to Anna. She’s been doing that a lot lately. Mark tells Carter that he’ll have to keep doing sutures unless he can get Henry to do them for him. Carter gets a call on his hilarious mid-’90s cell phone, but reception in the hallway isn’t great. Anna warns about how big a bill he could be racking up.

Jeanie fixes up Al while a paramedic tends to his friend Bill. He mentions that Al fell on him, so all the blood on him is Al’s. Jeanie and Al both freeze. Carol takes care of Casey, a guy from the same construction site who grabbed a live cable to try to save everyone else. Casey’s boss doesn’t want him to report his hand injuries to workers’ comp so the boss doesn’t get in trouble. Carol notes that that will keep Casey from receiving disability while he’s out of work.

Anna hands a case off to Carter, a woman named Kirsten whose husband was unable to wake her this morning. He doesn’t know of any illness or injuries she had that would leave her unconscious. Carter does a test to determine if there’s something wrong with Kirsten’s brain stem, and he clearly doesn’t like the results, but he doesn’t want to tell Kirsten’s husband, Josh, that anything bad has happened.

Benton goes to visit Reese and catches Anna in the middle of circumcising him. Benton argues that Carla had no right to ask Anna to do the procedure. Carter shows Mark Kirsten’s scans and shares his diagnosis of an infarction. Mark agrees and says she’ll probably start declining quickly. Carter feels horrible that he has to tell Josh that his 27-year-old wife is about to die. Mark casually reminds him to ask about organ donation.

As Carol’s gathering Casey’s things, she finds a joint and realizes that he was high at work. He thinks his status as a hero cancels out the fact that he may have caused the situation that led to his heroics in the first place. Carol heads off to fill in Casey’s boss. Cynthia’s first day is going well, but there seems to be some skepticism (at least from Jerry and Haleh) that she should have been hired.

Heather pops in again, trying to get Mark to go out with her. Mark begs off, claiming it’s not because he doesn’t want to spend time with her. A man named Ed comes in with a gunshot wound to the leg, accidentally sustained when he was cleaning a gun. His wife, Glenda, wants to take some of their other weapons into the hospital since they’re expensive and can’t be left in their car. Malik tells Jerry to stash it behind the admit desk.

Carla and Benton bicker about the circumcision, and I’m just going to say that they’re both in the wrong here. He was a jerk for putting his foot down without discussion, and she was a jerk for going behind his back. She thinks he was just against the circumcision because he isn’t circumcised. Benton doesn’t think that’s a big deal. Carla says the real problem is that he shut her down.

Carter has given the bad news to Josh that Kirsten had a stroke and is going to die soon. Josh is in denial, thinking she could still get better, and doesn’t want to just do nothing until she dies. Carter pauses a respectable amount of time before mentioning organ donation. Fortunately, Josh responds well, saying that Kirsten would want to help people. But suddenly, that conversation is out the window: Kirsten’s awake.

Mark, Weaver, and Doyle are working on Ed when Carter pulls Mark out to see Kirsten. Mark’s shocked, since people with her kind of stroke don’t ever wake up. He sees for himself that Kirsten is awake, then reexamines her scans. Rather than a stroke, Kirsten has an aneurysm that caused swelling in her brain stem, which led to her loss of consciousness. She’ll need an MRI right away before the aneurysm bursts.

Jeanie asks Al if Bill knows his HIV status. Al says no, and he doesn’t see the point in telling him, since Bill didn’t have any cuts, so he couldn’t have been infected. Jeanie disagrees about keeping quiet, but Al’s afraid that word will spread and he’ll end up without a job. Jeanie thinks the responsible thing is to tell Bill so he can get tested just in case.

Glenda shows Jerry her collection of guns while Ed is getting x-rays. The couple has some connection to a guy who trains “patriots” on using weapons. Cynthia asks if she means a guy like David Koresh. Glenda’s face indicates that that was the wrong thing to say.

She offers to sell Jerry a grenade launcher, which I’m sure he’d have a lot of use for in Chicago. She promises Cynthia that it’s unusable; it’s illegal to sell usable ordnance. But there’s a kit he can get that will change that. Jerry jokes about shooting his neighbor’s loud dog. Not funny, Jerry. Also not funny: The weapon is actually loaded after all, and Jerry accidentally fires a grenade through the lobby, out the door in the ambulance bay. He hits Ed and Glenda’s truck, setting off all the ammo inside.

Firefighters put out the resulting fire, and Glenda is arrested as she protests that the weapons are her personal property. Cynthia has ringing in her ears, so Mark checks her over. She tells him that, even after this, she feels safe at County, thanks to all the doctors. Somehow they start talking about Death of a Salesman, and how sad it is when Willy Loman looks back over his life and realizes there was nothing there.

