February 25, 2020

ER 5.17, Sticks and Stones: Sweet-Faced, Do-Gooder Baby Doc Is Carter’s Wrestling Name

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

I think Weaver might have developed a little crush on Kornberg

Summary: Now that George Clooney has left the show to be a movie star Doug has run away to the West Coast, Carol is living alone. Sad music tells us how to feel when she wakes up alone in the middle of the night. Carter is having a much better night, loving his shift on a paramedic ride-along. He tells Doyle and Jerry that they’ve brought in a crazy woman. If a woman in a large birdcage, dressed as a bird and making bird noises is crazy, then he’s right. She pecks at Jerry’s hand and stares at him. Yosh, who appears to know a lot about birds, tells Jerry that his gaze is threatening her.

Carol mopes on her coach, watching a home-shopping channel. At County, Malik brings Weaver to a patient he thinks Jerry will want to meet. His name is Kornberg, and he injured his knee wrestling. Malik questions the reality of pro wrestling and calls Kornberg a fake. Kornberg picks him up and swings him around a few times before slamming him on a gurney. Weaver yells for security, concerned until Malik and Kornberg reveal that they were just playing around to mess with her. She’s not amused (I know, shocking).

Lucy’s patient of the week is Mrs. Fong, an elderly woman who had a seizure. She’s agitated, and her son explains to Lucy that she doesn’t remember him telling her he and his wife were leaving. Lucy asks the younger Fongs to stick around since Mrs. Fong only speaks Mandarin, and there’s no translator. The younger Mrs. Fong wants to give her mother-in-law some herbs for her upset stomach, but Lucy thinks they should wait until her tests come back.

Carter goes back out for his ride-along, taking some ER supplies with him while telling Weaver to her face that he’s not stealing. Weaver chastises Malik for making Kornberg do something physical while he has a knee injury. Malik says Kornberg is used to it. Jerry’s taking pictures with him now, so Weaver tells everyone to leave the patient alone.

She apologizes to Kornberg for all the attention and starts to treat his injury. Kornberg has had multiple injuries and says putting on a show every night is harder than dealing with the pain. Weaver notes that pro wrestling is a job for show-offs, but Kornberg doesn’t seem to like the fame. He says he just gives the fans what they want. She asks what he would rather be doing. Kornberg admits that he’d like to grow sugar beets on a farm in Montana. He knows it sounds crazy, but Weaver promises she’s not laughing at him.

Lucy shows Mrs. Fong’s scans to Doyle, who offers to give the family the diagnosis Lucy has made. The Fongs’ daughter, Emily, has joined them and is there to hear that her grandmother has cancer. Mr. Fong reveals that they’ve known about his mother’s cancer for a year. Emily didn’t know, since she was away at school. She’s upset about the secret, and even more upset when her parents say they won’t be telling Mrs. Fong about her illness. They think it’ll depress her and she’ll die faster. They forbid Lucy from saying anything.

Lucy goes outside for some fresh air and runs into Emily. She says her parents can get traditional, and there’s no reasoning with them. Lucy tells her that her grandmother probably only has a few months to live. Emily wishes she’d known earlier so she could spend more time with her. There are available treatments, but Lucy doesn’t see how they could treat Mrs. Fong without telling her what they’re treating her for. Emily disagrees with her parents’ decision and thinks her grandmother would want to fight the cancer if she knew about it.

A patient comes in with food poisoning and recognizes Kornberg. Jerry has offered to take Kornberg to radiology instead of calling for transport, so they can chat more. Weaver gets annoyed on Kornberg’s behalf about all the attention he’s getting, while Kornberg just takes it in stride. Lucy asks Mrs. Fong, with Emily translating, who she wants to make decisions about her health. Mrs. Fong wants her son to make decisions, and for communication to go through him. A year ago, he told her she had TB. Lucy murmurs that he must have thought that was a better diagnosis than cancer. Guess what English word Mrs. Fong happens to know? That’s right – cancer!

Carter and the EMTs he’s riding with come to the scene of a brawl between a landlord and some angry tenants. The landlord, Leonelli, has shut off the heat for people who haven’t paid their rent. The tenants have considered calling the police but don’t think that will lead to anything good. The brawl starts up again and people start throwing beer bottles. Poor Zadro takes some glass to the face. The EMTs load Leonelli into the ambulance, but one paramedic, Lars, stays outside to try to get the crowd to back off.

Mrs. Fong has another seizure, and Mr. Fong blames Lucy since she told her about her diagnosis. On the street, Zadro calls for police backup as the crowd starts rocking the ambulance. Zadro has some blood in his eye from his injury, and Lars is still stuck outside, so Carter’s left to drive. The crowd is heavy and right up next to the ambulance, making it hard to move anywhere. Carter starts it up anyway and heads down the street, accidentally driving over someone lying on the ground. Carter wants to stop and pick him up, but Zadro tells him to keep going, knowing the crowd will try to attack Leonelli again if they don’t get away.

It’s morning now, and Carol and Mark run into each other at the Roach Coach. She’s had a headache for a few days, and Mark wants her to have a neurological exam and head CT. Carol says they both know the headaches are from stress. She and Doug haven’t spoken in a while, which probably isn’t helping. Mark says it’s okay to miss him; he misses Doug, too. Carol claims she likes living alone.

Carter hands Leonelli off to Weaver in the ER, then calls to check on the ETA of the ambulance that picked up the guy he ran over. He lectures Leonelli a little about how he handles his tenants. Leonelli complains that they make a mess and don’t pay their rent. Carter says turning off their heat isn’t the solution. Weaver kicks Carter out of the trauma room and tells him to stay away from Leonelli.

Mrs. Fong may not wake up from her seizure, which could have been accompanied by a stroke. Mr. Fong asks Doyle for a more senior doctor; he’s not happy with his mother’s care. Doyle tells him that Lucy did everything right. Kornberg’s still in the ER, politely listening as the food-poisoned fan goes on about one of his old matches. Jerry brings in some boxes addressed to Doug, and Carol offers to put them away.

Weaver fills Mark in on Carter’s mishap as Carter gets ready to take care of the guy he ran over: “Ambulance vs. pedestrian, and we were the ambulance.” Maybe he should go to a different hospital? Though I guess if the same person who hurt the guy also saves him, that might stave off a lawsuit. Carol takes the boxes to the now-empty pediatric ER, a new location for her to mope in.

