March 28, 2023

ER 13.2, Graduation Day: The Kitchen Sink

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

Everyone should have a Maggie to sit with them when things get hard

Summary: Sam has been driving her and Alex’s getaway car all night, and she’s so out of it that she’s barely able to swerve out of the way of an oncoming truck. She stops at a diner to call someone for a ride, knowing it’s not safe for her to keep going on her own.

At County, Joe is under the care of Dr. Rabb, who tells Abby and Luka that they’ll need to trust her to do what’s best for their baby. Abby knows a little of what to expect, since she did a rotation there, but she’s never seen it from this side before. She wants to know what color her son’s eyes are. Luka tells her they’re blue. Neela had asked Luka if she could come visit, but Abby isn’t ready to see anyone yet. Too bad, because Maggie’s here!

Sam called Elliot, who comes to meet her at the diner. She’s worried that she’s going to be arrested for killing Steve. Elliot points out that she was justified, but she tells him that she was free and clear. She could have gotten away, but she went back specifically to kill Steve. Elliot tells her not to repeat that to anyone – they’ll be the only people who know. She can get away with a self-defense claim.

It’s business as usual at County, with Weaver still in charge while Luka’s with his family. Neela took a nap during her impromptu night shift, and Pratt tells her to go home and rest. He expects that Gallant’s parents will want to see her. In the NICU, Maggie’s the only person who doesn’t understand all the medical jargon being tossed around about Joe. Rabb tells her that Abby was a star student during her rotation there. Maggie guesses that she never let herself be proud of that.

As Maggie marvels over the baby’s heartbeat, Luka quietly tells Abby that he didn’t ask her to come to Chicago. Abby isn’t too upset about her presence, though, especially since she seems stable. Neela brings the new parents coffee and meets Maggie for the first time. There might be a problem with Joe’s heart, and Abby has to tell Maggie that they can’t just fix it right away. This is going to be a long journey.

Gates, who we last saw getting surgery from Neela in the field, brings in a guy who covered himself in tinfoil and tried to climb some tower. Gates says hi to Neela (who he calls Mayday) as she’s leaving and says he’s glad she’s okay after the big shootout the day before. He’s disappointed when she doesn’t banter with him. Pratt tells him that her husband just died. As the two of them and Weaver are trying to subdue Tin Foil Guy, Pratt spots Sam arriving in the ER. She tells Weaver that a friend dropped her off and that she needs a rape exam. Weaver gives her a hug.

Maggie takes notes on Joe’s treatment and disapproves of a student doing a procedure on him. He’s actually a resident, but even Abby isn’t convinced that he knows what he’s doing. Rabb gently tells her that he’s doing a good job. Maggie is writing everything down so she can look it up later. She brings up the connection between smoking and premature labor, and Abby says she quit two years ago. Maggie notes that stress could have caused the early delivery. Luka defuses the tension by telling her about the shooting and Abby’s fall. Rabb says the cause of the early delivery doesn’t really matter.

A nurse invites Abby to come to a lactation seminar, and Maggie goes with her. Luka stays behind with Joe and talks to him in Croatian. Abby wants privacy while she pumps breast milk, which Maggie finds ridiculous. Maggie, you’re going to want to pick your battles here. Abby’s doing an amazing job keeping it together, but we all know she could snap at any minute.

Weaver and Haleh tell Sam about Joe and Jerry’s condition as they do her rape exam. Sam says she knew that Steve was a thief, but she never thought he was capable of what he did yesterday. She feels responsible. Weaver asks what happened to the fugitives, and Sam says they’re all dead.

One week later: Gates and Zadro go out in the pouring rain to tend to a guy who Gates thinks OD’d. Gates gives him Narcan, injecting it in a way Zadro says they’re not supposed to. Gates radios county to try to get permission to do something else, but Pratt shuts him down. Gates lies to Zadro that he gave approval. Zadro warns that if he’s lying, Zadro won’t back him up.

Luka takes a break from an ER shift to check on Joe. They’ve been trying to wean him off his ventilator, but he’s had a bit of a setback. Rabb asks if Abby and Luka have made a decision about a trial involving a hypertension drug. Abby thinks the risks are too high; they still have other options they haven’t tried. Maggie attempts to weigh in, but Abby doesn’t appreciate that. Rabb wisely dismisses herself from the conversation.

Abby complains that Rabb has been pushing them to do the trial for a week. Luka accuses her of always seeing the worst in people. Abby disagrees, and besides, this is their child they’re talking about. Luka also dismisses himself from the conversation. Maggie gently tells Abby that he could be right. The new drug might turn everything around for Joe. They should follow their instincts. Abby snaps at her mother to shut up. She didn’t ask Maggie to come or be involved, so maybe she should leave.

Morris comes by County to visit his former colleagues and brag that his new job with the pharmaceutical company is sending him on a trip to Vegas. Then he admits that he hates the job and wants to come back to County. Gates and Zadro arrive with their patient, and Zadro learns that Gates lied to him. Pratt threatens to report him.

Weaver attends a meeting about Clemente, where Anspaugh announces that he’s firing Luka. Amazingly, Weaver takes responsibility, but Anspaugh points out that she’s not the one who kept Clemente on after he proved to be trouble. Apparently Weaver said previously that she told Luka to get rid of Clemente and that he ignored her. She admits that that’s not true. As she leaves the meeting, Morris begs her to get his job back. Like literally begs on his hands and knees. She tells him she can’t help him – she’s no longer the chief of staff.

Luka determines that Gates’ patient didn’t actually overdose. He doesn’t know what’s actually wrong with him, though, so he just keeps trying different things to see if something works. Pratt says they’re throwing the kitchen sink at him. Gates is still there, and he suggests a condition that’s pretty rare. He knows about it because he got a question about it wrong on his boards and had to look it up later. Luka lets him administer a treatment, since they have nothing to lose. It does the trick.

Morris tries to bug Luka about getting his job back, but Luka doesn’t have time for him. Maggie sneaks Abby some coffee, which they aren’t supposed to have in the NICU, and tells her about a time when Eric was hospitalized as a baby. He almost died, and Abby’s father thought they should just say goodbye to him. Maggie ignored what the doctors said and refused to give up on her son. Abby says she’s not like Maggie, but Maggie thinks she is. She needs to find the strength to get through this. Abby isn’t sure she can. “You’ve spent your whole life getting strong enough to do this,” Maggie replies.

Luka returns to the NICU to try to talk to Abby again about the drug trial. Maybe the kitchen sink method will work for Joe. Abby’s worried that something will go wrong; they won’t be able to undo it. But Luka seems confident enough that it could work, so Abby agrees.

One week later: The drug trial was successful and Joe has made huge improvements. Luka and Maggie are able to convince Abby to leave the NICU for a little while. The nurses aren’t thrilled that Maggie will be staying behind. Elliot goes with Sam to talk to a detective or ADA or someone (it’s never specified) about what she claims happened to Steve. Elliot throws his weight around and pressures the guy to stop pursuing murder charges.

Neela runs into Abby and Luka as they’re taking their break outside. They only chat for a little while, and Luka says Neela’s doing fine at work, but it’s clear she’s struggling. She’s been staying at Abby’s, and Abby figures that she might as well give up her apartment since she’s always at Luka’s. Luka wants to revisit his sort-of marriage proposal right before everything went haywire. He’s not going to pressure Abby, and she doesn’t see the point in publicly proving her love for him. Luka agrees that marriage can wait until later.

One of Joe’s monitors starts beeping, and though Maggie’s concerned, a nurse just turns off the alarm and says it happens all the time. Then something else beeps, followed by another alarm. Maggie wants Rabb to come see Joe, but the nurse says she’s overreacting. Maggie thinks Joe’s breathing too fast, and she demands that the staff get Rabb there now.

It turns out she was right to worry, since Joe needs to be intubated. Rabb even says that it’s a good thing Maggie was watching him. Joe needs surgery, and Maggie tells Albright not to let any residents operate. Abby wants to call a chaplain and have Joe baptized just in case he doesn’t get better.

Neela gets drunk with a couple of strangers at a bar who walk her out, giving off vibes that she shouldn’t be alone with them. Fortunately, Gates and Zadro arrive just then and Gates gets her away from them. One of the guys gets rude, so Gates beats them both up. Zadro, request a new partner. You deserve better than this guy.

Anspaugh is operating on Joe, so Maggie should be happy. A chaplain performs the baptism and Luka watches from the OR while Abby observes from the gallery. Gates takes Neela home (well, to Abby’s) and she puts on music and drunkenly dances. She wants Gates to stay, and when he says he’s going to leave after he gets her settled, she grabs him and kisses him. To his credit, he stops it and asks if she can call someone to come stay with her. She says she doesn’t have anyone.

Maggie joins Abby in the gallery, where Abby’s starting to simmer with fear. She says she can’t keep pretending everything’s going to be okay. Maggie urges to her to let all the bad things go. Admittedly, she didn’t have a lot of reasons to be optimistic while she was growing up, but she’s not a child anymore. She needs to believe that Joe will be okay. He starts declining, and Abby turns off the intercom so she doesn’t have to hear bad news. She tells Maggie she’s trying to stay positive.

Two weeks later: Word has spread that Weaver’s taking the heat for what happened with Clemente, and that she’s been demoted. Ray asks Neela (who’s wearing sunglasses indoors, so I assume she’s hungover) if she’s talked to Abby recently. She thinks Abby and Luka want privacy for a while. Gates and Neela run into each other for the first time since her drunken antics and she starts to apologize. He says he’s glad he was the one who took her home. Pratt hands out white coats to the interns who are about to start working in the ER. One of them is Gates. Now he and Neela will see each other all the time! Oh, boy!

Sam asks if anyone’s heard from Jerry, who was supposed to be released from the hospital the day before. Frank says they just talked. Because they’re secretly best friends! Morris is still at the pharmaceutical company, unable to enjoy any of the perks that come with the job. Saving Jerry was difficult but possibly the best moment of Morris’ life. He feels silly working a fancy job now. He’s figured out what’s important and wants to practice medicine again. He just needs Luka to get back to him about getting his job back.

Elliot comes in to tell Sam that the DA has finally declared Steve’s death justifiable homicide, so the whole ordeal is over. You know, except for the part where Sam and Alex were taken hostage and she was raped and then killed her son’s father. At least she can stop worrying about going to jail. Elliot asks if she’s talked to Alex about what happened. Sam says he just knows that Steve is dead, but not the details. Elliot offers to help her with anything else she might need.

Morris gives a presentation to some doctors, trying to get them on board to prescribe a drug from his company. Pratt pulls him out to tell him that Luka is going to offer him his job back. Morris ducks back into the meeting to tell the doctors that his drug is a scam. Neela gets drunk again at the hospital’s graduation party for the interns, but this time she keeps her lips to herself. She introduces Ray to Gates, setting up the new love triangle for the season.

Morris wants to be allowed to call Weaver “Kerry” now that their colleagues. That’s a no, Archie. Luka comes by, saying that Abby wanted to tag along but decided this wasn’t the night for it. Weaver asks how she’s holding up, and Luka says she’s okay. With all that, it would be understandable if viewers assumed that Joe died…but he didn’t! He’s home with his mom, who’s been so grateful for Maggie’s visit that she wants her to come back sometime. She couldn’t have gotten through the NICU experience without Maggie.