Benton, Elizabeth, and Anspaugh operate on Ed, the latter two hitting it off well. Paramedics bring in Laura, Carol’s bulimic patient from the previous week; her eating disorder has led to her vomiting blood. Doyle’s mad that Laura wasn’t admitted to psych when she was last at County. When she learns that Mark didn’t authorize it, Doyle complains that they’re picking up his slack.

While undergoing an MRI, Kirsten starts declining again. Carter tells Josh that she needs immediate surgery, but Josh no longer trusts the doctors’ decisions. First they said she was going to die; then she woke up and seemed fine. He doesn’t think Kirsten really needs surgery. Mark steps in and tells Josh that she’ll die without it. Josh backs down and consents to the operation.

After Ed’s surgery is over, Elizabeth tells Benton that she thinks Anspaugh is a gasbag. She’s not used to “old tossers” coming to the OR; in the U.K., they’re too lazy. Benton is amused and tells her she can feel free to keep speaking her mind. At the admit desk, Haleh, Malik, and Connie giggle over how there was an actual explosion on Weaver’s first day in charge. Weaver overhears and says she’s just glad no one was hurt.

She reminds Doug that she wants to read his research, then goes to help Doyle with a patient. She tries to gain Doyle as an ally, warning that the county would love to close the ER. All her policy changes are an attempt to save it. She really hopes some people will understand and come on board. Doyle’s like, “…Yes, I am so on board, scary lady.”

Mark bursts into an OR to try to pull a surgeon named Corelli out of a procedure to operate on Kirsten. Doug and Elizabeth tend to a boy with a hernia, and she praises his bedside manner with kids. Carol’s in and out of the room as Elizabeth asks Doug to go out on the town with her. Carol dismisses herself before Doug can tell Elizabeth he’s seeing someone. That’s not a problem for Elizabeth, who really just wants people to spend time with.

Al and Jeanie tell Bill that he may have been exposed to Al’s HIV. Bill’s upset that Al never told him or their co-workers. He agrees to get tested, but since Jeanie also has HIV, Bill doesn’t want her touching him. Doug chases down Carol to tell her that he has no interest in Elizabeth and certainly didn’t flirt with her. He told her he was seeing someone but didn’t mention Carol’s name. If Carol wants to keep dating, she’ll have to trust him.

Carter gives Mark the good news that Kirsten got to surgery in time and has a great chance at a full recovery. He wants to take Mark to see Josh so Josh can thank him, but Mark gives Carter all the credit. Carol tells Mark that Laura’s now going to be admitted to psych. Mark admits that he screwed up by not having her admitted before. Carol lets him off easy, but Mark says he didn’t go the extra mile in patient care. Carol doesn’t think it should just be the doctor’s responsibility. There needs to be a safety net.

Haleh tells Carol that Weaver is punching everyone out, like she threatened. Interns will take over the nurses’ tasks. Weaver tells Carol that nurses spend the ends of their shifts slacking off anyway. They don’t generate income, so their extra hours shouldn’t be compensated. Carol’s like, “Yeah, saving money is definitely more important than the patient care we provide.”

Mark decides to go out with Heather after all, I guess because he doesn’t want to be Willy Loman looking back on his pointless life. Weaver tells Jerry that he has almost a month’s worth of unused vacation time, so she suggests that he take it now. Doyle reminds Carter that he was supposed to be doing sutures today, but he kept doing other things. Carter accuses her of giving Anna special treatment because of a personal interest. Doyle laughs that off, then compliments Anna’s hair when she comes in.

Carter appreciates that Anna gave Kirsten’s case to him, so he offers to return the favor with dinner. Instead, Anna asks for help figuring out tax deductions. He invites her to chat about it over dinner, because he can’t take a hint. She tells him she has to do laundry tonight, so he invites himself along.

Doug and Carol meet up on an El platform, and she’s past her jealousy over Elizabeth. Mark and Heather go to dinner, and he tells her he’s missed her. Carter slums it in a Laundromat, which leads to physical comedy with a shaking dryer. The sandwiches Anna gets them for dinner end up in a machine with the clothes. Mark and Heather try to have sex, but he either can’t perform or is just left unsatisfied. He wants to smoke, but she asks him to do it outside, since she’s allergic. He decides to just leave instead.

Thoughts: Fun with out-of-context quotes: “What happened to that boy’s penis should have been left up to me.”

Today’s lesson: You can keep any weapons you want at the front desk as long as you say they’re not usable. Security won’t even notice.

I believe the situation was that Abraham Benrubi needed time off to do another show, so they had to find a way to temporarily write him out. They couldn’t have gone with something less ridiculous?

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