Carter’s victim is 17-year-old Avery, and his pelvis is crushed. Doris chastises Carter for driving the ambulance when he wasn’t supposed to. Lars explains that he was trapped outside, and Carter says Zadro couldn’t drive, so he had no other choice. Lydia asks why they didn’t wait for police backup. Carter could really do without the comments from the peanut gallery, thank you.

Jeanie’s back at work and reacting well to the medication she’s taking for the hepatitis. She’s going to take it easy and just do triage paperwork. Weaver tells her that Al called looking for her after Jeanie left him a message about her diagnosis. Jeanie doesn’t see any reason to talk to him, since they’ve already discussed everything in their lives to death. Getting hepatitis C from him is the last straw for her. Weaver invites her to get lunch together, but Jeanie says she has plans with a friend.

Carter helps stabilize Avery, who needs surgery. His father wants to talk to a doctor, and Carter volunteers, wanting to take full responsibility for what he did. Mark tells him to stick to a discussion of Avery’s medical condition. (In other words, “don’t say anything that could get us sued.”) Mark wants a report of everything that happened so he can defend Carter’s actions. Carter tells Avery’s father about his injuries and treatment, skipping over the details about how he wound up in this condition. Avery’s father is ready to find out more and make someone pay.

Jeanie works with Baker, who’s misplaced his prescription pad. Isn’t that like a cop misplacing his gun? Mark checks on Carol, who tells him to stop treating her like she has a brain tumor. (Viewers who know what’s in Mark’s future: *cringe*.) He recognizes Kornberg but can’t place him. Jerry tells him who he is, but Mark thinks he’s a former football player. Baker wants to go out with Jeanie, but she awkwardly tells him she’s seeing someone else. Be happy for her, Baker! He’s a great guy!

Weaver, Jerry, and Lydia get an alarm from a bathroom and realize the patient Weaver sent in there must be having a medical emergency. The door’s locked, but that’s no problem for Kornberg. He uses his head to make a hole in the door, then blacks out. As Jerry gets ready to end his shift, he brags to Randi about the cool stuff he experienced and shows off a picture he took with Kornberg.

Mobalage is brought in from the county jail, dehydrated from a hunger strike. Carol tells Randi to get Mark. Carter apologizes to Leonelli for taking out his anger on him. Leonelli says he’s been through worse and will never let “some sweet-faced, do-gooder baby doc” get under his skin. Now he has a scar to show off to the judge when he takes his tenants to court. So I guess someone didn’t learn his lesson. In better news, Avery’s going to be okay.

Weaver chats with Kornberg as she treats his new injuries. He tells her that feats of strength like his recent stunt are expected when you’re as big as he is. He likes to keep people happy, even when it means meeting everyone’s expectations and giving up what he wants to do. He’s always helping people move and agreeing to play Santa. Carol takes Mark to Mobalage, who hasn’t spoken since he was arrested for stabbing Kobe. When Mark talks to him, he comes across as catatonic. Mark tells him that Kobe’s in a coma, but there’s a good chance that she’ll wake up. He thinks Mobalage’s response to her news about being raped was out of his control.

Emily tells Lucy that Mrs. Fong is awake but confused. Mr. Fong wants another doctor, but Lucy stands up for herself. It helps that Lucy is now willing to go along with the family’s plan not to tell Mrs. Fong that she has cancer. This means lying that she has epilepsy, which I can’t imagine is ethical. Reggie comes by and says hi to Jeanie as she takes a phone call from a pharmacy. A prescription she wrote (since Baker couldn’t find his pad) was supposed to be for four tablets of Vicodin, but the pharmacy’s version says it’s for 40.

Elizabeth tells Mark that Kobe is close to coming out of her coma. The two of them talk to Carol about her headaches, brainstorming what could be causing them – maybe carbon-monoxide poisoning? Carol rolls her eyes and walks away. Weaver catches an older man talking to Kornberg and asks him to leave the wrestler alone. The older man is also Kornberg – he’s the wrestler’s father. He’s grateful for Weaver’s treatment and proud of his son’s heroics. But he also wants to turn them into a publicity opportunity and have Kornberg visit the children’s ward. Weaver tries to put a stop to that.

Mark, Elizabeth, and Carol tend to a 12-year-old girl who fell off a balcony. Mark has trouble intubating her because there’s too much blood to see what he’s doing. Carol remembers all the pediatric supplies that just arrived and gets a kit that will do the trick. She notes that Doug saved another kid. Mark thinks Carol should take the credit.

Jeanie asks Reggie to arrest her patient, Debbie, for forging a prescription by changing 4 to 40. Reggie tells her she’ll have to spend a lot of time on the case, which will just get thrown out because it’s probably Debbie’s first offense. Jeanie still wants the arrest. Reggie suggests that she write a new prescription for five pills; Debbie won’t be able to change it to 50. Then Jeanie can go to dinner with him. She says she can’t – she’s seeing someone else. JEANIE, NO!

Zadro calls in to say that he’s bringing in a gunshot victim: Lars. Kobe is now awake and wants to know where Mobalage is. Mark says that he doesn’t think Mobalage meant to hurt her; he had a PTSD episode. Kobe reveals that Mobalage didn’t stab her – she stabbed herself. Lars is rushed into the ER, and Benton and Mark take over his treatment. Zadro tells them that the shooters were waiting for them when they got to the neighborhood. Carter guesses that, since Lars was driving the ambulance, the shooters thought he was Carter. They were gunning for him.

Kornberg thanks Weaver for her kindness, even though she wasn’t able to get him out of the visit to the children’s ward. It wasn’t all bad, though – he got to make some kids happy, he made his father proud, and a boy gave him a balloon. Lars is taken to surgery, and Carter promises Zadro that he’ll be in the OR the whole time. Benton thinks that’s a bad idea, so Anspaugh tells Carter to observe from the gallery.

Mark tells Mobalage that Kobe woke up and explained what really happened. Mobalage had a PTSD episode when the paramedics and police showed up the night of the stabbing, so he ran away. He didn’t tell them what really happened because he blamed himself for Kobe’s rape. He left her alone, and the men came after her because of him. Because Mobalage didn’t know how to respond when Kobe told him about her rape, she must have felt alone again, which made her want to die. Mark tells him that Kobe needs him now.

Benton and Anspaugh operate on Lars while Carter watches impatiently and tries to offer help. Benton’s like, “I just spent two weeks in a hot, racist, backwoods town, and you are being more annoying than anything I experienced there.” Kobe gives her statement to the police, so the DA drops the charges against Mobalage. Unfortunately, he came into the U.S. on a forged visa, so he’s going to be deported to Nigeria.