Maggie laughs because Abby’s been defiant ever since she was a child. She teases that she hopes Joe causes Abby as much pain and agony as she caused Maggie. Abby tells Maggie that she doesn’t have to leave just yet, but Maggie assures her that she can handle parenting on her own. Back at the party, Luka shows his colleagues pictures of his son and passes out cigars.

Thoughts: Yes, Maggie is overbearing in this episode and Abby is justified in being annoyed with her, but think about what it means that she dropped everything to come help out and provide support. The Maggie from Abby’s childhood would never have done that. Look how far she’s come. And I love how she takes notes and tries to remember everything that’s important. That’s someone you want in your corner.

Weaver is so maternal toward Sam when she shows up in the ER. It’s really sweet.

Frank to Morris, who’s wearing a purple shirt: “What’d you do, mug a pimp?” Morris: “Yeah, your dad says hi.” Pratt: (cracking up)

How mean that they made us think Joe died. Don’t be so mean, show!

October 26, 2021

ER 9.16, A Thousand Cranes: Just Doing Our Job

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

Oh, this is still happening? We’re still supposed to be invested in this?

Summary: Carter has bought an engagement ring for Abby and is keeping it in his locker at work. He shows it to Susan and tells her he’s going to propose tonight. Well, he kind of already did, but Abby didn’t give him an answer. Chen comes in and asks if they want anything from Doc Magoo’s. She runs into Luka as she heads over and they chat for a few moments. Across the street, someone runs out of the diner and gets in an SUV, which makes a U-turn and drives off.

Chen and Luka go over to Doc Magoo’s together, discussing Yiddish terms Luka’s learned from a workplace sensitivity manual Weaver is making him read. The lights are on in the diner and the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” is playing, but at first it looks like no one’s inside. The doctors find a customer slumped over in a booth, dead. Chen spots blood on the floor behind the counter, and she and Luka follow it to a walk-in freezer. Three more people are inside, two dead from gunshot wounds but one still alive.

Maggie is still in town, and she thinks Eric may have gone to see some family friends. Abby tries to reassure her that, wherever he is, he’ll be okay. She tells Maggie that Carter proposed, but she doesn’t think he meant it, so she didn’t say yes or no. She calls in to work and learns that there was a shooting at Doc Magoo’s and she’s needed in the ER. Before she leaves, she extends an invitation for Maggie to stay with her a few more days. Maggie’s ready to go home, though, especially if Eric might come looking for her there.

At County, Chen and Luka help paramedics take Trina, the surviving victim, to County. Luka is shaken by the whole situation and tells Weaver he needs a minute. Sean is being released, so he stops by the ER to see Susan before he goes home for hospice care. Pratt and Gallant are playing basketball at a YMCA with a bunch of guys. One of them fouls Pratt, who falls against a metal bench and cuts his hand. He wipes the blood on his shirt, then starts to attack the guy who fouled him. Gallant breaks up the fight before it can start.

Back at County, the shooting is being discussed on the news. Jerry notes that the reporter only mentions four deaths but not the single survivor. Carter asks Abby to get sushi with him that night after she takes Maggie to the bus station. Susan doesn’t think sushi is romantic enough for a proposal dinner. Carter tells her it’s about misdirection, which Susan thinks is a bad idea.

Luka and Chen continue treating Trina, who tells the police that there were two shooters. She saw them drive off in an SUV. Chen realizes that she may have seen that same SUV from across the street. She was too far away to see what the men looked like, but she thinks one of them was Black.

Sometime later, two of the cops from the ER pull Pratt and Gallant over. (One is named Palnick; the other doesn’t get a name, so I’ll call him Peña after the actor playing him,) They comment on Pratt’s nice car, so he explains that he and Gallant are both doctors. When the cops mention that there was a shooting at a diner, Pratt quickly guesses why they were pulled over. He invites the cops to search his car and tells them they were playing basketball at the YMCA. Palnick thinks they’re drug dealers. Peña finds Pratt’s bloody shirt, which is enough for the cops to decide they have reason to handcuff Gallant and Pratt.

They’re taken to the police station and questioned separately. Pratt plays basketball at the YMCA a couple times a week with his friends; Gallant doesn’t know their names, so this may have been his first time. Gallant feels hassled while Pratt seems bored. The cops clearly don’t buy their stories that they’re doctors, or that that means they didn’t kill a bunch of people in the diner across from their workplace. An officer just says they fit the profiles of the killers.

Weaver learns what’s going on and tells Jerry to send IDs to the police station so the cops will finally accept that Pratt and Gallant are who they say they are. She then tells Susan that Sean’s mother wants Susan to stay away from her son before he goes home. Susan would rather hear how Sean feels. At the police station, the cops release Pratt and Gallant without any apologies for interrogating or detaining them.

Weaver tells Luka that he can take on non-critical cases for a while until he readjusts to working in the ER. Luka claims he’s fine and doesn’t need special treatment or help. She wants him to talk to someone in psych anyway, just as a formality. Pratt and Gallant make it to County, and while Pratt basically acts like what happened with the cops is normal, Gallant is upset and wants to do something to protest. Pratt tells him that no matter how perfect they are, they’ll always be the first suspects when something happens. After being a suspect enough times, you get the message that you’re not ever going to be treated like white people.

Susan sneaks in a visit with Sean, who doesn’t seem completely content with his decision to stop fighting his cancer. He keeps thinking about all the stuff he won’t get to do. He always thought he had more time, even when he was really sick. Susan decides they should play hooky and find something fun to do so Sean won’t just go home and wait to die.

Maggie comes by the ER to get lunch with Abby, who’s a little too busy to take a break. Her next patient, Levine, is still drunk from Valentine’s Day party five days ago. Maggie decides she should just head out now, since Abby won’t have time to hang out with her. Carter walks her out as Maggie starts crying – she was holding out hope that Eric would show up and her whole family could have some time together. Carter offers to drive her to the bus station.

Luka goes to see Dr. Myers, acting like he doesn’t need help. He acknowledges all the stuff he’s been through (losing his family, losing Abby, getting in the car accident with Harkins) but doesn’t expect Myers to be able to help him. Well, it’s more that Myers can’t fix him in just one session, and obviously Luka isn’t going to agree to come back if he doesn’t have to. He tells Myers to let Weaver know that he fulfilled his responsibility by coming by.

News update: Police are chasing an SUV they think is carrying the Doc Magoo killers. Weaver guesses that the police haven’t considered the cost and resources involved in a chase. Jerry thinks they hope the suspects will die in a car crash so the police don’t have to deal with them anymore. Gallant adds that they might not even have the right suspects.

Elizabeth reminds us that she’s on this show by commenting that the police are supposed to be on the side of the public. They play the odds like doctors do. The last time she flew to London, security pulled two Arab men out of the line and it made her feel more secure. Gallant asks if she thinks the police would pull over two Arab men driving through Chicago. Elizabeth says no, since there aren’t a lot of terrorist acts in Chicago. Gallant asks if she seriously thinks racial profiling is a legitimate tool for law enforcement. Elizabeth just says that a lot of people do. ELIZABETH, STOP TALKING.

Chen and Pratt check in with each other in the lounge, trying to decompress from the day’s stresses. He gets upset when she says she told the cops she thought the suspect she saw was Black. He tells her she fed into what the cops wanted – a Black killer. Chen objects to him trying to paint her as racist. Pratt says that when a cop has his foot on the back of your neck, it’s hard to feel like the whole world isn’t racist.

Carter and Maggie get stuck in traffic on the way to the bus station, which gives them time to chat. She’s worried about both of her children, though Carter says she doesn’t need to worry about Abby. Maggie mentions the proposal, telling Carter that even though being with Abby is a lot of work, it’s worth it. Carter says he spends a lot of time thinking about how things could go wrong, but there’s something about her that keeps bringing him back to her.

Susan and Sean ride a Ferris wheel, talking about a story his sister once read about a girl who tried to make a thousand paper cranes in hopes that she could then wish to get better. Susan guesses that Sean has made a lot of cranes himself. He tells her he has a different wish, then gives her a little kiss. This storyline is so weird. Paramedics bring in Palnick, who was injured in the crash Jerry foresaw happening with the Doc Magoo suspects. Now Pratt and Gallant are in a position of power, though Gallant doesn’t want Palnick as a patient. Pratt reminds him that it’s their job to treat anyone who needs treatment.

Back on the road, Maggie admires the ring Carter wants to give Abby, and they talk about how Maggie was never able to make a marriage work. She asks if the two of them have discussed having kids. Carter knows that Abby doesn’t want to pass on her genes if they mean having a child with bipolar disorder. Maggie hopes that the two of them communicate better than Abby and her ex-husband. She also hopes that Carter doesn’t want or expect Abby to change. He’s lucky to have her as she is, and he needs to love her no matter what.

Palnick protests having Gallant and Pratt as his doctors, but Weaver tells him he doesn’t get to choose who treats him. He tells Pratt that when the police pulled him and Gallant over, they were just doing their job. Pratt replies that he needs to let the doctors do their job now. Gallant determines that Palnick’s condition isn’t as serious as they previously thought. When he and Pratt are left alone with Palnick, Pratt taunts that this must be pretty scary for the cop: “Now it’s just you and a couple of n%$@#* with knives.”

As Carter and Abby go to dinner, Susan takes Sean home to his annoyed mother. His sister says Sean told her Susan’s the only doctor he’s ever met who’s like a friend. Also, he thinks she’s hot. At County, Pratt demands that Palnick apologize to Gallant, who made a diagnosis that saved him a lot of pain and unnecessary treatment. Palnick doesn’t see the big deal, since Gallant didn’t suffer any harm from what the police put him through. The cops were just doing their jobs. Gallant storms out, and Pratt tells Palnick that he should have just apologized.

Instead of going out for sushi, Carter and Abby are at a very fancy restaurant, which he’s bought out for the night so they’re the only patrons. He tells her he’s waited a long time for a relationship that he thought would last. He thinks he’s in the right place now for that. Is Abby? She says yes, so Carter reaches into his pocket to pull out the ring box. He continues that they’re growing and changing in good ways. Abby, however, isn’t sure people ever really change. Carter puts the box back in his pocket without Abby seeing it. She’s surprised that he bought out a whole restaurant and nothing special is happening.

Sean gives Susan a paper bag and tells her to open it later. He hopes that after he dies, he’ll understand what everything means. He wants Susan to know how much her friendliness has meant to him. She assures him that she knows. Weaver praises Gallant for diagnosing Palnick correctly, but she doesn’t want him to resist treating anyone ever again. Peña gives Gallant the closest he’ll get to an apology, admitting that they “overstepped” that morning. He appreciates Gallant for treating Palnick.

Weaver asks Luka how things went with Myers. Luka pretends he’s all better now. Outside, he runs into Chen again and they look over at Doc Magoo’s, which is surrounded by police tape. He wants her to remember that they saved Trina even as horrible things were happening. After he leaves, Pratt joins Chen and admits that he’s always acted like the police’s racism doesn’t bother him, but it does. He’s happy the real killers were caught. (No word on their races.)