Carter reads Lars’ scans and relays the information to Anspaugh and Benton. Neurology arrives, having been summoned by Carter, but they’re not needed yet. Carter watches helplessly as Lars’ heart starts to give out. Jeanie tells Weaver that Al doesn’t have hepatitis C, so she must have contracted it from a patient. While she was worrying about giving HIV to a patient, she didn’t think about a patient making her sick instead. Weaver invites her to get coffee and chat, but Jeanie still wants to be alone. Maybe Carol and Jeanie should form a support group.

Speaking of Carol, Elizabeth finds her still putting away boxes in the pediatric ER. Mark finally convinced her to have some bloodwork done, and her carbon-monoxide levels are fine. But Carol has put her headaches together with a late period and come up with a diagnosis herself: She’s pregnant. Benton and Anspaugh are unable to save Lars, and Carter spends a few moments with the body of the man who was most likely killed in his place. Zadro is waiting in the hallway, and Carter goes to give him the news about his partner.

Thoughts: It’s clearer than ever in this episode that Weaver is a very good person to have in your corner.

Kornberg, I would absolutely move to Montana and grow sugar beets with you. You seem awesome. I wouldn’t have to actually eat the beets, though, right?

40 Vicodin? Nice try, Debbie. Should have gone with 14. Uh, not that I’m advocating this.

February 4, 2020

ER 5.14, The Storm, Part 1: Doug Should Have Used a Little More Ratiocination

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

Bad! Idea!

Summary: Doug’s asleep – drink! He’s in a chair at Joi’s house, where he and Carol have spent the night to give Joi support. Ricky has survived the night, though Doug didn’t think he would. Carol has to go to work, and as she’s leaving, she thanks Doug for staying at the house overnight. Doug goes to check on Joi, who says this time before dawn is her favorite time of day. She slept a little last night and dreamed about Ricky back when he was healthy. He was always trying to make her laugh.

Ricky’s in pain again, but Joi just gave him medication an hour ago, so he can’t have more for a little while. Ricky’s sister comes in asking for water, and Joi goes off to help her and put her back to bed. Doug promises to take care of Ricky. He opens the PCA machine and increases Ricky’s dose, even though that will affect his breathing. Joi comes back in and says she doesn’t know how much more she can take. She begs Doug to help them. She wants her son’s suffering to end.

At County, the staff learns from the TV news that a snowstorm is moving in. Lynette teases Jerry for planning to go ice-fishing. Jerry uses the word “oxymoron,” which he learned from a word-a-day calendar. Today’s word is “ratiocination.” Connie doubts that will come up in everyday conversation. Randi knows the word thanks to her Jesuit high school education.

Weaver informs Mark that, until the search committee finds a permanent ER chief, Romano will be taking on the role. No one’s thrilled, least of all Doyle. Romano overhears Weaver calling him an “egotistical, arrogant, mean-spirited, sexist little bullet-head.” And those are his good qualities! He gives Mark and Weaver a bunch of his tasks, calling it delegation. Then he asks Mark if he’s offended by Weaver calling him a bullet-head, since Mark is also bald. He may even need to investigate for a harassment charge.

Doug comes to work, telling Carol that Ricky was still alive when he left the Abbotts’ house. Lucy bugs Dale about watching Titanic with her; he and Carter both think it’s a chick flick. She wonders whatever happened to sensitive ’90s men. Dale “quips” that they’re all gay. Go away, Dale. Carter spoils the end of the movie for him. After Lucy leaves, Carter asks Dale if they’re getting serious. Dale says Lucy is. Carter tries to ask if they’ve had sex, but Dale says he doesn’t want to “damage Lucy’s reputation.” I’d say dating you is enough damage already, Dale. He’s happy enough trying to see Lucy’s thong through her scrubs.

Benton meets with a sign language teacher in the cafeteria so he can start communicating with Reese (who’s already picking up a lot of the language). The teacher thinks she and Benton should meet three times a week, which would cost a lot of money. There are some good videos Benton can watch, but the teacher thinks it would be better to meet one-on-one. And then we never see her again.

Mark runs into Mobalage and asks him how his appointment went with the urologist. Mobalage says everything is fine. Mark invites him to ask any questions he might have, but Mobalage doesn’t have any. Mark guesses that Mobalage didn’t actually go to the appointment. Mobalage admits that he hasn’t told Kobe that he needs a doctor. Mark offers to explain things to her.

While waiting for an ambulance to arrive, Chuny wonders where the snowstorm is. Carol tells her it’s the calm before the storm. I see the writers are trying out some foreshadowing in this episode. The ambulance arrives carrying Ricky, who’s just barely still alive. Carol’s confused as to why Joi called paramedics, since she wanted Ricky to die at home. Mark asks about extraordinary measures, and Joi says not to use them. But Ricky’s father, Richard, overrides her, and Mark listens to him.

Carol lets Doug know what’s going on while Mark and Weaver take care of Ricky. Doug tells Richard that he was overseeing Ricky’s care, and Ricky shouldn’t have survived the night. Richard hits him. Ricky has been unresponsive for too long, and Mark and Weaver decide there’s nothing more they can do. Mark declares him dead. He stitches up the cut Richard left on Doug’s cheek, asking what’s going on. Doug says he didn’t know Richard was even in the picture. Carol only knew that Joi and Richard were separated.

In the scrub room, Benton tells Elizabeth and Romano how expensive it’ll be to help Reese. Elizabeth can’t believe the U.S. expects medical residents to live in what’s basically poverty. Romano says it’s how the public health-care system can afford to treat “freeloaders” (meaning poor people, of course). Elizabeth calls him despicable as she leaves. Romano suggests that Benton sign up for a locum tenens program, which will send him to rural hospitals for brief periods of time to fill in for other doctors. It would earn him a few extra thousand dollars.

The snow is moving in, and Jerry thinks everyone should be allowed to go home early, since schools and workplaces around the city are releasing everyone. No such luck. Mark tells Weaver that they might have to put up with Romano as their boss for months. Weaver wonders what she did in a past life to deserve that. Mark says he has Viking ancestors; maybe they pillaged Romano’s ancestors. Chuny thinks Mark would have looked good in a big, horned hat. Chuny, you already had your chance with Mark. Stop it. Mark urges Weaver to reenter the search for a chief, but Weaver doesn’t want to be that foolish again.

A man named Dan shows up looking for Richard, one of his co-workers. It’s just Doug’s horrible luck that Richard is a state’s attorney. He’s asked Dan to open an investigation into Ricky’s death. The police have also been notified. Maybe they’ll investigate where Richard’s been the past few weeks while his son was dying.

Joi tells Doug that she and Richard have been separated since their older son died. She called him to tell him that Ricky was about to die. He didn’t get the message until last night, and when he arrived too late to do anything, he lost it. Doug gently tells her that she needs to leave Ricky’s side so the nurses can finish up with him. Mark pulls Doug away to tell him that the police want to talk to him: Richard is accusing him of murdering Ricky.

Paramedics bring in a woman who was injured during a tae bo class. (For those who are too young to remember, or who have completely forgotten about this ’90s trend, it’s basically taekwondo combined with aerobics.) Her unnamed instructor is supposed to just be a regular guy, but he’s played by Billy Blanks, the actual creator of tae bo. Lucy’s more interested in learning about the classes than in treating the patient. Carter manages to get her back on track. As Lucy stitches up the patient, Carter tries to keep himself from trying to see her thong through her scrub pants. She catches him staring, but she’s just amused.

Mark tells Doug that Julian, the geneticist Doug talked to about the PCA machine, doesn’t know anything about Ricky receiving pain medication at home. He never approved the use of the PCA machine. Doug admits that he took it from Carol’s clinic after she called in a favor from a supplier. The police have a warrant to take the PCA, and Mark wants to know if they’re going to find anything he should know about. Doug just says he doesn’t know. He tells Mark he gave Joi the code to enter a different dosage, then went to work. He thinks Mark would have done the same thing.

Weaver warns that Anspaugh is on his way to find out what’s going on. Mark tells her what Doug said, and Weaver realizes they’ll have to come clean about how they covered up Doug’s breach of protocol in the pain study. If they don’t, it’ll all come out anyway. Weaver blasts Doug for betraying their trust. Doug says she’s been gunning for him for years. She tells him he can destroy his career if he wants, but she won’t let him destroy hers. Mark asks if Doug has called a lawyer. Doug doesn’t think he needs one – he did the right thing.

Carol tells Dan that Ricky had a genetic disorder and was going to die no matter what. Dan asks about the PCA machine and how dosages of medication are dispensed. Joi told Richard that Doug gave her the code to change the dosage, then showed her how to do it. This is news to Carol, who up until this point thought Ricky’s death was due to his ALD.

Anspaugh yells at Mark and Weaver for the cover-up in front of Romano, Julian, and Harriet. They’ll be convening a disciplinary committee to discuss what should happen to Doug, but Harriet doesn’t want them to make any decisions until they know if Richard is going to sue. Weaver’s astonished that Doug would be allowed to keep working. Romano asks about the clinic, and Anspaugh announces that it will be closed. He tells Mark and Weaver that they may be subject to disciplinary action, too. He’s extremely disappointed in them.

The snow has started when Jeanie arrives at work, unaware of all the drama she missed. The nurses fill her in. Carter goes looking for Lucy, who hasn’t taken a new patient since the kickboxer came in. Billy is giving her a private tae bo lesson in an exam room. When Carter comes in, Lucy accidentally kicks him in the chest. Well, at least now Lucy has a new patient to take care of.

Jeanie checks on Doug, who’s removed himself from the drama by doing paperwork in an empty exam room. She asks if there’s anything she can do. He notes that she’s the first person who’s asked him that all day. He’s been banished to the realm of paperwork, possibly forever, and Mark won’t tell him anything. Dan is ready for a chat, so Doug steels himself for an interrogation.

Mobalage chooses this horrible time to find Mark so he can talk to Kobe. Mark tells her that Mobalage may need surgery, and the couple really needs to talk to each other about it. He offers to leave them alone, but Mobalage wants him to stay. Doug meets with Dan and learns that Ricky’s death is being investigated as first-degree murder. If Doug showed Joi how to change the dosage, he could be held accountable for Ricky’s death.

Dan goes over some of the facts, mentioning that the PCA machine is empty, but Doug stops him and says that Ricky was going to die, maybe in hours, maybe in days. Doug couldn’t have done anything to stop that. He didn’t want Joi to have to watch a second son die of a genetic disorder she passed on to him. Sometimes you can’t save a child; you can just stop their suffering. Dan asks if Doug was relieving Ricky’s suffering or his own. Why didn’t he administer the final dosage himself? Why did he leave? Dan thinks it’s because Doug knew he was doing something wrong.

Lucy tends to Carter, which is really just an excuse for them to be really close to each other. He whines about a cut on his forehead, so she calls him a baby and kisses it. Things are about to get romantic, but Carter preemptively says they shouldn’t go too far; she’s his student. Lucy ignores him and moves in for a kiss.

“Storm’s finally here,” Doug tells Carol as she joins him outside. Okay, show, we get it. She tells him that the clinic has been closed because she used clinic resources to get the PCA machine. She’s upset that Doug used equipment she procured to kill Ricky. Doug says he didn’t want to get her involved, as if Carol wasn’t already involved. Was he ever planning to tell her? Doug admits that he hadn’t decided.

Carol reminds Doug that he promised Mark he wouldn’t prescribe narcotics without Mark or Weaver’s approval. Doug says he was willing to live with the consequences. Carol reminds him that Weaver and Mark are facing disciplinary actions, and the clinic patients will have to get care somewhere else. (To be fair, Mark and Weaver chose to cover up Doug’s previous actions, so that’s on them. And I doubt anyone could have expected the clinic to close because of this. But her point stands.)

Carol says that Doug’s actions have led to consequences for a bunch of people. She’s not sure he even cares. She starts to leave, saying that Doug doesn’t need anyone anyway. He’s a narcissist who just ruins people’s lives. Doug apologizes, but that’s nowhere near enough for her. She tells him that’s what he always says after he screws up something huge.

Airports have been closed, the roads are awful, and the ER staff is now dealing with all of the displaced clinic patients on top of their own, so no one’s happy. Weaver realizes that Carter’s out of commission, thanks to Lucy. She sends Chuny to go see if he can get back to work or if they need to call in a sub. Carter’s busy, but not at his job – he and Lucy are making out. He stops before they can do anything that would get them in trouble. Chuny almost catches them and guesses that they were up to something. And that’s even before she sees that Lucy’s put her sweater back on inside-out.

Joi finds Doug moping outside somewhere and quips that they don’t look like dangerous felons. YEAH, THIS IS REALLY SOMETHING TO JOKE ABOUT, JOI. When her older son died, she cried a lot, feeling like she’d died, too. She thought she would never feel love or happiness again. Ricky cheered her up by reading to her and telling her jokes. She wishes Doug could have seen him back then. Doug reminds her that she still has her daughter, as if that’ll make up for losing two sons. And that’s if she doesn’t get arrested or lose custody. Anyway, she’s grateful to Doug.