Susan takes Sean’s bag to the waterfront and finds a bunch of origami cranes inside. She pours them out into the water. Abby and Carter go to her place, where Abby gets a call from Maggie, who’s stuck in Wisconsin because of a snowstorm. She tells Abby what she said to Carter about wishing the two of them and Eric could have had some time together. While Carter’s in the other room, Abby moves his jacket and finds the ring box in its pocket. She puts it back without mentioning it to him.

Thoughts: Palnick is played by Jeff Perry. Peña is played by Michael Peña. Levine is played by Chris Pine in his on-screen debut.

Okay, Pratt is totally right about racism in law enforcement, and the cops definitely racially profiled him and Gallant, but Chen did nothing wrong. If the guy she saw was Black, then IDing him as a Black guy isn’t racist. If he wasn’t Black and she said he was, that’s a different story, but we never find out if that’s the case.

I like the contrast between how Pratt and Gallant react to the police. Gallant is visibly annoyed and wants answers and justice. As the son of a career military man (and being in the military himself), he’s used to order and respect. This is new to him. Pratt stays calm and responds like he’s been taught how to act, because he most likely was. He knows what to do and not do. He’s from a place where this happens all the time, so to him, this is routine. Both guys’ actions are very in line with their characters.

Carter and Abby are nowhere near being ready to get married. This plot development is dumb.

October 19, 2021

ER 9.15, A Boy Falling Out of the Sky: False Hope

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

Oh, goody, a plot about a dying child. Those are always fun

Summary: Carter comes home from Belize and immediately spots the bottle of alcohol Abby bought in the middle of the night. She’s asleep, even though her alarm is going off. Weaver goes to Luka’s place to yell at him for taking too much time off. The rumor is that he quit his job, but since there’s nothing official stating that, Weaver has put him on the schedule for that day. If he doesn’t come in by noon, he’s fired. As Weaver leaves, a guy runs up and grabs her purse. He tries to flee by running into the street, where he’s hit by a car. Weaver tries to help him, but he runs off again.

Carter lets Abby sleep while he cleans up her place a little. He pointedly puts the cap back on the bottle without saying anything about it. He offers her coffee and aspirin for her hangover, again without directly addressing it. Abby plans to go to work so she can keep busy and try not to think about her brother’s disappearance. Carter assures her that they’ll find him. She thanks him for coming back from his trip.

At County, Weaver complains about the inconvenience of having all her stuff stolen. She tells the staff to be on the lookout for her mugger. Susan bugs Chen for not being available to bail her out of a bad date the night before. She wound up going on that set-up date after all, since the guy kept calling, and it was so bad that she considered faking a seizure to make an escape. Chen admits that she spent the night at Pratt’s.

Gallant asks Susan for help with his patient, an elderly woman named Mrs. Langston. She has Alzheimer’s and wandered out of the house. Her husband didn’t notice she was gone, so she was outside in the cold for a while. Susan notices that Sean is back in the ER; he may have pneumonia. “Did you miss me?” he teases Susan. “No,” she says bluntly, though she’s kidding.

Pratt is spending the day on a paramedic ride-along, but he’s not allowed to assist, which means he has no control, and you just know it’s killing him. The EMTs bend the rules a little when they find a dead man and ask Pratt to pronounce him dead so they can pass him off to the coroner and get out of the cold.

Carter falls asleep on Abby’s couch and wakes up when Maggie arrives. Abby’s at County now, helping Weaver with a patient named Zeki who got sick after smoking meth. His friends aren’t concerned. Zeki needs new friends. He begs Weaver and Abby not to call his parents. Abby goes off to tend to a boy named Jared whose mother accidentally hit him with her car.

Susan chats with Sean about unconventional pets like rats and snakes. She doesn’t have any pets, though, since she’s only good at taking care of people, not animals. She got sea monkeys once and was disappointed to learn that they’re just brine shrimp. Chen teases her that Sean just came back because he has a crush on her, and Chuny calls him Susan’s boyfriend. Susan tries to confirm that Chen and Pratt are dating. Chen wonders if that’s what Pratt thinks.

Carter and Maggie arrives to talk to Abby, who’s now working on Jared with Weaver. Abby thinks they’re there to give her bad news, and she’s not prepared to hear it. She leaves the room, so Carter takes her place on the trauma team. Susan tells Sean that he does have pneumonia, and the lesions from his cancer haven’t shrunk, even after he’s received more chemo. He tries to be positive by noting that at least they haven’t grown.

Abby returns to Jared’s trauma room, where he’s been unresponsive for four-and-a-half minutes. Weaver gently tells his mother, Mrs. Kroll, that if a patient hasn’t breathed on his own for five minutes, he’s most likely brain dead. Nothing changes over the next 30 seconds, so they hook him up to a ventilator. Now his parents will have to decide if he should stay on the machines keeping him alive. Mrs. Kroll asks the staff to wait until her husband gets there. She tells Abby that Jared hates when she leaves. He ran out of the house to give her one last hug.

Carter tries to calm Maggie, who insists on talking to Abby about any help they might be able to get in looking for Eric. The FAA and Coast Guard won’t tell her anything; they just keep directing her to the Chicago police. Carter offers to talk to a desk sergeant he knows there, but Maggie wants Abby to be involved. Carter says he’ll work on that. Weaver tells him that if Abby needs to go, she should. Weaver’s surprised she came to work.

Luka hasn’t arrived, so Weaver’s day isn’t getting any better…until Gallant tells her that a guy in triage may be her mugger. Then Gallant’s day gets worse when he learns that pathology lost his patient’s pap smear and he’ll have to perform it again. Weaver ID’s the mugger and demands her purse. He tries to run again, but security’s on his tail, and Weaver’s able to close one of the ER’s new security doors before he can go anywhere.

Abby’s worried that Maggie’s mental health is unstable (and she does seem kind of manic, but it’s understandable since her son is missing). She asks Carter to deal with Maggie. He thinks Maggie can actually help. Jared starts declining, so they run in to try to stabilize him until his father arrives. Susan tells Sean’s mother about his condition, and Mrs. Simmons asks to care for her son at home. In other words, she expects Sean to die, and she wants it to happen at home. Sean, however, thinks he can beat the pneumonia, since his white cell count is up. Mrs. Simmons notes that after that, he’ll still have cancer. He’s been strong for a long time and shouldn’t have to spend the end of his life in the hospital.

Pratt helps bring in a woman named Kelly who’s in labor. He asks Chen if he can spend the night at her place since he’s fumigating his apartment. Chen tells him she has plans with Susan, who’s been depressed and lonely recently. Kelly objects when Chen sends Pratt back out in the ambulance, since she loves him – she likes that he thinks she’s sexy while pregnant.

Susan checks on Mrs. Langston, whose Alzheimer’s has taken away her ability to speak English and knocked her back to her first language, French. Susan only remembers a tiny bit of French from high school. Whatever, this plot doesn’t go anywhere. Abby and Carter keep working on Jared and are finally able to stabilize him. Mrs. Kroll gets frustrated when Abby asks if she wants them to keep trying to keep him alive. Of course she does – he’s her son.

On her way to the bathroom, Abby tries to ignore Maggie, who’s spoken to a police officer and gotten information about search-and-rescue missions. She thinks they should go to Cleveland to start one up. Abby says they should just wait to hear something from the FAA. She doesn’t see the point in searching anyway – she’s sure that Eric is dead. Maggie refuses to believe that Eric was suicidal, since he was taking his medication and going to therapy. But Abby thinks he came to see her because he wanted to say goodbye, and he was peaceful because he had a plan to end his life.

Gallant is supposed to wait for his patient’s second pap smear results, which means hanging out in a room full of dead bodies while the pathologist does other stuff. He decides to leave the sample instead. As he does, one of the bodies in the room starts moving. “Is that supposed to happen?” he asks the pathologist. Um, no, Gallant, corpses aren’t supposed to move.

Chen has an awkward encounter with Pratt in the lounge, thinking he’s judging her for placing her baby for adoption. He tells her he has sympathy for her, but everyone makes mistakes when they’re young. Yeah, it was two years ago, dude. Pratt says that if Chen feels guilty, that’s her issue; he doesn’t care either way. Of course, by saying that, he’s implying that there’s something for her to feel guilty about.

The conversation ends when Susan tells Pratt and a paramedic that the dead man they found isn’t really dead. He was super-drunk, and the alcohol in his blood acted like antifreeze. She chastises them for not warming him up before pronouncing him dead. Then she punishes Pratt by ordering him to give the man a bath. Make that a bubble bath, at the man’s request. (That makes Gallant feel better about getting scared to death in the morgue.) (No pun intended.)

Mrs. Simmons tells Susan that she doesn’t want Sean to keep suffering. Susan is willing to let Sean make his own medical decisions, since he seems so determined to live. Mrs. Simmons tells her that he didn’t want to do his second round of chemo. He only did it because his mother wanted him to. He had finally accepted that he was going to die, but his new friendship with Susan has given him false hope. Mrs. Simmons thinks that if Susan tells Sean to stop pursuing treatment, he’ll listen.

Mr. Kroll arrives and learns that Jared isn’t showing any signs of brain activity. Maggie watches from down the hall as he asks Carter for any kind of hope. Carter tells the Krolls that they can keep stabilizing Jared, but they can’t keep him alive indefinitely. Abby notices Maggie watching and approaches her. Maggie says she knows she might be giving Eric too much credit for turning things around, but she’s not ready to write him off. The last time she saw him, he was alive. Until someone proves otherwise, that’s her reality. She’s going to Cleveland to arrange a rescue mission.

Susan tries to talk Sean into rethinking what’s best for him right now. Sean guesses that Mrs. Simmons put her up to this. He asks what she would do in his position, but she can’t answer that. Sean quietly says that he doesn’t want to die. Susan tells him that in that case, he should fight with everything he has.

Luka makes it in before noon, which means Frank has lost a bet. He gets right to work when Gallant tells him that Zeki is seizing. Zeki also has a really high fever, and Luka’s first instinct to bring it down is to carry him outside and put him down in the snow. Back in the ER, the Krolls try to prepare to say goodbye to their son. Abby’s cell phone goes off, making her jump. She takes the call in the next trauma room as Carter removes Jared from life support. Eric’s plane has been found in Michigan – intact. There was no crash, which means Eric is probably alive. Abby rushes to the El station to stop Maggie from going to Cleveland.

Weaver isn’t happy with Luka’s methods, but he’s brought Zeki’s temperature down and probably saved his organs, so he considers it a win. At Doc Magoo’s, Abby and Maggie study a map to figure out where Eric is. Abby says that Maggie was right about him not wanting to kill himself. Maggie says it could have easily gone another way. They need to make sure that Eric knows they don’t see him as a burden. She wants to try to get in touch with him or go look for him, but Abby says they should wait for him to make the first move. Meanwhile, they need to proceed with life as usual.

Chen teases Pratt about his not-dead patient, and they smooth things over a little. He hopes she doesn’t feel like he judged her for placing her child for adoption. She shows him a picture of the boy, Michael, and Pratt’s amused to see that he’s half Black. Then things go downhill again because Pratt made plans with one of the paramedics (I think her name is Christine), since Chen said she was busy. He invites Chen to come along, but she declines and complains to Susan in the lounge.