Weaver notices a mark on Carter’s neck, which he says must be from hitting something when he fell after Lucy kicked him. Yeah, he must have fallen on someone’s lips. Malik checks out Lucy (ew, Malik), and Jerry tells Carter that Roxanne left him a couple of messages. Chuny has spread the word about Carter and Lucy, and everyone in the hospital knows they hooked up. Carter says nothing happened.

Doug tells Mark that he’s going to tell Anspaugh that he begged Weaver and Mark not to report him when he broke protocol with the pain study. He’ll say he promised to report himself, which was why Mark and Weaver didn’t do anything. Mark doesn’t think more lying is the best way to handle this. Doug says he wants to help, but Mark is done with him. No more “favors.”

That storm we keep hearing about has finally come into play: A school bus was flipped by a snowplow, and a bunch of kids are trapped inside. Firefighters have asked for a doctor to come to the scene. Doug wants to go with Mark, since he’s a pediatrician, but Mark refuses to let him come. Doug decides to go on his own, and Jeanie invites herself along.

The scene of the crash is bad, and firefighters are waiting for a crane to come and lift the bus up so they can get everyone out. In some nice continuity, Mark’s point of contact is the fire captain from “Exodus.” Doug and Jeanie drive to the scene, avoiding conversation about his actions. He notes that she never asked if he did what everyone says he did. Jeanie hopes he did, so Ricky could stop suffering. Thanks to her HIV, she’s often thought about what she would want in that situation. Unfortunately for her, she may need to think about that soon, because Doug’s car skids on the ice and they slam into something. To be continued…

Thoughts: The sign teacher is played by Marlee Matlin. She gets this one scene and never comes back. What a waste of her talent.

Remember Billy Blanks? I wonder if he’s still living off all that money he made.

Having Anspaugh disappointed in you must feel like having your grandfather disappointed in you. It might be worse than getting sued.

Like I said before, Mobalage’s story is mostly just to make Mark a white savior, but I have to acknowledge how he treats Mobalage. Mark doesn’t push him to talk, and he treats him like an equal. He genuinely wants to help.

January 28, 2020

ER 5.13, Choosing Joi: People Are Dying and Risking Their Medical Licenses, But at Least There Are Dogs

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

One of these men was in an Oscar-nominated movie. The other was in “Top Gun”

Summary: Carol is asleep – drink! – but Doug is lying awake in bed, thinking about how he broke protocol for Ricky Abbott. He leaves the house and boards an El train while super-serious music plays. Carol wakes up alone and goes downstairs to brood on the couch. Doug goes to County and tries to get some work done, also alone. It’s lonely when you’ve ignored the rules to do whatever you want.

When Carol gets to work, Jerry tells her that Doug is drinking coffee on the roof, alone. Are you getting the theme here? Doug assures her that he didn’t come to the roof to jump. It’s always good to make a joke about suicide to someone who once attempted it. He thinks Weaver and Mark are going to try to use the Ricky situation as an example for why County shouldn’t have made Doug a pediatric attending. Carol says that he put the patient first, which is what they’re supposed to do. Oh, you enabler.

Elizabeth chats with Weaver at Doc Magoo’s, trying to give her some ammo to back up Doyle’s sexual-harassment accusations against Romano. Weaver asks if he ever gave Elizabeth a reason for ending her fellowship. Elizabeth says she didn’t think he had to give a reason. But there must have been one, since the funding was there and she wasn’t replaced. Elizabeth mentions that he asked her out and she rejected him, but they can’t know for sure if that was connected to the termination of the fellowship. No, I’m sure it was just a coincidence. Romano tries to join the women, who scurry away.

Malik brings a woman named Alice to the clinic so Carol can evaluate her cough. The woman doesn’t think she needs an exam, but it’s really because she doesn’t want anyone getting too close because they might discover that she smuggled a dog in with her. Carol’s face: “You have to be kidding me.” Hey, at least she’s not bringing the dog in to be treated. Malik reluctantly agrees to hold Sparky during Alice’s exam.

Anspaugh wants to know why some charts that were sent out for review have been returned to him. Carol says that that’s normal procedure; they always come back to the interim chief. “That’s you again, right?” Malik asks innocently. “Thank you for straightening that out, Malik,” Anspaugh says dryly, making Carol laugh.

A man named Richard comes in with chest pain, and a janitor named Mobalage moves aside so the doctors can work in the trauma room. Weaver thinks Richard is too young for a heart attack. Anspaugh catches Carter pretending to be a patient to teach some med students in the patient/doctor class Mark recently assigned him to.

Doug meets with Mark and Weaver, who repeat what they told him before about keeping his protocol breach from anyone above them. However, they want to co-sign any prescriptions he wants to write for schedule II narcotics (morphine, methadone, etc.). Doug seems surprised that that’s his only punishment. He tells them he doesn’t have a compulsion for breaking the rules (uh-huh, okay). He thinks they would have done the same thing he did if they’d seen how much pain Ricky was in. Mark says they have seen that kind of pain before.

Joi has brought Ricky back to the hospital; she knows he doesn’t have much time left, based on her older son’s condition toward the end of his life. She doesn’t want Ricky hospitalized for the rest of the time he has. Doug and Carol suggest a home PCA machine so Ricky can receive pain medication there.

In the OR scrub room, Benton, Lucy, and Elizabeth discuss the benefits and drawbacks of performing a mastectomy on a woman with breast cancer. Elizabeth thinks male surgeons, including Benton, see the patients for their problems, not as people. Romano chases the others out so he can question Elizabeth about her breakfast with Weaver and also be sexist.

Elizabeth says she knows he knows he’s being accused of harassment. Romano thinks Weaver is going to push the issue and dig up something just to stick it to him. He wonders what would happen if it came out that Elizabeth was sleeping with Benton while she was his intern. She tries to laugh this off, saying that they were together before that. Romano asks if Anspaugh knew that. If not, Benton could get fired. “You wouldn’t dare,” Elizabeth says, as if she doesn’t know that he absolutely would dare.

An x-ray tech studies Alice’s scans and tells Carol that her cough doesn’t seem to indicate anything serious. Carol wants another scan, thinking that Alice is at risk for a pulmonary embolism. She hasn’t shown any symptoms, but Carol has a gut feeling. The x-ray tech won’t authorize an expensive test based on Carol’s intuition, especially since Alice doesn’t have insurance. Carol says she’ll pay for it herself. Uh, with what money?