Pratt complains to Carter as well, though Carter isn’t sure why Pratt’s ranting to him. He’s also not sure why he’s still at the hospital, since he had the day off. Weaver chastises Luka for missing half his shift and orders him to work a double. Later, at home, Weaver tells Sandy that she doesn’t want to wait before they try again to have a baby. This time, she thinks Sandy should get pregnant.

Sandy makes the understandable point that she has a physical job she can’t do while pregnant. Weaver notes that she could take leave. She wants Sandy to feel how wonderful it is to carry a child. Sandy worries that Weaver will think of her as less of a woman because she doesn’t want to do something so many women want to do. Even when Weaver asks Sandy to do this for her, Sandy says no.

Abby’s smoking on the hospital roof, though she tells Carter she’s trying to quit. He’s a little annoyed that she keeps disappearing on him. She thanks him again for coming back from vacation, then suggests that he run away from their relationship before they go much further. She’s a magnet for misery and she doesn’t want Carter to keep having to deal with it.

Carter reminds her that Eric is alive, so it’s okay for Abby to be a little happy. Abby wishes she’d come back from the El station to thank Carter again for being here for her. She feels like her life will always be on hold because of her family. Carter shouldn’t feel like he has to stick with her through that. She says he doesn’t want her to love him. Carter argues that he should get to decide what he wants. He wants her to stop being so afraid and so careful. He also wants to marry her. Abby tells him he’s crazy. “Well, then I’ll fit right in,” he replies with a little smile.

Thoughts: Eli Wallach and Anne Jackson, who play the Langstons, were married in real life.

I know Abby wants to keep busy but she can’t think it’s a good idea to work while she’s distracted. This isn’t a job where you can get away with mistakes.

The actress playing Mrs. Kroll is excellent in what had to have been a difficult role to play. It can’t be easy to play a character who did something horrible – and feels horrible about it – but still deserves a huge amount of sympathy.

Trivia: Weaver likes Jane Austen and is reading Mansfield Park for the third time.

September 7, 2021

ER 9.9, Next of Kin: “Define ‘Family’”

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

This is a good look for Tom Everett Scott

Summary: Abby’s asleep – drink! She wakes up when she hears glass breaking somewhere in her apartment. Maggie’s making breakfast and Eric’s watching TV, even though it’s not even 5 a.m. They’re about to take Eric to a psych treatment center, and he’s not happy about it. Abby reminds him that they agreed to this – aggressively treating his bipolar disorder now will help him more down the road. Eric regrets agreeing to that.

At County, Carter examines a kid named Timmy who complained of having a headache but says nothing happened to give him the headache. He and his brother are tight-lipped about what they were playing that led to this. Well, it turns out that the brothers like to play a game where the older boy holds Timmy up by the ankles and lets go to see how long it takes him to hit the ground. (Answer: Not very long.) Carter and Susan laugh over how Timmy has a concussion but still wouldn’t rat out his older brother. Susan notes that that would make him a squealer. Susan has a sister; she gets it.

Susan’s supposed to be done for the day after a night shift, but Jerry tells her that Weaver wants her to cover for her. Chen and Carter wonder why she keeps missing work. Chen’s disappointed because she and Susan were supposed to go salsa dancing that night. A teenager in the waiting room asks if Carter and Chen are doctors. When they confirm this, the girl says she can’t do this, then runs out. After a moment, a baby starts crying. The doctors realize that the girl has abandoned a baby in the ER. Carter runs outside to catch her, but she’s gone.

The Wyczenskis go to the treatment center and meet Eric’s new doctor (he doesn’t get a name; I’m calling him DeMunn, the actor’s last name). It’s an outpatient place where Eric will attend therapy sessions, but can also take field trips and art classes. Eric complains that there’s no playground for recess. While Maggie takes him to meet some other patients, Abby talks to DeMunn, who’s hesitant to prescribe any further medications for Eric until he’s reviewed Eric’s chart. Abby says she can give him any information he needs. DeMunn would prefer to talk to his patient instead.

Carter and Chen tend to the baby, who’s dehydrated but otherwise seems okay. He had to have been delivered recently, since his umbilical cord is still attached. It was clamped off with a Powerpuff Girls barrette. Carter tells Harkins that, under safe-haven laws, the mother won’t suffer any consequences for leaving the baby at the hospital. Chen thinks she made a responsible decision, though Harkins disagrees. Is she just going to go back to her life like nothing happened?

Carter leaves to help with a trauma – a man and his 12-year-old daughter were in a car accident. The father, Gil, is in bad shape, but his daughter, Morgan, just has an ankle injury. Harkins and Pratt tend to her while Carter, Chen, and Elizabeth treat Gil. He mumbles that Morgan’s mother isn’t in the picture because she “doesn’t understand.” Elizabeth determines that Gil will need surgery. Next door, Pratt assures Morgan that her dad will be okay, since the hospital’s second best doctor is helping him. Pratt is, of course, the best doctor at County.

Eric participates in an art class at the facility; the patients are supposed to cut pictures out of magazines that best describe how they feel during their manic phases. Eric asks for a Viagra ad. DeMunn tells Abby and Maggie that the exercise helps patients identify what’s seductive about their mania. The facility will help them move toward self-discipline and structure. He promises that Eric will adapt. After all, Maggie did.

Abby and Maggie head out, though Maggie isn’t sure this is the best place for Eric to receive treatment. Abby admits that it’s kind of dumb to have adults make collages, but emotionally, Eric is at the age where that might help. Maggie disagrees. She knows Eric feels like his mother and sister are trying to take away his personality – his bipolar disorder is part of what makes him…him. Abby says it’s also destroying him.

Maggie thinks he would be okay just seeing a psychologist on his own and trying to hold down a job. Abby asks how they’ll make sure he keeps taking his medication. Maggie reminds her that they can’t force Eric to go to therapy or take his medications. Abby doesn’t think Maggie knows what will work. Maggie calls her out for always criticizing how she handled her illness. Abby says Maggie isn’t an expert – she doesn’t know best. Maggie thinks that, in this case, she might. She’s also Eric’s mother. Abby says that after spending 30 years in and out of hospitals, Maggie isn’t anyone’s mother.

Chen checks on the baby, who’s still in the ER since there are no available beds in pediatrics. Connie appreciates having a healthy baby in the ER for once. She doesn’t know how anyone could give him up. Chen – who, as we know, placed her baby for adoption – keeps a poker face as she says that she’s sure his mother had her reasons.

Susan’s annoyed that Luka is missing, so she has to deal with med students in his place. Aren’t they Carter’s responsibility? Anyway, Gallant wants her to see his patient, Melody, who may have food poisoning. She doesn’t want to be admitted, but she’s a nurse, so she knows they can’t release her until they’ve gotten her vomiting under control. Her boyfriend, Bill, says she can’t come to his place since he just got new rugs. For some reason, Susan doesn’t recognize that as an obvious joke.

Elizabeth tells Gil that surgery may take him out of commission for a while. He doesn’t want them to call Morgan’s mother; Morgan barely remembers the woman who abandoned them. Luka finally shows up, telling Susan his alarm clock didn’t go off. She guesses he was actually in bed with someone. Luka comes in at the same time as an elderly woman named Matilda who fractured her hip. She was on the floor for two days, unable to reach her medication, which is especially bad because she has diabetes.

The ER needs Morgan’s bed, so Pratt and Harkins take her to an exam room. She asks to use the bathroom, so Pratt tells Harkins to give her a bedpan. They give her some privacy, but Harkins goes in when she hears Morgan drop the bedpan. Morgan yells for her to stay out, but it’s too late. Harkins walks in on her and realizes that Morgan has male anatomy. She shares the news with Pratt, switching to male pronouns, because this was 2002 and no one cared about misgendering trans people. Pratt tells her to find Morgan’s mother.

He goes to see Morgan, who’s impatient to see her father. He asks why she wears girls’ clothes. Morgan confidently says that she’s a girl; she just has the wrong body. Pratt thinks she’s too young to think that way. Morgan says she’s always known it. Her father obviously supports this, and even moved her to Chicago so she could start over at a school where no one knows she’s transgender. Pratt thinks they’ll find out eventually, but Morgan says they’ll just keep moving anytime people find out. When she’s old enough, she’ll have gender confirmation surgery.

Pratt asks how Morgan’s mother feels about this. Morgan sadly says that she has a new family now. Pratt tells her that someone needs to come get her, since her father will be in surgery for a while. A family friend won’t cut it; Morgan’s mother needs to come. Morgan says that her mother thinks she’s a freak, just like Pratt obviously does. She begs him not to call her mother. Pratt gives in, telling Harkins not to do anything yet.

Leon arrives, upset because he was just fired from his job. He claims he didn’t do anything wrong. Carter gets a call from an Anita Coffee, a fake name Abby gave Jerry, for some reason. He meets her in the ambulance bay so they can go to Doc Magoo’s together for a break. Luka chats with Matilda, who passes out while Susan is examining her. Oh, hey, Yosh! Where have you been? When Matilda revives, she complains that they woke her up from a nice nap.

Melody’s son, Jeremy, arrives to check on his mother. They had the same thing for dinner the night before, and he’s not sick, so she might not have food poisoning after all. He’s annoyed that Melody and Bill didn’t call to let him know Melody was in the hospital. Jeremy offers to stay with Melody so Bill can go to work, but Bill says he can stay. It’s clear that Jeremy doesn’t like him even before he tells Susan that Bill can be a jerk sometimes.

Abby tells Carter that she thinks things will be fine after Eric’s first day in treatment. They’ll get into a routine; she’ll work days and “keep an eye on him” at night. Carter obviously disagrees with her plan to basically babysit her brother. He thinks she and Maggie should share the responsibility. But Abby knows from history that Maggie isn’t reliable. After all, she’s abandoned her children many times before, back when they were too young to have to take care of themselves.

Gil declines in surgery, and Elizabeth isn’t able to save him. Matilda is facing surgery herself, and as she awaits it, she flirts with Luka a little. She’s been single her whole life, and though she has a few regrets about never getting married, she did have time to do other things, like become a great chess player. Yosh tells Susan that Weaver wants her to take her place at a finance meeting. Gallant tells her that Melody doesn’t have food poisoning – she overdosed on aspirin. Susan’s confused, since the dosage she took wouldn’t be lethal, but as a nurse, she would also know it was too high.

Chen and Connie are brainstorming names for the baby. Susan tells them not to ask for her input – she named her dog Puddles. “Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy,” she quips. Carter suggests Rudyard. “Hasn’t he suffered enough?” Chen asks. Elizabeth tells Carter that Gil died, so they’ll need to inform Morgan. Harkins doesn’t know if Pratt has contacted her mother. She tells Carter and Elizabeth about Morgan’s situation, still insisting that Morgan’s a boy. Shut up, Harkins. Carter tells her to call Morgan’s mother, since she’s Morgan’s next of kin.

Abby returns to the treatment center to get Eric, but DeMunn tells her he withdrew from the program and left. Maggie came to get him an hour ago. Pratt pays a visit to Leon’s boss to find out why Leon was fired. The boss accuses Leon of letting people into his store after hours so they could rob the place. Pratt insists that Leon wouldn’t knowingly participate in a crime. Even if the robbers were his friends, they must have tricked Leon into helping him. The boss calls Leon dumb, which really makes Pratt mad. Leon was shot in the head; he’s not dumb. Pratt tells the boss to leave Leon out of his reports about the robbery.

Morgan’s mother, Mrs. Garding, arrives and learns that her ex-husband is dead. (Carter also misgenders Morgan. Bad Carter!) Mrs. Garding is aware that Morgan lives as a girl; she and Gil split up because they disagreed about letting her do that. Carter wants Mrs. Garding to be there when Morgan learns that Gil died. Uh, maybe they should ask Morgan what she wants? She’s not happy to see her mother, and she’s much less happy to learn that Gil didn’t survive.

Harkins flirts with Luka, who checks on Matilda again. She notes that he doesn’t even have to try with women. Well…have you seen his face? She pulls out a checkbook and tells him she’s giving him a tip. He’s not allowed to take her money, but Matilda’s 82 and frugal, so she doesn’t see the point in hoarding it. She basically forces Luka to take her check.

At the admit desk, Harkins asks Luka if that’s ever happened to him before. He’s very casual about the whole thing and hasn’t even looked at the check to see how much Matilda gave him. Susan overhears the conversation and reminds Luka that it’s unethical to take a patient’s money. Luka brushes this off, saying the check will probably bounce anyway. Harkins reports that it’s for $10,000.

Gallant looked up Melody’s records and tells Susan she’s been to County a few times for various injuries. They guess that Bill is abusing her. Abby confronts Maggie for taking Eric out of the facility, but Maggie reminds her that people with bipolar disorder only get better if they want to. Abby asks if they’re supposed to just wait until Eric feels like getting treatment. Does Maggie have a plan? She does: She’s taking Eric to Minnesota with her tomorrow. He’ll stay with her and Maggie will try to help him get treatment.

Abby thinks the facility in Chicago is the best thing for Eric right now, especially when Maggie can’t be sure she can keep Eric on the path he needs to be on. Maggie says that she knows Abby feels like she’s the only one who has ever been there for both Maggie and Eric. But Maggie’s here now, and she’s going to help.

Melody and the baby have been sharing a room for a while, but there’s room for the baby in pediatrics now. Melody asks to see him before he goes. She tells Chen she loves babies at this age, when they really need their parents. Chen sends him off, feeling bittersweet. Susan checks on Melody, asking if she’s felt depressed recently. Was Melody trying to get sympathy or trying to get away from her boyfriend? It’s obvious that someone is hurting her, and she needs to turn him in. Melody says she can’t. She needs a few days; he’s joining the Navy, and then she’ll be free. Susan’s surprised to learn that Melody’s abuser is Jeremy, not Bill.

Pratt returns to County and learns that Gil died and Mrs. Garding has arrived. He’s upset that Harkins ignored him and follows Carter’s instructions instead. He finds Mrs. Garding cutting Morgan’s hair so she’ll look like a boy. Pratt can’t talk her out of doing what she thinks is right for her child, who will no doubt be miserable as she adjusts to living with her unsupportivemother and a stepfather who probably doesn’t know she’s transgender.

The baby’s mother returns to the ER and tells Chen she changed her mind – she wants her baby back. Harkins snottily asks when she’ll change her mind again. The mother, Romy, tells Chen that she’s not scared anymore. She thinks her mother will help her raise the baby. Chen sends Romy up to see the baby, telling Harkins that she’s going to at least try to be a mother. Harkins asks how that works when Romy originally abandoned the child.

Matilda declines, and since she has a DNR, Susan and Haleh have to let her go. Luka’s disappointed that no one told him she was dying. Susan tells Jeremy that Melody needs to stay for observation. Coincidentally, she’ll be in the hospital the exact amount of time remaining before Jeremy ships out. Gallant’s confused, so Susan fills him in. Luka overhears and remarks that her “stretching” of Melody’s diagnosis sounds unethical.

Abby and Maggie track Eric down in a hotel, but Eric doesn’t want his sister in his life right now. She tells him he needs help and can’t do this by himself. He needs someone he can trust and rely on. Eric says Abby isn’t that person anymore. She doesn’t really understand what he’s going through. She’s not like Eric and Maggie, and she never will be. Maggie tells Abby she’ll call when they get settled back in Minnesota, but Abby says she shouldn’t bother.

Pratt’s annoyed that he has to work after his shift was supposed to have ended, since he left during his shift. He’s also obviously annoyed that Carter overrode his instructions about Morgan, but Carter says he couldn’t just wait until Pratt came back. Pratt chastises him for not listening to what Morgan wanted. Carter says he followed procedure. Whether Pratt likes it or not, Mrs. Garding is Morgan’s only family. “Define ‘family,'” Pratt replies. As he leaves the lounge, he sees Morgan leaving with her mother, looking betrayed because Pratt wasn’t there to help her advocate for what she wanted.

Romy and her mother leave with the baby, stopping to talk to Chen. Romy’s mother didn’t know her daughter was pregnant, but now that she knows about the baby, it looks like she’s going to help raise him. Chen is sad to see another baby leave her life. Susan tries to talk her into going out for a drink, but Chen isn’t in the mood. Luke probably is, as he’s cashing Matilda’s check and now has thousands of dollars to spend however he wants.

Pratt tells Leon he couldn’t get his job back, though Leon’s already looking in the want ads for a new one. Pratt calls him out for buying an Xbox. Leon says his friends gave it to him – they must have won it. Pratt helps him realize that his friends stole it. Carter goes to Abby’s apartment, where she’s smoking outside. She tells him she’s going to let Maggie and Eric leave, and she doesn’t want to talk about it. She’s done trying to take care of her family.

Thoughts: Romy is played by Jurnee Smollett.

Paul McCrane (Romano) directed this episode.

I don’t like angsty Abby. I want to go back to fun Abby.

Pratt is, again, really good with patients. If I were Morgan, I would feel really comfortable around him. I would even go so far as to stay he would make a good pediatrician. Harkins, on the other hand, can stuff it.

I think the show handles Morgan’s storyline well (I mean, other than the sad ending). The way she talks about herself, like having the wrong body, is in line with what other trans people say. She’s not ashamed and her father doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with her.

’00s music alert: Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe”

August 31, 2021

ER 9.8, First Snowfall: The New Normal

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

Poor Gallant

Summary: Gallant is on the phone with someone from Eric’s base, trying to get Abby some information, since she doesn’t even know where he was taken. Abby has to step away to end a fight between a babbling homeless man and another patient. Carter tells her that he was able to find out that Eric was in the brig for a few days, but has now been sent back to his base in Nebraska. Gallant can’t get any more news than that, so Abby decides to just go to the base.

Carter wants to tag along (sound familiar?), but he has a shift. Abby insists that she can handle this by herself. He tells her she can’t just walk onto an Air Force base; she needs a sponsor. She should take Gallant with her. Abby still thinks she can handle this alone, but Carter gets Gallant to agree to go with her anyway. Carter plans to join Abby later. As he sends them off to the airport in a cab, snow starts falling. It snows all night, and by the end of Carter’s shift, it’s blocking the ambulance bay.

As Nathan tries to get himself going, Carter tries to get an update on his flight, which has been delayed. The homeless man is still hanging around and talking to himself about math. Carter tells Nathan that the snow stopped, but they’re pretty much stuck in the hospital. Nathan still has 12 hours left on his shift, though with the snow paralyzing the city, it might be quiet.

Abby calls Carter from the base and he tells her that with three feet of snow on the ground and the El shut down, he’s not going anywhere for a while. He notices Nathan studying his hands, which are shaking. Eric’s commanding officer makes Abby get off her phone, since she’s a civilian. He doesn’t know where Eric is; if Eric had been arrested, he would have been brought to the base, but he’s not there. He tells Abby to go back to her hotel and wait for more information. Abby tells him that Eric needs a psych evaluation and medication ASAP.

Elizabeth manages to make it to County for her shift, though her nanny couldn’t get out of her house, so Elizabeth had to bring Ella to work with her. The good news is that the El is up and running again. Abby takes a smoke break, ignoring Gallant’s warnings not to, not just because they’re on a military base but because there’s a truck full of jet fuel nearby. They finally get in touch with a Lt. Ottenson, Eric’s attorney. Eric has been taken to a hospital on base.

Back in Chicago, Luka wisely uses cross-country skis to get to work. Carter’s on his way to the El station, planning to take a train to the airport and wait for a flight to Nebraska. Luka’s surprised that Carter didn’t go with Abby. Susan asks Carter to stick around, since Weaver can’t get to work and multiple trauma cases are coming in. Carter reluctantly agrees to stay.

On the way to see Eric, Abby learns that he’s being medicated and is now coherent. He’s facing a hearing to determine whether he was mentally competent when he went AWOL, in which case they can punish him for his actions. If he wasn’t, he won’t have to worry about being court martialed. He’ll just get a medical discharge, and if he’s stable, they’ll probably release him from the hospital right away.

Abby’s annoyed that no one called her. Eric shouldn’t be released before she can determine the best treatment options for him. Ottenson says that if they asked Eric if he wanted his family to be contacted, he probably would have told them to call Abby. But it looks like he named someone else as a contact, because Maggie’s already at the hospital.

At County, Susan, Elizabeth, and Nathan tend to one of the new trauma patients – two boys and their mother were hit by a drunk driver while building a snowman on their lawn. The dad was spared simply because he went inside to get a carrot for the snowman’s nose. One boy, Toby, is unable to be saved, so Elizabeth moves on to the other, Matt, while Luka tends to the mother. Matt is in bad shape but is alive and conscious. Elizabeth tells Carter that if his mother hadn’t jumped in front of him, Matt would be dead.

In Nebraska, Maggie tells Abby that she was able to talk to Eric on the phone. Abby says that he has bipolar disorder; she could feel it right away. She regrets not telling Maggie, and instead interfering to the point where she got Eric arrested. Maggie tells her not to blame herself. It turns out Maggie knew about Eric’s mental-health issues all along. She just thought he had situational depression from PTSD.

Abby can’t believe that Maggie didn’t connect the dots between Eric’s symptoms and her own bipolar disorder. Does she know anything about her disease? Maggie’s like, “You mean the mental illness I’ve been dealing with for decades? Do I know anything about the disorder I manage on a daily basis? No, I’m in no way familiar with this illness. What was it called again?” Abby asks why Maggie didn’t tell her what was going on. Maggie admits that Eric didn’t want Abby to know.

Elizabeth thinks Matt and Toby’s mother, Sylvia, is too far gone to save, but Luka wants to keep working on her. The boys’ father has arrived (he doesn’t get a name; I’ll call him Jeff after the actor playing him), and Elizabeth tells Nathan to keep him out of his wife’s trauma room. Jeff refuses, even though the sight of what Elizabeth and Luka are doing to save her makes him throw up.

Chuny comes over to tell Elizabeth that Matt isn’t getting enough oxygen. Carter thinks one of his broken ribs punctured his heart. Elizabeth goes over to help him and Harkins, but she thinks Matt’s heart muscle is too damaged to fix. She glances up just as Susan is taking Toby’s gurney through the hallway. Susan gives her a slight shake of the head to indicate that Toby is beyond help.

This gives Elizabeth an idea: Toby is brain dead, but his organs are fine. She tells Jeff that Matt needs heart and lung transplants in the next six hours or he’ll die. With Jeff’s permission, they can transplant Toby’s organs into his brother. One of Jeff’s sons is dead, but they can still save the other. Jeff desperately asks Elizabeth to save both boys. Can’t they wait a couple days to see if Toby wakes up?