Anspaugh has gotten Mark to agree to review the charts that were returned to him. Weaver laughs over what a sucker he is. They pass by Mobolage as he slips a little on the wet floor he’s cleaning. Richard is stable, but Weaver wants to discuss his high cholesterol. She and Doyle urge him to ask his family about any history of high cholesterol or heart issues. Richard can’t, though, because he’s adopted.

Carol catches Alice as she’s leaving before getting her last scan. Alice says she has to get back on the road – plus, she can’t leave her dogs in her van while it’s so cold outside. Oh, she didn’t mention? Sparky has a dozen friends. Doug tries to convince a geneticist/old residency buddy, Dr. Julian, to sign off on Ricky’s home PCA machine. Julian resists, since Joi doesn’t have experience with home care, but he agrees to talk to his team.

Carter has his students practice examining each other’s lymph nodes, which leads to the discovery that one of them, Strauss, has an enlarged one in his neck. Carter’s sure there’s nothing to worry about, but he wants Strauss to get a biopsy just in case. Yeah, that’s rarely good.

Mark introduces himself to Mobalage and asks to examine his back, which is clearly hurting him. Mobalage says it’s been sore for a long time, so it’s not a big deal. Mark talks him into it and makes friendly small talk while getting ready. Mobalage reacts to his preparations like he’s about to be interrogated and/or tortured. He gets angry when Mark asks him remove his shirt, storming out as he yells over and over for Mark to stop it.

Carol and Malik have snuck all of Alice’s dogs into her clinic exam room, passing them through windows and rewarding them with cheeseburgers. Alice points out that Malik will have to take them outside later. Mark has asked Jerry to get some info on Mobalage, but housekeeping hasn’t gotten back to him. Mark mentions that Rachel needs glasses, and he and Weaver commiserate over having to get them as kids. Bad eyesight runs in Mark’s family, and Jerry comments that red hair must run in Weaver’s. Not that she would know, since she’s adopted. Like Richard. Got it?

While Malik calls Jerry from the clinic to help him with the dogs, Carol secures a home health-care agency to provide the PCA machine for Ricky. Doug tells Joi that the machine will deliver medication like an IV delivers fluids, but she can also give a booster every two hours. After that, the machine will automatically lock. *cough remember this for the next episode cough*

Elizabeth tells Weaver that she wants to take back the things she told her about Romano – she doesn’t think there was any harassment involved. She won’t be testifying or contributing to any official record. Weaver guesses that something happened to bring about this change in attitude. She spots Jerry and Malik walking all the dogs but is too surprised to say anything.

Mark and Carter get Strauss ready for his biopsy; he still thinks it’s nothing to worry about. Carol’s gut was right and Alice is at risk for a pulmonary embolism. She’ll have to be admitted for a few days. Carol promises to make sure the dogs are looked after. Jerry comes in and accidentally frees the dogs into the rest of the hospital.

Doug tells Mark that he arranged for the PCA machine for Ricky and needs to have Mark sign off on it. Mark tells him to get someone from genetics to approve it. Carol catches a dog and walks it by Mark, pretending this is just part of her normal job. Doug signs something, most likely forging a signature, and gives Carol the paperwork for the PCA machine. Mark finds Mobalage, who apologizes for his outburst. Mark wants to make sure he’s okay, assuring him that his job isn’t at risk. He asks again to examine Mobalage’s back. Mobalage has a different medical condition he wants to discuss: impotence.

Weaver confronts Romano for changing Elizabeth’s mind about dropping her harassment accusations. Romano claims he’s eager for the investigation to continue since he wants to be vindicated. But without Elizabeth’s testimony, the investigation has been closed. Weaver’s going to keep all the witness statements, though. She’s surprised that Romano gave Doyle such a negative evaluation, since her other reviews were all good. Maybe, if he were to take some time to really think about her work, he might change his mind. And then Weaver might put the new evaluation in the file with all the accusations.

Mobalage stays calm this time as Mark gives him a basic examination and chats with him some more. Mobalage is from Nigeria, and though he likes Chicago okay, his wife, who works in the hospital cafeteria, doesn’t like the cold weather. In some possible foreshadowing, Mark says it must be nice to work in the same place as your wife. He pulls down the back of Mobalage’s hospital gown and sees what he didn’t want to show earlier – a bunch of horrible-looking burn scars. Mark just says they seem to have healed well. Mobalage says they’re not a problem. And no, he wouldn’t care to discuss them.

Jerry gives Weaver a message from someone named Sam who says he’ll meet her at Doc Magoo’s. Randi thinks it’s for a date, but Weaver laughs at the idea. As she takes Doyle to the lounge to tell her the Romano investigation has been closed, Carter tells Strauss that he has cancer. Fortunately, it’s treatable and his chances of recovery are good. Carol has arranged for a pet rescue group to take Alice’s dogs the next day, but for tonight, staff members will have to take them home with them. There are plenty of volunteers – the nurses all seem to be dog lovers, and Malik has bonded with Sparky.

Joi calls Carol from home, worried that the PCA machine isn’t working. Carol tries to calm her down. Mark can’t determine a physical reason for Mobalage’s impotence, so it may be due to trauma. For example, if he was beaten, his injuries could have impeded blood flow. Mark recommends that he see a urologist.

Doyle goes hunting for Romano in the surgical wing but instead finds Elizabeth. She guesses that Elizabeth is the reason that the investigation has been dropped. She must want to protect her job and her position in the surgeons’ club. Elizabeth lies that she’s right. Carol tells Doug about Joi’s concerns, though he doesn’t think the PCA machine will make much difference. Ricky may not make it through the night. Carol tells him that she promised Joi that they would come by her house. Doug doesn’t see the point, so Carol says she’ll go by herself.

Mobalage introduces Mark to his wife, Kobe, only telling her that Mark helped him with some back pain. At Doc Magoo’s, Weaver meets Sam, who turns out to be a PI. She’s made appointments with him before but always canceled them at the last minute. Now she wants his help to find her birth parents.

Knowing how much work Anspaugh has been dealing with lately, Romano wants to offer himself up as ER chief, at least temporarily. Anspaugh is more than happy to give him the job. Leave it to Romano to try to get a promotion while framing it as a favor. Doug stops by Joi’s after all and helps out with Ricky’s care. As he said before, there’s not much he and Carol can do, but at least they’re there to support Joi.

Thoughts: Mobalage is played by Djimon Hounsou.

Mark and Weaver could have headed off a lot of problems if they’d forbidden Doug from ever treating Ricky again. Then again, it’s not like he would have listened.