Susan needs Elizabeth’s help, and Weaver wants her to assist in taking care of the drunk driver (a request Elizabeth firmly turns down), so Elizabeth assigns Nathan to talk Jeff into consenting to the transplant. They only have one shot at saving Matt. Jeff isn’t in the right state of mind to make this decision, so Nathan needs to get him to understand how important this is.

Abby’s impatient to see Eric, who’s talking to Ottenson. Gallant wants to stick around and help, but Abby thinks he’s accomplished what she needed him to do, so he can leave. Plus, he has a test coming up and should use this time to study, not play phone tag for Abby and Maggie. Ottenson comes to get Maggie so she can see Eric; he still doesn’t want to see Abby.

Luka, Susan, and Elizabeth try their hardest to revive Sylvia while Nathan talks to Jeff about the transplant. Susan thinks he’ll succeed, since he’s good at talking patients into stuff. Matt is declining, so Elizabeth helps Carter and Chuny try to keep him alive for the transplant. Nathan announces that Jeff has given his consent, so Elizabeth tells him to take Toby up to the OR.

The second Matt is stable, Elizabeth says they’re taking him up, too. Carter thinks it’s too soon, since he could decline again at any moment, but Elizabeth wants to take advantage of this window and do the transplant. Jeff goes up with Toby, promising him that he won’t feel any pain. Sadly, despite Luka’s best efforts, Sylvia doesn’t survive.

As Elizabeth and Carter take Matt up to the OR, Jeff asks Elizabeth to promise that this will all work out. Elizabeth can only say they’ll do their best. Jeff again comforts Toby (even though the boy can’t hear him), saying that he’s going to help his brother. He tells Nathan he’d like to take Toby to Sylvia’s room so she can say goodbye. Nathan doesn’t want to have to tell him that his wife is dead.

Carter keeps Matt’s heart beating while Elizabeth scrubs in, impatiently waiting for the transplant team. Elizabeth and Carter get Matt on bypass and remove his damaged heart as quickly as possible. When the surgeon arrives to take over, Elizabeth and Carter step aside. All Carter can say is, “Wow.”

Maggie tells Abby that Eric is having trouble accepting that his sister saw him in a manic state. He’s medicated now, but he’s emotionally exhausted and ashamed. Maggie warns Abby not to be confrontational. Abby finally gets to see Eric, who’s in uniform and ready for his hearing. She notes that he wanted to leave the Air Force anyway, so…hey, it all worked out!

Abby justifies her actions by saying she loves Eric and was worried about him. He thinks she believes he’s crazy and unstable. He was actually enjoying himself. (Yeah, that’s the mania. You would have felt different if you’d been in the depression part of the cycle.) She wants him to come back to Chicago with her, but Eric has no interest in that. Abby points out that without medication, Eric is likely to go down the same route as their mother, struggling for years to keep her life together. She urges Maggie to confirm that she’s right. Instead, Maggie leaves the room.

Abby’s upset that Eric called Maggie instead of her. Maggie’s unreliable and undependable; meanwhile, Abby spent three days trying to find Eric so she could help him. Eric doesn’t feel sorry for her. He’s the one whose career is over. He thinks Abby’s just mad that she didn’t get to be his savior. Abby argues that Eric needs help, and Maggie screwed up the first time he turned to her. Eric corrects her: He doesn’t need help, and he didn’t go to Maggie. She sent him to a doctor because she saw that something was wrong. Abby says Maggie wasn’t wrong. Eric asks why he’s not allowed to call her, then.

Nathan has the unfortunate job of taking care of the drunk driver. His dyskinesia is getting worse, and the driver asks if he has Tourette’s. Elizabeth joins them as the driver continues badgering Nathan. He’s surprised Nathan’s allowed to treat patients while in this condition. Nathan says they let him work on patients they don’t care about. He asks if the driver has any idea what he did. The driver thinks he just hit a snowman – he doesn’t realize that he ran over three people, killing two of them.

Maggie urges Abby to give Eric time to adjust. They don’t want him to feel like they’re ganging up on him. Maggie doesn’t think Eric needs to be hospitalized after he’s discharged. Abby says that’s not her decision. Maggie tells her that Eric has to accept that he has bipolar disorder and figure out how to accommodate it. Abby argues that until then, he needs to be supervised so he keeps taking his medication. Maggie tells her that he might decide to stop taking it sometimes, but this is like AA: It has to be his decision. Right now, it’s too early for him to want to be healthy.

Abby says that she’s been living with this disease her entire life and doesn’t want a lecture about it. Of course, Maggie’s the one who’s actually living with it, so she has a different perspective on it. Abby angrily asks if Maggie and Eric have some bond now that they both have the same disorder. Maggie tells her to focus on the fact that her brother is struggling. There’s no quick fix – Eric will be dealing with this for the rest of his life.

Nathan tries to ignore the drunk driver while he examines a girl named Kiley. His dyskinesia causes him to accidentally jam a scope in Kiley’s ear. She isn’t hurt, but she’s spooked, so Nathan decides to call it quits. He doesn’t listen when Weaver tells him to keep working.

Elizabeth finds Jeff sitting on the floor of Sylvia’s trauma room, so now he knows that he’s lost both his wife and one of his sons. She tells him that Matt is undergoing the transplant. She invites him to wait in a waiting room near the OR, but Jeff can’t bring himself to leave the room. He tells her what a normal day would be like right now for his family. Elizabeth says he made the right decision. Jeff tells her that everything was white this morning, and the boys were excited to stay home with their parents.

Elizabeth confides that she knows what Jeff is feeling. He doesn’t believe that, since he doesn’t even know what he’s feeling. She tells him that her husband died just six months ago. This is the first time we’ve heard her talk about him since then. She says she tried to continue on with her life like everything was normal, but that’s impossible.

You can’t run away from your grief. Life after losing a loved one is “like this big, relentless wave.” You have no choice but to ride it. You try to hold on to what you’ve lost and carry on without shutting yourself off from everything. Elizabeth knows that in the future, when Jeff looks into Matt’s eyes, he’ll see “the beautiful things that live on in him.” Jeff says he needs Matt to be okay. Elizabeth promises that he will be, then embraces him.

The board overseeing Eric’s hearing hasn’t seen enough evidence to prove that Eric was mentally incompetent when he went AWOL, so they won’t let him go. Eric is demanding due process. Abby tells Ottenson that he needs psychiatric treatment, which he’s not going to get while he’s in confinement. Eric tells Abby that since he was gone less than 30 days, he shouldn’t have to face any serious consequences. He didn’t hurt anyone or act irresponsibly. He just wanted a change. Abby points out that he went AWOL, which is serious in the military. Eric eggs her on to call him crazy. He knows he’s not like Maggie, no matter what Abby thinks.

Elizabeth finds Nathan on the roof, his medication having finally kicked in and calmed his dyskinesia. She gives him his evaluation for his surgical rotation, but Nathan doesn’t see the point in reading it. Elizabeth notes that he only has two modes: blind optimism and self-pity. Nathan figures it’s better to just face the facts. Parkinson’s is eventually going to overcome him. He just thought he would have more time.

Elizabeth asks if that means he’s just going to give in. Nathan thinks that’s what she wanted. She says she wanted him to recognize his limitations. He saved Matt today because he was able to connect with Jeff and help him make the right decision. Anyone can stitch up a patient or insert a chest tube. Nathan has a gift, and he needs to find a way to share it. As Elizabeth leaves, she says she kept her promise to fail him.

Abby and Maggie reconnect, and Abby asks her mother to back her up on her decision to get Eric committed so he doesn’t stay in military jail. Maggie agrees. Abby apologizes for her behavior; she’s angry about the situation and, surprisingly, angry at Maggie for having to go through this again, even though it’s not her fault. Maggie thinks Abby is really angry that Maggie passed her bipolar disorder on to Eric. She gets that Abby feels like a mother to her brother, but Maggie’s the one responsible here. Now she needs to be his mother for once.

Carter calls Abby to check in, pretending he’s still in Chicago when he’s actually just now arriving at the base. Weaver has taken over Kiley’s care, but Nathan wants to finish her ear examination. This time he has Kiley hold the scope herself. Once he’s again made a connection with someone and shared his gifts, Elizabeth takes him up to Matt’s OR. Matt’s transplant is done, and Elizabeth wants Nathan to be the one to shock his heart – formerly Toby’s heart – into rhythm. Elizabeth comments that now, Matt’s brother will always be with him.

Thoughts: Matt is played by Josh Hutcherson.

I have to give a shoutout to Jeff Kober, who plays Jeff. He usually plays villains (and is really good at it), so it’s interesting to see him as just a normal guy. He always gets typecast, but here he shows that he can be subtle and loving.

The sequences where Carter and Elizabeth rush the boys to the OR and then try to calm down afterward are so good. It’s like watching an action movie without the explosions or violence.

Maggie should have continued her AA metaphor by telling Abby that the best help for someone who’s struggling comes from someone who’s been there.

January 26, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 19, 2021

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

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

Weaver’s worst plot ever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Lots of familiar faces here:

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

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

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

January 12, 2021

ER 7.19, Sailing Away: The Rescue Mission

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

No one’s hair looks that good after hours in a convertible

Summary: The screen lets us know it’s Friday as Carter and Rena go by County to pick something up. Rena has her dog Norman with her, and the dog takes an immediate liking to Abby (and vice versa). Abby recognizes a car in the ambulance bay as Richard’s. She tells Randi to call security to tow the car, then rushes to break up the conversation her ex-husband is having with her boyfriend.

After Luka excuses himself, Richard tells Abby that Maggie has checked into a motel in Oklahoma and has been there for three weeks. Some guy she was with left, and she doesn’t have the money to continue paying for the room, so the manager found Abby’s last known phone number and called it. Since it’s not clear if Maggie is answering the door when the manager goes by, Abby doesn’t know if she’s still alive.

Luka treats a sorority pledge who got hurt while chasing a greased pig during Greek Week. Yes, alcohol was involved. Abby has called the motel in Oklahoma, and the manager confirmed that Maggie’s still there. Also, she owes him $800. Abby doesn’t have that, so Luka offers to wire the money. Abby, however, wants to go out there.

Luka urges her to wait and let a doctor handle everything; Abby can go once Maggie’s back on her medication. Abby would rather bring her to Chicago and have her committed there. Luka doesn’t get why Abby is so willing to help her mother after the way Maggie always treats her. Abby knows Maggie only acts the way she does because of her illness.

Instead of going on a honeymoon, Mark and Elizabeth are at home, getting ready for the baby. He’s started baby-proofing, even though that obviously won’t be necessary for a while. Back at County, Carter comes across Abby trying to get a flight to Oklahoma. She tells him what’s going on as Norman tries to snack on medical waste. Carter and Rena came in to get basketball tickets, but now Carter’s mind is on something else. He calls his travel agent and books two one-way tickets to Tulsa (Maggie won’t fly, so Abby will have to drive back to Chicago).