The Mobalage plot is very Mark Is a White Savior, Please Praise Him, but it’s a good spotlight for Hounsou.

January 21, 2020

ER 5.12, Double Blind: Why Do People Keep Expecting Doug to Follow the Rules?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 5:05 pm by Jenn

I guess we should be glad Carol didn’t keep the pot for herself

Summary: Lucy’s done with her ER rotation, so Carter and Weaver are hosting a dinner at their place to celebrate. Carter’s used to just going out for pizza with his resident, but in Weaver’s day, residents cooked for their students. She’s invited Benton over as well, since he was Carter’s resident and will now be Lucy’s. Carter says he’ll miss having her around. Whatever they’re cooking, it requires a lot of prep and Weaver is very particular about all of it.

Doug has been conducting a study on a new pain medication for kids, and things are going well. The father of one of the patients is sure that his son is one of the kids in the test group, not the group getting the placebo. Doug says it’s a double-blind study, so he doesn’t know which group is getting what.

Jerry is entertaining the ER with music, and I’m sure people who’ve come there for medical treatment just love hearing Metallica blasting through the speakers. Lynette recognizes it as Metallica because she’s banned it in her house. She’s come in on her day off to run a seminar on STDs and cervical cancer. She managed to get some grant money to fund it.

Mark and Anspaugh meet up on their way to work and talk about the NASA stuff. This is a waste of everyone’s time; Mark’s not going to space. Anspaugh offers him something nice to make him stay, such as advancement in the process to get tenure. He’d be eligible as early as 2002, in three years.

Lucy starts off her surgical rotation working with Elizabeth, who quickly takes a liking to her. Romano says he arranged for them to work together because he wanted Elizabeth to have a competent student. Lucy notices him glancing down her shirt. He invites Elizabeth to do a big operation with him and tells her he’s getting the ball rolling on having her fellowship reinstated so she doesn’t have to be an intern anymore. After Romano leaves, Lucy asks Elizabeth if he checks out everyone’s chests. “Only the females, as far as I know,” Elizabeth replies.

Carol complains to Doug about Lynette’s seminar and grant money; he agrees that she has the right to know what her clinic employee is doing. Everyone complains about Jerry’s music choices, but since Amanda signed off on him being the hospital’s DJ, he thinks he’s allowed to keep it up. Doug asks if a siren he hears is in the music or from an ambulance outside. Jerry says it’s in the music. He’s wrong.

Paramedics bring in a woman who was found unconscious after a kitchen fire. Doris the paramedic wants a firefighter named Fred to be examined after his exposure to smoke from the fire. She complains to Mark that the new policy of having paramedics ride with firefighters is awful – the firefighters resent it and won’t listen to the EMTs. Mark says she did the right thing by making Fred come in.

Carol tends to a man named Mr. Ackerman whose home health aide found him unconscious. He has end-stage cancer and has been using pot for the nausea. He notes that ten years ago, he kicked his son out for smoking pot at home. Now, his son gets pot for him. Carol pretends she didn’t see it so she won’t have to decide whether to throw it out.

Mark treats the woman from the fire, making everyone shut up about her weight. He tells Carter that he’s going to be teaching a class to med students to help them practice taking histories and making diagnoses. Carter hated the class when he took it, since everyone knew the whole process was fake, but Mark doesn’t care. Carter asks if Lucy gave him a good evaluation after her rotation. Mark says it was fair.

Lucy, Benton, and Elizabeth discuss a patient who may need surgery but might not be a good candidate for it. Elizabeth notes that he claims he’s 140 years old. The patient, Charley, is well enough to walk around a little, and he doesn’t want to be stuck in the hospital since he spends most of his time helping other people in his neighborhood. He says Benton has the same responsibility to pass on his knowledge to Lucy.

Benton tells him there’s a surgical option to help him, but it’s not recommended for someone his age. Charley says he can’t be killed; he has a conjure on him. He’s not surprised that Benton doesn’t know what that means, since Benton is a man of science. Lucy tries to be quiet as she tells Benton that she’ll call for a psych consult. Charley hears her anyway.

Weaver asks Elizabeth if she can confirm any instances where Romano sexually harassed a co-worker. Oh, I can! It’s called every episode he’s been in. Elizabeth says it’s very American-like to take a personal issue and blow it up into something worth suing over. People have to have a thick skin to work around Romano, so whoever’s accusing him of harassment (Weaver can’t divulge her name) may be too sensitive for her job. As they talk, Elizabeth realizes that her experiences with Romano – rejecting his advances, then having her fellowship revoked – fall under the category of harassment. She doesn’t mention this to Weaver.

Joi brings in Ricky, who’s having bowel issues, possibly as a side effect of the morphine he’s on. His ALD is progressing to the point where he’s no longer talking. Joi breaks down but isn’t sure why this, of all the things Ricky’s been through, is what’s setting her off. Outside, a woman brings in her unconscious husband, having sent the paramedics away when they came to check him out earlier. He hit his head and was okay afterward, so the EMTs left him to go take care of the kitchen fire. Mark’s not happy about that.

Carol chats with Joi, who’s appreciative of the respite care Carol arranged for her. She shares that her daughter had bloodwork done that shows she’s not a carrier for ALD, so she won’t have to worry about passing it on to her kids. Doug wants to keep Ricky in the hospital until his fever comes down. Joi guesses that they’ll have to reduce his morphine so he doesn’t get sick again. Doug tells her they may have another option for pain relief.

Mark treats the unconscious man, Mr. Haggerty, whose condition may be serious. Elizabeth goes to scrub in on Romano’s procedure, listening in as he complains to Anspaugh about a screw-up Doyle made letting a patient eat before surgery. Anspaugh says Doyle is well-regarded, and Elizabeth says she’s always found Doyle capable. Romano remarks that he’s heard she makes women uncomfortable. Well, you would know about making women uncomfortable.

Mark drags someone to the ER from neurosurgery, trying to convince him that Mr. Haggerty needs immediate help. No one’s available, so Mark decides to drill burr holes in Mr. Haggerty’s skull in the ER. It might just be a bluff to get someone from surgery down there faster, but Mark follows through and successfully clears a clot from Mr. Haggerty’s brain. Malik leads a slow clap when he’s done. Eyeroll.

Doug asks Mark how he should account for a broken vial of the pain medication from his study. Mark says he should just make a note; there are more samples than patients in the study, so they don’t need to worry about running out. He tells Mrs. Haggerty that her husband’s okay, then starts to look into which EMTs ditched the Haggertys for the fire. Jerry tells him it was Doris and her group. Mark threatens to fire him if he puts the music back on.