Mark makes a mobile in his garage, singing along to Styx’s “Come Sail Away” so we can get our episode title. The music is too loud for him to hear Elizabeth calling for him, so she pages him and tells him she thinks she’s in labor. Luka is treating another sorority pledge/victim of greased-pig wrestling. Abby calls him away to tell him she’s flying out to Tulsa that night…with Carter.

Carter explains the same thing to Rena, and we go back and forth between the two conversations. Luka argues that Maggie needs to be hospitalized right away, not go on a road trip with Abby and Carter. Abby doesn’t want Luka to make the decision for her. Rena’s annoyed that Carter’s going to miss the basketball game to help a friend who could get the same help from her boyfriend.

Abby tells Luka that she’s used to this and doesn’t want a lecture from him. Norman barks at Carter and Rena’s fighting, and Carter yells at him to shut up. Hey! You shut up! The arguments end when Luka tells Abby not to put herself in a position to get hurt again, and she replies that he’d be the expert on that. Luka and Rena both give in and tell their significant others to just go. Meanwhile, Mark brings Elizabeth to the hospital, where they get congratulations and encouragement from some co-workers. After some time passes, they leave again – the labor wasn’t real.

Saturday: Abby and Carter have rented a convertible in Oklahoma, because why not rescue your mother from her mental-health crisis in style? On the way to the motel, Carter asks why Maggie doesn’t like to fly. Abby explains that she decided to take Abby and her brother Eric to Disneyland when they were younger, but when they were flying over Nevada, Maggie tried to open the emergency doors; she thought they were flying over a nuclear test site. So I think it’s less that Maggie doesn’t want to fly and more that Abby doesn’t want her to.

Abby and Carter arrive at the motel, and Abby says that after 30 years, she still wonders what makes Maggie act the way she does. The manager tells them that Maggie came in with a guy who left after prepaying for a week. The manager tried talking to Maggie, but she didn’t respond. She doesn’t come to the door when Carter knocks, so the manager opens the door for them. Maggie’s inside, looking like…well, like she’s been holed up in a motel for three weeks.

Abby cleans her up while Carter gets a call from Luka, who’s just checking in. A couple of motel guests ask Carter if he’s related to Maggie. I don’t know what the point of that was. Carter offers to get some food from a nearby diner, leaving Abby to bathe her mother like a child. It seems like Abby’s used to doing this alone and doesn’t appreciate having Carter ask her if she’s okay. She just wants to get this done and leave.

Now frat brothers are coming into County after suffering Greek Week-related injuries. The staff tends to one who jumped off a roof. In Oklahoma, Carter brings food back to the motel room, which Abby’s trying to clean up. He tells her he gave the manager extra money for the mess, so she doesn’t need to worry about it. Abby tries to get Maggie to eat, but when Maggie refuses, Abby says it’s time to leave. Maggie insists on staying, but Abby tells her she won’t win this fight. Carter ends things before they can escalate by just picking Maggie up and carrying her to the car.

A patient named Ferris is stationed in an ER hallway, calling out for someone to take him to the bathroom. No one feels like it, which is dumb, because if he doesn’t get to a bathroom, they’ll just have to clean him up. Ferris recognizes Benton as one of his students from his middle school chemistry class. Fun fact: Benton once filled a condom from a Bunsen burner and caused an explosion. Benton! What did Mae think of that? Ferris tells Benton that he had a stroke a month ago but has been doing pretty well since then. A few days ago he started bleeding after getting his teeth cleaned. Benton offers to look at his chart.

Abby apologizes to Carter for getting him involved in her family drama. Yeah, he inserted himself in the drama. Don’t apologize. Carter asks if things are always like this. Abby says her perspective has changed over the years. At least this is better than the two times Maggie attempted suicide. Abby turns up the radio so she doesn’t have to continue the conversation.

A frat pledge named Adam needs treatment after cutting his hand on a beer bottle. He was locked in a car trunk and panicked when the frat brothers didn’t let him out. He should have known they would come back; they did last time. Adam didn’t make it through the process last time, so he’s trying again. Benton clearly wants to tell this kid how dumb he is, but he knows he shouldn’t.

Mark and Elizabeth return to the hospital, thinking she’s in labor again. The road-trippers stop in a diner, and Carter tries to strike up a conversation with Maggie. She won’t tell Abby or Carter how she wound up in Oklahoma. She also won’t take the bipolar medication Abby has brought her. She says Abby can’t make her take it, but Abby wants her to choose to take it. Maggie goes to use the bathroom, and Abby follows her to keep an eye on her (and smoke a cigarette).

In a hotel that night, Carter and Abby have phone conversations with Rena and Luka about when they’ll be back in Chicago. Maggie is on the balcony, watching a family by the pool. She likes to watch people who go about their normal everyday lives, and think about how lucky they are not to have her problems. Abby says Maggie can have an ordinary life, too, if she just takes her medication. Maggie has tried being ordinary but it didn’t last. She’s not like everyone else. She asks Abby why she came, and Abby says it’s because Maggie needed her. “There’s no one here to save,” Maggie replies.

Sunday: Maggie naps in the backseat of the convertible as Abby offers to talk to Rena about the whole situation. She teases that Carter has to expect some drama when dating a teenager. He reveals that Rena broke up with him – she thinks he has a crush on Abby. Carter doesn’t seem too disappointed, and also doesn’t do much to deny that Rena’s right about his feelings for Abby.

Elizabeth’s second round of labor was real, and Mark is carrying their new baby, Ella, around the hospital. Dave brings him celebratory cigars and asks to hold her, but Mark shuts him down. Dave tells Mark he owes $300 for the cigars, but I hope they were cheaper than that and Dave asked for extra money because Mark was mean to him. Elizabeth gives breastfeeding a shot, nervous about it along with everything that comes with motherhood. Mark knows she’ll be able to handle it all.

The road-trippers stop at a gas station, where a mechanic notices that one of the car’s tires is leaking air. He says it’s from a nail and offers to fix it for $15. Abby accuses him of puncturing the tire himself. She thinks he believes she doesn’t know anything about cars because she’s a woman. When Carter joins the conversation, the mechanic lowers his price to $10. Carter tells him to fix the tire before they call the police. The mechanic goes even lower, to $5.

While Carter and Abby were distracted, Maggie got out of the car and is now walking across a few lanes of busy traffic. When Abby stops her, Maggie says she just wanted to get some food from a convenience store. Abby goes with her and gives in when Maggie wants junk food instead of something healthy. Abby also buys more cigarettes, and Maggie tells her to take better care of herself. Abby’s face: “Don’t mention the irony. Don’t mention the irony.” When Abby and the cashier aren’t looking, Maggie pockets something.

Abby and Carter wait for Maggie outside the bathroom while the mechanic fixes their tire. Carter thinks Maggie seems better today, though Abby notes that she couldn’t be worse. Carter has negotiated the mechanic down to $3, as if money is Carter’s biggest priority right now. Maggie thanks Abby for coming to get her, sounding sincere.

Benton has arranged for a new nursing-home facility for Ferris, who I guess is difficult because no one has wanted to take him. Benton is going to go see him every other day to give him blood tests. Cleo’s impressed that Benton is going out of his way for a patient. He explains that the exploding-condom trick could have gotten him expelled, but Ferris just gave him a bunch of detentions instead. He had Benton prep his experiments, which changed Benton’s view on school and science.

Abby and Carter arrive in Chicago that night, now in good moods, thanks to a revelation that Carter had a perm in middle school…twice. Unfortunately, he thinks the pictures have all been destroyed. Carter drops Abby and Maggie off at Abby’s place, and Abby thanks him for coming on the rescue mission with her. When they try to wake Maggie, she’s unresponsive. Abby guesses that she took something and tells Carter to call 911, but he figures it’s faster to drive to the hospital.

Luka gets advance notice, so he’s ready when Maggie arrives at County. He and Carter tend to her together as Haleh finds the package of sleeping pills Maggie took. Luka is worried about Abby being in the trauma room, but she says she’s okay. As Adam is brought in after a shot contest, Carter and Luka continue trying to stabilize Maggie. She begins seizing, which is when Abby gets emotional for the first time.

Next door, Benton questions one of the brothers from the frat Adam was pledging. He had 35 to 40 tequila shots in a row and has a blood-alcohol content of .529. Freaking A – half of his blood is alcohol?? Benton and Cleo have spent 40 minutes trying to save him, but there’s nothing they can do. Benton tells the frat brother to clean up Adam, since they wrote stuff on him in marker. The frat brother tries to argue that Adam drank voluntarily, but Benton says that they were supposed to look out for him.

Luka wants Maggie, who’s still unconscious, to be placed on a psych hold, but Carter doesn’t see the point right now, since she can’t talk to anyone. Abby knows it could be a moot point anyway, since Maggie might not wake up. William White comes by the hospital to let Benton know that he was accepted into med school. He appreciates Benton’s encouragement and help. Benton tells him to just work hard.

Maggie’s awake now and her vitals are normal, so Luka has allowed Legaspi to go see her. Abby wishes she’d listened to Luka about having Maggie committed in Oklahoma. Luka says she’ll be okay, but Abby replies that Maggie will never be okay.

Thoughts: Laura Innes directed this episode.

It’s pretty presumptuous of Carter to think Abby would want his help, but it’s also in line with his character. He wouldn’t expect anyone to not want him around.

We didn’t see Mark and Elizabeth’s wedding, we don’t see the baby’s birth – why are the major parts of their lives off-screen this season but we see more than enough next season?

I would pay good money to see a picture of a young Carter with a perm.

October 27, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thoughts: Resnick is played by Željko Ivanek.

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

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

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

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

October 20, 2020

ER 7.7, Rescue Me: Mark and Elizabeth Both Have Unexpected Thanksgiving Guests

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

You’re not helping, Elvis singer

Summary: Benton and Reese are singing and signing “The Wheels on the Bus” together so we can start out the episode on a happy note. Then it gets sad really fast, because Jackie gets up and we’re reminded that her son just died. It’s Thanksgiving, and Benton was planning to spend it with Cleo (so that’s back on), but he’s willing to cancel if Jackie wants him around. She tells him she’s not cooking a big dinner, so he should go to Cleo’s.

Over at Mark and Elizabeth’s new house, his neck is still bothering him from the hockey game. Yes, that’s why. He’s made Green’s eggs and ham for breakfast (okay, that’s cute), but Elizabeth isn’t hungry. Mark is planning to make non-Thanksgiving food for Thanksgiving, though there will be pumpkin pie. A man comes to the door with a letter for Elizabeth and wishes her a happy Thanksgiving. That’s not going to happen – she’s being sued for malpractice.

Abby drives Maggie to the bus station as Maggie asks to stay through the holiday weekend. She admits that she lost her job and Eric isn’t talking to her, so she can’t go back to Florida. Abby is out of sympathy; she’s given Maggie money, and that’s as far as she’s going to help her right now. Maggie says she loves Abby as Abby drops her off, but Abby doesn’t say it back.

Benton takes Reese to County with him, and Cleo and Reese sign with each other cutely. She’s looking forward to Thanksgiving dinner with her family; Benton will meet her parents for the first time. He assures her that Jackie’s fine with him going since she doesn’t want him around. At the admit desk, Weaver complains that Carter and Chen are late; the rain is no excuse. Before Weaver leaves after a night shift, she checks in with Legaspi, who’s tending to an anxious man carrying a live turkey. Legaspi compliments Weaver’s new look (she got contacts).

Abby tells Weaver that Maggie is on her way home, then apologizes for the chaos Maggie caused in the ER. Weaver says there’s nothing to apologize for, since Maggie’s sick. Abby then catches up with Luka, and they both start to invite each other to dinner at the same time. They figure Doc Magoo’s will be the only place open on Thanksgiving, so Abby suggests that she cook.

Paramedics bring in a man who was hit by a car while riding his bike. As Abby and Luka are taking care of him, Maggie shows up in the ER. She says she can’t leave Abby. Even when she gets sprayed with the patient’s blood, she stays put. Carter stitches up a man named Mr. Florea who’s been in three times already this week, wanting pain medication. Carter offers to refer him to a pain clinic. Florea doesn’t like being pegged as an addict by someone who can’t know anything about his pain.

A woman comes in looking for Luka’s patient, Jim, and Maggie offers to show her where he is, since the staff is busy. If Jim’s neck wound is any indication, he’s not doing well. The wound is so bad that Luka is able to pull a piece of gauze right through it. When Abby leaves to get some supplies, Maggie tells her that the woman she’s brought over is Jim’s wife. The woman (she never gets a name; I’m calling her Dara because the actress playing her was Dara on General Hospital in the ’90s) says she’s not his wife – she’s the driver who hit him. Maggie tells Abby she’s not leaving until they talk.

Romano blasts Elizabeth for screwing up Patterson’s surgery, which has now put the hospital at risk. Patterson walked into the hospital with back pain and will now be leaving in a wheelchair. A jury isn’t going to like that. Elizabeth says she thought it went fine. She’ll talk to Risk Management and make sure Romano is protected. Romano tells her not to discuss the case with anyone, then heads off for a long weekend.

Jim is, indeed, in really bad shape, and Luka determines that they can’t save him. Happy Thanksgiving, Jim’s family, and also Dara. Luka gets the fun job of telling Dara that she accidentally killed someone. Maggie hands Dara’s baby to Luka while she comforts Dara. Yes, it’s horrible, but at least we get to see Luka holding a cute baby.

Abby’s started smoking again, thanks to her stress over Maggie, and Luka joins her on a smoke break. Abby asks if it’ll ever stop. She claims she means the rain, but she obviously means the chaos Maggie brings into her life. Luka says it has to stop eventually. Carter continues to refuse to give Florea anything stronger than over-the-counter meds for his pain, even though Florea says he’s suffering.

Chen’s mother shows up in the ER, and Randi sends her to the waiting room until Chen’s available. She joins Maggie there, and they chat about having daughters who work in the ER. Maggie realizes that the elder Chen’s daughter is “the cute one – pregnant!” This is the first Chen Sr. has heard that she’s going to be a grandmother. She invites her daughter to Thanksgiving dinner that night, but Chen can’t face her entire family. Carter overhears the conversation and gives her an excuse to leave.

Cleo pages Benton to the ER to tell him that Debbie, a patient he operated on last year, has come in. Her breast cancer has spread to her spine, and she’s in a lot of pain. Her pharmacy doesn’t carry narcotics anymore because of a bunch of robberies, so she wasn’t able to fill her morphine prescription. Debbie’s oncologist is away for the holiday, so she came to the hospital. Benton prescribes her some medication, but if she needs more, she’ll have to come back to the hospital tomorrow. Cleo suggests admitting her for pain control, which Benton agrees to.

Elizabeth tells Mark that Romano is going to handle everything related to the lawsuit. Mark notes that he’ll just protect himself, not Elizabeth. He has a friend in Risk Management who could give them some advice. Elizabeth feels bad for dragging Mark into this, but he notes that they’re getting married, so they share problems now.

Maggie’s still in the waiting room, sitting with a woman named Judy who’s serenading the ER with Elvis’ greatest hits. The current song is “It’s Now or Never.” Carter’s in a bad mood and thinks Randi should be working harder. Abby won’t talk to Maggie, and she’s sick of Maggie just sitting there, so she asks Randi to get security to kick her out. Carter thinks she’s going too far.

Judy moves on to “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” before Abby hushes her so she can finally talk to Maggie, though it’s only to tell Maggie to go back to Florida. She ditches Maggie again to help Elizabeth, Chuny, and Lydia with a hospital pharmacy tech who OD’d in a supply room. He’s combative, so Elizabeth decides he should be given medication to paralyze him so they can intubate him. When she tries the intubation, she starts feeling dizzy, then nauseous. Abby takes over the intubation as Maggie looks on proudly.

Florea’s scans show that his pain is real, thanks to a huge clot. Carter learns that he left the hospital and races to catch him before he can get on an El train. Florea has already collapsed by the time Carter finds him, so Carter calls Randi and tells her to have a gurney sent to the station. When they get Florea to the ER, Chuny refuses to agree to Carter’s course of treatment without running down a checklist. She thinks that Florea’s status indicates that he can’t safely have the treatment. Carter says he’ll do everything himself.

Randi tells Benton that the pharmacy tech who OD’d was secretly cooking meth in the basement pharmacy. Wow, hospital security is worse at their jobs than I thought. Cleo tells Benton that Debbie’s HMO won’t approve her admission to the hospital. Benton says that they’ll have to release her, but Cleo points out that she’s not well enough to take a bus home, then back to the hospital. Benton won’t fight the HMO, and Cleo says Debbie would be better off without insurance, if they’re just going to place restrictions on her care.

Mark asks Benton how Jackie’s doing (not great, Mark!), then asks Randi how long Maggie will be in the waiting room. Randi says they’ve started a pool; her guess is three days. Luka joins Carter to treat Florea, telling him to stop the treatment for his clot since he hasn’t gotten a head CT. Carter refuses, knowing that Florea won’t survive to have surgery if he stops the treatment. Luka pulls rank, but it doesn’t matter, since Carter has just stabilized Florea. Of course, that doesn’t mean his brain will function properly.

Mark stitches up a woman who cut herself while chopping celery for stuffing. As she blabbers about stuffing, Mark starts looking unwell. He leaves the room, ignoring everyone who talks to him, and goes to the bathroom to look at himself in the mirror. He makes a few faces and sticks out his tongue, then washes his face. It looks like he was temporarily unable to talk.

Lydia invites Abby to Thanksgiving at her place; she’s already hosting 30 people. Her secret to serving so many people is giving them takeout on fine china. Maggie tries again to get Abby to talk to her, following her out of the ER into the rain. Maggie says that she always worked hard to take care of Abby and Eric, but Abby says they took care of her. Plus, she only worked hard to provide for the family while she was taking her medication. Maggie says she can see a lot of herself in Abby.

Abby tells her that when she was a child, she prayed every night that Maggie would take her lithium. She and Eric never knew what to expect – would Maggie be manic or depressed? When Abby was ten, Maggie was so upset that she visited her father that Maggie chased her around the house with a knife. Maggie begs Abby to see her as a person instead of her disease. Abby can’t get past the fact that she was only ten and had to hide from her mother. Maggie reminds her that she didn’t choose to be sick. Abby replies that she never tried to get better.

Weaver’s the only person on the show who’s having a good day. She’s so happy, she’s singing in the shower. Back at the hospital, Mark talks to a doctor about his suddenly inability to talk and his head and neck pain. The doctor gives him an MRI. Meanwhile, Chen gives Elizabeth a pregnancy test and confirms the reason Elizabeth hasn’t been feeling well all day. Mark’s news is much worse than Elizabeth’s: He has a brain tumor. He’ll need to talk to a neurosurgeon as soon as possible.

Weaver’s happy because her Thanksgiving plans are dinner with Legaspi. Fun fact: At one point in time, Weaver was married. The women have a great time together, drinking wine and laughing. Not having a great time: Mark, who heads home for dinner with the knowledge that there’s something in his brain that shouldn’t be there.

Carter offers Abby help with Maggie, but Abby knows how to handle this. She knows that Maggie will just promise to go back on her medication, then not do it. She chastises a patient for smoking in his bed and tells him to go outside to smoke. He notes that it’s raining and he has pneumonia. Abby smells something in the room other than smoke. As Maggie is asking Carter to talk to Abby for her, something explodes in Abby’s patient’s room. Carter runs in to get her. Luka takes over care of the smoking patient as Carter examines Abby to see if she’s hurt.

Chen gathers her courage and goes to her parents’ house. Her mother thinks her father will be okay when he learns that Chen is pregnant. Chen has always underestimated them. Chen asks if her mother will still love the baby if the father is black. The elder Chen’s face says no. Chen says that’s why she didn’t tell her parents she was pregnant. She leaves.

Dave shows up in the episode with eight minutes to go, just so he can learn that ether from the meth lab caused the explosion. The pharmacy tech who OD’d is one of the meth cookers; they were transporting the ether in IV bags, and one got mixed in with the regular bags and sent to a patient’s room. Wow, imagine the lawsuit if someone had actually been hooked up to that. It would have made Elizabeth’s lawsuit look minuscule. Carter examines Abby, who has some chest pain but insists she’s fine. The smoking patient will also be okay. In addition, Florea’s CT was normal, so Carter’s risk paid off.

Weaver and Legaspi have started sharing meaningful stories from their pasts with each other. They’ve been at the restaurant for so long that it’s starting to close. Legaspi notes that this is their second meal together, which some might consider a date. She confirms that Weaver knows she’s gay. Weaver quickly says that she knows, and she has no problem with it. She has gay friends. Weaver has friends? Huh. Okay. Legaspi admits that she thought Weaver had a crush on her. After all, Weaver keeps paging her to the ER. Weaver says she’s straight and just likes spending time with Legaspi. Really, she’s straight. Super-straight. Nothing other than straight.

On the way to dinner, Cleo invites Benton to open up to her. Benton says he’s upset that Romano docked his pay for punching Dave after Jesse died. Cleo thinks he’s right to be mad, and that Dave deserved the punch. She also thinks Benton should be madder about the fact that Jesse got pegged as a gang-banger because he’s Black, which is probably also the reason Debbie isn’t getting the care she needs.

Benton says she needs to stop teaching people how to be Black. Huh? She’s complaining about racism. Is Benton projecting? Cleo tells Benton he needs to face reality. Debbie’s pharmacy is in a Black neighborhood, which is why it keeps getting robbed. Benton notes that Cleo grew up in the suburbs, so she can’t know about Debbie’s problems. Excuse me?

Benton continues that he knows who he is and doesn’t have anything to prove. Who said anything about having to prove something?? Cleo’s saying that their Black patients don’t get the level of treatment that their white patients do. It has nothing to do with Benton! Cleo asks if that means she does, since her mother is white. She calls off Thanksgiving dinner with Benton by getting off the train before their stop.

Abby has a cracked rib and a slight concussion but is otherwise fine. She walks right by Maggie, who’s still in the waiting room, then stops and lets Maggie catch up with her. The mom-drama cycle will continue. Elizabeth meets Mark at home and announces that she’s pregnant. Mark tells her that’s great news, then keeps his own news to himself.

Thoughts: Yet again, a medical professional on this show has an unplanned pregnancy. Do these people know anything about birth control?

Benton’s bedside manner in this episode is ten times better than Carter’s. That’s scary.

The woman who hurt herself cutting up celery has learned what I already know: Celery ruins everything.

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