Jeanie tends to a girl named Donna who lost the tip of her finger and is waiting for a plastic surgeon to reattach it. Doug comes in to get a vial of medicine from the study, saying it broke. Carol checks on Mr. Ackerman, who isn’t getting any relief from the medication he was given for nausea. He’d much rather go outside and smoke pot. Carol can’t take him, but when his son arrives, she’ll let him take Mr. A outside.

Blah blah, NASA, blah. Mark goes to some seminar about it, but Doris pulls him out to apologize for not doing a better job with Mr. Haggertys. The incident is going to be the subject of a formal investigation. Mark says that since it was a medical issue, it should be under his jurisdiction, not the fire captain’s. Doris admits that the firefighters may have influenced her decision to leave, since they were eager to get to the fire. Mark promises to do his best to keep an investigation from hurting her career.

Charley wants to challenge Benton to an arm-wrestling match to show he’s strong enough for surgery. Psych has determined that he’s competent to make medical decisions, so he wants the surgery. Benton notes that Charley didn’t tell the psychiatrist that he fought at Appomattox. He was cleared for surgery both physically and psychologically, but Benton still doesn’t think it’s a good idea. Charley thinks arm-wrestling will settle that. He wants Benton to show him the respect he deserves. Laughing, Benton gives in, and though he wins the match, he approves Charley’s surgery.

Mark advocates for Doris, arguing that she should be counseled instead of punished. A lab tech named Heather comes to the ER to deliver some test results to Doug. He had the pain medication from his study tested to see if it contains codeine. Heather is two seconds from flirting with him, but Carol pulls him away to talk about Ricky. He assures her that he wasn’t flirting with Heather. I don’t think she’d even suspected he was.

Weaver tells Carol that Lynette ran the idea of her seminar by Weaver last week. Carol drops in on the seminar, which is more just a bunch of women sitting around and talking about their sexual partners and risk factors. The plastic surgeon, Dr. Baker, comes to see Donna and determines that her fingertip can’t be reattached. His bedside manner is…let’s say Benton-esque.

Jerry puts the music back on, thinking Mark just wanted him to end the loud stuff. Mark asks why he chose to play “A Space Oddity.” Jerry says he listened to the album a lot as a kid and thought that going to space would be the ultimate freedom. Someone from the waiting area comes to the desk to ask if they can put David Bowie back on. Mark decides to give up on the fight.

Doug gives the pain medication to Joi, saying it’s from a study Ricky isn’t a candidate for, so she doesn’t need to fill out the paperwork. Jeanie chastises Baker for not being kinder to Donna; he acted like she was an inconvenience to his day. Baker tells her he’ll explain the procedure he’ll be performing on her finger to her and her father.

Lucy scrubs in with Benton, who would prefer for her to be ready for surgery instead of talking about Charley’s stories. Just moments after they get into the OR, Charley has a heart attack. The doctors get him stabilized, but he won’t be having surgery today. Mark tells Doug that he’s not going to pursue the NASA stuff. He’s decided that he doesn’t want to leave County. Cool, so we can drop this now.

Carol is annoyed that Lynette excluded her from her seminar. All the women who attended were black, so really, Carol thinks Lynette excluded a lot of people. Lynette notes that black women are at high risk for cervical cancer. Plus, she wanted the attendees to feel comfortable opening up, and she thought they would be more at ease with other black women. Carol says they’ll have to hold more seminars for other populations, as if that’s a bad thing. Lynette notes that she did this on her own time. Carol tells her to be more inclusive if she wants to keep her job at the clinic.

Baker is much more friendly to Donna as he stitches up her wound. She plays guitar, and he assures her that after she gets fitted for a prosthetic and gets used to it, she’ll be able to play again. Jeanie says she won’t be able to play computer games, though. Then she says that Donna’s father paid her to say that. Baker accidentally calls Jeanie “Jenny” and apologizes.

Mark was able to get Doris out of any investigation as long as she goes to counseling. She’s grateful enough to offer up her firstborn. Doyle tells Carol that Mr. A has to stay the night, since his son can’t pick him up until tomorrow. Joi has a question for Doug, who’s in a meeting, so Mark offers to try to help. And that’s how he learns that Doug stole medication from the study to give to Ricky. Carol goes to Mr. A’s room, closes the blinds, opens the window, and lights up his pot. He’s unable to inhale it himself, so she does it for him, exhaling the smoke into his mouth. You know, like any nurse would.

Later, Carol finds Mark checking out the cabinet that holds the medication for Doug’s study. He tells her that he thinks Doug gave Ricky medication from the study. Carol tells Mark to talk to him before he jumps to any conclusions. Baker thanks Jeanie for her assistance and for reminding him to show a little more compassion with younger patients. He’d like to repay her with a date to an art exhibit. It turns out that Jenny was his wife and medical partner, who died a few years ago.

As Elizabeth examines one of Doyle’s patients, Doyle says that she’s had some issues with Romano. She apologizes for not talking to Elizabeth before getting her involved in the investigation. Elizabeth says she can’t offer any help. Doyle says he threatened to torch her in an evaluation. She thinks he thought he could get away with harassing Doyle because she’s a lesbian. Elizabeth doesn’t want her to take the investigation too far, since Romano’s a “star.” Doyle says she just has self-respect. Elizabeth changes her mind about everything and tells Weaver she wants to talk about Romano.

Reggie comes to the ER in hopes of taking her out for the second night in a row. Jeanie says she already has plans to go to an art exhibit. Look at Jeanie, playing the field after thinking no one would want to date her! Mark takes his theory to Weaver, and the two furiously discuss how Doug may have put them at risk for losing research money and Medicare payments. Mark’s especially mad because he’s the one who got Doug attached to the study. Weaver thinks they need to handle things themselves – in other words, cover this up.

Charley may not recover from his heart attack, and in fact might not ever wake up. Lucy’s shaken up. The old Benton would have told her to suck it up because they can’t save everyone. The new Benton has compassion and treats her gently. At home, Doug tells Carol what he did and how Mark and Weaver are going to handle it. Carol sees their view of things and can’t bring herself to tell Doug he did the right thing. Poor baby Doug goes upstairs to mope alone.

Thoughts: Baker is played by Carl Lumbly.

If this show took place today, Romano would have been fired after, like, three episodes. Unfortunately, we still have many more seasons ahead with his obnoxiousness.

Why the ridiculous NASA stuff? There were other ways to make Mark realize he likes his job. It was so random.

Benton’s in a good mood in this episode and it scares me.

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!

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